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MFP Writing Workshop

Presentation for the Ministry Formation Program

Mr. Michael Broach

on 6 August 2016

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Transcript of MFP Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop
Ministry Formation Program

Tools, Tips and Strategies
Understand / analyze the topic or prompt
What is the assignment?
Have a realistic plan (time frame from research to completion)
Research Questions:
What do I know?
What do I need to find?
Make a preliminary outline.
Researching Tips
Print Media
Catholic sources (Imprimatur)
Online Research
Be mindful of "perspective"
Taking good notes / organizing material
Research Strategies
Why it has become such a problem now
Simple mistakes (many incidents of plagiarism are by accident, not intent)
TIP: Good planning/preparation; write your paper based on notes (or notecards) and not directly from sources
Online Tools
What is your thesis? (critical for expository/persuasive writing)
Definition of a thesis
Where to write the thesis
The entire paper should be built on this foundation
Good outlining
Organize research information based on the outline
Preparing to Write
Setting up the paper: Headers, Paragraph Spacing and Fonts
Style: MLA - Modern Language Association
Format and Style
I. Introduction with a solid thesis
II. Body Paragraphs
Begin with a topic sentence
Include supporting information/evidence to support the sub-topic and thesis
Use quotes only when necessary
Avoid long quotes unless absolutely necessary (and block)
Analysis: always connect what you present back to the topic/thesis
Good transition
Use in-text citations
III. Good Conclusion that effectively wraps-up the argument without being overly repetitive.
IV. Bibliography or Works Cited Page
Writing the Paper
Basic Rules for Writing - see the website for resources

Templates for Structure and "Metacommentary"

General Tips and Common Issues
Grammar and Mechanics
Plan ahead
Proofread multiple times
Put it down, come back later
Have someone else read it
Read the paper aloud
ASK: Did I properly cite all outside evidence?
ASK: Did I adequately support my thesis?
ASK: Does my paper flow? Is it choppy or repetitive?
Proofreading and Editing
Website with today's materials and
additional resources:

My contact information:
Michael Broach

Goals for today:
Introduction to good research, good
organization and good writing
Boolean Searching
Research Databases
Google - use "Advanced
Types of Assignments:
Narrative - tells a story; has a main message; establishes a theme for the reader
Not typical in higher academia
Only write in first person if the assignment is a personal narrative
Descriptive - Describes an experience; can rely on sensory details (sight/sound/touch/taste)
Examples: eyewitness accounts, interviews, and descriptions
Expository - "Exposes" the elements the writer feels are important for a given purpose
Analytical Writing!
Compare/Contrast, Cause/Effect, Problem/Solution, Definition, and Classification/Division
Persuasive Argument:
Establish that there are differing arguments on a topic
Goal: Establish your position as more valid than others
Source: Bryan Lee, 2011
Source: owl.english.purdue.edu - Sample MLA Paper
See the website for the links to these resources!
Best wishes for a successful journey in the Ministry Formation Program!
A note about quotes...

Use quotes only when absolutely necessary to make a point. Otherwise, it is usually best to avoid an abundance of quoted text.

Why? The purpose of any writing assignment is to learn your argument, analysis or perspective. A paper full of quotes is simply a choppy collection of the thoughts of others.
Analyze the Church's position on capital punishment.


Defend the Church's position on capital punishment.
Full transcript