W R I T I N G I V
Prof. Dr. Ron Martinez
• Continue discussion around the importance of
the notion of “position” in academic essay
• Begin redraft of your first writing sample.
“What characterizes a good academic
• An essay written with a clear purpose and strong premises.
• A neat, objective style that doesn't "lose" the reader as it
goes is for sure a good start. The essay should be well-
connected, coherent and lead the reader forward […].
• A good academic essay should be as clear, straight to the
point, and informative as possible…
• An essay in which all the sections are coherent…
• A good academic essay must be primarily clear…
• […] It is clear and follows a clear "path".
• A good academic essay has a clear, logical argumentation…
What is the first thing you should
have before you start writing?
• “You have to be aware what is your purpose
with the text, what you want people to
understand when they read it.”
From the Wingage reading:
• Argument consists of three components:
• (1) the analysis and evaluation of content
• (2) the writer’s development of a position, and
(3) the presentation of that position in a
• “Analysing and evaluating content knowledge
presupposes a certain level of subject
knowledge which would enable students to
distinguish relevant from irrelevant
information in the literature.” (p. 147)
• Solipsistic voice
• Unaverred voice
• Unattributed voice
From the book They Say/I Say (Ch. 1)
• “(T)o give writing the most important thing of all
– namely, a point – a writer needs to indicate
clearly not only what his or her thesis is, but also
what larger conversation that thesis is responding
to.” (p. 20)
• “Therefore, when it comes to constructing an
argument (whether orally or in writing) [...]
remember that you are entering a conversation
and therefore need to start with ‘what others are
Typical problems (cont.)
• “(M)ost of the 40 low achieving writers had
not developed a position, rather they had
presented lists of facts from the literature, or
stated their personal opinions. This failure was
always accompanied by shortcomings in the
other two components of argumentation.
Either the students had used sources in
inappropriate ways, or they had failed to
present their propositions in a logical
structure, or both.” (p. 150)
(from last week) Develop your
1. Go online and try to find 3 different sources
about the effect of money on happiness.
2. Keep track of the sources, and copy and
paste quotes you find interesting.
3. Tell a classmate about the experience. In
what way has your position been shaped by
4. Save your notes – you will need them again
for next week.
Highlights from Survey – The
• “I believe the introduction, being the first
contact of the reader with the … essay, sets
the expectations and prepares the reader to
follow the line of reasoning contained in the
• “I would actually put introduction and title as
1st. I believe that they create an expectation
in the reader and inform the reader how the
text is going to work.”
Look at your notes about money and
happiness from last week:
• Based on your reading so far, what is your
• Try to signal that position in a title. Write the
title in a Word doc.
• Show your title to a classmate.
• Write your titles in the Google doc (online).
Remember “They Say/I Say”
1. Keeping your title in mind, write just the 1st
sentence of the introduction of a new essay in
the Word doc.
2. Remember that you are “entering a
3. If you want, you can re-use your first sentence
from your first sample test (on “Write &
Improve”), but improving it.
4. When finished, copy and paste that first
sentence below your title on the Google doc.
Read the article “Communicating to
Engage,” then discuss:
1. How do articles designed to communicate science to
the general public differ from conventional research
2. Why are they structured in this way?
3. In your search for sources about money and
happiness, did you find articles that fit that
description? (For example, look at the Psychology
Today and Scientific American articles.)
4. In what other ways do the online articles on non-
specialist websites differ from typical articles
designed for print journals?
Conventional vs “Popular” Research
Now you try!
1. You will be assigned a login.
2. You will write your first e-Portfolio entry based on the theme of
money and happiness.
3. Your post should be a minimum of 300 words, and a maximum of
4. For this assignment, please write into the online interface directly
in order to get used to the environment and ask me any questions
should you need.
5. Consider all elements: visual elements, hyperlinks, and even
6. This is a first draft – you will revise.
7. This first draft should be completed by Monday.
8. Also for Monday: bring in at least 3 new items of vocabulary you
encountered during your reading.