Six Steps of the Writing Process I. Planning II. Shaping III. Drafting IV. Revising V. Editing VI. Proofreading
I. Planning consider purpose, audience, tone; choose topic; discover ideas
A. Determining the Purpose Purpose determines the material you choose, the way your arrange it, and how it is expressed 1. to express emotion? 2. to inform? 3. to persuade?
B. Identifying the Audience 1. Who will read the paper? 2. What are the audience’s age, sex, education? 3. What are their needs, expectations, biases, interests? 4. What are their political, religious, and other beliefs? 5. What biases do they have about the writer, subject, or opinion presented? 6. Does your audience need definitions, overviews, examples, analogies? 7. What does the audience expect?
C. Setting the Tone 1. Formal 2. Informal 3. miscellaneous a. remain consistent w/ purpose/audience b. reveals the writer’s attitude toward audience 4. word choice a. denotations--dictionary meaning b. connotations--beyond literal meaning
D. Analyzing the Assignment 1. specific topic or free to choose? 2. word, paragraph, page limit? 3. due date? 4. review of drafts? 5. require research/documentation? 6. specific format? (APA, MLA…)
E. Choosing a Topic 1. How? a. instructor chosen b. something you know or want to know about 2. Narrow the topic a. length
F. Finding Something to Say 1. reading and observing 2. keeping a journal: a. use a special book b. write daily and date the entries c. use your imagination—write down dreams, daydreams, songs, poems, story ideas, etc. d. if you use someone else’s quote, tell why you like it
3. freewriting a. time three to five minutes & write continuously b. start with a word or topic important to you and write whatever you think about c. if you can’t think of anything new, copy the same word or phrase until something comes to you—don’t quit writing
EX: Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Feeling free. Statue of Liberty I saw last year. Freedom. Feeling free on warm spring day when coats come off.. Bell ringing at 2:40. Being outside in the sun and wind. Not everyone’s so free. What about animals in cages at zoos? What about animals in cages? What about whales that swim around in small tanks? Do we have a right to do that to animals? IS FREEDOM ONLY FOR HUMANS?
5. clustering (webbing, mapping) a. write the subject in the center of the paper and circle it b. in the space around the subject, write whatever related ideas occur to you. Circle these new ideas and draw lines connecting the new ideas with the original subject c. don’t stop writing
Kinds of cameras Photography restoring old photos early photography Matthew Brady
4. Graphic organizers a. write the subject at the top of the paper b. list every idea that comes to mind c. don’t stop to evaluate the ideas d. if you can’t think of anything new, copy the same word or phrase until something comes to you—don’t quit writing
EX: MUMMIES Mummies graves Daddies grave robbers Egyptian mummies movie mummies Famous mummies Brendon Frasier, not Pyramids horror movies Pharoahs mummies w/ bandages King Tut religion Afterlife mummies how preserved
6. asking journalistic questions-- a. who b. what c. when d. where e. why f. how
Who: Who were the major political figures in the American Revolution? What: What were the causes of the American Revolution? What were some of the results? When: When did the American Revolution take place? Where: Where did the American Revolution take place? Why: Why did some colonists fight for the British? How: How did the American Revolution affect Britain?
II. Shaping Decide how to organize your material
A. Developing a Thesis 1. Understanding a. thesis: main idea b. support: the information that explains and develops it c. introductory paragraph: opens essay and states thesis d. body paragraphs: support thesis statement e. concluding paragraph: closes and gives completion
2. Four characteristics of an effective thesis a. clearly communicates the essay’s main idea 1. what the topic is, 2. how you will approach that topic 3. what you will say about it
b. it is more than: 1. a general subject a. The draft 2. a statement of fact a. The United States currently has no peacetime draft. 3. anannouncement of your intent a. In this essay, I will consider our country’s need for a draft.
4. good thesis statement: Once the military draft may have been necessary to keep the armed forces strong; however, today’s all-volunteer force has eliminated the need for a draft.
c. carefully worded, direct 1. Ineffective: The real problem in our schools does not revolve around the absence of nationwide goals and standards; the problem is primarilyconcerned with the absence of resources with which to implement them. 2. Effective: The real problem in our schools is not the absence of nationwide goals and standards; the problem is the absence of resources with which to implement them.
d. suggests the essay’s direction, emphasis, and scope 1. Thesis: Widely ridiculed as escape reading, romance novels are becoming increasingly important as a proving ground for many never-before- published writers, and more significantly, as showcases for strong heroines. 2. Do not use “The reasons why tennis is such great exercise are…”
3. Checklist for thesis a. Does it clearly communicate the main idea, suggest the approach, and reflect the purpose? b. Is it more than a subject, a statement of fact, or an announcement of intent? c. Is it carefully worded to avoid vague and confusing language? d. Does it suggest the essay’s direction, emphasis, and scope?
