College Writing Alana Baker, Director Writing Support Averett University
Differences in High School and College Writing• High School writing assignments are very clear: high school teachers tend to give direct instructions • College writing assignments will give you more “freedom” in a sense • It’s a new chapter: you’ll be thinking for yourself now!• High school writing is less analytical, therefore: • College writing will require you to make claims • College writing will require you to argue • College writing will require you to provide evidence
How do I start?• READ THE ASSIGNMENT!• READ IT AGAIN IF YOU NEED TO!• Make a list or outline of ideas• Sort through your ideas• Locate sources to support your ideas
Now what?• Once you’ve got an idea, or claim, and evidence from sources to support your claim, your professor may ask you to outline your paper (or you may want to do it anyway)• At this point, you’ll want to write your claim formally, as a thesis statement
What is a “thesis statement?”• A thesis statement is your claim written as a means of showing the reader how you will interpret the subject in the paper• Think of the thesis statement as a road map that shows your reader (and you) how the paper is organized
Sample Thesis Statement• A thesis statement in a traditional model consists of your claim and three pieces of evidence to support the claim• Example: Marijuana should be legalized because it causes the court system to be overcrowded when someone sells it on the streets, its legalization can help the government increase revenue to help the economy, and its use provides relief to patients with terminal illnesses.
Breaking it Apart• Marijuana should be • Thesis: Marijuana should legalized because it be legalized causes the court system to • Point 1: it causes the court be overcrowded when system to be overcrowded someone sells it on the when someone sells it on streets, its legalization can the streets help the government • Point 2: its legalization increase revenue to help can help the government the economy, and its use increase revenue to help provides relief to patients the economy with terminal illnesses. • Point 3: its use provides relief to patients with terminal illnesses
Structure of Your Paper• Introduction • Introduction, thesis• Body Paragraph I statement is last sentence• of this paragraph Body Paragraph II• • Body Paragraph I=Point I Body Paragraph III • Body Paragraph II=Point• Conclusion II • Body Paragraph III=Point III • Conclusion, includes a summary of the thesis statement and key points
“Legalizing Marijuana” Paper Structure• Introduction, last sentence is thesis statement• Body Paragraph I=about overcrowded court system and how legalization would help• Body Paragraph II=how its legalization would help economy• Body Paragraph III=how it helps terminally ill patients• Conclusion, summarizes thesis statement and key points
“Legalizing Marijuana” OutlineThesis Statement:Marijuana should be legalized because it causes the court system to be overcrowded when someone sells it on the streets, its legalization can help the government increase revenue to help the economy, and its use provides relief to patients with terminal illnesses.I. IntroductionII. Court system is overcrowded A. Evidence 1. example 2. example B. Evidence 1. example 2. exampleIII. Legalization is good for the economy A. Evidence 1. example 2. example
“Legalizing Marijuana” Outline Cont’d B. Evidence 1. example 2. exampleVI. Medicinal uses of marijuana A. Evidence 1. example 2. example B. Evidence 1. example 2. exampleV. ConclusionVII. Bibliography
Let’s Write Together! What if someone told you to defend this claim. . .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmucT5tzkm8
Help Prove the Thesis!Cinderella is a gold-digger because she wanted to escape life with her stepsisters, she seduced Prince Charming, and she sought out Prince Charming after learning of his status.
Cinderella: Gold Digger!• Thesis: Cinderella is a • Point I: She wanted to gold-digger because she escape life with her wanted to escape life stepsisters with her stepsisters, she • Point II: She seduced seduced Prince Prince Charming Charming, and she • Point III: She sought out sought out Prince Prince Charming after Charming after learning learning of his status of his status.
“Cinderella: Gold Digger” OutlineThesis: Cinderella is a gold-digger because she wanted to escape life with her stepsisters, she seduced Prince Charming, and she sought out Prince Charming after learning of his status.
What happens after outlining?• Take statements and put into sentence structure• Go back and fill in with more of your own insights• Go back and fill in with supporting quotes and paraphrased quotations from gathered sources• Check your format (MLA, APA, etc)• Don’t forget a bibliography!• Proofread EVERYTHING twice!
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