Writing a short essay (1)

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<ul><li> 1. Step 1: PRE-WRITING </li> <li> 2. Once you have done the assigned reading, read the DB question carefully. Re-read the question to be sure you understand what you are being asked to do. Then begin to think of how to answer the question. Example: Week 2, you were asked to compare/contrast the role of the serpent in the Genesis narrative with the snake in the Epic of Gilgamesh. </li> <li> 3. Even before you answer on Blackboard, write your main topic in the center of a blank piece a paper. Then jot down ideas that arise sub-topics or directions you could take to answer the question. Genesis Epic of Gilgamesh </li> <li> 4. COMPARISON In both accounts the serpent was deceptive. In both accounts immortality is stolen by a serpent In both accounts, human kind learned that death is inevitable. CONTRAST In Genesis, the snake had evil intentions. In Epic of Gilgamesh, the snake was not evil. Adam and Eve lost their residency in the Garden of Eden; Gilgamesh was able to return to Uruk-Haven. </li> <li> 5. Research is also an important part of your writing. Do your research diligently. Be sure to carefully document all information that you take from other sources, even from your own textbook. </li> <li> 6. STEP 2: DRAFTING </li> <li> 7. Sit down with your pre-writing plan beside you, and start writing your first draft (also known as the rough draft or rough copy). Be selective. Youdon't havetoinclude everything that was in your prewriting! Pick your best ideas.. At this stage, dont worry too much about grammar, punctuation or spelling. You will make revisions later on in the process. Just keep writing! </li> <li> 8. When working on your first draft try to: Set aside at least thirty minutes to concentrate. Go somewhere without interruptions. Switch off distracting programs </li> <li> 9. Structure Introduction Body Conclusion </li> <li> 10. Purpose of an Introduction: The Introduction previews the entire structure of your essay. The introduction identifies the topic of the essay as well as the authors opinion about the topic. Your first sentence is called the GRABBER. It should grab your readers attention. </li> <li> 11. The Introduction Paragraph Q. Why is an up-side-down triangle used to represent an intro paragraph? A. The introduction moves from general to specific ideas. General Specific </li> <li> 12. The Thesis is THE most important sentence of you entire essay!!! It is the most specific sentence of your essay. It is the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. THESIS STATEMENT Thesis Statement </li> <li> 13. The Body Paragraphs . Each Body Paragraph must develop an idea or a sub-topic that supports the Thesis Statement </li> <li> 14. Parts of a Body Paragraph The first sentence of a body paragraph This sentence is a signpost that lets your reader know what you will be discussing in this paragraph. This sentence must relate back to the thesis. Topic Sentence: </li> <li> 15. Types of Sentences Found in a Body Paragraph: Concrete Details Any fact or statement Quotes Words from a text or an expert on the subject Commentary Your opinion telling why something is important </li> <li> 16. The Clincher The last sentence of a body paragraph clinches off the topic. A summarizing or transitional sentence Often rephrases the topic sentence Signpost telling your reader you are done with one topic and moving on to the next. Clincher </li> <li> 17. Conclusion Paragraph Reword the Thesis This sentence reminds readers what the point of your essay was. </li> <li> 18. Draw your reader out Your conclusion must 1. Tie up any loose ends. 2. Summarize main ideas or important points. 3. Answer the questions: So what? Why is this important? 4. Connect the reader back to the larger context. </li> <li> 19. Diagram Review Introduction Grabber or Hook Thesis Statement Body Topic Sentence Clincher Conclusion Rephrased Thesis </li> <li> 20. STEP 3: REVISING </li> <li> 21. MAKE IT BETTER . Revision is an important part of the writing process and should be given as much time and care as prewriting and drafting. Everyone needs to revise. Even experienced writers do many revisions. </li> <li> 22. REVISING TIPS - Ask yourself these questions . . . Can you read your essay out loud without stumbling? Is your train of thought clear? Are there any tangents? Is there a catchy introduction? Is a vivid mental picture created in the reader's mind? Is there a strong hook, thesis and lead-in? Does the conclusion leave the reader thinking? </li> <li> 23. Are all sentences complete or are there sentence fragments? Do supporting details support only the topic sentence of that paragraph? Is your writing wordy and redundant? Are you using the same words and phrases over and over again? Did you use a thesaurus? </li> <li> 24. During the revision stage, it can be helpful to use the A.R.R.R. approach: Adding Rearranging Removing Replacing </li> <li> 25. Adding What else does the reader need to know? What areas could you expand on?. Rearranging Would the argument flow better if you reordered your paragraphs? Removing Have you gone off-point in some sections of your essay? </li> <li> 26. Replacing Would more vivid details help bring your piece to life? Do you need to look for stronger examples and quotations to support your argument? Read what you have written and judge if it says what you mean. If any particular part of your essay isnt working, REVISE! </li> <li> 27. STEP 4: EDITING </li> <li> 28. The editing stage is distinct from revision and needs to be done after revising. Print out your work and edit on paper. Many writers find it easier to spot mistakes this way. MAKE IT CORRECT </li> <li> 29. spelling capitalization punctuation grammar sentence structure subject/verb agreement consistent verb tense word usage EDITING IS </li> <li> 30. When editing, go through your piece line by line. Read it aloud. Read your work backwards. Read the last sentence, then the second last sentence, etc. Check that each sentence makessense when you read it on its own. . MAKE IT CORRECT </li> <li> 31. Be sure that every sentencehastwoparts: subject (who or what) predicate (what's happening) Use sentence combining words: and, but, or, yet,because, although, when, if, where etc. Use periods and commas where necessary but do not overuse. Do not overuse the exclamation mark! Use a spell-checker, but be careful with words that sound alike, but are spelled differently such as then/than, its/its, there/their etc. </li> <li> 32. .A useful checklistfor writers to use for a peer and self edit is available at Now key your answer onto Blackboard and remember to save a copy in your own file in case of computer problems when sending. </li> </ul>