of 79 /79
Lecture(1) Outline General Writing Concerns Planning/Starting to Write Effective Writing Revising/Editing/Proofreading Writing Essays

Lecture(1) Outline General Writing Concerns Planning/Starting to Write Effective Writing Revising/Editing/Proofreading Writing Essays

Embed Size (px)

Text of Lecture(1) Outline General Writing Concerns Planning/Starting to Write Effective Writing ...

  • Lecture(1)OutlineGeneral Writing Concerns

    Planning/Starting to Write

    Effective Writing

    Revising/Editing/Proofreading

    Writing Essays

  • Finding Your Focus:The Writing Process

    I. Planning/Starting to Write

  • Everyone has a writing process.What is yours?

  • Why do you need a writing process?It can help writers to organize their thoughts.It can help writers to avoid frustration.It can help writers to use their time productively and efficiently.

  • Writing processInventionCollectionOrganizationDraftingRevisingProofreading

  • Invention: coming up with your topicExplore the problemnot the topic

    Make your goals operational

    Generate some ideas

  • Brainstorming: coming up with ideas that interest youListing:Political apathyAnimal abuseNFL instant replayAir pollutionTelemarketing scamsInternet censorshipNBA salary capsPaper TopicsBrainstorming

  • Clustering: mapping out ideasMEInternet censorshiptelemar-ketingscamsNFL instantreplayNBApoliticalapathythree-partysystemsalarycapssportsmanshipanimalabuseFirst AmendmentFlag Burning Amend-ment

  • CollectionGathering ideasLocating and evaluating researchConducting interviews

  • Organizing: putting information in an outlineOUTLINE

    I. IntroductionA. State thesisII. BodyA. Build pointsB. Develop ideasC. Support main claim

    III. ConclusionA. Reemphasize main idea

  • Drafting

  • Revising: reviewing ideasReview higher order concerns:Clear communication of ideas Organization of paperParagraph structureStrong introduction and conclusion

  • ProofreadingReview later-order concerns:SpellingPunctuationSentence structureDocumentation style

  • Proofreading tipsSlowly read your paper aloudRead your paper backwardsExchange papers with a friend

    NOTE: Spelling check will not catch everything, and grammar checks are often wrong!

  • Writing process: find your focusInventionCollectionOrganizationDraftingRevisingProofreading

  • II. Effective Writing

    Adding Emphasis Coherence

    Conciseness: Methods of Eliminating Wordiness

  • Non-Sexist Language

    Strategies for Improving Sentence Clarity

    (Contd)

  • 1. Adding Emphasisa. Punctuation Marks for Achieving Emphasis

    Examples:

    The employees were surprised by the decision,which was not to change company policy.

    The employees were surprised by the decision--no change in company policy. The employees were surprised by the decision: no change in company policy.

  • b. Choice and Arrangement of Words for Achieving Emphasis The simplest way to emphasize something is to tell readers directly that what follows is important by using such words and phrases as especially, particularly, crucially, most importantly, and above all.

    The inversion of the standard subject-verb-object pattern in the first sentence below into an object-subject-verb pattern in the second places emphasis on the out-of-sequence term.

  • Examples: I'd make fifty dollars in just two hours on a busy night at the restaurant.

    Fifty dollars I'd make in just two hours on a busy night at the restaurant.

    No one can deny that the computer has had a great effect upon the business world.

    Undeniably, the effect of the computer upon the business world has been great.

  • C. Sentence Position and Variation for Achieving Emphasis

    Example:

    For a long time, but not any more, Japanese corporations used Southeast Asia merely as a cheap source of raw materials, as a place to dump outdated equipment and overstocked merchandise, and as a training ground for junior executives who needed minor league experience.

  • For a long time Japanese corporations used Southeast Asia merely as a cheap source of raw materials, as a place to dump outdated equipment and overstocked merchandise, and as a training ground for junior executives who needed minor league experience. But those days have ended.

    (Contd)

  • 2. Coherencea. Repetition of a Key Term or Phrase

    Example:

    The problem with contemporary art is that it is not easily understood by most people. Modern art is deliberately abstract, and that means that contemporary art leaves the viewer wondering what she is looking at.

  • b. Synonyms

    Example :

    Myths narrate sacred history and explain sacred origins. These traditional narratives are, in short, a set of beliefs that are a very real force in the lives of the people who tell them.

  • C. Using Transitional Words

    Example:

    I like autumn, and yet autumn is a sad time of the year, too. The leaves turn bright shades of red and the weather is mild, but I can't help thinking ahead to the winter and the ice storms that will surely blow through here. In addition, that will be the season of chapped faces, too many layers of clothes to put on, and days when I'll have to shovel heaps of snow from my car's windshield.

