This preview has intentionally blurred parts. Sign up to view the full document

View Full Document

Unformatted Document Excerpt

for Writing Success By Scott McLean fwk-431915 Writing For Success Scott McLean Published by: Flat World Knowledge, Inc. One Bridge Street Irvington, NY 10533 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Printed in the United States of America Brief Contents Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Index Introduction to Writing Writing Basics Punctuation Working with Words Help for ELLs Writing Paragraphs Refining Your Writing The Writing Process Writing Essays Rhetorical Modes Writing from Research Writing a Research Paper APA Documentation and Formatting Creating Presentations Readings Contents Chapter 1 Introduction to Writing Reading and Writing in College 1 1 Study Skills Becoming a Successful College Writer 20 End of Chapter Exercises Chapter 2 10 25 Writing Basics 27 Writing a Sentence Subject-Verb Agreement 43 Verb Tense 53 Capitalization 58 Pronouns 61 Adjectives and Adverbs 68 Misplaced Modifiers 73 End of Chapter Exercises 76 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 3 27 78 Punctuation 83 Commas 83 Semicolons 88 Colons 89 Quotes 91 Apostrophes 94 Parentheses 95 Dashes 96 Hyphens 97 End of Chapter Exercises 99 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 4 Working with Words 101 105 Commonly Confused Words Spelling 110 Word Choice 116 Prefixes and Suffixes 121 Synonyms and Antonyms 123 Using Context Clues 128 End of Chapter Exercises 130 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 5 105 131 Help for ELLs 135 Word Order 135 Negatives 139 Count and Non-Count Nouns/Articles Pronouns 145 Verb Tenses 149 Modal Auxiliaries 159 Prepositions 163 Slang & Idioms 166 End of Chapter Exercises 169 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 6 142 169 Writing Paragraphs 173 Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content Effective Means for Writing a Paragraph 186 End of Chapter Exercises 197 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 7 173 197 Refining Your Writing 199 Sentence Variety Coordination and Subordination 211 Parallelism 218 End of Chapter Exercises 223 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 8 199 223 The Writing Process 227 The Writing Process: How do I Begin? Outlining 236 Drafting 243 Revising and Editing 252 End of Chapter Exercises Chapter 9 227 263 Writing Essays 265 Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement Writing Your Body Paragraphs 269 Organization Techniques 275 Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs 278 End of Chapter Exercises 283 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 10 265 283 Rhetorical Modes 285 Narration 285 Illustration 289 Description 292 Classification 294 Process Analysis 297 Definition 299 Comparison and Contrast 303 Cause and Effect 308 Persuasion End of Chapter Exercises 317 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 11 311 317 Writing from Research 319 The Purpose of Research Writing: Asking Questions and Sharing the Answers Developing a Research Proposal 322 Managing Your Research Project 328 Gathering Information Through Research 332 Critical Thinking and Research Applications 345 End of Chapter Exercises 350 Answers to Chapter Exercises Chapter 12 319 351 Writing a Research Paper 353 Create a Rough Draft for a Research Paper Develop a Final Draft of a Research Paper 361 End of Chapter Exercises Chapter 13 353 379 APA Documentation and Formatting 381 The Format of a Research Paper Citing and Referencing Techniques 393 Creating a References Section 401 End of Chapter Exercises Chapter 14 381 414 Creating Presentations 415 Organizing a Visual Presentation Incorporating Effective Visuals into a Presentation 423 Giving a Presentation 435 End of Chapter Exercises Chapter 15 415 442 Readings 443 Introduction to Sample Essays Narrative Essay 443 Illustration Essay 444 Descriptive Essay 445 Classification Essay 445 Process Analysis Essay 446 Definition Essay 447 Compare and Contrast Essay 448 Cause and Effect Essay 449 Persuasive Essay Index 443 450 451 CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Writing 1. READING AND WRITING IN COLLEGE LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify expectations for reading and writing assignments in college courses 2. Apply general strategies to complete college-level reading assignments eciently and eectively 3. Recognize specic types of writing assignments frequently included in college courses As you begin this chapter, you may be wondering why you need an introduction. After all, you have been writing and reading since elementary school. You completed numerous assessments of your reading and writing skills in high school and as part of your application process for college. You may write on the job, too. Why is a college writing course even necessary? While you are eager to get started on the course work in your major that will prepare you for your career, getting excited about an introductory college writing course can be dicult. However, regardless of your eld of study, honing your writing skillsand your reading and critical-thinking skillsgives you a solid academic foundation. In college, academic expectations are ratcheted up from where they were in high school. The quantity of work you are expected to do increases. When instructors expect you to read pages upon pages or study hours and hours for one particular course, managing your workload can be challenging. This chapter includes strategies for studying eciently and managing your time. The quality of the work you do also changes. It is not enough to understand course material and summarize it on an exam. You will also be expected to seriously engage with new ideas by reecting on them, analyzing them, critiquing them, making connections, drawing conclusions, or nding new ways of thinking about a given subject. Educationally, you are moving into deeper waters. A good introductory writing course will help you to swim. Table 1.1 summarizes some of the other major dierences between high school and college assignments: 2 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 1.1 High School vs. College Assignments High School Readings College Reading assignments are moderately long. Teachers may set aside some class time for reading and reviewing the material in depth. Some reading assignments may be very long. You will be expected to come to class with a basic understanding of the material. Exam Review Teachers often provide study guides and other aids to help you prepare for exams. Reviewing for exams is primarily your responsibility. Grading Criteria Your grade is determined by your performance on a wide variety of assessments, including minor and major assignments. Not all assessments are writing-based. Your grade may depend on just a few major assessments. Most assessments are writing-based. Writing Assignments Writing assignments include personal writing and creative writing in addition to expository writing. Outside of creative writing courses, most writing assignments are expository, which convey facts and descriptions. Writing Assignment Formats The structure and format of writing assignments is fairly stable over a four-year period. Depending on the course, you may be asked to master new forms of writing and to follow standards within a particular professional eld, including using dierent styles, such as APA, Chicago, or MLA, to format assignments. Teacher Expectations Teachers often go out of their way to identify and try to help students who are performing poorly on exams, missing classes, not turning in assignments, or just struggling with the course. Often, teachers will give students many second chances. Although teachers want their students to succeed, they may not always recognize when students are struggling. They also expect you to be proactive and take steps to help yourself. Second chances are less common. This chapter covers the types of reading and writing assignments you will encounter as a college student. You will also learn a variety of strategies for mastering these new challengesand becoming a more condent student and writer. Throughout this chapter, you will follow a rst-year student named Crystal. After several years of working as a salesperson in a department store, Crystal has decided to pursue a degree in elementary education and become a teacher. She is continuing to work part time, and occasionally she nds it challenging to balance the demands of work, school, and caring for her 4-year-old son. As you read about Crystal, think about how you can use her experience to get the most out of your own college experience. EXERCISE 1 Review Table 1.1 and think about how your college experience has been dierent from high school so far. Respond to the following questions: 1. Select one of the categories from Table 1.1 and make further comparisons and contrasts between the expectations in high school versus the expectations in college. 2. In what ways do you think college will be more rewarding for you as a learner? 3. What aspects of college do you expect to nd most challenging? Which writing assignments do you expect to nd most challenging? 4. What changes do you think you might have to make in your life to ensure your success in college? 1.1 Reading Strategies Your college courses will sharpen both your reading and your writing skills. Most of your writing assignmentsfrom brief response papers to in-depth research projectswill depend on your understanding of course reading assignments or related readings you do on your own. And it is dicult, if not impossible, to write eectively about a text that you have not understood. Even when you do understand the reading, it can be hard to write about it if you do not feel personally engaged with the ideas discussed. This section discusses strategies you can use to get the most out of your college reading assignments. These strategies fall into three broad categories: < planning strategies for managing your reading assignments CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING < < 3 comprehension strategies for making sure you understand the material active-reading strategies to help you take your understanding to a higher and deeper level Planning Your Reading Have you ever stayed up all night cramming for an exam the night before? Or found yourself skimming a detailed memo from your boss ve minutes before a crucial meeting? The rst step in handling college reading successfully is planning. This involves managing your time and setting a clear purpose for your reading. Managing Your Reading Time You will learn more detailed strategies for time management in Section 2, but for now, focus on setting aside enough time for reading and dividing your assignments into manageable chunks. If you are assigned a 70-page chapter to read for next weeks class, try not to wait until the night before to get started. Give yourself at least a few days, and tackle one section at a time. Your method for breaking up the assignment will depend on the type of reading. If the text is very dense and packed with unfamiliar terms and concepts, you may need to read no more than ve or 10 pages in one sitting, so that you can truly understand and process the information. With more userfriendly texts, you may be able to handle longer sections20 to 40 pages, for instance. And if you have a highly engaging reading assignment, such as a novel you cannot put down, you may be able to read lengthy passages in one sitting. As your courses progress, you will develop a better sense of how much time you need to allow for the reading assignments in dierent subjects. It also makes sense to preview each assignment well in advance to assess its diculty level and to determine how much reading time to set aside. reserve readings Tip College instructors often set aside reserve readings for a particular course. These consist of articles, book chapters, or other texts that are not part of the primary course textbook. Copies of reserve readings are available through the university library, in print, or, more often, online. When you are assigned a reserve reading, download it ahead of time (and let your instructor know if you have trouble accessing it). Skim through it to get a rough idea of how much time you will need to read the assignment in full. Setting a Purpose The other key component of planning is setting a purpose. Knowing what you want to get out of a reading assignment helps you determine how to approach it and how much time to spend on it. It also helps you stay focused during those occasional moments when it is late, you are tired, and relaxing in front of the television sounds far more appealing than curling up with a stack of journal articles. Sometimes your purpose is simple. You just need to understand the reading material well enough to discuss it intelligently in class the next day. However, your purpose will often go beyond that. For instance, you might also read to compare two texts, to formulate a personal response to a text, or to gather ideas for future research. Here are some questions to ask to help determine your purpose: < How did my instructor frame the assignment? Often, your instructors will tell you what they expect you to get out of the reading: Read Chapter 2 and come to class prepared to discuss current teaching practices in elementary math. Read these two articles and compare Smiths and Joness perspectives on the 2010 health care reform bill. Read Chapter 5 and think about how you could apply these guidelines to running your own business. < How deeply do I need to understand the reading? If you major