Cm 220 unit 5 seminar understanding your audience and outlining your big idea
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CM 220 UNIT 5 Seminar: Understanding Your Audience and Outlining Your Big Idea. General Education, Composition Kaplan University. Unit 5 Reading. Unit 5 Tech Lab: Podcasts and Video. Unit 5 Invention Lab.

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Cm 220 unit 5 seminar understanding your audience and outlining your big idea

CM 220UNIT 5 Seminar: Understanding Your Audience and Outlining Your Big Idea

General Education, Composition

Kaplan University

Unit 5 invention lab
Unit 5 Invention Lab

  • Invention Lab 1: Formal and informal communications of big idea (letter to editor and post on Facebook, for example).


  • Use apostrophes with nouns to indicate possession: everyone’s dream, Jane’s jacket

  • Do NOT use with possessive pronouns (its, his, hers, yours, theirs, ours)

  • Do NOT use with plurals (Americans, citizens) unless they are showing possession: Americans’ values, citizens’ rights

  • With multiple nouns, use apostrophes depending upon meaning: Bill and Jane’s wedding (one wedding), Julie’s and Kathy’s weddings (two separate weddings)


5. Use apostrophes for contractions to show omitted letters: will not = won’t, I am = I’m

6. Use apostrophes to mark certain plural forms (letters, symbols, and words referred to as words): Sassafrass has 4 s’s.

7. APA recommends omitting the apostrophe for plurals of numbers and acronyms: PCs, 1990s

Getting started and mapping ideas

The Writing Process

Getting started and mapping ideas

Getting started with your big idea
Getting Started with Your Big Idea

  • In unit 6, you will submit a 3-5 page draft of your Big Idea.

  • Why is beginning early, in unit 5, helpful to you as a writer?

  • What can you do to GET STARTED?

Common prewriting techniques
Common Prewriting Techniques

  • Freewriting

  • Brainstorming

  • Bubbling

  • Clustering

  • See ch. 6 of The Kaplan Guide to Successful Writing for more on the writing process.

  • Listing

  • Informal outlining

  • Annotating

  • Questioning

Organizational tools
Organizational Tools

  • The site on graphic organizers at has links to various charts that might be helpful to start mapping ideas for the draft.

Organizing and developing your ideas
Organizing and Developing Your Ideas

  • Establish a thesis

  • Consider writing an outline (it can be changed later)

  • Take the ideas in the outline and brainstorm each concept/argument

  • Begin researching and incorporating evidence to support your argument/claims

Audience and purpose

The next step

Audience and purpose

Audience and purpose1
Audience and Purpose

  • Why is paying attention to your audience and purpose KEY to successful persuasion?

  • Who is the audience you would like to communicate to?

  • What do you know about them and what do you need to know about them?

  • What do you want to communicate to that audience?

  • How can you best communicate your information to that audience?

Letters to the editor topics
Letters to the Editor: Topics

  • Truth and fiction on the stimulus bill [Editorial]. (2010, February 20). The New York Times. Retrieved from

  • Mr. Obama Should Fix the Flawed Stimulus Package. [Editorial]. (2009, February 1). Retrieved from

  • The immigration law fallacy: Will Texas be next? [Editorial]. (2010, June 16). Retrieved from

Letters to the editor discussion
Letters to the Editor: Discussion

  • Are these letters effective?

  • What is the argument each makes?

  • Are the authors and publications credible?

  • Are the facts that the authors use credible? You can go to to read credible information on this topic.

  • Select at least one argument in each letter that you can verify, or not, and discuss how this adds to or detracts from the writer’s argument.

Tips for writing editorial letters
Tips for Writing Editorial Letters

  • Keep it short and simple (maximum 250 words)

  • Let readers know who you are

  • Know that editors have right to alter your submission

  • Only submit to one publication at a time (wait for acceptance or rejection)

What other forms might i use to present my big idea to a wider audience
What other forms might I use to present my big idea to a wider audience?

  • Post on Facebook page

  • Blog post

  • Email to friend

  • Flyer to distribute to community

  • Twitter feed

  • Letter to specific audience (say, the school board)

Reference wider audience?

The University of British Columbia. (n.d.) Writing an effective opinion-editorial piece or letter to the editor. Retrieved from