  • 3. Concisenessa. Methods of Eliminating Wordiness

    Eliminate unnecessary determiners and modifiers:

    Example:

    Any particular type of dessert is fine with me.

    Any dessert is fine with me.

  • Balancing the budget by Friday is an impossibility without some kind of extra help.

    Balancing the budget by Friday is impossible without extra help

    (Contd)

  • Here's a list of some words and phrases that can often be pruned away to make sentences clearer:

    kind of sort of type of really basically for all intents and purposesdefinitely actually generally individual specific particular

  • ExampleFor all intents and purposes, American industrial productivity generally depends on certain factors that are really more psychological in kind than of any given technological aspect.

    American industrial productivity depends more on psychological than on technological factors.

  • b. Change phrases into single words - The employee with ambition... - The department showing the best performance...

    The ambitious employee... The best-performing department...

    Examples

  • - Jeff Converse, our chief of consulting, suggested at our last board meeting the installation of microfilm equipment in the department of data processing. (Contd)At our last board meeting, chief consultant Jeff Converse suggested that we install microfilm equipment in the data processing department.

  • - As you carefully read what you have written to improve your wording and catch small errors of spelling, punctuation, and so on, the thing to do before you do anything else is to try to see where a series of words expressing action could replace the ideas found in nouns rather than verbs.

    As you edit, first find nominalizations that you can replace with verb phrases.

    (Contd)

  • C. Change unnecessary that, who, and which clauses into phrases

    Wordy - The report, which was released recently...- All applicants who are interested in the job must...- The system that is most efficient and accurate...More Concise - The recently released report...- All job applicants must...- The most efficient and accurate system...

  • D. Avoid overusing expletives at the beginning of sentences

    Wordy - It is the governor who signs or vetoes bills.- There are four rules that should be observed: ...- There was a big explosion, which shook the windows, and people ran into the street.More Concise - The governor signs or vetoes bills.- Four rules should be observed:...- A big explosion shook the windows, and people ran into the street.

  • E. Avoid overusing noun forms of verbs

    Wordy The function of this department is the collection of accounts.The current focus of the medical profession is disease prevention.More Concise This department collects accounts.The medical profession currently focuses on disease prevention.

  • F. Reword unnecessary infinitive phrases

    Wordy - The duty of a clerk is to check all incoming mail and to record it.- A shortage of tellers at our branch office on Friday and Saturday during rush hours has caused customers to become dissatisfied with service.More ConciseA clerk checks and records all incoming mail.A teller shortage at our branch office on Friday and Saturday during rush hours has caused customer dissatisfaction.

  • 4. Strategies for Improving Sentence Clarity

  • Sentence ClarityWhy do we need to be concerned with sentence clarity?

    To communicate effectively to the readerTo make writing persuasiveTo show credibility and authority as a writer

  • Common clarity problemsMisplaced modifiersDangling modifiersPassive voice

  • Misplaced ModifiersA word or phrase that causes confusion because it is located within a sentence so far away from the word(s) to which it refers

  • Misplaced ModifiersConsider the different meanings in the following sentences:The dog under the tree bit Carrie. vs. The dog bit Carrie under the tree.

  • How might you correct the following sentence?Jennifer called her adorable kitten opening the can of tuna and filled the food bowl.

    Better: Opening the can of tuna, Jennifer called her adorable kitten and filled the food bowl.

  • How might you correct the following sentence?Portia rushed to the store loaded with cash to buy the birthday gift.

    Better: Portia, loaded with cash, rushed to the store to buy the birthday gift.

  • Misplaced Modifiers

    Some one-word modifiers often cause confusion:

    almost justnearlysimply even hardlymerelyonly

  • Explain the meaning of each sentence:Almost everyone in the class passed the calculus exam.Everyone in the class almost passed the calculus exam.

    Which sentence indicates that everyone in the class failed the exam?

  • Explain the meaning of each sentence:

    John nearly earned $100.

    John earned nearly $100.

    Which sentence indicates that John earned some money?

  • Dangling modifiersA word or phrase that modifies another word or phrase that has not been stated clearly within the sentenceoften occur at the beginnings and ends of sentencesoften indicated by an -ing verb or a to + verb phrase

  • Dangling modifiers

    Having finished dinner, the football game was turned on.

    Having finished dinner, Joeturned on the football game.

  • Dangling modifierscan be repaired by placing the subject of the modification phrase as the subject of the independent clauseplacing the subject of the action within the dangling phrase

  • How might you correct the following sentence?Playing solitaire on the computer for three hours, Michaels paper was not completed.

    Better: Playing solitaire on the computer for three hours, Michael did not complete his paper.

    Better: Because Michael played solitaire on the computer for three hours, he did not complete the paper.

  • How might you correct the following sentence?Locked away in the old chest, Richard was surprised by the antique hats.