in computer science and you are assigned to read Chapter 1, Introduction to Computer Science, it is safe to assume the chapter presents fundamental concepts that you will be expected to master. However, for some reading assignments, you may be expected to form a general understanding but not necessarily master the content. Again, pay attention to how your instructor presents the assignment. < How does this assignment relate to other course readings or to concepts discussed in class? Your instructor may make some of these connections explicitly, but if not, try to draw connections on your own. (Needless to say, it helps to take detailed notes in class and when you read.) < How might I use this text again in the future? If you are assigned to read about a topic that has always interested you, your reading assignment might help you develop ideas for a future research paper. Some reading assignments provide valuable tips or summaries worth Required reading assignments that are not part of the primary course textbook and are instead available through the university library in print, or online 4 WRITING FOR SUCCESS bookmarking for future reference. Think about what you can take from the reading that will stay with you. Improving Your Comprehension expository writing Writing that conveys facts or descriptions You have blocked out time for your reading assignments and set a purpose for reading. Now comes the challenge: making sure you actually understand all of the information you are expected to process. Some of your reading assignments will be fairly straightforward. Others, however, will be longer or more complex, so you will need a plan for how to handle them. For any expository textthat is, nonction, informational writingyour rst comprehension goal is to identify the main points and relate any details to those main points. Because college-level texts can be challenging, you will also need to monitor your reading comprehension. That is, you will need to stop periodically and assess how well you understand what you are reading. Finally, you can improve comprehension by taking time to determine which strategies work best for you and put those strategies into practice. Identifying the Main Points In college, you will read a wide variety of materials, including the following: < < < < main point The most important idea that a writer wants to communicate, often stated early in the writing supporting points Details, facts, and explanations that develop and clarify a writers main point textbooks, which usually include summaries, glossaries, comprehension questions, and other study aids scholarly books and journal articles, which are written for an audience of specialists in a particular eld. These types of readings reveal important issues in specialized elds. Because these articles are written for a specic audience, they reveal a narrow focus and purpose, allowing readers to engage more intensely with a particular subject. nonction trade books, which contain leading research and practices in a specic eld of study. These books are less likely to include the study features in textbooks. popular magazine, newspaper, or Web articles, which are usually written for a general audience. These types of readings often reveal important current issues, which may help you generate and develop ideas for assignments. In addition, because these materials are written for a wide variety of readers, signicant facts and background information are described in a language that most readers can comprehend. Regardless of what type of expository text you are assigned to read, your primary comprehension goal is to identify the main point, the most important idea that the writer wants to communicate, often stated early on. Finding the main point gives you a framework to organize the details presented in the reading and relate the reading to concepts you learned in class or through other reading assignments. After identifying the main point, you will nd the supporting points, the details, facts, and explanations that develop and clarify the main point. Some texts make that task relatively easy. Textbooks, for instance, include the features described above, as well as headings and subheadings intended to make it easier for students to identify core concepts. Graphic features, such as sidebars, diagrams, and charts, help students understand complex information and distinguish between essential and inessential points. When you are assigned to read from a textbook, be sure to use available comprehension aids to help you identify the main points. Trade books and popular articles may not be written specically for an educational purpose; nevertheless, they also include features that can help you identify the main ideas. These features include the following: < trade books: Many trade books include an introduction that presents the writers main ideas and purpose for writing. Reading chapter titles (and any subtitles within the chapter) will help you get a broad sense of what is covered. It also helps to read the beginning and ending paragraphs of a chapter closely. These paragraphs often sum up the main ideas presented. < popular articles: Reading the headings and introductory paragraphs carefully is crucial. In magazine articles, these features (along with the closing paragraphs) present the main concepts. Hard news articles in newspapers present the gist of the news story in the lead paragraph, while subsequent paragraphs present increasingly specic details. At the far end of the reading diculty scale are scholarly books and journal articles. Because these texts are written for a specialized, highly educated audience, the authors presume their readers are already familiar with the topic. The language and writing style are sophisticated and sometimes dense. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 5 When you read scholarly books and journal articles, try to apply the same strategies discussed above. The introduction usually presents the writers thesis, the idea or hypothesis the writer is trying to prove. Headings and subheadings can help you understand how the writer has organized support for his or her thesis. Additionally, academic journal articles often include a summary at the beginning, called an abstract, and electronic databases include summaries of articles, too. For more information about reading dierent types of texts, see Chapter 11. Monitoring Your Comprehension Finding the main idea and paying attention to text features as you read helps you gure out what you should know. Just as important, however, is being able to gure out what you do not know and developing a strategy to deal with it. Textbooks often include comprehension questions in the margins or at the end of a section or chapter. As you read, stop occasionally to answer these questions on paper or in your head. Use them to identify sections you may need to reread, read more carefully, or ask your instructor about later. Even when a text does not have built-in comprehension features, you can actively monitor your own comprehension. Try these strategies, adapting them as needed to suit dierent kinds of texts: 1. Summarize. At the end of each section, pause to summarize the main points in a few sentences. If you have trouble doing so, revisit that section. 2. Ask and answer questions. When you begin reading a section, try to identify two to three questions you should be able to answer after you nish it. Write down your questions and use them to test yourself on the reading. If you cannot answer a question, try to determine why. Is the answer buried in that section of reading but just not coming across to you? Or do you expect to nd the answer in another part of the reading? 3. Talk about the readings. Look for opportunities to discuss the reading with your classmates. Many instructors set up online discussion forums or blogs specically for that purpose. Participating in these discussions can help you determine whether your understanding of the main points is the same as your peers. These discussions can also serve as a reality check. If everyone in the class struggled with the reading, it may be exceptionally challenging. If it was a breeze for everyone but you, you may need to see your instructor for help. As a working mother, Crystal found that the best time to get her reading done was in the evening, after she had put her 4-year-old to bed. However, she occasionally had trouble concentrating at the end of a long day. She found that by actively working to summarize the reading and ask and answer questions, she focused better and retained more of what she read. Read Crystals summary and questions. Summary The main point of this reading is to introduce two primary developmental psychologists: Jean Piaget, who focused his theories on cognitive development, and Erik Erikson, who focused his theories on psychosocial development. Questions How are these two theorists signicant today? How have these theorists works inuenced the study of developmental psychology today? How do studies of todays young children (ex. observing children as young as 2 playing with electronics, as my son did) compare with studies of the pasts children? She also found that evenings were a good time to check the class discussion forums that a few of her instructors had created. She realized that some students posted similar questions. Seeing questions similar to those that she asked herself, Crystal felt reassured; the reading was as challenging to her as it was for her classmates. However, she discovered that one of her questions was unique, which showed her that her experience with her son enhanced her understanding. EXERCISE 2 Choose any text that that you been assigned to read for one of your college courses. In your notes, complete the following tasks: 1. Summarize the main points of the text in two to three sentences. 2. Write down two to three questions about the text that you can bring up during class discussion. thesis statement A sentence that presents the controlling idea of an essay. A thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states the writers point of view 6 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip Students are often reluctant to seek help. They feel like doing so marks them as slow, weak, or demanding. The truth is every learner occasionally struggles. If you are sincerely trying to keep up with the course reading but feel like you are in over your head, seek out help. Speak up in class, schedule a meeting with your instructor or visit your university learning center for assistance. Deal with the problem as early in the course as you can. Instructors respect students who are proactive about their own learning. Most instructors will work hard to help students who make the eort to help themselves. Taking It to the Next Level: Active Reading Now that you have acquainted (or reacquainted) yourself with useful planning and comprehension strategies, college reading assignments may feel more manageable. You know what you need to do to get your reading done and make sure you grasp the main points. However, the most successful students in college are not just competent readers; they are active, engaged readers. Using the SQ3R Strategy SQ3R strategy A widely used reading process that involves surveying the text and forming questions before reading; reading to answer questions, test predictions, and form new questions and predictions; reciting and/or recording the main points of the text; and reviewing and reecting upon the material One strategy you can use to become a more active, engaged reader is the SQ3R strategy, a step-bystep process to follow before, during, and after reading. You may already use some variation of it. In essence, the process works like this: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Survey the text in advance. Form questions before you start reading. Read the text. Recite and/or record important points during and after reading. Review and reect on the text after you read. 1. Survey the text in advance. Before you read, you survey, or preview, the text. As noted earlier, reading introductory paragraphs and headings can help you begin to gure out the authors main point and identify what important topics will be covered. However, surveying does not stop there. Look over sidebars, photographs, and any other text or graphic features that catch your eye. Skim a few paragraphs. Preview any boldfaced or italicized vocabulary terms. This will help you form a rst impression of the material. 