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Entering the Conversation (Week 4-5)

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Focus on titles and introductions.

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Entering the Conversation (Week 4-5)

  1. 1. Entering the Conversation (Week 4) W R I T I N G I V (HE285) Prof. Dr. Ron Martinez drronmartinez@gmail.com
  2. 2. Today’s agenda • Continue discussion around the importance of the notion of “position” in academic essay writing. • Begin redraft of your first writing sample.
  3. 3. “What characterizes a good academic essay?” • 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…
  4. 4. 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.”
  5. 5. From the Wingage reading: • Argument consists of three components: • (1) the analysis and evaluation of content knowledge, • (2) the writer’s development of a position, and (3) the presentation of that position in a coherent manner.
  6. 6. Typical problems • “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
  7. 7. High or low score?
  8. 8. 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 saying’...” (ibid.)
  9. 9. 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)
  10. 10. “POSITION”
  11. 11. (from last week) Develop your “position” 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 the reading? 4. Save your notes – you will need them again for next week.
  12. 12. Highlights from Survey – The Introduction • “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 essay.” • “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.”
  13. 13. Look at your notes about money and happiness from last week: • Based on your reading so far, what is your position now? • 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).
  14. 14. The power of first sentences
  15. 15. 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 conversation.” 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.
  16. 16. Read the article “Communicating to Engage,” then discuss: 1. How do articles designed to communicate science to the general public differ from conventional research articles? 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?
  17. 17. Conventional vs “Popular” Research Communication
  18. 18. 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 800. 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 formatting. 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.

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