    Better: Locked away in the old chest, the antique hats surprised Richard. Better: The antique hats locked away in the old chest surprised Richard.

  • How might you correct the following sentence?To work as a loan officer, an education in financial planning is required.

    Better: To work as a loan officer, one is required to have an education in financial planning.

  • How might you correct the following sentence?Being a process that still needs to be refined, scientists are searching for a more effective plan for chemotherapy treatment.

    Better: Scientists are searching for a more effective plan for chemotherapy treatment, a process that still needs to be refined.

  • Passive Voiceindicates what is receiving the action rather than explaining who is doing the actiontwo indicators"to be" verbsis, are, was, were"by ________

    Examples:Mistakes were made.The cats were brushed by Laura.

  • How might you improve the following sentence?The decision that was reached by the committee was to postpone the vote.

    Better: The committee reached the decision to postpone the vote.Best: The committee decided to postpone the vote.

  • How might you correct the following sentence?The disk drive of the computer was damaged by the electrical surge.

    Better: The electrical surge damaged the disk drive of the computer.Best: The electrical surge damaged the computer's disk drive.

  • ExercisesEvery semester after final exams are over, I'm faced with the problem of what to do with books of lecture notes (new information). They (old) might be useful some day, but they just keep piling up on my bookcase (new). Someday, it (old) will collapse under the weight of information I might never need.

    Better: Lately, most movies I've seen have been merely second-rate entertainment, but occasionally there are some with worthwhile themes. The rapid disappearance of the Indian culture (new) is the topic of a recent movie (old) I saw.

  • Go from old to new information

  • Industrial spying,because of the growing use of computers to store and process corporate information, is increasing rapidly.

    Better: Because of the growing use of computers to store and process corporate information, industrial spying is increasing rapidly.

    Better: Industrial spying is increasing rapidly because of the growing use of computers to store and process corporate information.

  • Be careful about placement of subordinate clauses

  • One difference between television news reporting and the coverage provided by newspapers is the time factor between the actual happening of an event and the time it takes to be reported. The problem is that instantaneous coverage is physically impossible for newspapers.

    Better: Television news reporting differs from that of newspapers in that television, unlike newspapers, can provide instantaneous coverage of events as they happen.

  • Choose action verbs over forms of be

  • Organizing Your EssayAn Argument

  • What is an argument?An argument involves the process of establishing a claim and then proving it with the use of logical reasoning, examples, and research

  • Why is organization important in building an argument?Guides an audience through your reasoning processOffers a clear explanation of each argued pointDemonstrates the credibility of the writer

  • Organizing your argumentTitleIntroductionThesis statementBody ParagraphsConstructing Topic SentencesBuilding Main PointsCountering the OppositionConclusion

  • Title--why do you need one?Introduces the topic of discussion to the audienceGenerates reader interest in the argument

  • Creating a TitleTry to grab attention byoffering a provocative imagepicking up on words or examples offered in the body or conclusion of the paperasking a questionAvoid titles that are too general or lack character

  • What is an introduction?Acquaints the reader with the topic and purpose of the paperGenerates the audiences interest in the topicOffers a plan for the ensuing argument

  • Methods for Constructing an Introductionpersonal anecdoteexample-real or hypotheticalquestionquotationshocking statisticsstriking image

  • What is a thesis statement?The MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE in your paperLets the reader know the main idea of the paperAnswers the question: What am I trying to prove?Not a factual statement, but a claim that has to be proven throughout the paper

  • Role of the thesis statementThe thesis statement should guide your reader through your argumentThe thesis statement is generally located in the introduction of the paperA thesis statement may also be located within the body of the paper or in the conclusion, depending upon the purpose or argument of the paper

  • Which thesis statement is the most effective for an argument about the need for V-chips in television sets?Parents, often too busy to watch television shows with their families, can monitor their childrens viewing habits with the aid of the V-chip.

    To help parents monitor their childrens viewing habits, the V-chip should be a required feature for television sets sold in the U.S.

    This paper will describe a V-chip and examine the uses of the V-chip in American-made television sets.