2. Form questions before you start reading. Next, start brainstorming questions about the text. What do you expect to learn from the reading? You may nd that some questions come to mind immediately based on your initial survey or based on previous readings and class discussions. If not, try using headings and subheadings in the text to formulate questions. For instance, if one heading in your textbook reads Medicare and Medicaid, you might ask yourself these questions: When were Medicare and Medicaid legislation enacted? Why? What are the major dierences between these two programs? Although some of your questions may be simple factual questions, try to come up with a few that are more open-ended. Asking in-depth questions will help you stay more engaged as you read. 3. Read the text. The next step is simple: read. As you read, notice whether your rst impressions of the text were correct. Are the authors main points and overall approach about the same as what you predictedor does the text contain a few surprises? Also, look for answers to your earlier questions and begin forming new questions. Continue to revise your impressions and questions as you read. 4. Recite and/or record important points during and after reading. During reading, pause occasionally to recite or record important points. It is best to do this at the end of each section or when there is an obvious shift in the writers train of thought. Put the book aside for a moment and recite, out loud, the main points of the section or any important answers you found there. You might also record ideas by jotting a few brief notes in addition to or instead of reciting aloud. Either way, the physical act of articulating information makes you more likely to remember it. 5. Review and reect on the text after you read. After you have completed the reading, take some time to review the material more thoroughly. If the textbook includes review questions or your instructor has provided a study guide, use these tools to guide your review. You should record information in a more detailed format than you used during reading, such as an outline or a list. As you review the material, reect on what you learned. Did anything surprise you, upset you, or make you think? Did you nd yourself strongly agreeing or disagreeing with any points in the text? What topics would you like to explore further? Jot down your reections in your notes. Instructors CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 7 sometimes require students to write brief response papers or maintain a reading journal. Use these assignments to help you reect on what you read. EXERCISE 3 Choose another text that you have been assigned to read for one of your college courses. Use the SQ3R process to complete the reading. (Keep in mind that you may need to spread the reading over more than one session, especially if the text is long.) Be sure to complete all of the steps involved. Then reect on how helpful you found this process. On a scale of 1 to 10, how useful did you nd it? How does it compare with other study techniques you have used? Other Active Reading Strategies The SQ3R process encompasses a number of valuable active-reading strategies: previewing a text, making predictions, asking and answering questions, and summarizing. You can use the additional strategies below to further deepen your understanding of what you read. As you try each strategy, remind yourself of the purpose for reading. Also keep in mind the type of reading you have been assigned. Connect what you read to what you already know. If the assignment requires you to read about an unfamiliar topic, look for ways the reading supports, extends, or challenges concepts you have learned elsewhere. < Relate the reading to your own life. What statements, people, or situations relate to your personal experiences? < Visualize. For both ction and nonction texts, try to picture what is described. Visualizing is especially helpful when you are reading a narrative text, such as a novel or historical account, or when you read an expository text that describes a process, such as how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. < Pay attention to graphics as well as text. Photographs, diagrams, owcharts, tables, and other graphics can help make abstract ideas more concrete and understandable. Textbooks, trade publications, and some scholarly journals contain these types of visuals. If you have been assigned a reading from a textbook, for example, be prepared to both preview the images and review them after you have read. < Understand the text in context. Understanding context means thinking about who wrote the text, when and where it was written, the authors purpose for writing it, and what assumptions or agendas inuenced the authors ideas. For instance, two writers might both address the subject of health care reform, but if one article is an opinion piece and one is a news story, the context is dierent. < Plan to talk or write about what you read. Jot down a few questions or comments in your notebook so you can bring them up in class. (This also gives you a source of topic ideas for papers and presentations later in the semester.) Discuss the reading on a class discussion board or blog about it. < If you are unsure which strategy will work best, try each one and monitor your comprehension. It may take some time, but you will discover which strategy works best for you. As Crystal began her rst semester of elementary education courses, she occasionally felt lost in a sea of new terms and theories about teaching and child development. Although she had trouble with the jargon and abstract concepts, the specic examples in the text often reminded her of her experiences raising her son. She found that it helped to relate the abstract concepts to her personal observations of her son and other kids she knew. By engaging with the reading in this way, Crystal became aware of the reading strategy that worked best for her: connecting the texts ideas to her background knowledge. Writing at Work Many college courses require students to participate in interactive online components, such as a discussion forum, a page on a social networking site, or a class blog. These tools are a great way to reinforce learning. Do not be afraid to be the student who starts the discussion. 8 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Remember that when you interact with other students and teachers online, you need to project a mature, professional image. You may be able to use an informal, conversational tone, but complaining about the workload, using o-color language, or aming other participants is inappropriate. Active reading can benet you in ways that go beyond earning good grades. By practicing these strategies, you will nd yourself more interested in your courses and better able to relate your academic work to the rest of your life. Being an interested, engaged student also helps you form lasting connections with your instructors and with other students that can be personally and professionally valuable. In short, it helps you get the most out of your education. 1.2 Common Writing Assignments College writing assignments serve a dierent purpose than the typical writing assignments you completed in high school. In high school, teachers generally instruct you to write in a variety of modes and formats, including personal writing, expository writing, research papers, creative writing, and writing short answers and essays for exams. Over time, these assignments help you build a foundation of writing skills. In college, many instructors will expect you to already have that foundation. Your college composition courses will focus on writing for its own sake, helping you to make the transition to college-level writing assignments. However, in most other college courses, writing assignments serve a dierent purpose. In those courses, you may use writing as one tool among many for learning how to think about a particular academic discipline. Additionally, certain assignments teach you how to meet the expectations for professional writing in a particular eld. Depending on the class, you might be asked to write a lab report, a case study, a literary analysis, a business plan, or an account of a personal interview. You will need to learn and follow the standard conventions for those types of written products. Finally, personal and creative writing assignments are less common in college than in high school. College courses emphasize expository writing, writing that explains or informs. Often, expository writing assignments will incorporate outside research, too. Some classes will also require persuasive writing assignments in which you state and support your position on an issue. College instructors will hold you to a higher standard when it comes to supporting your ideas with reasons and evidence. Table 1.2 lists some of the most common types of college writing assignments. It includes minor, less formal assignments as well as major ones. Which specic assignments you encounter will depend on the courses you take and the learning objectives developed by your instructors. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 9 T ABLE 1.2 Common Types of College Writing Assignments Assignment Description Type Example personal response paper A personal response paper expresses and explains your response to a reading assignment, a provocative quote, or a specic issue. These papers may be very brief (sometimes a page or less) or more in depth. For an environmental science course, students watch and write about President Obamas June 15, 2010, speech about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. summary A paper that restates the main points of a longer passage, objectively and in your own words. For a psychology course, students write a one-page summary of an article about a man suering from short-term memory loss. position paper A paper that states and defends your position on an For a medical ethics course, students state issue (often a controversial issue). and support their position on using stem-cell research in medicine. problemsolution paper A paper that presents a problem, explains its causes, For a business administration course, a and proposes and explains a solution. student presents a plan for implementing an oce recycling program without increasing operating costs. literary analysis A paper that states a thesis about a particular For a literature course, a student compares literary work (or works) and develops the thesis with two novels by the 20th-century African evidence from the work and, sometimes, from American writer Richard Wright. additional sources. research review or survey A paper that sums up available research ndings on For a course in media studies, a student a particular topic. reviews the past 20 years of research on whether violence in television and movies is correlated with violent behavior. case study or case analysis A paper that investigates a particular person, group, For an education course, a student writes a or event in depth, for the purpose of drawing a case study of a developmentally disabled larger conclusion from the analysis. child whose academic performance improved as a result of a behavioralmodication program. laboratory report A paper that presents a laboratory experiment, including the hypothesis, methods of data collection, results, and conclusions. research journal An ongoing journal recording a students ideas and For an education course, a student maintains ndings during the course of a long-term research a journal throughout a semester-long project. research project at a local elementary school. research paper A paper that presents a thesis and supports it with original research and/or other researchers ndings on the topic. Research papers can take several dierent formats depending on the subject area. For a psychology course, a group of students presents the results of an experiment in which they explored whether sleep deprivation produced memory decits in lab rats. For examples of typical research projects, see Chapter 12. Writing at Work Improving comprehension by reading critically and actively may also enhance your performance in the workplace. Many professional documents contain similar elements as college materials, such as headings, visuals, and main points. Practicing the same active reading strategies at work will better enable you to understand and create documents. In addition to reading and comprehending materials, you may also have to collaborate with coworkers or lead discussions. The more varied the materials you read at work and in school, and the more techniques you try, the more your reading skills will improve. KEY TAKEAWAYS 1. The reading and writing you will be expected to do in college dier from high school assignmentsin quantity and in quality. 2. Managing college reading assignments successfully requires you to plan and manage your time, set a purpose for reading, practice eective comprehension strategies, and use active-reading strategies to deepen your understanding of the text. 3. College writing assignments place greater emphasis on learning to think critically about a particular discipline and less emphasis on personal and creative writing. 