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Composition Workshop


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Welcome to our Composition Workshop. This tutorial will help you to organize your ideas and write your paper correctly. You will be presented with a variety of writing techniques that will help make …

Welcome to our Composition Workshop. This tutorial will help you to organize your ideas and write your paper correctly. You will be presented with a variety of writing techniques that will help make your work seem more professional. The correct form of writing your references (bibliography and citations) are presented and explained with examples using both the APA and MLA styles. This module gives you excellent tips on brainstorming, researching, and outlining.

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  • 1. COMPOSITION WORKSHOP University of the Sacred Heart Department of Humanities Center for Language Development Across the Disciplines   LAD
  • 2. Objective
    • To help the student write effective and organized essays and papers
  • 3. Choose a Topic
    • Select a topic that you like or that is familiar to you
    • See if there is enough information on your chosen topic
  • 4. Brainstorming
    • Select a topic
    • Write down what comes to your mind
    • Group the ideas that are related
    • Choose the group of ideas that interests you and are related to the topic
    • Organize your notes into an outline
  • 5. Do Some Research…
    • … on the topic by asking the –wh questions:
    • who, what, when, why and how
    • … use the library, Internet, TV broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, etc…
  • 6. Prepare an Outline
    • Introduction
      • Thesis statement (topic sentence)
    • Body
      • Main idea
        • Supporting ideas (details)
      • Main idea
        • Supporting ideas (transition to next paragraph)
    • Conclusion
  • 7. Starting Your First Draft
  • 8. Paper Format centralize the title 1” margins double-spaced text indent each paragraph 1” margins Recommended font: Courier or Times New Roman justified margins
  • 9. Essay Content
    • Make sure to include the thesis statement in your introduction
    • Develop your ideas according to the outline
    • Close your argument with a conclusion
            • Summarize information from the previous paragraphs
            • Do introduce new information in the conclusion
  • 10. Writing Techniques
  • 11. Sentence Variety
      • By using expansions (adjectives, adverbs, verbal and prepositional phrases and appositives)
    • Example: Mary has a long, red skirt .
    • In structure (use of compound and
    • complex sentences)
    • Example: I went to Baskin Robbins , and
    • I ate a sundae . ( compound sentence )
  • 12. Sentence Variety
    • In structure – complex sentence
    • Example: I saw the woman, who was killing the cockroach , scream crazily .
    • In sentence arrangement
    • Example: In the middle of the
    • desert , Will Smith punched the alien.
  • 13. Other Techniques
    • Achieve unity
    • Use correct word order for emphasis
    • Use occasional questions, exclamations, or commands
    • Use connectives (and, but, therefore…)
  • 14. Also Remember
    • Writing purpose
      • Narrate
      • Describe
      • Compare / Contrast
      • Persuade
    • The tone (sad, humorous, serious, concerned…)
    • Your audience (formal / informal)
  • 15. Avoid the Following
    • Breaking one idea into short, monotonous sentences
    • Including sentences with unrelated or illogical details
    • Using too many details even though related
  • 16. Avoid the Following
    • Redundancy
    • Unnecessary changes in point of view
    • Run-ons (A run-on sentence has at least two sentences. Each one should be written separately.)
    • Incorrect: Do you see the man in the car he is my father.
    • Correct: Do you see the man in the car? He is my father.
  • 17. Citation
    • Short quotations (three lines or less) should be enclosed in quotation marks
    • Example: “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
          • John F. Kennedy
  • 18. Citation
    • On a new line, indent longer quotations ( four or more lines ), and set off in single space without quotation marks. Return to the original margin when you finish the quote.
    • Always identify the source using APA
    • or MLA style
    • My country, ‘tis of thee,
    • Sweet land of liberty,
    • Of thee I sing:
    • Land where my fathers died,
    • Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
    • From every mountainside
    • Let freedom ring.
            • -America , by Samuel Francis Smith
  • 19. Plagiarism
    • When you use someone’s ideas without citing, you receive credit for someone else’s intellectual effort
    • To avoid plagiarism, make sure to identify and document all your quotes, cites, and reference sources
  • 20. Save Your Work
    • If you use a computer or word processor, make sure you save your work
    • Make more than one copy !
  • 21. Go to the LAD Center!
    • Proofread
    • Check grammar
    • Check work format
    • Check essay outline
    • Check quotations and citations
  • 22. Prepare Your Second Draft… … and go back to the LAD Center for a second opinion              
  • 23. Preparing Your Final Paper
    • Make sure to include the following:
    • Cover page with your name, student number, the title of your work, course and section, professor’s last name, and date
    • Reference list at the end of your work
    • Revise quotations and citations
  • 24. References
    • Capital Community College Library. Available at
    • Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Available at
    • The Research Paper. Available at
  • 25. Questions? Prepared by: Thalia N. Nazario-Santiago Coordinator for the Center for Languages and Culture Center for Language Development Across the Disciplines (LAD) February 2003 Revised by: Patricia Kidd August 2004 Revised by: Prof. Delia Serrano January 2005