  • Body Paragraphs and Topic SentencesBody paragraphs build upon the claims made in the introductory paragraph(s)Organize with the use of topic sentences that illustrate the main idea of each paragraphOffering a brief explanation of the history or recent developments in your topic within the early body paragraphs can help the audience to become familiarized with your topic and the complexity of the issue

  • Body ParagraphsParagraphs may be ordered in several ways, depending upon the topic and purpose of your argumentGeneral to specific informationMost important point to least important pointWeakest claim to strongest claim

  • Offering a CounterargumentAddressing the claims of the opposition is an important component in building a convincing argumentIt demonstrates your credibility as a writer--you have researched multiple sides of the argument and have come to an informed decision

  • Offering a CounterargumentCounterarguments may be located at various locations within your body paragraphsYou may choose tobuild each of your main points as a contrast to oppositional claimsoffer a counterargument after you have articulated your main claims

  • Counter arguing effectivelyConsider your audience when you offer your counterargumentConceding to some of your oppositions concerns can demonstrate respect for their opinionsRemain tactful yet firmUsing rude or deprecating language can cause your audience to reject your position without carefully considering your claims

  • Conclusion -- The Big FinaleYour conclusion should reemphasize the main points made in your paperYou may choose to reiterate a call to action or speculate on the future of your topic, when appropriateAvoid raising new claims in your conclusion

    Rationale: Welcome to Finding Your Focus: The Writing Process. This presentation is designed to introduce your students to the steps that constitute the writing process, including strategies for brainstorming, drafting, revising, and proofreading. The fifteen slides presented here are designed to aid the facilitator in an interactive presentation of the elements of the writing process. This presentation is ideal for the beginning of a composition course and the assignment of a writing project.This presentation may be supplemented by OWL handouts :Starting to Write (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_start.html) Planning (Invention) (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_plan1.html)Developing an Outline (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_outlin.html )Higher Order Concerns & Later Order Concerns(http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_hocloc.html)

    Directions: Each slide is activated by a single mouse click, unless otherwise noted in bold at the bottom of each notes page.

    Writer and Designer: Jennifer Liethen KunkaContributors: Muriel Harris, Karen Bishop, Bryan Kopp, Matthew Mooney, David Neyhart, and Andrew KunkaDeveloped with resources courtesy of the Purdue University Writing LabGrant funding courtesy of the Multimedia Instructional Development Center at Purdue University Copyright Purdue University, 2000.Rationale: When students spend time thinking about the writing process, they will be able to plan their writing strategies more effectively.

    Activity: The facilitator may ask students about their own writing processes and invite them to share with the group. While students may follow a process for writing, they may not be able to identify all of the steps they go through to write a paper.

    Rationale: Though students engage in a writing process, they may not be conscious of the steps it entails. Some students who have trouble organizing their thoughts struggle because they do not follow a consistent writing process or they skip steps within the process. This slide presents some important reasons to identify the steps in the writing process. By thinking about the writing process, students may be able to make the process more effective and efficient for themselves.Activity: The facilitator may choose to invite participation by asking students why they need a writing process.

    Each reason is activated with a mouse click.Rationale: This slide previews the six steps of the writing process. Each element forms a part of a successful writing experience.

    Key Concept: The facilitator may explain that the writing process is not necessarily sequential--a linear path from invention to proofreading. Writers may generate a topic, collect some information, organize their notes, go back and collect more information, invent subtopics for their work, go back to organization, etc. The writing process is recursive--it often requires going back and forth between steps to create the strongest work possible. Knowing these steps and strategies, however, can be a great help to writers who struggle with their work.Key Concept: The first step in the writing process is invention--developing a topic. Students often make the mistake of latching onto the first idea that comes their way. However, by doing some invention exercises, students can give themselves some options for their writing assignments and allow themselves to consider the ideas that are the most manageable, appropriate to the assignment, and, above all, interesting to the writer. If the writer is bored with the topic, it will show through in the final product.Key Concept: Brainstorming is a method for coming up with ideas for a project. The key to brainstorming is to write down everything that pops into your head--the idea you are the least certain about may be the one you use for your paper! Brainstorming is a way writers can provide themselves with topic options.One brainstorming technique is called listing. This strategy involves a simple list of every idea that pops into the writers mind. From this list, writers might choose to narrow down their topics or branch into a related topic. The important thing is that all of these ideas are down on paper so they wont be forgotten and potentially useful ideas are not lost in the process.

    Activity: To involve students, the facilitator might ask students the definitions of brainstorming and listing. Ask students about the writing situations in which they have found listing to be a useful technique. These experiences may inspire other students to give it a try.

    Click the mouse after Listing: to reveal the brainstormed list.Key Concept: Clustering is another terrific brainstorming idea. Visual learners may find this technique more effective than listing because of the manner in which ideas are spatially arranged. To start, write the word ME in the center of your paper and draw a circle around it. Then branch out from the center circle with any ideas that interest you. If more ideas pop into your head, draw branches stemming from your outer circle. Again, the key is to write down as many ideas as possible. Students may find that two smaller branched ideas may work together well to form one solid topic. Or, students may find that their branch circles form supporting ideas or arguments for their main ideas.It is important not only to find a topic, but to find an angle about that topic that can be argued within an essay. Once students find an idea they like, they might form a new cluster by putting their main idea in the center, and then build supporting claims in branched circles.

