Essay Writing

Essay Writing

Essay Writing Table of Contents 1. What is an Essay? 2. The Process of Writing an Essay 3. Five Principles of Good Essay Writing by Robert S. DeFrance 4. Essay Organization 5. Textual Evidence 6. Revision and Annotation 7. Style 8. References Einstein on Education

In Einstein: His Life and Times, Albert Einstein remarked that The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks (Frank 185). Albert Einstein

Dr. Dwecks Growth Mindset In Mindset Dr. Carol Dweck puts forth her theories about growth and fixed mindset In How Praise Became a Consolation Prize, an interview in The Atlantic, Dr. Dweck expands

Fixed Mindset A fixed mindset is the idea that abilities are carved in stone, that you have a certain amount and thats thatwhen they hit obstacles, setbacks, or criticism, this was just more proof that they didnt

have the abilities that they Growth Mindset When students had more of a growth mindset, they held the view that talents and abilities could be developed and that challenges were the way to do it. Learning

something new, something hard, Joe Dumars defending Michael Jordansticking to things thats how you What is an Essay? The modern essay is rooted in the European Renaissance (14th to 17th century)

What is an Essay? Michel de Montaigne French magistrate Michel de Montaigne retired to his Bordeaux estate in 1570 and began experimenting with a new type of

prose Michel de Montaigne What is an Essay? Impatient with formal philosophy, Montaigne used a more flexible, personal discourse Essay is a French word for attempts, trials, or experiments What is an Essay? Today, college essays hypothesize, test, theorize,

answer tough questions, try out ideas and positions, frequently write from a position of uncertainty, and, almost always, ARGUE and support a position Exceptions include: summaries, reports, and reviews Thank You for Smoking A general principle about argument is put forth in the film

Thank you for Smoking, where main character Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart) claims, if you David Koechner and Aaron Eckhart argue correctly, youre never wrong. Some

Great Essayists Joan Didion James William Hazlitt, Virginia Woolf, Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Annie Dillard, Susan Sontag, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,

David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace, and E.B. Four Steps to Writing 1. Pre- writing 2. Writing 3. Revising 4. Editing The DeFrance Process (of Writing an Essay)

1. As soon as you receive an essay prompt, jot down 2 to 4 sentences about how you think you might address it 2. Research your Topic and Related Topics Refine and then develop your initial ideas 3. Write your introduction and thesis, and bring them to class for revision 4. Utilize the revision session to revise your argument and support The Process 5. Write the Essay 6. Bring a rough draft of your Essay to class for

revision 7. Utilizing what you learned from revision, think about how you can improve the readability of your essay: Introduction/Hook Clarity of Thesis Overall Organization/Topic Sentences/Transitions Coherence The Process 8. If your paper seems almost finished, edit your essay for grammatical correctness, including appropriate word choice/diction,

clarity of phrases and sentences, style and voice, accuracy of your analysis, quotes, and paraphrased ideas. A. If your paper is not finished, repeat steps 6 & 7. B. If that does not work, start the process over with a different topic. Five Principles of Good Essays 1. Address the Prompt 2. Research your topics before writing to help generate ideas

3. Introduce the work and concepts Thoroughly in the Introduction 4. Coherently Argue and Defend Your Position throughout the Essay 5. Perform Detailed Analysis on several academic sources in your Body Paragraphs Elements of a Good Essay Textual Analysis Textual Evidence

An Interesting Argument A Good Essay Clear Organizati on Grammatic

ally Correct Use an Original Title In Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, the author states, The title is an integral part of a piece of writing, and one of the most important parts (McPhee 73)

Argue Correctly: Organization Upside down Triangle: Introduction Circles: Body Paragraphs Right-side up Triangle: Conclusion Introduction 1. Hook

Catch the audiences attention See lecture on Hooks 2. Background Information Introduce the main issues Facts, figures, trends, history, or statistics Introduction 3. Introduce Author and Summarize Text Authors Ethos 1. Degrees 2. School 3. Fields of Study

4. Major Publications 5. Major Professional Experience Text Summary Thesis Supporting Reasons or Points 4. Thesis Main argument of the essay, consisting of 1 claim/argument and at least 4 supporting points. Note: Use an equal amount of supporting points as supporting paragraphs Body Paragraphs: Burger Metaphor For Body

Paragraphs, construct them like a burger, where the top and bottom (buns) keep it together, and the middle, the meat, represents textual evidence and analysis Body Paragraphs 1. Topic Sentence (1-2 sentences) Presents main argument of the

paragraph 2. Context of Evidence Introduces the source, evidence, and meaning 3. Textual Evidence: Quotes 4. Analysis (at least 3-4 sentences) 5. Concluding Sentence (1-2 sentences) Keys to Topic Sentences I. Topic Sentence II. Contextualize Evidence III. Textual Evidence IV. Analysis

V. Concluding Sentence Do NOT state: Facts Quotes Summary Analysis Topic Sentences ARGUE (Topic Sentences connect the body paragraph to your thesis; thus, the claim your argue

in the paragraph Topic Sentences Good Topic Sentence When Singer argues that everyone able should donate anything they make over $30,000, he commits the fallacy

of broad generalization. Bad Topic Sentences Singer says people should donate anything they make over $30,000. (Summary) After all, a $1,000 suit could save five childrens lives (Singer). (Quote) Singer proposes a solution

to world poverty, because there are more than 3 billion people living on less than $2.50 a day. (Fact) Body Paragraphs: Adding Complexity For a more complex and convincing body paragraph, think about constructing it like a burger with 2 patties (like an In-n-Out doubledouble). The top patty is your textual evidence

and the second patty is evidence from a secondary source (providing analysis of the evidence in the top patty) Counter-Argument U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Counter-Argument If you know the enemy and know yourself you

need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle. --Sun Tzu, The Art of War Counter-Argument DEFINITION:

