COMPOSITION &CRITICAL READING An Introduction to Effective Writing Strategies
Why do we write?• What types of writing Lists Social Media do we do on a daily basis?• All writing seeks to convey a message. Personal School Work Writing
WRITING SKILL IS IMPORTANT “As soon as you move one step up from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken or written word. And the further away your job is from manual work, the larger the organization of which you are an employee, the more important it will be that you know how to convey your thoughts in writing or speaking. In the very large organizations, whether it is the government, the large business corporation, or the Army, this ability to express oneself is perhaps the most important of all the skills a person can possess.” Peter Drucker, “How to Be an Employee” Work Related
IDENTIFY THE PURPOSE• To Inform• To Persuade• To Express Oneself• To Entertain• Work from the general to the specific• “Having a specific purpose assists you at every stage of the writing process” (Reinking & Osten 5). Defining the audience Selecting details, language, and approach Avoiding sidetracked tangents
IDENTIFY THE AUDIENCE Purpose and Audience are closely linked. All writing is aimed at an audience. That audience will determine how your writing is shaped. The language you choose. The tone you use. The information you include………. Public audience Private or semi-private audience What exactly is a “discourse community”?
KNOWING GOOD WRITING WHENWE SEE IT… Fresh Thinking Sense of Style Effective Organization Ethical Truthful Complete Clear Helpful, not harmful
CRITICAL READING STRATEGIES Orient your reading – what is your purpose for reading? Read multiple times First reading: Read for content comprehension Look for clues Make connections Additional readings: Read carefully and critically Annotate the text Take notes Analyze text Respond to the text
CRITICAL READING STRATEGIES “All critical reading begins with an accurate summary” (Behrens & Rosen 48). Identify the main point, subordinate points, and counterarguments. To what extent does the author succeed in his or her purpose? To what extent do you agree with the author? Identify points of agreement and disagreement. Explore the reasons for agreement and disagreement.
CRITICAL EVALUATIONEvaluating Informative Writing Evaluating Persuasive Writing Accuracy of Information Clearly Defined Terms Significance of Information Fair Use of Information Fair Interpretation of No Logical Fallacies Information What is Logical Fallacy?
AVOID LOGICAL FALLACY …Emotionally Loaded Terms Ad Hominem Argument An attempt to sway reader’s Rejecting opposing views by opinions by choosing attacking those who hold that emotionally charged words viewpoint “family values” Appealing to one’s “pay the price” prejudices, emotions, or Are the terms being used special interests deceptively or to hide the Disregards the central issue facts? in favor of negative attacks – Should NOT be the ONLY (think political advertising) argument in an academic essay
AVOID LOGICAL FALLACY …Faulty Cause & Effect Either / Or Reasoning Assuming that one event Suggests that there are only causes the second and two solutions to a problem ignoring other possible The “correct” one that the writer causes is favoring Demonstrates unwillingness The “incorrect” one that the writer opposes to thoroughly research and discuss the topic Demonstrates an unwillingness to recognize Also known as post hoc, ergo complexity proctor hoc (after this, therefore because of this)
AVOID LOGICAL FALLACY …Hasty Generalization False Analogy Drawing conclusions from Attempting to provide a too little evidence or from comparison between two unrepresentative evidence things when the differences Demonstrates a lack of between them are greater research and an than the similarities unwillingness to thoroughly analyze the specifics of a Oversimplification situation Offering easy solutions to complicated problems Ignores the complexity of an issue
AVOID LOGICAL FALLACY …Circular Reasoning Non Sequitur Assumes as proven fact the Non Sequitur is Latin for “it very thesis being argued does not follow” If a thesis is indeed proven Describes a conclusion that fact, then there is no need to does not logically follow from write the essay in the first a premise place. Assumes too much Also known as “begging the question”
COMPOSITION STRATEGIESThere are 4 essential skills in composition: Summary Critique Synthesis Analysis
SUMMARY A Summary is a brief statement, in your own words, of the content of a particular passage. Approximately 25% of the length of the original material Include the author’s thesis (in your own words), one-sentence summaries of the subordinate points, and any significant details. Do NOT include your own personal opinion of the topic.
READ CRITICALLY TO SUMMARIZE Critical Reading for Summary means you should… Examine the context. Note the title and subtitle. Identify the main point. Identify the subordinate points. Break the reading into sections or stages of thought. Distinguish between points, examples, and counterarguments. Watch for transitions within and between paragraphs. Read actively and recursively.
SUMMARY WRITING Read the passage carefully. Reread. Provide the context for the essay. Introduce the author and the article title. Write a thesis of the entire passage. Write one-sentence summaries of each stage of thought. Write the first draft Combine the thesis with your lists of one-sentence summaries OR Combine the thesis, the one-sentence summaries, and significant details Remember that summaries do NOT include your own personal opinion of the topic.
INCLUDE CITATIONS FOR… Summaries Paraphrases Quotes
INCLUDE CITATIONS FOR…Summary Paraphrase Because a summary is a Similar to shortened version of the summary, paraphrase means original material, it MUST be conveying a text’s message cited accordingly, even in your own words. though it has been put into Approximately the same the writer’s own words. length as the original text. Look for synonyms of the Use a citation at the end of original words and rearrange every summarized section or your own sentences so that paragraph. they read smoothly. Use a citation at the end of every paraphrased section or paragraph.
INCLUDE CITATIONS FOR… Use a Direct Quote for: Direct Quotes Memorable language Clear and concise language Authoritative language Use only what is necessary IQ = Incorporate your Quote into your own sentence Avoid free standing quotations Use ellipsis marks … to indicate omitted material from within a quoted passage. Use brackets [ ] to add or substitute words within a quote.
CRITIQUE “A critique is a formalized, critical reading of a passage” (Behrens and Rosen 62). Begin with critical reading and turn that into a systematic evaluation in order to deepen your reader’s (and your own) understanding of that text. Consider… What the author says How well the points are made What assumptions underlie the argument What issues are overlooked What implications can be drawn
CRITIQUE Critique begins with a summary of the work Whether responding positively or negatively, present a fair and accurate summary of the work You might draw on and cite other sources Include a statement of your own assumptions – your opinion is included in a critique State your opinions explicitly
READ CRITICALLY TO CRITIQUE Examine the context Establish the author’s primary Note the title and subtitle purpose Identify the main point and Evaluate informative writing subpoints Accuracy / Significance / Fair Interpretation Break the reading into Evaluate persuasive writing sections Clear Definitions / Significance / Fair Distinguish between Interpretations points, examples, and Evaluating writing that entertains counterarguments Interesting Characters / Believable Watch for transitions within Action, Plot, and Situations / and between paragraphs Communication of Theme / Use of Language Read actively Decide whether you agree or disagree
CRITIQUE WRITING Introduce both the author and the article title State the main argument and the points you intend to make about it Use background information to provide context – information explaining why the issue is of current interest, a reference to a possible controversy surrounding the topic, biographical information about the author, circumstances under which the passage was written, a reference to the intended audience Summarize the main points and state the author’s purpose for writing Assess the Presentation Comment on the author’s success in achieving his or her purpose by reviewing three or four specific points Consider whether the author as argued logically Respond to the Presentation Where do you agree or disagree? Discuss your reasons for agreement or disagreement Conclude State your conclusions regarding the overall validity of the piece – your assessment of the author’s success at achieving his or her purpose – and your reactions to the author’s views. Comment on the weaknesses or strengths of the article.
WORKS CITED Behrens, Laurence and Leonard J. Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011. Reinking, James A. and Robert von der Osten. Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric, Research Guide, Reader, and Handbook,” 9th ed. New York: Pearson, 2010.