    Activity: If the class is about to work on a new writing assignment, it might be a good idea to pause here and have them do some brainstorming by creating their own lists or clusters. The facilitator might ask students to share the results of their lists or come around the room and hold up examples of good clusters.

    Click the mouse after the ME circle to see additional branches.Key Concept: Once students decide on a topic, their next step is to collect information.

    Activity: The facilitator may ask students where they might go to collect research. Answers will likely include such things as books, magazines, and the Internet.

    Examples: The facilitator might suggest other forms of research, including indexes for periodicals, newspapers, and academic journals (these can be located through the index link on ThorPlus). In particular, the INSPIRE database and the Academic FullText Search Elite database will provide students with a number of printable periodical sources. Interviews can also be useful, whether by phone, through e-mail, or in person. Often, web authors can be contacted through e-mail links on their web pages and may agree to be interviewed through e-mail.

    Activity: If students are engaged in a particular research assignment, the facilitator may choose to offer guidance on the best places to locate research for the project.

    For more information on collection strategies, see the presentation titled Research and the Internet, located on this CD-ROM.Key Concepts: After writers collect information pertaining to their topics, a useful next step is to organize it--decide where to place information in the argument, as well as which information to omit. One easy way to do this is outlining. Argumentative and narrative papers generally have three main sections. The introduction is used to grab the readers attention and introduce the main idea or claim, often in the form of a thesis statement. The body consists of several supporting paragraphs that help to elaborate upon the main claim. Finally, the conclusion serves to wrap up the argument and reemphasize the writers main ideas. After gathering information in the collection stage, the writer should think about where each piece of information belongs in the course of an argument. By taking time to organize and plan the paper, writers save time and frustration in the drafting stage; they find that they can follow the pattern they have established for themselves in their outlines. Rationale: Many students struggle with drafting because they make it the second component of their writing process--right after coming up with a topic-- instead of the fourth, after collecting and organizing. Students also struggle because they do not give themselves enough time to complete the drafting process.

    Key Concepts: With a little bit of pre-planning and organization, the drafting stage can be both a rewarding and efficient experience. First of all, students can avoid the dreaded procrastination by beginning their projects early. A comfortable place to write--whether with a keyboard or a pencil--also aids concentration. Avoiding distractions, such as television, noisy friends, or computer solitaire, will keep writers focused on their projects. Finally, writers should take breaks, preferably leaving off at a place where they know what comes next. This will make it easier to pick up again after the break. Sometimes completing a draft and coming back to it the next day helps students to look at their work with a fresh pair of eyes and a rejuvenated attitude.Writers should not feel compelled to write chronologically. Sometimes the conclusion can be an easier place to begin than with the thesis statement. With each writing assignment, students will be able to find a personal system that works best for them.

    Activity: The facilitator may ask students to share tips that they have learned about their own successful drafting habits.Rationale: Students tend to view revising as a process of altering word choices and correcting spelling errors. Rather, this presentation separates revising--the revaluation of higher-order concerns--from proofreading--the correction of later-order concerns.Key Concepts: Revising is a process of reviewing the paper on the idea-level. It is a process of re-vision--literally re-seeing the argument of the paper. The revising process may involve changes such as the clarification of the thesis, the reorganization of paragraphs, the omission of unneeded information, the addition of supplemental information to back a claim, or the strengthening the introduction or conclusion. The key to revising is the clear communication of ideas from the writer to the intended audience.This is an important step to take following the drafting stage. Following the completion of an entire draft, students may have a stronger conception of their purpose, intended audience, and thesis statement. Feedback from other readers may also contribute toward the need to re-vision (or re-see) the project. Rather than feeling chained to every printed word, students should be encouraged to look at their writing as an evolving piece of work, subject to change. Sometimes a first draft is just that--a first draft. Again, students must be sure to allow themselves enough time to complete the revising process.Key Concepts: After improving the quality of the content in the revising stage, writers then need to take care of mechanics, including corrections of spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and documentation style.

    For more information on sentence structure and punctuation, see Sentence Clarity and Combining and Conquering the Comma, included on this CD-ROM. For presentations on documentation styles, see Cross-referencing: Using MLA Format and Documenting Sources: Using MLA Format, also on this CD-ROM.Examples: Here are a few tips students can use to proofread their papers:The best tip is to read your paper out loud. Reading aloud forces the writer to engage each word verbally. Often typos, spelling errors, and sentence structure problems can be caught this way. If spelling is a big problem, checking through the paper backwards can also help writers to correct errors. Again, checking backwards will help writers to engage every word.Exchanging papers with a friend can also be a good way to check for errors. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps. However, writers need to remember that the paper belongs to them and they are responsible for their work. If a friend corrects something that you dont think is correct, double check with a grammar book, the OWL web site, or the Writing Lab Grammar Hotline.Sometimes students can develop an overreliance upon technology to correct spelling and grammar errors. However, if you meant to type Good spelling is important in college and instead type Good smelling is important in college, spell check will not catch the error because smelling is a correctly spelled word. Also, many grammar checks function on computer-programmed patterns of words. Often, they cannot process long or complicated sentences. Just because sentences are long or complicated does not mean they are wrong. Having an understanding of grammar yourself is the best way to check over your work.Rationale: This slide reviews the six components to the writing process.