4. Revising the thesis statement a. begin writing w/ thesis in mind b. thesis will evolve as you write and rewrite, think of new ideas, etc. c. Examples: 1. rough draft: Professional sports can easily be corrupted by organized crime. 2. revised: Although supporters of legalized sports betting argue that organized crime cannot make inroads into professional sports, the way in which underworld figures compromised the 1919 World Series suggests the opposite.
B. Support with Evidence 1. Types of evidence a. examples b. reasons why c. facts d. details e. statistics f. anecdote g. quotation
2. Evidence is found... a. in prewriting b. personal experience c. interview d. library 1. encyclopedias 2. books 3. magazines/newsprint e. Internet
3. Characteristics of evidence a. relevant and unified--must clearly support the thesis b. specific, concrete c. adequate (enough concrete evidence) d. accurate e. representative--not an exception f. borrowed evidence is documented
C. Organize the Evidence 1. Pattern of development a. description b. narration c. exemplification d. division/classification e. process analysis f. comparison-contrast g. cause-effect h. argumentation-persuasion
2. Select an organizational approach a. chronological/time sequence b. spatial--from a certain location c. emphatic--most compelling evidence saved for last d. simple to complex
D. Prepare an Outline 1. Reread and evaluate your material. 2. Write purpose, audience, tone, and thesis at the top of the outlining page. 3. Below the thesis, enter the pattern of development that seems to be implied by the accumulated evidence. 4. Record the which of the four organizational approaches that would be most effective. 5. Reevaluate supporting material. Delete anything that doesn’t support thesis.
6. Add any new points or material. 7. Group related items together and give each group a heading that represents a main topic in support of thesis. 8. Label main topics w/ roman numerals. 9. Identify subtopics. 10. Group subtopics under appropriate main topic, indent, and label w/ capital letters. 11. Identify supporting points (reason, examples).
12. Group them under appropriate subtopics, indent, and label with Arabic numbers. 13. Identify specific details (secondary examples, facts, statistics, expert opinions, quotations. Group them under appropriate supporting points, indent, and label w/ lowercase letters. 14. Examine the outline for places where evidence is weak, and add new evidence.
E. Types of Outlines 1. topic outline--phrases or topics for the entry 2. sentence outline--uses full sentences
III. Drafting writing first draft
A. Strategies for Writing 1. Prepare work area 2. Fight writer’s block--return to pre-writing if necessary 3. Take breaks 4. Get ideas down quickly a. Begin with body of paper. b. Introduction and conclusion will be written last 5. T/S the first draft if typing; D/S by hand 6. Write on only one side of the paper
B. Strategies for Writing 1. Write the supporting paragraphs first. a. often focused by a topic sentence b. organized around a pattern of development 2. Connect ideas in the supporting paragraphs. 3. Write the introduction. a. Broad statement narrowing to a limited subject b. brief anecdote c. idea that is the opposite of the one developed d. series of short questions
e. definitions, quotations, controversial statement f. refutation of a common belief g. dramatic fact or statistic 4. Write the conclusion. a. summary b. prediction or opinion c. quotation d. statistic e. recommendation or call for action. f. refer to the introduction
A teacher’s personality is an important factor in creating a good learning environment for students. In this computer age when students have grown up playing video games, a good teacher has the ability to entertain his/her students.Teachers who entertain students create interest in the classroom and the subject matter.An interesting teacher uses many tools, such as humor, to grab a student’s attention.As a result, student performance in class may increase.
Body paragraph 1 In this computer age when students have grown up playing video games, a good teacher has the ability to entertain his/her students. Computers have become a primary source of entertainment for children who, as early as age two, are learning via Leap Frog (find source and cite). By first grade, most are proficient with Windows or Mac and others are already “hooked” by Playstation, Nintendo, or Wii (source). With this competition, a teacher must “hook” the interest of students through new methods of teaching. No longer can teachers just lecture; a good teacher, instead, must rely on innovative activities that facilitate student learning by requiring active participation in their education.
IV. Revising “re-see”; write additional drafts
A. Suggestions for Revision 1. set draft aside for awhile 2. work from typed material if possible 3. read draft aloud 4. participate in peer review a. don’t be too easy or too critical b. requires tact and kindness c. should be constructive and include observations about what works well
d. ask questions that need more than a yes or no answer e. take notes on someone’s oral observations f. be open-minded g. evaluate and respond to feedback, whether from instructor or from peer h. view revision as a series of steps: it may take more than one draft i. see peer checklist page 73-75 in MR
V. Editing A. check grammar B. spelling C. punctuation D. mechanics E. see editing checklist page 41 in HH
VI. Proofreading check for typographical errors