10 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 2. STUDY SKILLS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Use strategies for managing time eectively as a college student 2. Apply strategies for taking notes eciently 3. Determine the most eective time-management, study, and note-taking strategies for you individually By now, you have a general idea of what to expect from your college courses. You have probably received course syllabi, started on your rst few assignments, and begun applying the strategies you learned about in Section 1. At the beginning of the course, your workload is relatively light. This is the perfect time to brush up on your study skills and establish good habits. When the demands on your time and energy become more intense, you will have a system in place for handling them. This section covers specic strategies for managing your time eectively. You will also learn about dierent note-taking systems that you can use to organize and record information eciently. As you work through this section, remember that every student is dierent. The strategies presented here are tried-and-true techniques that work well for many people. However, you may need to adapt them slightly to develop a system that works well for you personally. If your friend swears by her Smartphone but you hate having to carry extra electronic gadgets around, then using a Smartphone will not be the best organizational strategy for you. Read with an open mind and consider what techniques have been eective (or ineective) for you in the past. What habits from your high school years or your work life could help you succeed in college? What habits might get in your way? What changes might you need to make? 2.1 Understanding Yourself as a Learner To succeed in collegeor any situation where you must master new concepts and skillsit helps to know what makes you tick. For decades, educational researchers and organizational psychologists have examined how people take in and assimilate new information, how some people learn dierently than others, and what conditions make students and workers most productive. Here are just a few questions to think about: learning style The way a learner prefers to take in new information What times of day are you most productive? If your energy peaks early, you might benet from blocking out early morning time for studying or writing. If you are a night owl, set aside a few evenings a week for schoolwork. < How much clutter can you handle in your work space? Some people work ne at a messy desk and know exactly where to nd what they need in their stack of papers. Most people, however, benet from maintaining a neat, organized space. < How well do you juggle potential distractions in your environment? If you can study at home without being tempted to turn on the TV, check your e-mail, x yourself a snack, and so on, you may make home your work space. However, if you need a less distracting environment to stay focused, you may be able to nd one on your local campus, at the library, or elsewhere in your community. < Does a little background noise help or hinder your productivity? Some people work better when listening to background music or the low hum of conversation in a coee shop. Others need total silence. < When you work with a partner or group, do you stay on task? A study partner or group can sometimes be invaluable. However, working this way takes extra planning and eort, so be sure to use the time productively. If you nd that group study sessions turn into social occasions, you may study better on your own. < How do you manage stress? Accept that at certain points in the semester, you will feel stressed out. In your day-to-day routine, make time for activities that help you reduce stress, such as exercising, spending time with friends, or just scheduling downtime to relax. < < What is your learning style? For the purposes of this chapter, learning style refers to the way you prefer to take in new information, by seeing, by listening, or through some other channel or way of communication. For more information, see the section on learning styles. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 11 Tip The material presented here about learning styles is just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous other variations in how people learn. Some people like to act on information right away, whereas others reect on it rst. Some people excel at mastering details and understanding concrete, tried-and-true ideas, and others enjoy exploring abstract theories and innovative, even impractical ideas. To learn more about how you learn, visit your schools academic resource center. 2.2 Time Management In college, you have increased freedom to structure your time as you please. With that freedom comes increased responsibility. High school teachers often take it upon themselves to track down students who miss class or forget assignments. College instructors, however, will expect you to take full responsibility for managing yourself and getting your work done on time. Getting Started: Short- and Long-Term Planning At the beginning of the course, establish a weekly routine for when you will study and write. A general rule of thumb is that for every course credit hour, students should expect to spend another two to three hours reading, writing, and studying. Thus, if you are taking a three-credit-hour course, you can expect to spend six to nine hours per week on class assignments. That may sound like a lot if you are taking multiple classes and working full time, but if you plan your time carefully, it is manageable. All in all, a student would not spend as much time on school each week as an employee spends on work; however, the demands of both require scheduling adjustments. Balancing school and a job can be challenging, but it is still possible. In addition to setting aside regular work periods, you will need to plan ahead to handle more intense demands, such as studying for exams and writing major papers. At the beginning of the course, go through your course syllabus and mark all major due dates and exam dates on a calendar. Use a system that you check regularly, such as your Smartphone or the calendar feature in your oce e-mail. Tip The two- to three-hour rule may sound intimidating. However, keep in mind that this is only a rule of thumb. Realistically, some courses will be more challenging than others, and the demands will ebb and ow throughout the course. You may have trouble-free weeks and stressful weeks. Crystal knew that to balance a job, college classes, and a family, it was crucial for her to get organized. For the month of September, she drew up a week-by-week calendar that listed not only her own class and work schedules, but also the days her son attended preschool and the days her husband had o from work. She and her husband discussed how to share their day-to-day household responsibilities so she would be able to get her schoolwork done. Crystal also made a note to talk to her supervisor at work about reducing her hours during nals week. EXERCISE 1 Now that you have learned some time-management basics, it is time to apply those skills. For this exercise, you will develop a weekly schedule and a course calendar. 1. Working with your class schedule, map out a weeklong schedule of study time. Try to apply the two- to three-hour rule. Be sure to include any other non-negotiable responsibilities, such as a job or child-care duties. 2. Use your course syllabus to record exam dates and due dates for major assignments in a calendar (paper or electronic). Use a star, highlighting, or other special marking to set o any days or weeks that look especially demanding. 12 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Staying Consistent: Time Management Dos and Donts Setting up a schedule is easy. Sticking with it, however, may create challenges. A schedule that looked great on paper may prove to be unrealistic. Sometimes, despite students best intentions, they end up procrastinating or pulling all-nighters to nish a paper or study for an exam. Keep in mind, however, that your weekly schedule and course calendar are time-management tools. Like any tools, their eectiveness depends on the user: you. If you leave a tool sitting in the box unused (that is, if you set up your schedule and then forget about it), it will not help you complete the task. And if, for some reason, a particular tool or strategy is not getting the job done, you need to gure out why and maybe try using something else. With that in mind, read the list of time-management dos and donts in Table 1.3. Keep this list as a reference you can use throughout the semester to troubleshoot if you feel like your schoolwork is getting otrack. TABLE 1.3 Time Management Dos and Donts Do 1. Set aside time to review your schedule and calendar regularly and update or adjust them as needed. 2. Be realistic when you schedule study time. Do not plan to write your paper on Friday night when everyone else is out socializing. When Friday comes, you might end up abandoning your plans and hanging out with your friends. 3. Be honest with yourself about where your time goes. Do not fritter away your study time on distractions like e-mail and social networking sites. 4. Accept that occasionally your work may get a little otrack. No one is perfect. 5. Accept that sometimes you may not have time for all of the fun things you would like to do. 6. Recognize times when you feel overextended. Sometimes you may just need to get through an especially demanding week. However, if you feel exhausted and overworked all the time, you may need to scale back on some of your commitments. 7. Have a plan for handling high-stress periods, such as nal exam week. Try to reduce your other commitments during those periods, for instance, by scheduling time o from your job. Build in some time for relaxing activities, too. Dont 1. Do not procrastinate on challenging assignments. Instead, divide them into smaller, manageable tasks that can be accomplished one at a time. 2. Do not fall into the trap of all or nothing thinking: There is no way I can t in a three-hour study session today, so I will just wait until the weekend. Extended periods of free time are hard to come by, so nd ways to use small blocks of time productively. For instance, if you have a free half-hour between classes, use it to preview a chapter or brainstorm ideas for an essay. 3. Do not fall into the trap of letting things slide and promising yourself, I will do better next week. When next week comes, the accumulated undone tasks will seem even more intimidating, and you will nd it harder to get them done. 4. Do not rely on caeine and sugar to compensate for lack of sleep. These stimulants may temporarily perk you up, but your brain functions best when you are rested. EXERCISE 2 Consistency is the key to managing your time eectively. Completing the tasks below will help you stay on track throughout the semester. 1. Establish regular times to check in with yourself to identify and prioritize tasks and to plan how to accomplish them. Many people nd it is best to set aside a few minutes for this each day and to take some time to plan at the beginning of each week. 2. For the next two weeks, focus on consistently using whatever time-management system you have set up. Check in with yourself daily and weekly, stick to your schedule, and take note of anything that interferes. At the end of the two weeks, review your schedule and determine whether you need to adjust it. 3. Review the list of dos and donts above. a. Identify at least two habits from the Do list that you could use to improve your timemanagement skills. b. Identify the habit from the Dont list that you are most likely to slip into as the semester gets busier. What could you do to combat this habit? CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING Writing at Work If you are part of the workforce, you have probably established strategies for accomplishing job-related tasks eciently. How could you adapt these strategies to help you be a successful student? For instance, you might synchronize your school and work schedules on an electronic calendar. Similar to checking in with your boss about upcoming work deadlines, establish a buddy system where you check in with a friend about school projects. Give school the same priority you give to work. 2.3 Note-Taking Methods One nal valuable tool to have in your arsenal as a student is a good note-taking system. The act of converting a spoken lecture or an online lesson to notes helps you organize and retain information, and, of course, good notes also help you review important concepts later. Although taking good notes is an essential study skill, many students enter college without having received much guidance about note taking. These sections discuss dierent strategies you can use to take notes eciently. No matter which system you choose, keep the following guidelines in mind. General Note-Taking Guidelines 1. Before attending class on campus or visiting your class online, quickly review your notes from the previous class and/or the assigned reading. Fixing key terms and concepts in your mind will help you stay focused and identify the important points of the lesson. 2. Whether you are at a campus location or at your computer, come prepared with paper, pens, highlighters, textbooks, and any important handouts. 3. Approach the lesson with a positive attitude and a readiness to learn. Make a point of concentrating and ask questions if you need to. Be an active participant. 4. Capture important ideas as concisely as you can. Use words or phrases instead of full sentences, and abbreviate when possible. 5. Visually organize your notes into main topics, subtopics, and supporting points, and show the relationships between ideas. Leave space if necessary so you can add more details under important topics or subtopics. 6. Record the following: a. b. c. d. e. ideas that the instructor or lesson repeats frequently or points out as key ideas ideas that have been emphasized on a transparency or whiteboard in class ideas that have been emphasized in a lesson or text details, facts, explanations, and lists that develop main points denitions of key terms 7. Review your notes regularly throughout the semester, not just before exams. Organizing Ideas in Your Notes A good note-taking system needs to help you dierentiate among major points, related subtopics, and supporting details. It visually represents the connections between ideas. Finally, to be eective, your note-taking system must allow you to record and organize information fairly quickly. Although some students like to create detailed, formal outlines or concept maps when they read, these may not be good strategies for class notes, because spoken lectures may not allow time for elaborate notes. Instead, focus on recording content simply and quickly to create organized, legible notes. Try one of the following techniques. Modified Outline Format A modied outline format uses indented spacing to show the hierarchy of ideas, without including Roman numerals, lettering, and so forth. Just use a dash or bullet to signify each new point, unless your instructor specically presents a numbered list of items. The following example shows a paragraph about an important theorist from Crystals developmental psychology class textbook. 