    Activity: The facilitator may choose at this time to answer questions or get feedback from students about their own writing processes. Students may share strategies about their own successful writing process tips.Rationale: Welcome to Sentence Combining and Clarity. This presentation is designed to teach your students about common sentence clarity problems, including misplaced modifiers, dangling modifiers, and passive voice, as well as strategies for combining sentences together. The twenty-nine slides presented here are designed to aid the facilitator in an interactive presentation of methods for improving sentence structure. This presentation is ideal within a composition course or within any course as a refresher to common sentence problems.This presentation may be supplemented with OWL handouts: Conciseness: Methods of Eliminating Wordiness (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_concise.html) Some Strategies for Improving Sentence Clarity (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_sentclar.html) Dangling Modifiers (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_dangmod.html) Active/Passive Verbs (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_actpass.html).Directions: Each slide is activated by a single mouse click, unless otherwise noted in bold at the bottom of each notes page.

    Writer and Designer: Jennifer Liethen KunkaContributors: Muriel Harris, Karen Bishop, Bryan Kopp, Matthew Mooney, David Neyhart, and Andrew KunkaDeveloped with resources courtesy of the Purdue University Writing LabGrant funding courtesy of the Multimedia Instructional Development Center at Purdue University Copyright Purdue University, 2000.Key Concepts: This slide reviews the reasons that sentence clarity is an important part of writing. The facilitator may choose to ask the opening question and invite responses from participants.Communication is the most important function of sentence clarity. For example, a new computer that comes with unclear directions for setting it up may cause errors and frustration for its new owner.Persuasion is also important. If a job applicant writes a cover letter with unclear, confusing sentences, the applicant will have trouble persuading an employer that he or she is the most qualified for the job.Finally, clear, well-phrased sentences can demonstrate a writers credibility and authority--the mastery of the subject matter and the competency to communicate well to others. Rationale: This slide establishes the three clarity problems that will be covered in this presentation.Rationale: The formal definition of a misplaced modifier is explained in this slide. Examples: The examples in this slide illustrate the importance of the modification phrase or word group. The facilitator may ask students to explain the difference in meaning between the two sentences. The first sentence explains, That dog under that tree bit Carrie--the dog is presently located under the tree. The second sentence indicates that the act of biting Carrie occurred under the tree. Depending on the placement of the modification phrase, under the tree, the meaning of a sentence can change dramatically.While this is a simple example to illustrate the importance of modifying phrases, the facilitator may invite students to imagine the confusion misplaced modifiers can cause in directions, legal documents, or business letters.Activity: The facilitator may ask participants to point out the problem with the first sentence--the kitten is opening the can of tuna. Unless the kitten has opposable thumbs, this is an unlikely scenario. The participant may then ask what the modifying phrase is here--opening the can of tuna. This phrase needs to be as close as possible to what it modifies--in this case, Jennifer.The slide offers one option for correction. Another correct option includes, Jennifer, opening the can of tuna, called her adorable kitten and filled the food bowl. A series of verb phrases would also be correct: Jennifer opened the can of tuna, called her adorable kitten, and filled the food bowl.Activity: Again, the facilitator may ask participants to define the problem with the first sentence--the store is loaded with cash. The modifying phrase, loaded with cash, needs to be placed as close as possible to what it modifies--Portia. The slide offers one correct option; another is Loaded with cash, Portia rushed to the store to buy the birthday gift.Key Concepts: Not all modification problems are in the form of a phrase. These eight words can also cause confusion within sentences.Activity: The facilitator may ask students to consider the meaning of each sentence and answer the slides final question. The second sentence indicates that everyone in the class failed the exam because almost modifies the verb passed. Everyone almost passed--they came close to passing but did not make the grade. In the first sentence, almost modifies everyone. Almost everyone passed--most people passed, but a few did not.

    Click after final question to reveal checkmark.Activity: Again, the facilitator may ask participants to answer the slides final question. In the second sentence, nearly modifies $100. Therefore, John earned nearly $100--not quite $100, but perhaps $98. In the first sentence, nearly modifies the verb earned. John nearly earned the money, but he failed to earn it.

    Click after final question to reveal checkmark.Key Concepts: This slide offers a formal definition for dangling modifiers.Activity: The facilitator may ask students which sentence is correct. The second sentence is correct because Having finished dinner modifies Joe. The first sentence contains a dangling modifier--it sounds like the football game just finished dinner. The subject of the modifying phrase, Joe, is absent from the first sentence.

