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The Writing Process

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  1. From Idea The Writing Process To Paper Professor Barbara Baker

  2. GETTING STARTED Your Writing Ritual • Set aside dedicated time - get to work! • A place of your own • Organize supplies • “I am a writer!” • Keep a journal Start Professor Barbara Baker

  3. The Writing Process Professor Barbara Baker

  4. Unity Professor Barbara Baker

  5. ORGANIZING: • From general to particular • From particular to general • Chronologically - time • Spatially - physical • From one extreme to another Professor Barbara Baker

  6. PREWRITING: • Thinking - explore your topic • Reading - surf the net or find an article • Freewrite - spin off into your own thoughts • Brainstorm - by list or cluster • ? - Who, What, When, Where, Why, How • Discuss your ideas with anyone who listens Professor Barbara Baker

  7. PLANNING: Example • Subject: The rising cost of tuition • Purpose: To inform • Audience: Taxpayers and college students Professor Barbara Baker

  8. PLANNING: • What is your subject? • Enjoy your topic! • What is your purpose? • Know your reason! • Who is your audience? • Think of the reader! Professor Barbara Baker

  9. WRITING THE TOPIC SENTENCE Professor Barbara Baker

  10. First Draft: I have many friends. Overall, going to movies is a lot of fun. Buying a car is not fun. A high, wooded ridge overlooks my hometown. Revised Draft: Sean and Karen are two of my very different friends. I love movies, but some types are definitely better. Buying a new car takes thought and planning. A high, wooded ridge that overlooks my hometown is my favorite place. The Topic Sentence Professor Barbara Baker

  11. Development - Details Specific and Concrete • The river…with its many ripples, the colorful sunset, and the city with lots of tall buildings. • Huge clouds change from pink to purple to red when the sun goes down behind them. Professor Barbara Baker

  12. Developing Details: • Who? I like to be by myself. • What? rowboats, sailboats, motorboats, freight liners. I like sailboats best because I love to sail against car lights in the distance. • When? Sunset – pink and purple; light at dusk; headlights streaming through the darkness • Where? outside the city; above the city, people in the city don’t know I am watching • Why? the scent of honeysuckle on a summer day; birds building nests, scolding other birds • How? peaceful, quiet;I can think out my problems Professor Barbara Baker

  13. Organization - Rhetorical Strategies • Chronology/Sequence • Narrative • Process • Comparison/Contrast • Description • Listing • Cause and Effect Professor Barbara Baker

  14. Revising First Draft • I have many friends. Revised Draft • Sean and Karen are two of my very different friends. Professor Barbara Baker

  15. Organization - Reorganize: • This is convenient because it’s at the beginning of the Riverwalk. • Hours later, I walk back to my car and think of the day I can return. • I always eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant first. • Whenever I visit San Antonio, my hometown, I always go to the Riverwalk. • I usually end my journey near a road that will lead me to the Alamo. • I always park at the end with the newest hotels and mall. • I then walk down the paths, stopping in all of the unique shops. • I always stop here because it is a wonderful historical monument. • This way I can spend hours just walking along the beautiful paths and stopping in my favorite places. Professor Barbara Baker

  16. Rewriting for Vitality • At Ozzfest, a pile of bands {sang their way} through their inner children. • His smile beamed everywhere in the large room, as if his teeth were {unbelievably shiny}. • Martina Hingis, a shrinking star who has become as vulnerable as a {sitting duck}. • He was older than {the hills} now and {likely} to make his century. Professor Barbara Baker

  17. Rewriting for Vitality • Svetlana Ivanova, a 57-year old pensioner with a mind made up like {a drum-tight thing}. • They were foragers and gatherers, can redeemers, the people who {swayed} through subway cars with paper cups. • How much cooler it is to save the world from the Nazis than {fret} over the Nasdaq. • Sister Grace believed the proof of God’s creativity {came} from the fact that you could not surmise the life, even remotely, of his humblest shut-ins. Professor Barbara Baker

  18. Authors’ Word Choices: Professor Barbara Baker

  19. Coherence • Does everything stick together? • Is the paragraph smooth, not choppy? • Do you move your reader logically from thought to thought? Professor Barbara Baker

  20. Coherence • Transitions • Repeated Words • Synonyms • Pronouns Professor Barbara Baker

  21. Some Common Transitions • Addition: moreover, further, furthermore, besides, and, and then, likewise, also, nor, too, again, in addition, next, first, second, third, finally, last • Comparison: similarly, likewise, in like manner • Contrast: but, yet, and yet, however, still, nevertheless, on the other hand, on the contrary, after all, in contrast, at the same time, otherwise • Emphasis: in fact, indeed, to tell the truth, in any event, after all, actually, of course Professor Barbara Baker

