Exploring the Writing Process UF Writing Program Dr. Serafin Roldan
Why follow the Process? • Using the process helps you clarify your topic and ideas • Using the process organizes your research • Using the process helps eliminate plagiarism • Using the process helps you finish your paper FASTER and BETTER
Select Your Topic Brainstorm Publish Research Revise Organize/Outline Edit/Proofread Thesis/ DRAFT What is the Writing Process?
Select Your Topic • Did your instructor provide a list of required topics, subjects, or suggestions? • Make a list of ideas and choose three that interest you. Why are they interesting? Are they interesting to other people? • Is factual information available about your topic? • Is your topic focused? • Can you argue an opinion about your topic?
Selecting your topic (continued) Bad Topic: Religion Narrow Your Focus! Christianity Narrow Your Focus! Prophecy Narrow Even More! Armageddon
Brainstorm • Jot notes about your topic. Ask questions like Who? What? When? Where? How? And Why? To generate ideas. • Draw circles and lines to connect your ideas. Use other markers to emphasize points that are important. • No idea is stupid, or wrong.
Where is Hanukah celebrated? When did Hanukah start? History of Hanukah Why is Hanukah important? What is Hanukah? How does Hanukah relate to other celebrations? Who is important in the Hanukah story? Brainstorm (continued)
Research • Research is how you gain facts about your topic. • Select your resources carefully. Good resources include books, journals, some magazines, newspapers, interviews, etc. • Always DOCUMENT your resources. This will help you avoid plagiarism.
Research (continued) “Twenty-fifth month of Kislev” Not associated with Exodus Judas Maccabaeus- took back temple from Syrian Greeks Used oil to light temple- should have lasted one day; lasted eight. “Thus a festival of lights as well as a festival of dedication” Hopfe, L.M. and Woodward, M.R. (2001). Religions of the World (8th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Pg. 269
Organize/Outline • Put your notes in an order that is logical for your paper. (This is why using index cards is helpful). • Begin forming the structure of your paper using an outline structure. • Keep your references nearby on a separate page in case you need to do more research.
Outline (continued) Armageddon as Prophecy • What is Christian prophecy? A. Book of Daniel B. Book of Apocalypse (Revelations) • Relationship to World Events
Thesis and Draft • Write a clear thesis statement. Your thesis should tell the reader what your paper is about. • Your first draft should be written in paragraph format and follow your outline. • Don’t worry too much about errors in your first draft.
Thesis (continued) Thesis statement: Hanukah is important to the Jewish people because it celebrates both a historical event and miracle in Judaic tradition. [This is a sample of a terrible TS]
Draft: Writing Paragraphs The first sentence is your topic sentence. This gives information about your topic for this paragraph. Following sentences should back up your topic with information (facts, figures, opinion.) Your last sentence should lead into your next paragraph.
Edit/Proofread • After you write your first draft, check your paper for spelling and grammatical errors. • Most word processor programs have a spelling and grammar check (in Microsoft Word, hit F7). • Read your paper aloud to make sure it makes sense, and it has rhythm.
Repeat the Process! • Do you need to do more research? • Did you double space your paper? • Did you cite ALL of your sources? • Do peer review. First drafts. Second drafts. • Does your research match your thesis?
FINAL PAPER • Double check for errors – make sure you number your pages and include a subtitle in the top-right corner of each page. • Be proud of your accomplishment! Writing a paper is hard work, and if you followed this process you probably did a pretty good job!
For More Information • E-mail your Professor at email@example.com • Ask your professor for help! • Check your MLA handouts for additional information on the writing process.