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How to Write an Awesome Essay

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by

Mercedes McGee

on 20 February 2016

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Transcript of How to Write an Awesome Essay

How to Write an Awesome Essay!
Come up with your main point (thesis statement)
What is it that you are trying to prove? Be as clear and specific as possible.

All major points throughout the paper should be present in the thesis statement.
Find evidence to support your main points
Once you know what you are trying to prove, find information that will help to support your point(s)--this will make you a more credible author.
Make connections between your main points and the evidence you chose to support those main points
How does your collected evidence support your main point(s)?
Thesis statement: There are advantages and disadvantages to using statistics.
Why would this be an inadequate thesis statement?
Revised thesis statement: Statistics allow people to notice a change over time and compare different products; however, those numbers are not always accurate.
What three points should you expect to see in the paper?
"A short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay...and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence" (Dictionary.com).
Speaking of being a credible source...DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!
What is plagiarism?
"The practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own"
(Google.com--plagiarism definition)
Here are some tips from plagiarism.org:
When in doubt, cite sources
Make it clear who said what
Know how to paraphrase
A paraphrase is a restatement in your own words of someone else's ideas
Changing a few words of the original sentence does NOT make your writing a legitimate paraphrase
Analyze and evaluate your sources
P.S. The act of plagiarism is technically illegal--you are stealing words or ideas that were created by someone else. This is why there are copyright laws.
Main point(s)
Evidence #1
Evidence #2
Evidence #3
What you
should
and
should not
do in your writing...
You
should
write your paper as if the reader is unfamiliar with the topic
Introduce background information
Explain characters and events
*Basically imagine the reader asking,
"Why should I care?" --Answer this for them.
Avoid Dropped Quotes!
Introduce the speaker and context
before
using quoted material--this way your purpose is clear
Analyze evidence (quoted material)
DO NOT add a quote and ignore that it is there. Use your evidence as a tool.
Look at specific words in your quote--ask yourself:


"Why did the author choose to say it like that?"

or
"Does this have another, deeper meaning than what it literally says?"
What in the world are
"signal phrases"?
"A signal phrase indicates the boundary between your words and the source's words and can also tell readers why a source is trustworthy." (Hacker, 486-487)
Example of a dropped quote:
"She could only imagine however at last, that she drew his notice because there was a something about her more wrong and reprehensible, according to his ideas of right, than in any other person present" (35).
How it
should
read:
After mentioning Mr. Darcy's gaze upon Elizabeth in the drawing-room at Netherfield, Austen writes, "She could only imagine however at last, that she drew his notice because there was a something about her more wrong and reprehensible, according to his ideas of right, than in any other person present" (35).
Notice that the context is given
The speaker is established
Acceptable verbs in signal phrases:
-admits -acknowledges -adds -asserts -argues -believes -claims -comments -compares -confirms -contends -declares -denies -disputes -emphasizes -endorses -grants -illustrates -implies -insists -notes -observes -points out -reasons -refutes -rejects -reports -responds -suggests
-thinks -writes
Stay consistent with tense!
If you are talking about the
past
...stay in the
past

If you are talking about the
present
...stay in the
present

*Any time you are referring to a literary work, write as if it is happening in the here and now
--Even though you may have read the piece in YOUR past, that story is still going on...
Even right now as we speak, Romeo is drinking that poison to join his beloved Juliet in death.
Avoid informal speech in
formal
writing!
"Donne goes on to make sense of death in this larger context as he
states
, "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" (Donne 1421).
Upon hearing that Edna was "out" when she was supposed to be entertaining callers, Léonce
argues
, "Why, what could have taken you out on a Tuesday? What did you have to do?" (Chopin 50).
DO NOT use
vague
language
Avoid using words like "
things
" and "
stuff
"
Explain
exactly
what you mean
DO NOT start sentences with "
and
," "
but
," or "
so
"
DO NOT use the phrase "
to be
"
There are stronger verbs out there that you can use...find them!
DO NOT use clichés or colloquialism
Expressions can be misunderstood--
make sure that your language
is clear
Always
use the third person Point of View
Point of view is the angle of considering things which shows us the opinion or feelings of the individuals involved in a situation.
First person POV=the narrator's perspective
DO NOT USE >
I
,
me
,
my
,
mine
,
we
,
us
,
our(s)
Second person POV=addresses the audience
DO NOT USE >
you
or
your(s)
Third person omniscient POV=the narrator knows all thoughts and feelings taking place
Third person objective POV=the narrator does not
reveal any character's thoughts or feelings
Third person limited POV=the narrator is limited to knowing the thoughts and feelings of one character
USE THESE PRONOUNS >
he
,
she
,
her
,
they
,
them
, (also character's names)
Fix the tense issues
There was no way I could fight the current and win. Just as I was losing hope, a stranger jumps off a passing boat and swims toward me.
The scarlet letter is a punishment sternly placed upon Hester's breast by the community, and yet it was an extremely fanciful and imaginative product of Hester's own needlework.
jumped
swam
is
Make sure your pronoun references are clear
Generally avoid using a broad reference of
this
,
that
,
which
and
it
Do not use a pronoun to refer to an implied
antecedent
Example: After braiding Ann's hair, Sue
decorated them with ribbons.
the braids
*When a pronoun's reference is needlessly broad, either replace the pronoun with a
noun
or supply an
antecedent
to which the pronoun clearly refers.
(Hacker 182-183)
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