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Motivating coherence. Presented by Katherine McGee. Today I will talk about motivating coherence. Boring, right?. So, how do we fix it?. Shared Context Problem Solution. Shared context. Provides background Qualifies or rejects a “truth” “Literature review”. problem. “But,” “However”

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motivating coherence

Motivating coherence

Presented by Katherine McGee

so how do we fix it
So, how do we fix it?
  • Shared Context
  • Problem
  • Solution
shared context
Shared context
  • Provides background
  • Qualifies or rejects a “truth”
  • “Literature review”
  • “But,” “However”
  • Two parts
    • Condition, situation, or recurring event
    • Consequence/Cost
  • Two kinds
    • Practical – a problem that makes people unhappy
    • Conceptual – something we don’t know or understand
conceptual problems
Conceptual problems
  • “Cost” = “something more important that we do not understand but want to, because we do not understand the first thing” (Williams 90).
  • Solve with information
  • Explain what your readers don’t know and what they should want to know
  • Tell your readers why they should care
  • Offer a solution
    • For practical problems, encourage the reader to take action
    • For conceptual problems, tell the readers what you want them to understand or believe
the hook
The “hook”
  • A quotation
  • A Startling Fact
  • An Anecdote
diagnose and revise
Diagnose and revise
  • Is the problem practical or conceptual?
  • Where does your introduction end?
  • Can you identify the shared context, problem, and solution/claim?
  • How did you transition from shared context to problem?
  • Can you identify the condition and cost?
  • Have you answered the question, “So what?”
  • Can you identify your claim?
  • Restate your main point
  • Re-answer “So what?”—ideally in a new way
  • Suggest that, even if solved, there will still be problems
  • Tie back in to your “hook”
Thus . . .

In academic writing, we often struggle with how to introduce our topics. However, there is a solution. In Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, Joseph M. Williams offers us a way to begin papers by “motivating coherence.” Through establishing a shared context with our audience, setting up a problem, and then offering a solution, we can get our readers more involved with our topics by helping them to care about our content.