1101: The First Steps
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1101: The First Steps

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The second lecture in the First-Year Composition series; it addresses writing an effective introduction for a college-level essay. Recorded live on September 10, 2007.

The second lecture in the First-Year Composition series; it addresses writing an effective introduction for a college-level essay. Recorded live on September 10, 2007.

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1101: The First Steps Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Writing: the First Steps Dr. Gerald Lucas
  • 2. Writing: the First Steps MLA Format Title Opening Sentence Introduction Thesis Statement
  • 3. MLA Format Hacker, pages 355-412
  • 4. MLA Format 1” margins all around Do not justify right margin 12 point serif font — double spaced Title centered 1/2” right justified header: Lastname page#
  • 5. Title Required aspect of all essays
  • 6. Title Required aspect of all essays Gets attention — never too long or vague
  • 7. Title Required aspect of all essays Gets attention — never too long or vague Informs of subject, purpose, and audience
  • 8. Title State a position — no questions
  • 9. Title State a position — no questions Explicitly state subject — colon effective
  • 10. Title State a position — no questions Explicitly state subject — colon effective Imply audience, if possible
  • 11. Title State a position — no questions Explicitly state subject — colon effective Imply audience, if possible Capitalize every noun and verb
  • 12. Title State a position — no questions Explicitly state subject — colon effective Imply audience, if possible Capitalize every noun and verb Do not use quotation marks
  • 13. Title Examples A Call to Action: Regulate Use of Cell Phones on the Road
  • 14. Title Examples A Call to Action: Regulate Use of Cell Phones on the Road Star Trek’s Positive Vision: The Future of Humanity
  • 15. Title Examples A Call to Action: Regulate Use of Cell Phones on the Road Star Trek’s Positive Vision: The Future of Humanity Treasured Memories: Keeping a Hope Chest
  • 16. Opening Sentence Make a general statement
  • 17. Opening Sentence Make a general statement Keep it short
  • 18. Opening Sentence Make a general statement Keep it short Interest your reader
  • 19. Opening Sentence Not a topic sentence
  • 20. Opening Sentence Not a topic sentence Lures your reader into your essay
  • 21. Opening Sentence Not a topic sentence Lures your reader into your essay Excites but does not alienate
  • 22. Opening Sentence Not a topic sentence Lures your reader into your essay Excites but does not alienate Offers only a taste: appetizer
  • 23. Opening Sentence Examples Cell phones are often irritating, and sometimes they are deadly.
  • 24. Opening Sentence Examples Cell phones are often irritating, and sometimes they are deadly. Life in the twenty-third century is great.
  • 25. Opening Sentence Examples Cell phones are often irritating, and sometimes they are deadly. Life in the twenty-third century is great. Imagine a convenient and attractive place to keep your dreams.
  • 26. Introduction Encompasses the first paragraph
  • 27. Introduction Encompasses the first paragraph Moves from general to specific
  • 28. Introduction Encompasses the first paragraph Moves from general to specific Introduces subject
  • 29. Introduction Encompasses the first paragraph Moves from general to specific Introduces subject Flows logically to thesis statement
  • 30. Introduction Encompasses the first paragraph Moves from general to specific Introduces subject Flows logically to thesis statement Difficult but most important
  • 31. Introduction Begins with opening sentence
  • 32. Introduction Begins with opening sentence Gains detail and focus
  • 33. Introduction Begins with opening sentence Gains detail and focus Ends with thesis statement
  • 34. Hourglass
  • 35. Intro Examples The pallet, the canvas, and the different paints. They all contribute to my final product: a landscape with towering trees and majestic mountains, or maybe a simple sunset casting the shadows of two lovers. These are some of the ideas that I use while painting a picture. Painting is very important to my life because it allows me to relieve stress and express my imagination.
  • 36. Like many other college students, I have many hobbies to help me relax when times are hectic. They include video games, drawing, hanging out, or just sleeping. However, the hobby that is most important to me and consumes most of my time is drumming. I have been playing drums for seven years and only death could make me give it up. Drumming remains my favorite hobby because it allows me to relieve stress to build my confidence, and to express myself.
  • 37. Thesis Statement Explicitly states the subject
  • 38. Thesis Statement Explicitly states the subject Provides direction and structure
  • 39. Thesis Statement Explicitly states the subject Provides direction and structure Suggests scope
  • 40. Thesis Statement Explicitly states the subject Provides direction and structure Suggests scope Makes a promise to the reader
  • 41. Thesis Statement Explicitly states the subject Provides direction and structure Suggests scope Makes a promise to the reader Clearly explains the why and how
  • 42. Thesis Statement Relates directly to topic
  • 43. Thesis Statement Relates directly to topic Be sure you stay on topic
  • 44. Thesis Statement Relates directly to topic Be sure you stay on topic Be specific — narrow your scope as much as possible
  • 45. Thesis Statement Relates directly to topic Be sure you stay on topic Be specific — narrow your scope as much as possible Suggest reasons for your subject (purpose)
  • 46. Thesis Statement DO NOT
  • 47. Thesis Statement DO NOT State Facts
  • 48. Thesis Statement DO NOT State Facts Ask Questions
  • 49. Thesis Statement DO NOT State Facts Ask Questions Use Unsupportable Language
  • 50. Thesis Statement DO NOT State Facts Ask Questions Use Unsupportable Language Announce
  • 51. Thesis Examples Cell phone regulation is needed because drivers using cell phones are seriously impaired.
  • 52. Thesis Examples Cell phone regulation is needed because drivers using cell phones are seriously impaired. Star Trek should not be cancelled because its vision represents a positive view of humanity built on science and logic.
  • 53. Thesis Examples Cell phone regulation is needed because drivers using cell phones are seriously impaired. Star Trek should not be cancelled because its vision represents a positive view of humanity built on science and logic. Hopes, dreams, and memories make us humans: an organized and thoughtful hope chest not only benefits the maker, but her children for many generations.
  • 54. Title, Opening, Thesis Introduction
  • 55. Title, Opening, Thesis Introduction Most important part of the essay
  • 56. Title, Opening, Thesis Introduction Most important part of the essay Makes first impression
  • 57. Title, Opening, Thesis Introduction Most important part of the essay Makes first impression Gives direction
  • 58. Title, Opening, Thesis Introduction Most important part of the essay Makes first impression Gives direction Provides focus and scope
  • 59. Title, Opening, Thesis Introduction Most important part of the essay Makes first impression Gives direction Provides focus and scope Makes clear your subject, purpose, and audience