13 14 WRITING FOR SUCCESS The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget developed theories throughout the 1920s and 1930s which greatly contributed to the understanding of childrens cognition, knowledge acquisition, and education. Most notably, he developed four stages of development: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. Newborns to two-year-olds acquire knowledge in the rst stage, the sensorimotor stage, by exploring with their ve senses and their mobility. This stage, according to Piaget, is relatively self-centered in that children only acquire knowledge in relation to their own interpretation of stimuli; they cannot conceive of their environment from anothers perspective. For example, when children cannot see a person or an object, children perceive their environment as permanently altered. In other words, children think the person or object has disappeared. Two-year-olds to seven-year-olds acquire knowledge in the second stage, the preoperational stage. This stage demonstrates that children become less selfcentered as they develop. They can conceptualize objects or people not visibly present in their environment. However, children often practice magical or illogical thinking and often cannot accurately perceive time. In the third stage, the concrete operations stage, children aged seven years to twelve years think more logically and perceive the world in more concrete terms. For example, their thoughts become more concrete, and they can better understand the physical environment. The fourth and nal stage, the formal operations stage, begins at age twelve and can extend into adulthood. At this developmental stage, children, young adults, and adults acquire knowledge through more logical reasoning. They are also more invested in the understanding and the practice of abstract ideas as well as the anticipation of future events, even those that are hypothetical. Crystal took notes on this paragraph to condense the information. Notice how the line for the main topic is all the way to the left. Subtopics are indented, and supporting details are indented one level further. Crystal also used abbreviations for terms like development and example. Idea Mapping If you discovered in this section that you learn best with visual presentations, you may prefer to use a more graphic format for notes, such as an idea map. The example below shows how Crystals lecture notes could be set up dierently. Although the format is dierent, the content and organization are the same. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING Charting If the content of a lecture falls into a predictable, well-organized pattern, you might choose to use a chart or table to record your notes. This system works best when you already know, either before class or at the beginning of class, what categories you should include. Table 1.4 below shows how this system might be used. 15 16 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Charting The Cornell Note-Taking System In addition to the general techniques described above, you might nd it useful to practice a specic strategy known as the Cornell note-taking system. This popular format makes it easy to organize information clearly and to note key terms and summarize content. To use the Cornell system, begin by setting up the page with these components: < < < < the course name and lecture date at the top of the page a narrow column (about 2 inches) on left side of the page a wide column (about 56 inches) on the right side of the page a space of a few lines marked o on the bottom of the page During the lecture, you record notes in the wide column. You can do so using the traditional modied outline format or a more visual format if you prefer. Then, as soon as possible after the lecture, review your notes and identify key terms. Jot these down in the narrow left-side column. You can use this column as a study aid by covering the notes on the right-hand side, reviewing the key terms, and trying to recall as much as you can about them so that you can mentally restate the main points of the lecture. Uncover the notes on the right to check your understanding. Finally, use the space at the bottom of the page to summarize each page of notes in a few sentences. Using the Cornell system, Crystals notes would look like this: CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING Writing at Work Often, at school or in the workplace, a speaker will provide you with pages of pre-generated notes summarizing electronic presentation slides. You may be tempted not to take notes at all because much of the content is already summarized for you. However, it is a good idea to take at least a few notes. Doing so keeps you focused during the presentation, allows you to record details you might otherwise forget, and gives you the opportunity to jot down questions or reections to personalize the content. 2.4 Learning Styles Most people have one channel, or way, of communicating that works best for them when it comes to taking in new information. Knowing yours can help you develop strategies for studying, time management, and note taking that work especially well for you. To begin identifying your learning style, think about how you would go about the process of assembling a piece of furniture. Which of these options sounds most like you? a. You would carefully look over the diagrams in the assembly manual rst so you could picture each step in the process. b. You would silently read the directions through, step by step, and then look at the diagrams afterward. c. You would read the directions aloud under your breath. Having someone explain the steps to you would also help. d. You would start putting the pieces together and gure out the process through trial and error, consulting the directions as you worked. Now read the explanations below. Again, think about whether each description sounds like you. 17 18 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < Someone who learns best when information is presented in a highly visual format If you chose (a), you may be a visual learner. You understand ideas best when they are presented in a visual format, such as a owchart, a diagram, or text with clear headings and many photos or illustrations. < If you chose (b), you may be a verbal learner. You understand ideas best through reading and writing about them and taking detailed notes. verbal learner < Someone who learns best by reading or writing about new ideas If you chose (c), you may be an auditory learner. You understand ideas best through listening. You learn well from spoken lectures or books on tape. < If you chose (d), you may be a kinesthetic learner. You learn best through doing and prefer hands-on activities. In long lectures, dgeting may help you focus. visual learner auditory learner Someone who learns best through listening kinesthetic learner Someone who learns best through hands-on activities Your learning style does not completely dene you as a student. Auditory learners can comprehend a owchart, and kinesthetic learners can sit still long enough to read a book. However, if you do have one dominant learning style, you can work with it to get the most out of your classes and study time. Table 1.5 lists some tips. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 19 T ABLE 1.5 Learning Style Strategies Learning Style Visual: Visual learners generally learn through seeing concepts presented in owcharts, diagrams, photos, or illustrations. Strategies to Try < < < < < Verbal: Verbal learners generally learn through reading and writing about concepts. < < < < < < Auditory: Auditory learners generally learn through listening to lectures about concepts. < < < < < Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners generally learn through hands-on activities. < < < < < When possible, represent concepts visually in charts, diagrams, or sketches. Use a visual format for taking notes on reading assignments or lectures. Use dierent-colored highlighters or pens to color-code information as you read. Use visual organizers, such as maps, owcharts, and so forth, to help you plan writing assignments. Use colored pens, highlighters, or the reviewing feature of your word-processing program to revise and edit writing. Use the instructional features in course textssummaries, chapter review questions, glossaries, and so onto aid your studying. Take notes on your reading assignments. Rewrite or condense reading notes and lecture notes to study. Summarize important ideas in your own words. Use informal writing techniques, such as brainstorming, freewriting, blogging, or posting on a class discussion forum, to generate ideas for writing assignments. Reread and take notes on your writing to help you revise and edit. Ask your instructors permission to tape-record lectures to supplement your notes. Read parts of your textbook or notes aloud when you study. If possible, obtain an audiobook version of important course texts. Make use of supplemental audio materials such as CDs or DVDs. Talk through your ideas with other students when studying or when preparing for a writing assignment. Read your writing aloud to help you draft, revise, and edit. When you read or study, use techniques that will keep your hands in motion, such as highlighting or taking notes. Use tactile study aids, such as ash cards or study guides you design yourself. Use self-stick notes to record ideas for writing. These notes can be physically reorganized easily to help you determine how to shape your paper. Use a physical activity, such as running or swimming, to help you break through writing blocks. Take breaks during studying to stand, stretch, or move around. 20 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 3 1. In your next in-class lecture, use one of the techniques described in this section. (Remember that the Cornell system can be combined with other note-taking formats.) 2. In the following in-class lecture, use a dierent technique described in this chapter. Then evaluate which strategy worked best for you. It can take some trial and error to nd a note-taking system that works for you. If you nd that you are struggling to keep up with lectures, consider whether you need to switch to a dierent format or be more careful about distinguishing key concepts from unimportant details. 3. If you nd that you are having trouble taking notes eectively, set up an appointment with your schools academic resource center. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Understanding your individual learning style and preferences can help you identify the study and timemanagement strategies that will work best for you. To manage your time eectively, it is important to look at the short term (daily and weekly schedules) and the long term (major course deadlines). To manage your time eectively, be consistent about maintaining your schedule. If your schedule is not working for you, make adjustments. A good note-taking system must dierentiate among major points, related subtopics, and supporting details, and it must allow you to record and organize information fairly quickly. Choose the format that is most eective for you. 3. BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE WRITER LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify strategies for successful writing 2. Demonstrate comprehensive writing skills 3. Identify writing strategies for use in future classes In the preceding sections, you learned what you can expect from college and identied strategies you can use to manage your work. These strategies will help you succeed in any college course. This section covers more about how to handle the demands college places on you as a writer. The general techniques you will learn will help ensure your success on any writing task, whether you complete an exam in an hour or an in-depth research project over several weeks. 3.1 Putting it All Together: Strategies for Success Writing well is dicult. Even people who write for a living struggle with correctly presenting their thoughts on the page. Even people who generally enjoy writing have days when they would rather do anything else. For people who do not like writing or do not think of themselves as good writers, writing assignments can be stressful or even intimidating. And, of course, you cannot get through college without having to writesometimes a lot, and often at a higher level than you are used to. No magic formula will make writing quick and easy. However, you can use strategies and resources to manage writing assignments more easily. In addition, the more you practice, the more you will improve. This section presents a broad overview of these strategies and resources. The remaining chapters of this book provide more detailed, comprehensive instruction to help you succeed at a variety of assignments. College will challenge you as a writer, but it is also a unique opportunity to grow. Using the Writing Process To complete a writing project successfully, good writers use some variation of the following process. For a more thorough explanation of the writing process, as well as specic techniques you can use for each step, see Chapter 8. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 21 The Writing Process Step 1: Prewriting. In this step, the writer generates ideas to write about and begins developing these ideas. Step 2: Outlining a structure of ideas. In this step, the writer determines the overall organizational structure of the writing and creates an outline to organize ideas. Usually this step involves some additional eshing out of the ideas generated in Step 1. Step 3: Writing a rough draft. In this step, the writer uses the work completed in prewriting to develop a rst draft. The draft covers the ideas the writer brainstormed and follows the organizational plan that was laid out in Step 2. Step 4: Revising. In this step, the writer revisits the draft to review and, if necessary, reshape its content. This stage involves moderate and sometimes major changes: adding or deleting a paragraph, phrasing the main point dierently, expanding on an important idea, reorganizing content, and so forth. Step 5: Editing. In this step, the writer reviews the draft to make additional changes. Editing involves making changes to improve style and adherence to standard writing conventionsfor instance, replacing a vague word with a more precise one, or xing errors in grammar and spelling. Once this stage is complete, the work is a nished piece, ready to share with others. Chances are you have already used this process as a writer. You may also have used it for other types of creative projects, such as developing a sketch into a nished painting or composing a song. The steps listed above apply broadly to any project that involves creative thinking. You come up with ideas (often vague at rst), you work to give them some structure, you make a rst attempt, you gure out what needs improving, and then you rene it until you are satised. Most people have used this creative process in one way or another, but many people have misconceptions about how to use it to write. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions students have about the writing process: I do not have to waste time on prewriting if I understand the assignment. Even if the task is straightforward and you feel ready to start writing, take some time to develop ideas before you plunge into your draft. (Freewritingwriting about the topic without stopping for a set period of timeis one prewriting technique you might try in that situation. For more detailed information about freewriting, see Chapter 8.) < It is important to complete a formal, numbered outline for every writing assignment. For some assignments, such as lengthy research papers, proceeding without a formal outline can be very dicult. However, for other assignments, a structured set of notes or a detailed graphic organizer may suce. The important thing is that you have a solid plan for organizing ideas and details. < My draft will be better if I write it when I am feeling inspired. By all means, take advantage of those moments of inspiration. However, understand that sometimes you will have to write when you are not in the mood. Sit down and start your draft even if you do not feel like it. If necessary, force yourself to write for just one hour. By the end of the hour, you may be far more engaged and motivated to continue. If not, at least you will have accomplished part of the task. < My instructor will tell me everything I need to revise. If your instructor chooses to review drafts, the feedback can help you improve. However, it is still your job, not your instructors, to transform the draft into a nal, polished piece. That task will be much easier if you give your best eort to the draft before submitting it. During revision, do not simply implement your instructors corrections. Take time to determine what you can change to make the work the best it can be. < I am a good writer so I do not need to revise or edit. Even talented writers still need to revise and edit their work. At the very least, doing so will help you catch an embarrassing typo or two. Revising and editing are the steps that turn good writers into great writers. < Tip The writing process also applies to timed writing tasks, such as essay exams. Before you begin writing, read the question thoroughly and think about the main points to include in your response. Use scrap paper to sketch out a very brief outline. Keep an eye on the clock as you write your response so that you will have time to review it and make any needed changes before turning in your exam. freewriting A prewriting strategy in which writers write freely about any topic for a set amount of time (usually three to ve minutes) 22 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Managing Your Time By combining general time-management skills with what you have learned about the writing process, you can make any writing assignment easier to manage. When your instructor gives you a writing assignment, write the due date on your calendar. Then work backward from the due date to set aside blocks of time when you will work on the assignment. Always plan at least two sessions of writing time per assignment so that you are not trying to move from Step 1 to Step 5 in one evening. Trying to work that fast is stressful and does not yield great results. You will plan better, think better, and write better if you space out the steps. Ideally, you should set aside at least three separate blocks of time to work on a writing assignment: one for prewriting and outlining, one for drafting, and one for revising and editing. Sometimes those steps may be compressed into just a few days. If you have a couple of weeks to work on a paper, space out the ve steps over multiple sessions. Long-term projects, such as research papers, require more time for each step. Tip In certain situations, you may not be able to allow time between the dierent steps of the writing process. For instance, you may be asked to write in class or complete a brief response paper overnight. If the time available is very limited, apply a modied version of the writing process (as you would do for an essay exam). It is still important to give the assignment thought and eort. However, these types of assignments are less formal, and instructors will not expect them to be as polished as formal papers. Each Monday in Crystals Foundations of Education class, the instructor distributed copies of a current news article on education and assigned students to write a 1- to 2-page response, due the following Monday. Together, these weekly assignments counted for 20 percent of the course grade. Although each response took just a few hours to complete, Crystal found that she learned more from the reading and got better grades on her writing if she spread the work out like this: For more detailed guidelines on how to plan for a long-term writing project, see Chapter 11. Setting Goals One key to succeeding as a student and as a writer is setting both short- and long-term goals for yourself. You have already glimpsed the kind of short-term goals a student might set. Crystal wanted to do well in her Foundations of Education course, and she realized that she could control how she handled her weekly writing assignments. At 20 percent of her course grade, she reasoned, those assignments might mean the dierence between a C and a B, or a B and an A. By planning carefully and following through on her daily and weekly goals, Crystal was able to fulll one of her goals for the semester. Although her exam scores were not as high as she had hoped, her consistently strong performance on writing assignments tipped her grade from a B+ to an A-. She was pleased to have earned a high grade in one of the required courses for her major. She was also glad to have gotten the most out of an introductory course that would help her become an eective teacher. How does Crystals experience relate to your college experience? To do well in college, it is important to stay focused on how your day-to-day actions determine your long-term success. You may not have dened your career goals or chosen a major yet. Even so, you surely have some overarching goals for what you want out of college: to expand your career options, to increase your earning power, or just to learn something new. In time, you will dene your long-term goals more explicitly. Doing solid, steady work, day by day and week by week, will help you meet those goals. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 23 EXERCISE 1 In this exercise, make connections between short- and long-term goals. 1. Identify one long-term goal you would like to have achieved by the time you complete your degree. For instance, you might want a particular job in your eld or hope to graduate with honors. 2. Next, identify one course goal that will help you fulll the goal you set in Step 1. For instance, you may want to do well in a particular course or establish a connection with a professional in your eld. 3. Review the goal you determined in Step 2. Brainstorm a list of stepping-stones that will help you meet that goal, such as doing well on my midterm and nal exams or talking to Professor Gibson about doing an internship. Write down everything you can think of that will help you meet that semester goal. 4. Review your list. Choose two or three items and, for each item, identify at least one concrete action you can take to accomplish it. These actions may be recurring (meeting with a study group each week) or onetime-only (calling the professor in charge of internships). 5. Identify one action from Step 4 that you can do today. Then do it. Using College Resources One reason students sometimes nd college overwhelming is that they do not know about, or are reluctant to use, the resources available to them. Some aspects of college will be challenging. However, if you try to handle every challenge alone, you may become frustrated and overwhelmed. Universities have resources in place to help students cope with challenges. Your student fees help to pay for resources such as a health center or tutoring, so use these resources if you need them. Listed below are some of the resources you might use if you nd you need help: < Your instructor. If you are making an honest eort but still struggling with a particular course, set up a time to meet with your instructor and discuss what you can do to improve. He or she may be able to shed light on a confusing concept or give you strategies to catch up. < Your academic counselor. Many universities assign students an academic counselor who can help you choose courses and ensure that you fulll degree and major requirements. < The academic resource center. These centers oer a variety of services, which range from general coaching in study skills to tutoring for specic courses. Find out what is oered at your school and use the services that you need. < The writing center. These centers employ tutors to help you manage college-level writing assignments. They will not write or edit your paper for you, but they can help you through the stages of the writing process. (In some schools, the writing center is part of the academic resource center.) < The career resource center. Visit the career resource center for guidance in choosing a career path, developing a rsum, and nding and applying for jobs. < Counseling services. Many universities oer psychological counseling for free or for a low fee. Use these services if you need help coping with a dicult personal situation or managing depression, anxiety, or other problems. Students sometimes neglect to use available resources due to limited time, unwillingness to admit there is a problem, or embarrassment about needing to ask for help. Unfortunately, ignoring a problem usually makes it harder to cope with later on. Waiting until the end of the semester may also mean fewer resources are available, since many other students are also seeking last-minute help. EXERCISE 2 Identify at least one college resource, such as your academic counselor, the career center, counseling services, or the writing center, that you think could help you and that you would like to investigate further. Schedule a time to visit this resource within the next week or two so you can use it throughout the semester. 3.2 Overview: College Writing Skills You now have a solid foundation of skills and strategies you can use to succeed in college. The remainder of this book will provide you with guidance on specic aspects of writing, ranging from grammar and style conventions to how to write a research paper. 24 WRITING FOR SUCCESS For any college writing assignment, use these strategies: < Plan ahead. Divide the work into smaller, manageable tasks and set aside time to accomplish each task in turn. < Make sure you understand the assignment requirements and, if necessary, clarify them with your instructor. Think carefully about the purpose of the writing, the intended audience, the topics you will need to address, and any specic requirements of the writing form. < Complete each step of the writing process. With practice, using this process will come automatically to you. < Use the resources available to you. Remember that most colleges have specic services to help students with their writing. For help with specic writing assignments and guidance on dierent aspects of writing, you may refer to the other chapters in this book. The table of contents lists topics in detail. As a general overview, here is what you will learn in upcoming chapters: Chapter 2Chapter 7 will ground you in writing basicsthe nuts and bolts of grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph developmentthat you must master to produce competent collegelevel writing. Chapter 2 reviews the parts of speech and the components of a sentence. Chapter 3 explains how to use punctuation correctly. Chapter 4 reviews concepts that will help you use words correctlyeverything from commonly confused words to using context clues. Chapter 5 provides guidance for students who have learned English as a second language. Chapter 6 guides you through the process of developing a paragraph, and Chapter 7 has tips to help you rene and improve your sentences. Chapter 8, Chapter 9, and Chapter 10 are geared to help you apply those basics to college-level writing assignments. Chapter 8 shows the writing process in action, with explanations and examples of techniques you can use during each step of the process. Chapter 9 provides further discussion of the components of college essayshow to create and support a thesis and organize an essay eectively. Chapter 10 discusses specic modes of writing you will encounter as a college student and explains how to approach these dierent assignments. Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, and Chapter 14 focus on how to write a research paper. Chapter 11 guides you through the process of conducting research, and Chapter 12 explains how to transform that research into a nished paper. Chapter 13 explains how to format your paper and how to use a standard system for documenting sources. Chapter 14 discusses how to transform your paper into an eective presentation. Many of the chapters in this book include sample student writingnot just the nished essays but also the preliminary steps that went into developing those essays. Chapter 15 of this book provides additional examples of dierent essay types. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Following the steps of the writing process helps students complete any writing assignment more successfully. To manage writing assignments, it is best to work backward from the due date, allotting appropriate time to complete each step of the writing process. Setting concrete long- and short-term goals helps students stay focused and motivated. A variety of university resources are available to help students with writing and other aspects of college life. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO WRITING 25 4. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. Find out more about your learning style by visiting your academic resource center and/or doing Internet research. Take note of strategies that are recommended for dierent types of learners. Which strategies do you already use? Which strategies could you incorporate into your routine? II. Apply the following comprehension and active-reading strategies to an assigned reading: < < < Locate the writers main idea and major supporting points. Use text features to gather clues. Apply the SQ3R strategy: Survey, question, read, recite/record, and review/reect. Apply at least one other active-reading strategy appropriate to the text, such as visualizing or connecting the text to personal experiences. III. After reviewing your syllabus, map out a timeline of major assignments in the course. Describe the steps you think you will need to follow in order to complete these assignments. IV. Take a few minutes to skim through the remaining chapters of this book, whose contents are described in Section 1.3. Use self-stick notes or ags to mark any sections that you expect to consult frequently when you write, such as a grammar guide or guidelines for a particular essay format. You may wish to similarly mark up other writing handbooks you own, as well as any other reference books you will need to use frequently. 26 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 2 Writing Basics What Makes a Good Sentence? 1. WRITING A SENTENCE LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the components of a basic sentence 2. Identify the four most serious writing errors Imagine you are reading a book for school. You need to nd important details that you can use for an assignment. However, when you begin to read, you notice that the book has very little punctuation. Sentences fail to form complete paragraphs and instead form one block of text, without clear organization. Most likely, this book would frustrate and confuse you. Without clear and concise sentences, it is dicult to nd the information you need. For both students and professionals, clear communication is important. Whether you are typing an e-mail or writing a report, it is your responsibility to present your thoughts and ideas clearly and precisely. Writing in complete sentences is one way to ensure that you communicate well. This section covers how to recognize and write basic sentence structures, as well as how to avoid some common writing errors. 1.1 Components of a Sentence Clearly written, complete sentences require key information: a subject, a verb, and a complete idea. A sentence needs to make sense on its own. Sometimes, complete sentences are also called independent clauses. A clause is a group of words that may make up a sentence. An independent clause is a group of words that may stand alone as a complete, grammatically correct thought. The following sentences show independent clauses. clause a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and may make up a sentence. independent clause a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and can stand alone as a complete, grammatically correct thought. An independent clause is a complete sentence. All complete sentences have at least one independent clause. You can identify an independent clause by reading it on its own and looking for the subject and the verb. 28 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Subjects subject a word that tells what the sentence is about. Subjects are usually nouns or pronouns. When you read a sentence, you may rst look for the subject, or what the sentence is about. The subject usually appears at the beginning of a sentence as a noun or a pronoun. A noun is a word that identies a person, place, thing, or idea. A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun. Common pronouns are I, he, she, it, you, they, and we. In the following sentences, the subject is underlined once. noun a word that identies a person, place, or thing. pronoun a word that substitutes for a noun; for example, I, you, he, she, it, we, or they. In these sentences, the subject is a person: Malik. The pronoun He replaces and refers back to Malik. In the rst sentence, the subject is a place: computer lab. In the second sentence, the pronoun It substitutes for computer lab as the subject. In the rst sentence, the subject is a thing: project. In the second sentence, the pronoun It stands in for the project. Tip In this chapter, please follow the grammar key: LV means linking verb, HV means helping verb, and V means action verb. compound subject a subject that contains two or more nouns or pronouns joined by the words and, or, or nor. Compound Subjects A sentence may have more than one person, place, or thing as the subject. These subjects are called compound subjects. Compound subjects are useful when you want to discuss several subjects at once. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 29 Prepositional Phrases You will often read a sentence that has more than one noun or pronoun in it. You may encounter a group of words that includes a preposition with a noun or a pronoun. Prepositions connect a noun, pronoun, or verb to another word that describes or modies that noun, pronoun, or verb. Common prepositions include in, on, under, near, by, with, and about. Other Common Prepositions about around between in o at by inside on toward across before down into out under after behind during like outside until except near past type of word that connects a noun, pronoun, or verb to another word that describes or modies it. Common prepositions include in, on, under, near, by, with, and about. to above preposition against below along beneath for among beside from upon next to since of with through within without A group of words that begin with a preposition is called a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and modies or describes a word. It cannot act as the subject of a sentence. The phrases circled below are examples of prepositional phrases. The picture of my mother and father rests on a shelf in the kitchen. I see it each morning before I drink coee. The car swerved to the left to avoid being struck by the speeding truck. EXERCISE 1 Read the following sentences. Underline the subjects and circle the prepositional phrases. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The gym is open until 9 oclock tonight. We went to the store to get some ice. The student with the most extra credit will win a homework pass. Maya and Tia found an abandoned cat by the side of the road. The driver of that pickup truck skidded on the ice. Anita won the race with time to spare. The people who work for that company were surprised about the merger. Working in haste means that you are more likely to make mistakes. The soundtrack has over 60 songs in languages from around the world. His latest invention does not work, but it has inspired the rest of us. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. prepositional phrase a group of words that begin with a preposition. 30 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Verbs verb a word that tells what the subject is doing or links the subject to a describing word. Once you locate the subject of a sentence, you can move on to the next part of a complete sentence: the verb. A verb is often an action word that shows what the subject is doing. A verb can also link the subject to a describing word. There are three types of verbs that you can use in a sentence: action verbs, linking verbs, or helping verbs. Action Verbs action verb a verb that identies the action the subject performs. linking verb a verb that connects or links the subject of a sentence to a noun or adjective. A verb that connects the subject to an action is called an action verb. An action verb answers the question what is the subject doing? In the sentences below, the words underlined twice are action verbs. Linking Verbs A verb can often connect the subject of the sentence to a describing word. This type of verb is called a linking verb because it links the subject to a describing word. In the sentences below, the words underlined twice are linking verbs. If you have trouble telling the dierence between action verbs and linking verbs, remember that an action verb shows that the subject is doing something, whereas a linking verb simply connects the subject to another word that describes or modies the subject. Some verbs can function as both action verbs and linking verbs, depending on the context. Although both sentences in each example use the same verb, the two sentences have completely dierent meanings. In the rst sentences, the verbs describe the actions. In the second sentences, the verbs describe things that modify the subjects. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 31 Helping Verbs A third type of verb you may use as you write is a helping verb. Helping verbs are verbs that are used with the main verb to describe a mood or tense. Helping verbs are usually a form of be, do, or have. The word can is also used as a helping verb. Helping verbs are indicated with an HV, and main verbs are indicated with a V. Tip Whenever you write or edit sentences, keep the subject and verb in mind. As you write, ask yourself these questions to keep on track: Subject: Who or what is the sentence about? Verb: Which word shows an action or links the subject to a description? EXERCISE 2 Copy each sentence onto your own sheet of paper and underline the verb(s) twice. Name the type of verb(s) that is/are used in the sentence in the space provided (LV, HV, or V). 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The cat sounds ready to come back inside. __________ We have not eaten dinner yet. __________ It took four people to move the broken-down car. __________ The book was lled with notes from class. __________ We walked from room to room, inspecting for damages. __________ Harold was expecting a package in the mail. __________ The clothes still felt damp, even though they had been through the dryer twice. __________ The teacher who runs the studio is often praised for his restoration work on old masterpieces. __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 1.2 Sentence Structure, Including Fragments and Run-ons Now that you know what makes a complete sentencea subject and a verbyou can use other parts of speech to build on this basic structure. Good writers use a variety of sentence structures to make their work more interesting. This section covers dierent sentence structures that you can use to make longer, more complex sentences. It also will help you identify when simplicity is the best approach, helping you avoid run-on sentences. helping verb verbs that are used with a main verb to describe mood or tense. The helping verb is usually a form of be, do, or have. 32 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Sentence Patterns Six basic subject-verb patterns can enhance your writing. A sample sentence is provided for each pattern. As you read each sentence, take note of where each part of the sentence falls. Subjects are indicated the letter S; action verbs are indicated with the letter V; and linking verbs are indicated with the letters LV. Notice that some sentence patterns use action verbs and others use linking verbs. Subject-Verb Subject-Linking Verb-Noun Nouns are indicated by the letter N Subject-Linking Verb-Adjective Adjectives are indicated by the letters ADJ. Subject-Verb-Adverb Adverbs are indicated by the letters ADV. Subject-Verb-Direct Object direct object a noun or pronoun in a sentence that receives the action of the verb. The direct object answers whom? or what? after the verb in a sentence. When you write a sentence with a direct object, make sure that the direct object receives the action of the verb. Direct objects are indicated by the letters DO. