Choosing a subject and a topic.ppt - PowerPoint

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					Prewriting: Choosing a Subject and
a Topic
Introduction
What to write about, and why?
Generating ideas
Narrowing your topic
Evaluating your topic
Writing a topic statement
Your Turn 1: Generate ideas and narrow a topic
Your Turn 2: Evaluate a topic and write a topic statement
Introduction
Mari is writing a paper for English class when a friend
asks her
                                             Dogs
 What are                                    I’m writing
   you Okay,                                 about how
  writingwhat
    but                                       to choose
       about
  about?                                       the right
       dogs?                                   dog as a
                                                 pet.



Mari and her friend have just talked about both the
subject and the topic of her writing.
Introduction
Subjects are broad and general, and can
                          or two are
often be described in oneTopics words.
narrower, focused subcategories of the
Space
subject.     Why humans should continue
             to explore space
History       African American soldiers in the Civil War

Auto Racing   The growth of NASCAR’s popularity

Family        My family’s best day ever
       to write subject and topic for your
Whatyou choose a about, and why?
How do
writing? Your subject and topic can depend on
• what you want to accomplish in your writing—
  your purpose
• the type of writing you want to create—
  your form

        Purpose: convince my friends to volunteer
        at the local animal shelter
      + Form: an article on the school Web site
        Topic: why being an animal shelter
        volunteer is right for you
What to write about, and why?
Notice how your topic can be influenced by the form
in which you plan to write.


                      Subject: Ballet

   Descriptive essay                  Persuasive speech
     Costumes for                      Ballet dancers are
    The Nutcracker                       athletes, too

       Personal narrative        Informative report
       The first time I saw a   The history of our local
        ballet performance         ballet company
Generating ideas
Once you have a purpose and a form in mind for your
writing, think of a subject and a topic by

  • talking with a partner
    about things that
    interest you
  • using a search engine
    to discover new topics
  • paging through a
    newspaper or news
    magazine
  • creating a cluster
    diagram to explore ideas
Generating ideas
Here’s how one student writer,
Monica, used a cluster diagram to
explore ideas for an informative
   how about
essay you can environmental air
     help the              pollution
problems.
   environment
               Environmental
                 Problems
                               loss of
    water
                               animal
   pollution
                               habitat
Narrowing your topic
Is the topic you’ve chosen focused
enough? You might need to narrow
     topic so that                  cover
yourTopic: water pollution:you canToo broad! it
effectively in the space of your
essay.
Narrowing your topic
Is the topic you’ve chosen focused
enough? You might need to narrow
     topic so that
yourTopic: water pollution:you can cover it
                                  Too broad!
effectively in the space of your
       Narrower topics
essay. of water pollution
 1. Sources
Narrowing your topic
Is the topic you’ve chosen focused
enough? You might need to narrow
     topic so that                  cover
yourTopic: water pollution:you canToo broad! it
effectively in the space of your
       Narrower topics
essay. of water pollution
 1. Sources

2.   Effects of water pollution
Narrowing your topic
Is the topic you’ve chosen focused
enough? You might need to narrow
     topic so that                  cover
yourTopic: water pollution:you canToo broad! it
effectively in the space of your
       Narrower topics
essay. of water pollution
 1. Sources

2.   Effects of water pollution

3.   Reducing water pollution
Evaluating your topic
Once you’ve got a focused topic, do
a quick check before you start pollution
                        Topic: Reducing water
                                              to
• Will this Evaluate
write. topic interest the topic by asking
  my readers?              yes, definitely
• How much do I already
  know about this topic?   quite a bit
• Can I find additional
  information about this   There should be a lot
  topic?                   of information on it.
• Does this topic fit my
  purpose for writing?     yes
Writing a topic statement
Write out a topic statement, one or
two sentences that state your
topic clearly. Use this topic
  Water pollution is help you focus as all
                                problem that affects you
statement toan ongoingindividual can help protect
  types of life. However, each
continue the prewriting process.
  water by doing a few small things to improve the
   environment.

Remember that the writing process is not a one-way
street. You can always narrow, revise, or even change
your topic later, if necessary.
Your Turn 1: Generate ideas
and narrow a topic
 Choose one of the following subjects or a subject of
 your own. Create a cluster diagram to break down the
 broad subject into possible topics. Make sure that you
 finish with at least one topic that is narrow enough for
 a school essay.


        Wildlife      Current events      Sports
        Hobbies       Travel              Health
Your Turn 2: Evaluate a topic and
write a topic statement
 Choose a subject and a topic for one of the following
 projects. Evaluate your topic with the evaluation
 questions below. Finish by writing a topic statement.

      • Project 1: an entertaining story for children
      • Project 2: a how-to article for the local newspaper

 Evaluation questions:
 •   Will this topic interest my readers?
 •   How much do I already know about this topic?
 •   Can I find additional information about this topic?
 •   Does my topic fit my purpose for writing?
The End