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Essay Writing

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Andrea Sunyol

on 25 September 2015

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Transcript of Essay Writing

Gathering information
university library - wikipedia - tabloid articles - webpage - peer-reviewed journal -
surveys - scholarly articles - books - films - letters - diaries - interviews - works of art
Editing Checklist
Every cloud has a silver lining
(Adapted version of an essay))
Essay Writing
A quick overview
Evaluating sources
Make sure you...
Follow the convention you are asked (ex. MLA)
Are consistent: footnotes or in-text citation.
Include all your sources in the bibliography list.
editing is accurate (title, indentation, paragraph structure)
no grammar or spelling mistakes
cohesion (connectors)
punctuation marks are correct
adequate level of formality and tone
varied sentence structure (emphasis)
What am I expected to do?

What is the purpose of the assignment?

How long does it have to be?

Stick to the topic
Paragraph structure
Style (Quotations)
well developed - content thought
connected ideas
beginning (topic)
middle (evidence/proof)
end (conclusion)
wrong word order
run-on sentences
word repetition
sentence fragments
sentences beginning with coordinating conjunctions
one sentence paragraphs
inadequate level of formality
too many passive structures
Your essay has to answer the question/task.
Narrowing the topic
Previous knowledge
Key words & expressions
Missing information
Point of view / Interest
What do I want to communicate?
free writing
flow charting
Pre-writing strategies
Essay types



To obtain deeper insights on a topic
To answer questions
To support/counter arguments
To participate in an ongoing scholarly debate
Citations must be integrated in the discourse
They must enrich and develop an argument
They must be relevant (and not repetitive)
The choice of a source has to be justified
Methods for constructing an introduction are...
personal anecdote
striking image
shoking statistics
Choose a way of arranging your material to:
describe a process
explain your topic
compare and contrast ideas
discuss causes/effects
investigate a question
evaluate your topic
identify and solve a problem
What is an Introduction
Acquaints the reader with the topic and purpose of the paper

Generates the audience’s interest in the topic
Offers a plan for the ensuing argument

Topic sentence
Body paragraphs build upon the
made in the introductory paragraph(s).

Each body paragraph should develop an argument, which should be logically organised.

A claim illustrates the main idea of each paragraph, it's the overall thesis the writer will argue for.

Ex. Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution.

supporting and expanding the topic sentence
overall thesis
evidence gathered to support claim
connecting the data and the claim
logical reasoning to support warrant
negation or disagreement with thesis
negation or disagreement with counterclaim

Organise your material effectively
Effective counterarguments
Consider your audience when you offer your counterargument.

Conceding to some of your opposition’s concerns can demonstrate respect for their opinions.

Remain tactful yet firm: using rude or deprecating language can cause your audience to reject your position without carefully considering your claims.

random collection of sentences
bulleted list
merely expository (vs analytical)
redundancies (ex. quote + paraphrase)
not "the brick to the head"
(manage the climax of the story)
Generates reader interest in the argument
Introduces the topic of discussion to the audience

Why we need one?
adapted from: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/693/01
What is an argument?
An argument involves the process of establishing a claim and then proving it with the use of logical reasoning, examples, and research.

Your conclusion should reemphasize the main points made in your paper.

You may choose to reiterate a call to action or speculate on the future of your topic, when appropriate.

Avoid raising new claims in your conclusion.

Avoid citing new sources.

: Tell them what you’re going to tell them.

: Tell them.

: Tell them what you told them.
Why is organization important?
Guides an audience through your reasoning process

Offers a clear explanation of each argued point

Demonstrates the credibility of the writer

Creating a title
Try to grab attention by:

offering a provocative image
picking up on words or examples offered in the body or conclusion of the paper
asking a question

Avoid titles that are too general or lack character

Considering Titles
Imagine you just wrote a paper offering solutions to the problem of road rage. Which do you consider to be the best title?

Road Rage
Can’t Drive 55
Road Rage: Curing Our Highway
What is a thesis statement?
most important sentence
in your paper

Lets the reader know the main idea of the paper

Answers the question: “What am I trying to prove?”

Not a factual statement, but a claim that has to be proven throughout the paper
The role of the thesis statement
The thesis statement should guide your reader through your argument.

The thesis statement is generally located in the introduction of the paper.

A thesis statement may also be located within the body of the paper or in the conclusion, depending upon the purpose or argument of the paper.

Parents, often too busy to watch television shows with their families, can monitor their children’s viewing habits with the aid of the V-chip.

To help parents monitor their children’s viewing habits, the V-chip should be a required feature for television sets sold in the U.S.

This paper will describe a V-chip and examine the uses of the V-chip in American-made television sets.

Which thesis statement is the most effective for an argument about the need for V-chips in television sets?
Counterarguments may be located at various locations within your body paragraphs.

You may choose to:

build each of your main points as a contrast to oppositional claims.

offer a counterargument after you have articulated your main claims.

Addressing the claims of the opposition is an important component in building a convincing argument.

It demonstrates your credibility as a writer - you have researched multiple sides of the argument and have come to an informed decision.

It shows you have considered other points of view - that other points of view are valid and reasonable.
Everyone has seen the moody, withdrawn kid with music blasting out of his white earbuds, or the girl rapidly texting on her phone. The youth of today are constantly immersed in technological advancements that promote nonstop communication and instant gratification, whether through cell phones, gaming systems, laptops, or MP3 players. It could be said that that the growth of technology has negatively influenced the social interactions of today's youth because it isolates individuals from reality, hinders communication, and perpetuates the concept of immediate ­satisfaction.
The Internet actually detracts from the communication abilities of society, especially the young. When communication skills are gradually lessened, people begin “spending less time talking to families, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed,” writes Affonso. In the formative teen years, lack of personal communication due to excessive Internet usage can have an overall negative effect on mental and physical health. Communication skills are critical for everyone, yet use of the Internet is undermining this development.

Technology negatively affects people by perpetuating the mindset of immediate satisfaction. The creation of various portable technological devices has slowly ingrained the idea of instant gratification. With gadgets like the PS3 or Nintendo DS, which allow users to play games anywhere, or cell phones that let them keep in touch virtually everywhere and at any time, people grow up learning that whenever they want pleasure or enjoyment, it will automatically be granted to them.
To sum up, the advancement of technology has negatively impacted our social interactions because it detaches users from what is happening around them, obstructs communication, and spreads the concept of instant gratification. Society must be able to utilize technology while not allowing it to impede social interactions, particularly for those who are easily influenced during their formative years. The world must learn to embrace technology without allowing it to negatively impact the creation of functional adults in society.
adapted from http://www.teenink.com/opinion/social_issues_civics/article/166619/How-Technology-Affects-Us/

Paragraph organisation
Paragraphs may be ordered in several ways, depending upon the topic and purpose of your argument:

General to specific information

Most important point to least important point

Weakest claim to strongest claim
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