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Some thoughts on ways to make writing easier

Some thoughts on ways to make writing easier

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Some thoughts on ways to make writing easier

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  1. Some thoughts on ways to make writing easier English 1101 Karen Roop

  2. Grammar… • …comes at the end, then proofreading after that • While you’re writing the first drafts, turn off the grammar and spell checker on Word. They inhibit free thinking, brainstorming, freewriting and are too distracting. • Once you’ve written the essay and done some of your own proofreading and editing, then turn Word’s spell checker/grammar checker back on and see where you still have issues. • This will keep you from relying too much on Word for spelling errors.

  3. Nothing to say… • When you say that you run out of ideas or start making stuff up (fluff) that comes from not generating enough ideas/text. • Rarely will you write in any setting just from what’s in your mind at any given moment. • Learn a few tricks to generate text like prewriting strategies we’ve been trying: • Freewriting • Listing • Drafting • Outlining

  4. Vocabulary – Bigger is better! • Increase vocabulary by marking words you don’t know when reading, then • look them up, writing out the definition • This locks them into your memory. • If you can use them in your writing – even better.

  5. Brain Freeze • Linked to inadequate vocabulary • is the frustration over not being able to think of a word while writing • causes you to lose focus and forget what you’re writing.

  6. Brain Freeze continued • My solution: • If I can’t think of a word within just a couple of seconds, I force myself to just type a blank line where the word should go and continue with the sentence. I don’t look up words at this point. • Then, I come back to it when I’m going over the first draft. Often the word doesn’t even matter because I have changed the sentence or rearranged the paragraphs, etc. • But typing the line keeps me writing, and I don’t lose focus.

  7. Staying on Topic • Outlining may be a good way to keep you from straying off topic – • Doesn’t have to be a formal outline – can be as simple as a few notes on what you want to cover – what are the important points. • Question? should we work through at least one of our essay projects with an outline?

  8. Outlining? • A Strategy: • Use the outline sections as topic sentences in the paragraphs. • Make all sentences in that paragraph link to topic sentence. • Use the last sentence in paragraph to introduce the subject of the next paragraph. • Keeps you on topic and adds coherence.

  9. Beginnings • It’s difficult to come up with the perfect beginning paragraph or even the perfect beginning sentence – so don’t! • Don’t start with the introduction. • Start by writing some version of your thesis statement on the top of the page. • Then, if you have a few notes about where you want to go or even just some freewriting, start with your first point or the first idea you have. • Get writing and keep writing until all of that is exhausted.

  10. Beginning continued • Go back and look at what you’ve done and see if/where you need to rearrange, add stuff, etc. • Figure out if you’ve stuck to your topic, if your paragraphs deal with one controlling idea or if you need to break them up some more.

  11. Still more on beginning… • This is where even an minimal outline of areas you want to cover will help. • Did you cover all the areas? • Do you need to freewrite some more? • Do you need to do some more research? • Where can you add a quote from your research that will reinforce your point?

  12. Conclusions • Should not just restate the introduction • answers the “so what” question • link them to the bigger picture • Should broaden the perspective of the paper, sometimes even offering a new idea

  13. Don’t forget the audience… • Many of you implied in your essays that when you write, what’s important is what you want to say. • That is important – but • think about it from the standpoint that you’re writing for an audience • always remember that it’s not what you want to say, it’s what the audience needs to hear. • This is especially important when we think of the rhetorical strategies and getting our point across.

  14. Remember that all writing needs to be edited • Don’t feel bad about creating “shitty first drafts” as Anne Lamott calls them • Take pride in what you write • Keep writing! 