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Terry Fletcher. Seminar Two. AMULETS AND ELIXIRS. What are they and how do they relate to your journey towards WRITING EXCELLENCE?. The Amulet and the Elixir.

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Seminar Two

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Terry Fletcher

Seminar Two


  • What are they and how do they relate to your journey towards WRITING EXCELLENCE?

The Amulet and the Elixir

  • According to dictionary.com, an “amulet” is “a small object worn to ward off evil, harm, or illness or to bring good fortune; protecting charm.”

  • An “elixir” is a magic potion believed to prolong life or cure diseases

  • What might we see as an amulet or elixir on our writing journey?

This week in Seminar…

  • We will review UNIT TWO work

  • We will preview UNIT 3 PROJECT and discuss strategies for getting started on that project

  • We will discuss topic ideas and review THESIS statements and practice writing a thesis for unit 3 project

  • We will take a FIELD TRIP to the Kaplan University WRITING CENTER and learn about the tools they offer to help you on your WRITING QUEST.

1. Unit Two Work Review

  • Complete the Reading section of this unit: Read pages 159-166 in The KU Guide to Successful Writing for more information creating a working thesis Read chapter 7 in The KU Guide to Successful Writing for more information on audience

  • Participate on the Discussion Board40 points

  • Attend Seminar or complete Seminar Option 210 points

  • Complete Grammar Diagnostic Quiz

    (not graded but prepares students for graded Unit 8 quiz)

  • Complete Journal assignment 2

  • 10 points


  • Identify a charitable organization that could benefit from your help. Then provide the following information:

    • Provide a summary of the group’s goals and programs.

    • Explain/Illustrate how this organization could be an “elixir” or “amulet” to one person’s life.

    • Explain what factors should encourage someone to volunteer in his or her own community.

  • Review sample posts before posting!


  • The discussion directions tell you to “Explain/Illustrate how this organization could be an “elixir” or “amulet” to one person’s life.”

  • Don’t just tell your readers. Give examples.

  • Specific details make your writing clearer and most interesting.


  • If I tell you that studying karate benefits children, that statement does not tell you very much. If I give you examples, you will understand much better.

    • If I tell you a story about how my niece’s ability to focus improved through karate, you will be much more impressed

    • I could also provide examples of how karate helped her to avoid being bullied


  • It is not due this week, but starting this week will reduce writing STRESS and give you more time to work through the WRITING PROCESS

  • I have posted a sample Unit 3 project in Doc Sharing

2. Unit Three Project Review

  • For the unit 3 project you must include three elements

  • communicate to a general audience your own definition of courage in order to motivate them to want to cross their own thresholds.

  • select a person you know and who you think is courageous and describe that person

  • explain exactly how this person crossed a threshold and explain how this person overcame adversity with specific examples and details to illustrate your point.

2. Unit Three Project Review

Consider structuring these 3 paragraphs using this organizational plan:

  • 1st paragraph-introduce the subject by providing your own definition of courage. Do not rely on a definition from a source like the dictionary. Be sure that you introduce the person who has demonstrated this courage and establish a thesis statement that says why this person is courageous.

  • 2nd paragraph-select an appropriate event in this person’s life that best exemplifies how this person has displayed courage.

  • 3rd paragraph-analyze exactly why this event demonstrates courage and explore what adversity the person faced and how this demonstrates crossing a threshold. Make sure this paragraph ends with a clear conclusion.

    Your project should be between 350-450 words and should have a clear main point that is well-developed.

    This is not a research project and should rely instead on your own experience and observation,

    You do not need to nor should you use first person.  

2. Unit Three Project Review

Consider the Rhetorical Situation

  • Who is your audience?

  • What is your purpose?

  • How will this affect the way you write? How will it affect the language and information used?

2. Unit Three Project Review

Consider the Rhetorical Situation

  • Who is your audience? General audience (classmates/instructor rather than children or family)

  • What is your purpose? To explain how you see courage and provide an example of what courage looks like

  • How will this affect the way you write? How will it affect the language and information used? (This will need to be written in formal, clearly written paragraphs)

2. Unit Three Project Review



    Here, you want to begin OFF the computer, in your own head. The time you spend thinking about the project and establishing your writing goals will be time well spent.