    Click to reveal circles around the modified subjects of each sentence.Key Concepts: There are a couple of ways to repair sentences with dangling modifiers. Each sentence, or independent clause, contains a subject and a verb. The first example refers to the example on the previous slide--the subject, or doer of the action, needs to be placed as the subject of the independent clause. The second example explains the naming of the subject within the dangling phrase.Activity: The facilitator may choose to have participants describe the problem with the sentence--the computer has played solitaire for three hours--and offer suggestions for correction. The first option corrects the sentence by placing Michael, the doer of the action, as the subject of the sentence. The second option corrects the sentence by placing Michael within the modification phrase.

    Click mouse to reveal corrected versions.Activity: The facilitator may again have participants identify the error within the sentence--Richard is locked away in the old chest--and offer corrected versions. The first option is corrected by antique hats in the subject position. The second is improved by eliminating the introductory phrase and placing the modifying phrase, locked away in the old chest, after antique hats.

    Click mouse to reveal corrected versions.

    Activity: The facilitator may pause over this sentence to discuss the error. This sentence begins with a to + verb phrase, or infinitive phrase. In this sentence, the education is indicated to work as a loan officer. The problem here is that there is no subject to go with the dangling phrase. Participants will need to insert a subject, such as one, to correct the sentence.

    Click mouse to reveal corrected version.

    Activity: The facilitator may have students define the problem with the initial sentence--that the scientists are the process that still needs to be refined. This sentence is best corrected by changing the dangling phrase to a modifying phrase referring to chemotherapy treatment at the end of the sentence.

    Click mouse to reveal corrected version.

    Key Concepts: Passive voice is another common clarity problem, primarily because the subject of the action is not indicated clearly within the sentence. A sentence with passive voice always contains a form of the verb to be and may contain a phrase starting with by.

    Activity: The facilitator may choose to have participants explain why the two examples are passive. In the first example, the facilitator may ask Who made the mistakes? The answer cannot be given because the doer of the action is omitted from the sentence. Sometimes passive voice is used purposely; politicians often use passive voice to avoid giving assigning agency to an action. Passive voice in the second example is indicated by were and by. The sentence can be made a more direct statement by placing the doer of the action in the subject position: Laura brushed the cats.Activity: The facilitator may ask participants to explain why the sentence is passive--was and by--and to offer improved versions. The better version eliminates the passive voice problem by playing the doer of the action, the committee, in the subject position. The best version, however, preview the next section on sentence combining by eliminating unnecessary words for a more direct statement.

    Click mouse to reveal corrected versions.

    Activity: Again, passive voice is indicated by was and by. The better example eliminates the passive voice problem, but the best example eliminates unnecessary words by changing of the computer into the possessive form, computers.

    Click mouse to reveal corrected versions.

    Rationale: Welcome to Organizing Your Argument. This presentation is designed to introduce your students to the elements of an organized essay, including the introduction, the thesis, body paragraphs, topic sentences, counterarguments, and the conclusion. The twenty-one slides presented here are designed to aid the facilitator in an interactive presentation about constructing a well-organized argument. This presentation is ideal for the introduction of argument to a composition course, the beginning of a research unit, or the assignment of a written argument.This presentation may be supplemented with OWL handouts:Developing an Outline (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_outlin.html) The Paragraph (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_pgrph.html).

    Directions: Each slide is activated by a single mouse click, unless otherwise noted in bold at the bottom of each notes page.

    Writer and Designer: Jennifer Liethen KunkaContributors: Muriel Harris, Karen Bishop, Bryan Kopp, Matthew Mooney, David Neyhart, and Andrew KunkaDeveloped with resources courtesy of the Purdue University Writing LabGrant funding courtesy of the Multimedia Instructional Development Center at Purdue University Copyright Purdue University, 2000.

    Activity: This slide offers a definition of the term argument. The facilitator may invite the audience to offer answers to the title question. Students often assume that building an argument is simply a confrontational activity designed to denigrate the oppositions position. The facilitator may choose to explain to students that the focus of a strong argument should be upon a cohesive explanation of claims effectively paired with correlating evidence.

    Click mouse to reveal the answer to the question.Key Concept: Organization is an important component in any argument. Not only does a clear sense of organization guide the reader through the reasoning process, but it also demonstrates the credibility of the writer--that the writer has a clear conception of the issues involved and has the ability to offer a well-crafted response to the topic. An argument that has a confusing organization--that jumps from point to point without establishing connections between topics--is less likely to be convincing to its audience.