  22. Some Common Transitions • Example: for example, for instance, in this case • Place: here, there, beyond, nearby, opposite, adjacent to, near to this end, for this purpose, with this objective • Purpose: to this end, for this purpose, with this objective • Result: hence, therefore, accordingly, consequently, thus, as a result, then, so Professor Barbara Baker

  23. Some Common Transitions • Summary: to conclude, to sum up, to summarize, in brief, on the whole, in sum, in short, as I have said, in other words, that is (use sparingly if at all) • Time: meanwhile, at length, immediately, soon, after a few days, now, in the meantime, afterward, later, then, sometimes, (at) other times, still Professor Barbara Baker

  24. Effective Repetition • Can help bind the sentences together • Helps guide readers through your idea • Too much repetition is boring • Repeated sounds can be interesting: • “WhyI Write” - Joan Didion as borrowed from George Orwell Professor Barbara Baker

  25. Synonyms • Synonyms are words that have identical or similar meaning • Can link your sentences • Can help you avoid needless repetition • Can add variety and interest • A thesaurus and dictionary are key tools • Develop your vocabulary Professor Barbara Baker

  26. Pronouns • Pronouns stand in for person, place, thing, state, or quality • First, second, third person • Singular or plural • Agreement is essential • Link ideas and set a faster pace Professor Barbara Baker

  27. Sentences: Does each have a main subject and verb? Do all subjects and verbs agree? Do all pronouns agree with their nouns? Are modifiers as close as possible to the words they modify? Punctuation and Mechanics: Are sentences punctuated correctly? Are words capitalized properly? Word Choice and Spelling: Are words used and spelled correctly? Editing Checklist Professor Barbara Baker

  28. Potential Errors to Address: Professor Barbara Baker

  29. DRAFTING: • A high, wooded ridge overlooks my hometown. I can sit up there and see the river, the sunset, and the city. The sun shines like fire, and then the sun is gone behind the ridge. I love the river best, I can always see the river. I see rowboats, sailboats, motorboats, and freight liners. I have always liked to sail. My next favorite view is the sunset. Some nights the sunset is really beautiful. There are huge clouds when the sun goes down behind them. When it gets dark, I can see the headlights of the cars moving through the city streets. I bet people don’t realize they’re being watched. The headlights follow the street lights. When I am up high above the city, I get lost in my dreams. All my troubles melt away. I just look around this place, think about this place’s beauty, and feel good --automatically. Professor Barbara Baker

  30. Revised Draft: A high, wooded ridge that overlooks my hometown is my favoriteplace. I can sit up there and see the river with its many ripples, the colorful sunset, and the city with lots of tall buildings. The sun shines like fire, and then the sun is gone behind the ridge. I love the river best, I can always see the river. I watch different kinds of boats on the river. I see rowboats, sailboats, motorboats, and freight liners. The boats look like toys because I am up so high.I have always liked to sail. My next favorite view is the sunset. Some nights the sunset is really beautiful. There are huge clouds that change from pink to purple to red when the sun goes down behind them. Sometimes I think of a kaleidoscope, and other times I think of a color wheel that spins in slow motion.When it gets dark, I can see Professor Barbara Baker

  31. Revised Draft: I can see the headlights of the cars moving through the city streets. I bet people don’t realize they’re being watched. The bright headlights follow the street lights as if the street lights are showing the cars where to go. When I am up high above the city, I get lost in my dreams, and time doesn’t exist.All my troubleshomework and family problems melt away. I just look around this place, think about this place’s beauty, and feel good --automatically. What other editing could improve this paragraph? Professor Barbara Baker

  32. Rewrite a Revised Paragraph Professor Barbara Baker

  33. Draft a New Paragraph: L-218 • Describe the Computer Lab • Explain its purpose • Personalize its cause and effect: 1st Person • Incorporate a metaphor as to its value Professor Barbara Baker

  34. No Boundaries Within these white walls, thirty computers carve their way into writers’ psyches. I watch my peers, as helpless as baby hummingbirds awaiting Mommy’s masticated food, and I’m struck by inspiration. My mind and my computer’s magnitude lift me beyond these confines. I digest the alphabet as nutrition and write on and on and on. Professor Barbara Baker