    BRAINSTORM possible topics. Consider using a piece of paper rather than the computer screen to create a list of possible subjects.

    Who do you know, friends, family members, co-workers, who have experienced A difficult, challenging situation and who have shown courage in responding to this situation?

    THINK about the list. Which one do you know the MOST about? Which one would BEST help your audience to see the definition of courage? Which one could BEST help motivate your audience?

2. Unit Three Project Review



  • SELECT ONE person you want to write about. Remember that this is not a research project. The information must come from you and your knowledge of and observation of this person.

  • CONTINUE to BRAINSTORM. Jot down details about this person. What did the person experience? Why did it require courage? How did the person RESPOND to and demonstrate courage in THIS instance? How did this person cross the THRESHOLD?

2. Unit Three Project Review


  • STEP TW O AND THREE – Thesis and organization

  • Once you have chosen a subject and brainstormed ideas, you can create a THESIS STATEMENT which will help you to keep focused on your WRITING GOAL when you write.

  • Once you do that, you can move forward and begin OUTLINING your ideas and DRAFTING the ideas, so that you can be ready to REVISE and EDIT next week.

3. Unit Three Possible Topics and THESIS STATEMENT

  • First, think about what a thesis statement is/does. It limits the focus of any piece of writing and establishes the main point about a subject.

  • Thesis statements should be specific and clear and should avoid general statements.

  • They should not be questions nor should they be confused with titles.

  • At least for this class, they should not include first person (I) and should not announce (this paper will…)

3. Unit Three Possible Topics and Thesis statement

  • To create a thesis, begin by establishing the QUESTION to answer in the paper.

  • Ask yourself “What is courage? Why is [name of the person you chose] courageous? And what action demonstrated that courage?”

  • If you can state the answer in 1-2 sentences, you have a focused, specific thesis statement.

3. Unit Three Possible Topics and Thesis statement

  • Which of these are STRONG THESIS statements and why?

  • This essay will define courage.

  • Thomas Smith, a man of courage.

  • Thomas Smith was courageous.

  • Thomas Smith demonstrated courage by willingly risking his life to save others.

3. Unit Three Possible Topics and YOUR TURN

  • Think of a a possible SUBJECT

  • Then test a possible preliminary THESIS.

  • Try your best to state WHO this person is and WHY this person is courageous in one sentence here.


  • All writers need the help of resources, whether it is our friends and teachers or even the services of writing tutors.

  • The KU Writing Center offers several resources that can help you to become stronger writers:

  • 1. live tutors

  • 2. paper review

  • 3. Writing Reference Library

  • 4. Writing Workshops

Field Trip

  • Take a FIELD TRIP to the KU Writing Center.

  • Locate information on ANY ONE area of weakness that you have in your writing. You may have a weakness with commas, or you may sometimes have problems with fragments.

  • Read that specific information.

  • Return to seminar and REPORT your findings.

  • Continue to use the Writing Center as a resource throughout your writing career.

Click on My Studies and Academic Support Center

Click on Writing Reference Library under Writing Center

For this Field Trip find the section on Writing Mechanics and choose

One area that you need help with.. . Click on it and briefly scan it

In Seminar, type the name of the area that you clicked, and tell us about

Something that you found there.

For example, I found examples of correctly constructed sentences under “Run-On

Sentences, Fragments and Comma Splices”

Try NOT to repeat anything anyone else has posted in Seminar.

Be sure to use this great resource throughout your academic career!


  • Remember to complete the Unit 2 Grammar Pre-Test by the end of the unit. It will not count towards your grade, but you will receive feedback on grammar issues you may need to work on in the coming weeks.

  • In units 3-8, you will review grammar and punctuation concerns and then take a Grammar Post-Test in Unit 8.


It’s within your reach!

Have a great rest of your day!

  • See you on the discussion board.

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