    Click to reveal each item.Rationale: This slide illustrates the topics covered in this presentation, as well as the ordering of the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion within an argument.Key Concept: The title is often an overlooked component in the development of arguments. Indeed, the title provides the first words the audience encounters upon reading the paper. The title should introduce the topic of the argument as well as generate interest in reading the argument.

    Click to reveal each listed item.Key Concepts: This slide offers suggestions for creating a title that builds upon the topics discussed within a paper. A brief, provocative image can invite the reader to find out more about the topic. Picking up on significant words or phrases offered throughout the paper can contribute to a sense of unity within the argument. Asking a question can also provoke a response from the reader; however, students should be aware that such questions should be answered within the course of the argument. Unanswered questions can indicate a weakness in the argument of the topic. Titles that are too general or lack character do not invite the reader to delve into the first paragraph and begin reading.Key Concept: The introduction continues upon the tasks of the title--it both introduces the topic and generates audience interest in reading the entire paper. The introduction also indicates the purpose of the paper--to inform, persuade, call to action, etc.--as well as offers a plan for the ensuing argument.

    Click mouse to reveal answers to questions.Activity: The facilitator may ask students about effective methods for beginning an introduction, and then reveal responses by clicking the mouse.

    Key Concepts: A personal anecdote illustrates the writers involvement within the topic, as well as moves the topic from the abstract to the real. Examples, both real (have happened) and hypothetical (have the potential to happen) can also help to illustrate the problem. Posing an interesting question can also generate reader interest; however, the question should be answered within the course of the paper. A quotation can provide a branch for discussion. Quotations, however, should be made relevant to the topic of the paper. An explanation of shocking statistics or the presentation of a striking image can also invite the audience to continue reading the paper.

    Click mouse to reveal each listed item.Key Concept: A definition of a thesis statement is offered in this slide. The facilitator may choose to emphasize to students the difference between a claim that has to be proven and a statement of fact.

    Click mouse to reveal answers to the question.Key Concept: This slide discusses the role of the thesis statement in the paper. Thesis statements are often located in the introduction, thereby setting up for the reader the claims of the argument. However, theses may also be located in the body paragraphs or in the conclusion, depending upon the writers purpose, audience, topic, and mode of argument.

    Activity: Additionally, the facilitator may also wish at this point to discuss strategies for constructing a thesis statement for a current class assignment.

    Activity: The facilitator may ask students to identify the most effective thesis statement from the three listed examples. The first example, while a well-phrased informative sentence, offers a factual statement rather than an argumentative claim that needs to be proven. The third example also fails to provide an effective claim about the value of the V-chip. The second example is the strongest argumentative thesis; it clearly articulates the writers position on the issue and suggests that the writer will proceed to prove this claim throughout the rest of the paper.Key Concepts: This slide explains the function of body paragraphs within an argument-to continue proving the claim posited in the thesis statement. Clearly stated topic sentences within each paragraph can help writers to focus their arguments around their thesis statements. The facilitator may also suggest that students offer a synopsis of the topic, including the history of the issue and recent changes in current events that affect the topic.Key Concepts: Body paragraphs may be ordered in various patterns, depending upon the purpose, audience, and topic of the argument. This slide offers participants options for organizing their work.

    Activity: The facilitator may choose to offer suggestions on organizing patterns for a current argumentative assignment.Key Concepts: Concerned with asserting the importance of their own claims, writers sometimes overlook the importance of considering the views of the opposition within their own arguments. Countering oppositional claims demonstrates to the audience that the writer has carefully considered multiple components of the issue and has reached an educated decision. If a writer finds that the opposition cannot be countered effectively, he or she may need to reevaluate his or her own opinions and claims about the argument.Key Concept: Counterarguments may be located at various points within a paper. It is important, however, that the writer offer a convincing response to the claims of the opposition.

    Activity: The facilitator may choose to offer specific tips to students about counterarguing in a current argumentative assignment.Key Concepts: This slide suggests the importance of considering the audience in offering a counterargument. If a writer is trying to argue about the dangers of second-hand smoke to a group of smokers, the writer needs to offer his or her opinion in such a way that the opposition can see the rationality of his or her claims. If the writer instead chooses to rant about how much he or she dislikes smokers, it is doubtful that the audience will feel any sympathy with the argued position and will reject the argument. The facilitator may choose to emphasize that tact and audience consideration are very important elements of effective counterarguments. Key Concepts: The conclusion is also an important paragraph in a paper--it provides the last words that a writer will present to his or her audience. Therefore, it should have a lasting impact. The conclusion should work to reemphasize the main claims of the argument, articulating the importance of the argued position and, when appropriate, the readers need to take action on the issue. Writers should also avoid raising new claims in concluding paragraphs--there is no more room to argue points comprehensively or convincingly. Such new points would be better repositioned within the body paragraphs.

    Click to reveal each point.