In a counter-argument, you examine your opponents argument, and, if possible, disprove it. If the counter-argument is valid, find a way to incorporate it into your argument PURPOSE: The purpose of a counter-argument is to address a readers objections to your argument CounterArgument According to Aristotle, your counter-argument can either appear before your argument or after your argument, and before your conclusion I. Introduction

I. Introduction II. Argument II. Rebuttal III. Rebuttal III. Argument IV. Conclusion IV. Conclusion

Three Types of CounterArgument 1. Refute: Argue against your opponent 2. Accommodate: Incorporate your opponents argument into your own 3. Quarantine: Concede your opponents argument is valid, but that it is irrelevant to the core of your argument

The Counter-Argument Paragraph When you think of how a counterargument paragraph looks, think about a DoubleDouble from In-n-Out The Counter-Argument Paragraph

I. Introduce Opponents Argument II. Quote your Opponent III. Review your Opponents Analysis or Reasoning IV. Counter-Argument For example, Introduce your Counter-claim to that Argument Quote or Cite a Source Analyze how the Quote Supports your Argument VII. Conclude the Paragraph with your Argument Counter-Argument Strategies Employ any ONE of these strategies:

1. Critique assumptions behind a writers premise by exposing unfair ASSUMPTIONS or UNSTATED PREMISES as false 2. Assess the truthfulness of the PREMISES themselves 3. Examine the strength or relevance of the evidence used to support the argument Counter-Argument Strategies 4. Interrogate the LOGIC of the argument and expose any LOGICAL FALLACIES 5. Stun your readers by proposing a superior ALTERNATIVE ARGUMENT of your own using

the same set of evidence 6. Supply additional EVIDENCE that supports an alternative 7. Are there any CONTRADICTIONS? 8. Anticipate Objections Conclusion Strategies Concluding paragraphs are about 6-10 sentences that wrap up an essay, typically using one of these methods: Reflect or Meditate (similar to a freewrite) Additional Analysis Speculate about the Future Close with a Quotation that offers deeper insight

Close with a Story or a Question Call Your Readers to Action Support and Defense 1. Quotes from Academic Journals, Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Films, Reliable Online Sources, etc. Reliable Online Domains: <.org>, <.net>, <.gov>, and <.edu> 2. Quotes from the Reading(s) assigned for the Essay 3. Quotes from the Class Lectures 4. Personal Experience

Academic v NonAcademic Sources Non-Academic Sources Academic Sources Time Magazine American Literary History Newsweek Rolling Stone

US Weekly Cosmopolitan Art Journal American Journal of Sociology Modern Language Studies The American Law Register Evidence and Citation There are 2 parts to MLA citation:

1. In-text citations within your essay 2. A Works Cited Page *See The St. Martins Guide, The Bedford Handbook, the Purdue OWL website, or The MLA Handbook for more information In-text Citations In-text citations appear after quotes or paraphrases to show the reader where the quote, statistic, etc. came from For example, At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10

a day (Poverty Facts and Stats). And what is one months dining out, compared to a childs life? Works Cited Page A works cited page should appear as the last page(s) of ALL of your essays. They are in alphabetical order. It is not in bold; that is only used for emphasis in this lecture. For example: Poverty Facts and Stats. Global Issues. Anup Shah. 7 Jan. 2013. Web.

3 Mar. 2014. Singer, Peter. The Singer Solution to World Poverty. 50 Essays. Ed. Samuel th Determining Credible Sources: The 5 Ws Who: Who is the writer? Is the writer an expert? What: What type of text is it? When: When was it published? Where: Where and in what context was this text

published? Who is the intended audience? Why: Why did the writer publish this? What is the purpose of this text? Beware of FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real Nuances of Essay

Writing Use MLA format Every body paragraph needs textual evidence Paragraphs should be about 8-10 sentences in length Include a Works Cited Page Revision Author Anne

Sexton In-Class Revision I. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your essay with a classmate (5 minutes) II. Read and Comment (10-15 minutes) III. Discuss your comments (10 minutes) IV. Individually, make revisions to your essay (5-10 minutes)

Revision Questions 1. Is my hook strong? 2. Does my introduction introduce everything? 3. Is my thesis arguable, complex, and specific? 4. Do my body paragraphs argue something and attempt to prove it using textual evidence and analysis? 5. Does my conclusion reflect on the main

issue(s)? Revision Strategies 1. Coherence Test: Read three parts of your paper. Read your thesis, then your topic and concluding sentences-nothing more. Does each idea flow seamlessly into the next? 2. Reverse Order Test: Read your paper from the last sentence to the first. Do you find that

anything is missing? Annotation Annotation: Oxford Dictionaries (online) defines an annotation as a note of explanation or comment added to a text or

Style Author J.K. Rowling Critic Matthew Arnold on Style Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style

Matthew Arnold Keys to Style 1. Make your subjects clear 2. Attach verbs to subjects who perform crucial actions 3. Use specific nouns 4. Use specific verbs 5. Avoid unnecessary

use of passive voice Keys to Style 6. Use metadiscourse to introduce, transition, and conclude Introduce and conclude: we will explain or show Transitioning: therefore, hence, or as a result

7. In a sentence, progress from what is known to what is unknown These keys to style are from the book Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams Strunk and White on Style A sentence should contain no

unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary partsWilliam Finishing an Essay

In Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, John McPhee posits, People often ask how I know when Im donenot just when Ive come to an end, but in all the drafts and revisions and substitutions of one word for another how do I know there is no more to do?...I just knowWhat I know is that I cant do any better; someone else might do

better, but thats all I can References Best American Essays. Introduction.

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