Learn to write what’s right: A right of passage for SEEK writers as they’re writing and citing. You can’t go wrong, right? The Write Way!
“I believe in miracles in every area of life except writing. Experience has shown me that there are no miracles in writing. The only thing that produces good writing is hard work.” –American author Isaac Bashevis Singer
Introductions… So what? Who cares? "Tell me something new about something I care about." – Canadian journalist Barbara Frum • An introduction is important. It is your paper’s first impression! It… • Introduces the topic • Gets the reader interested • Tackles the “So what? Who cares?” factor • When writing my paper do I have to write my introduction first? • Absolutely not. Some students feel more confident launching into the body of their paper and return to write the introduction later. However, other students like to write the introduction first in order to set up the rest of their paper.
Introductions • There are a lot of ways to hook the reader and make your topic fascinating. Do not settle for “I’m going to tell you about black holes” or “My paper is about dogs.” 1. Begin with a quotation. Make sure you explain its relevance. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, believed, “the vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different than other men.” I share the same sentiment as President Johnson. In this election year, people must exercise their responsibility to vote in order to champion those citizens of our own nation who are denied the most basic of human rights… 2. Begin with a question. Can you imagine the world without rock and roll? No longer will you feel the rush of your heart and body recognizing that first thump of a beat—raw emotions expressed through a rhythmic blend of guitar and drums…
Introductions 3. Begin with an acknowledgment of an opinion oppositeto the one you plan to take. Let’s face it, America is addicted to foreign oil, and gas prices for our automobiles continue to soar. Our dependence on a resource that is not readily available in our own country has caused many U.S. politicians to propose lifting the ban on offshore drilling in Alaska because they believe domestic oil will greatly reduce the cost of gas. Instead of drilling untouched nature, the future lies in alternate fuel sources…
Introductions 4. Begin with a very short narrativeor anecdote that has a direct bearing on your paper.
Introductions 5. Begin with an interesting fact.
Introductions 6. Begin with a definition or explanation of a termrelevant to your paper.
Introductions 7. Begin with irony or paradox.
Introductions 8. Begin with an analogy. Make sure it's original but not too far-fetched.
The middle of the paper… It does a body good! Organizing the middle of your paper… • By space: begin with the big impression and then move gradually to smaller details. • By time: chronologically. Begin with what matters—specific events but not every one. • By content: group details together by subcategories. • By perspective: begin with a clear statement of your position. Then, lay out the arguments in favor of it and against it.
The middle of the paper… It does a body good! Transitions: connecting words and phrases help readers see how one idea ties to another. • To show location: above, beneath, amid, beside, beyond, in front of, in back of • To compare and contrast: similarly, but, however, conversely, even so, otherwise, even though, on the other hand, in the same way • To show time: first, second, third, next, later, then, afterward, soon, after a while, in the meantime • To conclude or summarize: finally, to sum up, to clarify, as a result, in short, in summary, in conclusion • To add information: besides, in addition, for example, furthermore, equally important
Conclusions There’s more to a conclusion than just saying, “I learned a lot. The End.” • The conclusion of your paper should… • Round out the writing • Tie up details—synthesize your information instead of summarizing • Leave the reader with a feeling of satisfaction and resolution • There are many ways to do this…
Conclusions 1. Echoing the introduction: Echoing your introduction can be a good strategy if it is meant to bring the reader full-circle. If you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay was helpful in creating a new understanding. Introduction From the parking lot, I could see the towers of the castle of the Magic Kingdom standing stately against the blue sky. As I entered the gate, Main Street stretched before me with its quaint shops evoking an old-fashioned small town so charming it could never have existed. I was entranced. Disney World may have been built for children, but it brings out the child in adults. Conclusion I thought I would spend only a few hours at Disney World, but here I was at 1:00 A.M., closing time, leaving the front gates with the now dark towers of the Magic Kingdom behind me. I could see tired children, toddling along and struggling to keep their eyes open as best they could. Others slept in their parents' arms as we waited for the tram that would take us back to our hotels around the resort. My feet ached, and I felt a bit sad to think that in a couple of days I would be leaving Orlando, my vacation over, to go back to being a fulltime college student. But then I smiled to think that for at least a day I felt ten years old again.
Conclusions 2. Challenging the reader: By issuing a challenge to your readers, you are helping them to redirect the information in the paper, and they may apply it to their own lives. Though serving on a jury is not only a civic responsibility but also an interesting experience, many people still view jury duty as a chore that interrupts their jobs and the routine of their daily lives. However, juries are part of America's attempt to be a free and just society. Thus, jury duty challenges us to be interested and responsible citizens. 3. Looking to the future: Looking to the future can emphasize the importance of your paper or redirect the readers' thought process. It may help them apply the new information to their lives or see things more globally. Without well-qualified teachers, schools are little more than buildings and equipment. If higher-paying careers continue to attract the best and the brightest students, there will not only be a shortage of teachers, but the teachers available may not have the best qualifications. Our youth will suffer. And when youth suffers, the future suffers.
Conclusions • Posing questions: Posing questions, either to your readers or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic, which they may not have held before reading your conclusion. It may also bring your main ideas together to create a new meaning. Campaign advertisements should help us understand the candidate's qualifications and positions on the issues. Instead, most tell us what an idiot the opposing candidate is, or they present general images of the candidate as a family person or God-fearing American. Do such advertisements contribute to creating an informed electorate or a people who choose political leaders the same way they choose soft drinks and dish washer detergent?
Citing Your Sources • Why? • We need to give credit for where our information comes from both for plagirism reasons so others can refer back to original sources if needed/desired. • What? • MLA format (Modern Language Association)… more than just citations! • Where? • In-text citations = throughout your paper • Bibliography = at the end • Need Help!?!Call the OWL • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/
In-Text Citations • How it works • The basic rules to parenthetical citations… • Use when quoting or paraphrasing from your text • Do NOT use when stating common knowledge • Place the citation immediately following the quote or paraphrased idea • Format: (Author’s last name + page number)
In-TextCitations Examples: Although many people enjoy the paintings of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Gauguin today, “one of the chief criticisms of Impressionist and Postimpressionist painting, with its preference for land- and cityscapes and scenes from private or leisure life, was that it carried no inspirational message” (Weber 155). ________________ Students should learn that “the world is not tied up in neat little packages and that authorities do not always have correct answers” (Grasha 219) even when certain authority figures claim to.
In-TextCitations • What if there isn’t an author? • Give a shortened version of the work’s title in quotes instead of the author’s name (“Modern Accounting Practices” 12) • What if it’s a website? • Still cite the author and page number if this information exists • If there is no page number, just give the author (Thomas) • If neither author nor page number are given, give the corporate author… (National Park Service) • Or abbreviated title (“Underwater Basket Weaving”)
In-TextCitations • Another way to do it: • If you use the author’s name in your sentence, only put the page number in parenthesis. For example: As Saint-Exupery put it best, “I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies” (27). _________________ “In most areas of the city the bomb blast had not only demolished the buildings, but swept up the wreckage as well” (202) appearing as if, according to Snyder, Nagasaki had never been a city to begin with.