The fourth step in writing 1
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The fourth step in writing 1

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For Eng 98 Grossmont College

For Eng 98 Grossmont College

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The fourth step in writing 1 The fourth step in writing 1 Presentation Transcript

  • The Fourth Step in Writing Clear error free sentences.
  • Sentence Issues
    • This is actually a really good place for us to be right now. We have been stressing the importance of organization and support, and though we haven’t forgotten sentence level issues, it is certainly a good idea to highlight this concept as we are turning in our third essay and moving on.
  • Parallelism
    • Parallelism is where things that are listed together as a group or series use the same grammar to describe them. It would be inappropriate to list all nouns and then add a verb as part of the list.
    • If you go over the examples in your book, pages 109 to 110, this may seem obvious (they are good examples and you should look at them). The problem is when your list gets long or intricate, it gets easier to make this mistake.
    • I cannot ever say enough how important it is to read out loud. You can often hear the problem when you are not seeing it.
  • Consistent Point of View
    • This is making sure that your verbs remain in the same tense.
    • This is another of those that seems obvious, but people do all the time. I still do this one in my creative writing. I will move back and forth between present tense and past tense verbs where it is not appropriate. It’s an easy thing to do.
    • If you insert a narrative of some sort, then it is often a place where your verbs will shift tense, but other than that, in academic writing, your tenses should pretty much remain the same throughout the paper.
  • Consistent Pronouns
    • This has to do with using the first, second, or third person tone of voice. You don’t want to shift between tones of voice.
    • Look at page 112 in your ESR text for a list of what makes up the first, second, and third person tone of voice.
  • Consistent Pronouns
    • This is a very common student mistake. Moving between the “you” (second person) and the “we, us, our, etc.” (first person) is especially common. It’s because we talk that way. When we are in conversation modes we can move between tone of voice and person we are talking to usually knows what we are referring to.
    • When we do this in writing, it’s often because it’s just easier and more natural.
    • You should start making it a habit in your revisions and final edits of your writing to watch for unintended first and second person pronouns slipping in to your writing.
  • Consistent Pronouns
    • You know that I have said several times that the second person “you” doesn’t really belong in you’re academic writing, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I am saying it again. It’s because it’s often seen as aggressive by the audience, and it’s too conversational for true academic form
    • However, many teachers and professors now encourage the first person tone of voice, but always check to see what a particular instructor’s view is on this topic.
  • Specific Words
    • Effective writers do rely on using specifics over generalities.
    • I am going to differ with your book a little here though.
    • Your book suggests always using specifics rather than generalities; however, you do not want to overwhelm your audience with lists of specifics in an essay. There’s no need to list the contents of a medicine cabinet if it doesn’t pertain to a better understanding of the point of the essay.
  • Specific Words
    • Instead of thinking of using specific words as being about listing out all generalities (see Activity 4 on page 115 for what I am talking about), think of it as making sure your audience has a specific understanding of your ideas.
  • Specific Words
    • Many students will say things like, “Many companies have issues with their employees.”
    • This is very general and doesn’t give a very clear idea about what the author is trying to get across to the audience.
    • Fix: “Small businesses can often find employee issues, like sick time, more of a financial strain than larger businesses.”
    • This has a clearer point for the audience to grasp. It is more specific than the generality of the previous sentence.
  • Specific Words
    • Wherever possible in your writing, you want to be specific with your ideas.
    • This does not mean that everything needs to be really specific, which students often think it means.
    • For the previous example, it would’ve been difficult to come up with every possible employee issue that affects small businesses, and it would’ve been inappropriate to say that sick time is the only issue, which is why it says, “like sick time.”
    • The specifics that were really important were talking about small businesses and financial strain. The idea itself is more specific, and that is what you want to strive for.
  • Wordiness
    • Wordiness can be a little difficult to edit out. This basically means that more words than necessary were used to get an idea across. It makes the flow of the paper feel clunky and clogged up.
    • It’s also difficult to see in our own writing.
    • Speaking it can help but still can be a hard one to hear unless there’s obvious grammatical issues too.
    • For this one, it’s often something that comes with practice, and it can help to have someone else go over your writing.
  • Sentence Variety
    • It is important to use a variety of sentence structures, which also means not overusing one type of sentence structure.
    • ESR does a solid job of discussing coordination, subordination, and opening phrases. As well, the adjectives and verbs are helpful, but not as helpful as the other three.
    • If you feel like you need help varying your sentences, please make sure to go over pages 119-124 thoroughly.
  • Review
    • We will do review exercises on these on Monday.
    • You can do any of the activities you want ahead of time; I will be doing the testing at the back of the chapter, but feel free in class to ask questions about any of the activities you did in the book.