  35. Multi-Media Research: A character assessment of someone who is accessible within a wide range of mediums, whose controversies you will analyze for synthesis RESEARCH REPORT Professor Barbara Baker

  36. Sources: Primary-- autobiography, memoir, on-line chat dialogue, interviews, authored articles and personal web site Secondary -- biography, magazine articles, MTV, VH1, A & E Biography, TV, video, news clips, documentary, web sources Photographs -- official, candid, paparazzi Professor Barbara Baker

  37. Internet Sites to begin your search: 1. teacher.scholastic.com (for guidelines) 2. Biography Magazine 3. biography.com 4. amillionlives.com (Lives, the Biography Source) 5. salon.com 6. Encarta Reference Library 7. A & E Biography 8. Amazon.com Professor Barbara Baker

  38. Research Report’s Purpose: Evaluate at least seven different mediums to determine three to five controversies and discrepancies about this person. Using critical thinking skills, argue for yoursynthesis of his/her character. Professor Barbara Baker

  39. Research Organizing Process: • Use 3 x 5 index cards, one idea per card • Create a “Works Cited” card, filling in an MLA style entry. Number the card and circle it. • Write one idea per card, titling and numbering each card next to the circled number. • At the lower right, cite the page number, if appropriate. Professor Barbara Baker

  40. Research Writing Process: • Sort your index cards’ titles into stacks. • Place stacks in logical rhetorical order(s), such as chronology, cause and effect, process, comparison/contrast, listing, and/or description. • Look for holes in research to find more info. • Design an informal outline, if necessary. • Write your rough draft. Revise. Edit. Smile! Professor Barbara Baker

  41. Final Research Report: • Staple, no folder • Title Page • Seven pages of research, double spaced, 12 point font, readable black type • Three to five parenthetical notes per page • Works Cited page, minimum of seven sources, at least two print sources Professor Barbara Baker

  42. Features of Academic Argument • The writer: trustworthy, credible, knowledgeable, balanced, truthful, fair • The audience: educated, convinced by reason and support, not empty rhetoric • The issue and the content: concerned with situations that generate controversy which require reevaluation addressed in writing; sufficient information for reader to understand but not be overwhelmed Professor Barbara Baker

  43. Features of Academic Argument • The purpose: characterized by a main point, thesis or theme to foster rational understanding which should move reader to consider the thesis, think about the reasons, and acknowledge that the thesis has merit so that reader’s point of view may be modified Professor Barbara Baker

  44. Features of Academic Argument • Support and Evidence: compelling reasons, appropriate examples, valid analogies, statements from credible authorities, accurate statistics, and information from reputable works • Approach to the topic: with complex human nature, a qualified approach is wise, using qualifiers such as “seems” or “indicates” Professor Barbara Baker

  45. Schedule of Activities • Exploration questions, due__________ • Reading, Summary, and Response, due_________ • Annotated Works Cited, due__________ • One paragraph overview, summarizing your position that you plan to support, due_________ • First polished draft, due____________ • Final draft, due___________ Professor Barbara Baker

  46. To formulate a thesis concerning a law that you think should be changed. To support that thesis with convincing reasons To provide development and support for your ideas To demonstrate your understanding of essay structures Writing Assignment: Changing the Law Purposes Professor Barbara Baker

  47. Changing the Law • Readings: Find at least three short readings that you locate online. Make hard copies and save them to your floppy. • Writing Task: Once you have learned as much as you can about this law, respond to the following question is a well-argued essay: To what extent should this law be changed? Professor Barbara Baker

  48. Background - Changing a Law • Choose a federal or local enforced law. • Consider your interest and personal experience. • Determine why this law needs to be changed. • Ask a myriad of questions. • When and why was this law passed? • Who was for and against its passage? • Who is most affected by it? Who benefits from it? • What purpose did it serve that is now outdated? • What is wrong with it as it stands now? • How would society benefit if it were changed? Professor Barbara Baker

  49. Essay - Changing a Law: • Academic argument: well-reasoned, logic-based evidence, balanced • Inclusion of a counter-argument • Preparation: brainstorming, a fact-idea list, and a points-to-make list • Oriented toward a general academic audience • Evaluated according to the course’s grading rubric • Idea suggested by Dr. Irene Clark, CSNU Professor Barbara Baker

  50. It is arguable -- the kind of statement someone can agree or disagree with. It attempts to change someone’s belief or actions. It provides the answer to a specific question or the solution to a specific problem It is on a topic that makes a difference to your reader. Criteria for a Good Thesis Professor Barbara Baker