Writing an Academic Essay by gof81448


									Writing an Academic Essay

 The Purpose and Process of Academic Writing
Some Parameters
   We will not exhaust every aspect of academic writing
   We will focus on the overall process of writing an
    academic paper
   We will not focus on rules
   We will instead focus on strategies
What Is The Purpose of the Academic

The word “essay” is derived from the Latin verb “exigere”,
 which means to:

       Examine
       Test
       Drive out

   What could the purpose of an essay be given this
Other Purposes
   Discover knowledge
   Make a point
   Persuade the reader
   Share information
   Synthesis Information
   Analyze a topic
   Document your observations
   All of the above
Think of Writing as a Step by Step Process
   Read and Research
   Brainstorm Ideas
   Develop Working Thesis and Outline
   Write Rough Draft
   Review for Content
   Revise Rough Draft
   Review for Grammar and Mechanics
   Revise Second Draft
   Continue Reviewing and Revising as Needed
Where Do I Get Ideas To Write About?
   Read texts related to your topic
   Use brainstorming techniques like:
       Listing ideas
       Clustering or mind mapping
       Free writing
   Discuss the issue with others
   Research the topic
Reading a Text
Compare these two images about Japanese Concentration
 camps during World War II. The first is by American
 photographer Ansel Adams. The second is a cartoon by
 Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.
Contrasting the Two Texts
   Ansel Adams                        Dr. Seuss
       Uses photograph                    Uses cartoon
       Creates sympathy                   Stirs animosity
       Documents history                  Used for propaganda
       Subtle                              Exaggerated
       Politically motivated              Politically motivated
       Captures humanity                  Uses stereotypes
       Shows us the suffering             Makes characters look happy
       Emphasizes helplessness            Emphasizes danger
       Focused on the individual          Focused on the larger view
   Write your main point in the center of the page and
    circle it
   As ideas come to you, branch off from the main point
   Think of the cluster as a tree, each idea branching off a
    previous idea
   Do not censor or edit yourself
Cluster Example
Develop a Working Thesis
   A thesis comes at the end of the introduction section of your
   It lets the reader know exactly what overall point you are
    trying to make
   It should be specific, not general
   It can be used by the reader and the writer as a road map for
    the rest of the paper
   It is not fixed; it can and should evolve as your ideas evolve
   What you present in the paper should not deviate from what
    you promise in the thesis
   Establishes expectations
Thesis Examples
    Dr. Seuss’ propaganda cartoons during World War II reduced
     Japanese Americans to stereotypes, played on the fears of the
     American public during a time of war, and focused on a the
     broad, generalized issues of the situation rather than the
     individual circumstances of the people involved.
Developing an Outline
   Once you establish a thesis, use it to help you develop an
    outline of the paper
   An outline will:
       Help you organize your ideas
       Keep you focused
       Save time
   Keep in mind there are several ways to approach writing
    an outline
Outline Example
   Thesis
   Main Point
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
   Main Point
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
   Main Point
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
       Supporting Point
            Detail
            Detail
   Conclusion
Writing the Rough Draft
   Now that you have a thesis and outline, you may begin
    writing your rough draft.
   As you write this rough draft, keep the following
    strategies in mind:
       Organize information in your body paragraphs
       Hook the reader in the introduction
       Keep your paper coherent with transition words and
       Wrap up your paper with a strong closing
       Utilize academic writing conventions
       Follow the writing process
   The purpose of the introduction paragraph is to:
       Bait the reader
        Contextualize your argument or topic
       Provide necessary background information about the topic
Strategies to Bait the Reader
   Ask a question
   Tell a story
   Use a quote
   Provide interesting statistics
   Share an anecdote
   Make a provocative statement
Give Context in the Introduction
   What does the reader need to know to understand this
       Historical background
       Issues relating to the topic
       Important authors and texts you will be referring to
       Cultural issues
       Why this topic is important or relevant
Start Your Body Paragraphs with Clear
Topic Sentences
A topic sentence:

   Comes at the beginning of a paragraph
   Presents the most important point you want to make in
    that paragraph
   Is specific (or not so broad it would require a full essay to
Use Compelling Supporting Points to
Support Your Topic Sentence
   Supporting points are examples or pieces of evidence
    that support the claim you have made in your topic
   They can be:
       Facts
       Examples
       Anecdotes (Stories)
       Expert Testimony
       Quotes
       Observations
       Statistics
Make Sure to Elaborate with Concrete
   Once you have listed your supporting points, you can
    now elaborate on them by adding details or explaining
    what you mean further.
Topic Sentence: Dr. Seuss emphasized the danger posed by
  Japanese Americans during World War II.

Main Point: His pictures show a parade of smiling Japanese
 marching down the West Coast collecting explosives.

Detail: Each box of TNT these cartoon characters carry
 plays on the often irrational fears Americans felt toward
 Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
An Alternative: Using the PIE Formula
   Another useful strategy to organize information is to use
    the PIE formula
   PIE
       P = Point = The main point you want to make
       I = Illustration = A quote or paraphrase from the text
       E = Explanation = Your explanation about what the quote or
        paraphrase means
Use Transitions to Create Coherence
   Use transition words or sentences to bridge ideas so the
    reader does not get confused
   First
   Second
   In addition
   Nevertheless
   In contrast
   Furthermore
   Therefore
   Etc.
Strategies for a Conclusion
   Re-state your thesis statement in a different way
   Make a strong closing comment
   Use any of the strategies for the introduction
   Wrap up the paper with a neat bow tie
Academic Conventions: Things to Avoid
   Avoid use personal pronouns like “I”, “We”, and “You”.
   Avoid not use contractions like “isn’t”, “they’re”, “wasn’t”,
   Avoid slang
   Avoid a personal tone
   Avoid vague ideas
   Avoid plagiarism
Academic Conventions: Things to Do
   Do address both sides of an argument
   Do cite your sources
   Do use a formal tone
   Do take a stand
   Do use concrete details
   Do give yourself time to develop your paper
Remember, Writing is a Process
   Every writing assignment is practice for the next one
   Writing takes time
   Go through every step of the process
   Focus on your ideas first
   Focus on grammar and spelling last
   Get feedback from a peer, instructor, or tutor

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