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WR 122: Week 3 Reading, Researching, and Evaluating Sources

Agenda (Wednesday)

  • They Say, I Say
  • Common grammar issues and choices
  • The writing process
  • Evaluating sources

They Say, I Say - Part 1

  • Respond to the reading. Tell me what you think?
  • What are the author's claiming in chapter 1?
  • How could you apply what is discussed in chapter 1 to Nickel and Dimed? Break into groups and do it.

Grammar & Style

It's the difference between feeling your nuts and feeling you're nuts.

A few items to touch on...

  • MLA Style
  • Owl Purdue
  • voice
  • Comma splice, complete sentences, and fragments
  • There, their, they're: beware! Make sure you are consciously choosing the right word, especially in cases like this one, and also with homonyms.
  • Capitalizing proper names: Kleenex or tissue, but not kleenex or Tissue
  • Repetition can be a powerful tool, but repetition can also be really boring because repetition dulls the senses. Repetition makes you want to stop reading and repetition makes me want to fall asleep. To many professors, this sort of repetition looks as if the student is trying inflate his or her word count in lieu of saying anything substantive. What are some other synonyms for repetition? How else might one avoid unnecessary restating of points? Revise this short paragraph in your journal.
  • Answering declarative statements...

It isn’t enough to say something is good or bad; always support your claims. In other words, connect what "they say" to what you have to say.

Our tiny kitchen is my favorite room in my home.

This statement, on its own, might lead a reader to ask: who cares?

A deeper exploration might go something like this:

Our kitchen is my favorite room in my home. It is where I can immerse myself in the preparation of a meal and set aside the stress of day-to-day life, which always seems to be pressing in on me. Chopping, measuring, and adjusting seasonings temporarily distracts me from politics and turmoil in the world, because these action focus my energies on something I can actually control: making a delicious meal for my family.

My main point here is that even personal writing needs evidence to support the claims you make.

To strengthen your claim, particularly in academic writing, you will want to enter into a dialogue with others, with experts on the topic you are exploring. To make my declaration above even stronger, I might add a quote from someone noteworthy.

Luciano Pavarotti, world-famous opera singer and noted food lover suggests, "One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” This is why my tiny apartment kitchen is my favorite room in my home. It is where I can immerse myself in the preparation of a meal and set aside the stress of day-to-day life, which always seems to be pressing in on me. Chopping, measuring, and adjusting seasonings temporarily distracts me from politics and turmoil in the world, because these action focus my energies on something I can actually control: making a delicious meal for my family.

The Writing Process

Writing is a process; it takes time and involves working through stages:

  • Prewriting
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Editing
  • Polishing

Prewriting: This stage is where you brainstorm ideas, freewrite, journal, outline -- whatever process you find works best for you. Additionally, you start researching and developing questions which will ultimately lead you to a thesis. The product of this stage is "the big idea."

Drafting: This is when you start to arrange your ideas and incorporate your outside research; you start really writing and connecting your ideas. The final product is a rough draft.

Revising: This is when you start to clean up your paper. Focus on the content of your argument and connect your ideas more fluidly than your previous draft. Is your thesis clearly stated? Are you transitioning from one idea to the next in a cohesive manner? The final product is a developed essay.

Editing: Focus on the details. Correct grammar, mechanics, and punctuation. Format the paper according to assignment guidelines (MLA for this class). Complete your works cited page. The final product is a corrected essay.

Polishing: This is when you really polish the paper. It should be technically correct, but there is still room to hone your argument. Peer review is an excellent way to accomplish this. Can others identify your thesis and follow your argument? The final product will be a solid, well-crafted essay you can be proud of!

The big takeaway here is that, with a few minor exceptions, no one sits down at their computer and produces perfect work in one session. sports, music, dance, architecture, engineering, biology -- each of these disciplines require practice, thought, and process work over time to achieve meaningful results.
Another way of thinking about this: would you start knitting and then decide what you were making? Would you start mixing ingredients and then decide what you are baking?
Created By
Jenny Woodman
Appreciate

Credits:

Image credits: Jenny Woodman

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