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The No Nos of Essay Writing

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Tamara Britton

on 24 September 2014

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Transcript of The No Nos of Essay Writing

The No-Nos of Essay Writing
I, We, You, Me, Us
Don't Summarize
Don't Forget Sources
You must, must, must tell us where you got your information.

Introduce your source the very first time you use it.

Refer to source by last name or in parenthesis thereafter.

Do NOT have sources on your Works Cited unless they are in your paper.
Parenthesis in an essay are for you to write your source for any information you used from them, whether in "quotes" or paraphrased in your own words.

Parenthesis are NOT used to insert a thought. Use commas if necessary.
Unless instructed to do so, do NOT add a source or quotations in an introduction, refutation, or conclusion.

Quotes/Sources are your support to what you are arguing.

Your intro is your chance to hook the reader and introduce your topic, not your support.
Your refutation is the 3X3 stage of what others could think opposite of you, and your refuting those ideas.
Your conclusion wraps up your thoughts, not introducing new support.
Putting something in "quotes" means you pulled that info word-for-word from the source.

Do not use spoken word/dialogue.

Only quote when you cannot say it any better. Do not quote simple stuff.
When writing an essay, never put yourself into it.

We know that everything you are writing is what you believe or think and support you found, so you do not need to state, "I think..." or "I believe..."

Replace "you" with a proper pronoun. Most times, the writer simply means "people" in general.

Do NOT announce what you are going to do.
Your essay is your words, your thoughts, supported by evidence that you located.

Do NOT simply restate all the articles' information. 90% of the essay should be YOUR words, supported by your sources. You make a claim!

So, do NOT write an entire chronological paper, or a long summary of everything. Break each paragraph up by its topic and supporting details.
For example:
Incorrect: Lindy went back to the barbeque to get more food for her son Aidan (because he was still hungry.) leaving the tent without a supervisor.

Correct: Since Aidan was still hungry, Lindy returned to the barbeque to get him some more food, leaving the tent unsupervised.
For example:
Incorrect: Lizzie said, "Bridget come quick. Someone has murdered Father."

Incorrect: Lizzie was stated to have called to Bridget because "Someone...murdered [her] Father."

Correct: Lizzie called to Bridget to come downstairs because she discovered her father's dead body.
For example:
Incorrect: In this essay, I will discuss the issues regarding global warming and why we need to act on it.

Correct: The issues regarding global warming are severe and people must make changes to avoid further damage to this planet.
For example:
Incorrect: Socks were found in OJ Simpson's bedroom floor, caked with the blood of the victims. (Where did you get this info and who found the socks?)

Correct: According to the article, "The Trial of OJ Simpson: The Incriminating Evidence," detectives found socks in OJ's bedroom floor, caked with the blood of the victims.
Don't Ask Questions
This is your ARGUMENT.

Do NOT ask questions in an argument.

Instead, make your claims, subclaims,
and support them.

Write confidently.

Do NOT talk to the audience, asking them
their opinions.
For example:
Incorrect: If all the blood evidence points to Steve, how could anybody else be guilty?

Correct: All of the blood evidence points to Steve; therefore, he is guilty of the murders.
But Don't Misuse Sources
Do NOT use sources in your thesis statement, your topic sentences, or the final statement of a paragraph.

Your thesis is YOUR claim, NOT your sources'.

Your topic sentence is YOUR subclaim to support that entire paragraph.

Your final sentence of each paragraph should be your final statement about that topic.
For Example:

Incorrect: Douglas O. Linder states that OJ was late to his limo, so he was unaccounted for during the murders, not on the road to the airport like he claims.

Correct: Evidence reveals that OJ had no actual alibi for his whereabouts when the murders took place.
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