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 33 Subject-Verb-Indirect Object-Direct Object In this sentence structure, an indirect object explains to whom or to what the action is being done. The indirect object is a noun or pronoun, and comes before the direct object in a sentence. The indirect object is indicated by the letters IO. EXERCISE indirect object a noun or pronoun in a sentence that answers the question to whom? or to what? The indirect object comes before the direct object in a sentence. 3 Use what you have learned so far to bring variety to your writing. On your own sheet of paper, write six sentences to practice each basic sentence pattern. When you have nished, label each part of the sentence (S, V, LV, N, ADJ, ADV, DO, IO). For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Fragments The sentences you have encountered so far have been independent clauses. As you look more closely at your past writing assignments, you may notice that some of your sentences are not complete. A sentence that is missing a subject or a verb is called a fragment. A fragment may include a description or may express part of an idea, but it does not express a complete thought. Fragment: Children helping in the kitchen. Complete sentence: Children helping in the kitchen often make a mess. You can easily x a fragment by adding the missing subject or verb. In the example, the sentence was missing a verb. Adding often make a mess creates an S-V-N sentence structure. fragment an incomplete sentence that results when a subject or a verb is missing. 34 WRITING FOR SUCCESS See whether you can identify what is missing in the following fragments. Fragment: Told her about the broken vase. Complete sentence: I told her about the broken vase. Fragment: The store down on Main Street. Complete sentence: The store down on Main Street sells music. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS Common Sentence Errors Fragments often occur because of some common error, such as starting a sentence with a preposition, a dependent word, an innitive, or a gerund. If you use the six basic sentence patterns when you write, you should be able to avoid these errors and thus avoid writing fragments. When you see a preposition, check to see that it is part of a sentence that contains a subject and a verb. If it is not connected to a complete sentence, it is a fragment, and you will need to x this type of fragment by combining it with another sentence. You can add the prepositional phrase to the end of the sentence. If you add it to the beginning of the other sentence, you insert a comma after the prepositional phrase. 35 innitive a verb form that combines the word to with a verb, such as to buy, to go, or to gather. gerund a verb form ending in ing that is used as a noun, such as running, writing, or celebrating. 36 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Example A Example B dependent word the rst word in a dependent clause. Common dependent words include since, because, without, and unless. Clauses that start with a dependent wordwords such as since, because, without, or unlessare similar to prepositional phrases. Like prepositional phrases, these clauses can be fragments if they are not connected to an independent clause containing a subject and a verb. To x the problem, you can add such a fragment to the beginning or end of a sentence. If the fragment is added at the beginning of a sentence, add a comma. Example A Example B When you encounter a word ending in ing in a sentence, identify whether or not this word is used as a verb in the sentence. You may also look for a helping verb. If the word is not used as a verb, or if no helping verb is used with the ing verb form, the verb is being used as a noun. An ing verb form used as a noun is called a gerund. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS Once you know whether the ing word is acting as a noun or a verb, look at the rest of the sentence. Could the sentence stand alone? If not, what you are looking at is a fragment. You will need to either add the parts of speech that are missing or combine the fragment with a nearby sentence. 37 38 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Example A Incorrect: Taking deep breaths. Saul prepared for his presentation. Correct: Taking deep breaths, Saul prepared for his presentation. Correct: Saul prepared for his presentation. He was taking deep breaths. Example B CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 39 Incorrect: Congratulating the entire team. Sarah raised her glass to toast their success. Correct: She was congratulating the entire team. Sarah raised her glass to toast their success. Correct: Congratulating the entire team, Sarah raised her glass to toast their success. Another error in sentence construction is a fragment that begins with an innitive. An innitive is a verb paired with the word to; for example, to run, to write, or to reach. Although innitives are verbs, they can be used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. You can correct a fragment that begins with an innitive by either combining it with another sentence or adding the parts of speech that are missing. Incorrect: We needed to make 300 more paper cranes. To reach the 1,000 mark. Correct: We needed to make 300 more paper cranes to reach the 1,000 mark. Correct: We needed to make 300 more paper cranes. We wanted to reach the 1,000 mark. EXERCISE 4 Copy the sentences below onto your own sheet of paper and circle the fragments. Then combine the fragment with the independent clause to create a complete sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Working without taking a break. We try to get as much work done as we can in an hour. I needed to bring work home. In order to meet the deadline. Unless the ground thaws before spring break. We wont be planting any tulips this year. Turning the lights o after he was done in the kitchen. Robert tries to conserve energy whenever possible. Youll nd what you need if you look. On the shelf next to the potted plant. To nd the perfect apartment. Deidre scoured the classieds each day. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Run-on Sentences Just as short, incomplete sentences can be problematic, lengthy sentences can be problematic, too. Sentences with two or more independent clauses that have been incorrectly combined are known as runons. A run-on may be either a fused sentence or a comma splice. Fused Sentence: A family of foxes lived under our shed young foxes played all over the yard. run-ons sentences made up of two or more independent clauses that have been incorrectly combined. Comma Splice: We looked outside, one fox was hopping on the trampoline. When two complete sentences are combined into one without any punctuation, the result is a fused sentence. When two complete sentences are joined by a comma, the result is a comma splice. Both errors can easily be xed. Punctuation One way to correct run-on sentences is to correct the punctuation. For example, adding a period will correct the run-on by creating two separate sentences. fused sentence a run-on created by two complete sentences combined into one without any punctuation. comma splice a run-on created by two complete sentences separated only by a single comma. Using a semicolon between the two complete sentences will also correct the error. A semicolon allows you to keep the two closely related ideas together in one sentence. When you punctuate with a 40 WRITING FOR SUCCESS semicolon, make sure that both parts of the sentence are independent clauses. For more information on semicolons, see Section 2.4.2. Run-on: The accident closed both lanes of trac we waited an hour for the wreckage to be cleared. Correction: The accident closed both lanes of trac; we waited an hour for the wreckage to be cleared. Run-on: I baked some cookies, they were delicious. Correction: I baked some cookies; they were delicious. Run-on: He is taking summer classes he does not have a lot of free time. Correction: He is taking summer classes; he does not have a lot of free time. When you use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses, you may wish to add a transition word to show the connection between the two thoughts. After the semicolon, add the transition word and follow it with a comma. For more information on transition words, see Chapter 8. Run-on: The project was put on hold we didnt have time to slow down, so we kept working. Correction: The project was put on hold; however, we didnt have time to slow down, so we kept working. Run-on: It barely rained all summer we watered the plants to keep them alive. Correction: It barely rained all summer; however, we watered the plants to keep them alive. Run-on: It was snowing outside we needed food, so we drove to the store. Correction: It was snowing outside; still, we needed food, so we drove to the store. Coordinating Conjunctions coordinating conjunction a word that links two independent clauses. Common coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. You can also x run-ons by adding a comma and a coordinating conjunction. A coordinating conjunction acts as a link between two independent clauses. Tip There are seven coordinating conjunctions that you can use: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Use these words appropriately when you want to link the two independent clauses. The acronym FANBOYS (F = for, A = and, N = nor, B = but, O = or, Y = yet, S = so) will help you remember this group of coordinating conjunctions. Run-on: The new printer was installed, no one knew how to use it. Correction: The new printer was installed, but no one knew how to use it. Run-on: The vegetables were old, they were rotting. Correction: The vegetables were old, and they were rotting. Run-on: The movie was complicated, I couldnt understand it. Correction: The movie was complicated, so I couldnt understand it. Dependent Words Adding dependent words is another way to link independent clauses. Like the coordinating conjunctions, dependent words show a relationship between two independent clauses. Run-on: We took the elevator, the others still got there before us. Correction: Although we took the elevator, the others got there before us. Run-on: Cobwebs covered the furniture, the room hadnt been used in years. Correction: Cobwebs covered the furniture because the room hadnt been used in years. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS Writing at Work Isabelles e-mail opens with two fragments and two comma-spliced run-ons. It ends with another fragment. What eect would this e-mail have on Mr. Blankenship or other readers? Mr. Blankenship or other readers may not think highly of Isabelles communication skills, orworsemay not understand the message at all! Communications written in precise, complete sentences are not only more professional, but they are also easier to understand. Before you hit the send button, read your e-mail carefully to make sure the sentences are complete, do not run together, and are correctly punctuated. Isabelles e-mail might give a better impression written like this: 41 42 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 5 A reader can get lost or lose interest in material that is too dense and rambling. Use what you have learned about run-on sentences to correct the following passages on your own sheet of paper. For example, I couldnt nish dessert I ate too much dinner should say, I couldnt nish dessert; I ate too much dinner.: 1. The report is due on Wednesday but were ying back from Miami that morning. I told the project manager that we would be able to get the report to her later that day she suggested that we come back a day early to get the report done and I told her we had meetings until our ight took o. We emailed our contact who said that they would check with his boss, she said that the project could aord a delay as long as they wouldnt have to make any edits or changes to the le our new deadline is next Friday. 2. Anna tried getting a reservation at the restaurant, but when she called they said that there was a waiting list so she put our names down on the list when the day of our reservation arrived we only had to wait 30 minutes because a table opened up unexpectedly which was good because we were able to catch a movie after dinner in the time wed expected to wait to be seated. 3. Without a doubt, my favorite artist is Leonardo da Vinci, not because of his paintings but because of his fascinating designs, models and sketches, including plans for scuba gear and a ying machine, as well as a life-size mechanical lion that actually walked and moved its head. His paintings are beautiful, too, especially when you see the computer-enhanced versions researchers use a variety of methods to discover and enhance the paintings original colors, the result of which are stunningly vibrant and yet delicate displays of the mans genius. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 43 KEY < < < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS A sentence is complete when it contains both a subject and verb. A complete sentence makes sense on its own. Every sentence must have a subject, which usually appears at the beginning of the sentence. A subject may be a noun (a person, place, or thing) or a pronoun. A compound subject contains more than one person, place, or thing. A prepositional phrase describes or modies another word in the sentence but cannot be the subject of a sentence. A verb is often an action word that indicates what the subject is doing. Verbs may be action verbs, linking verbs, or helping verbs. Variety in sentence structure and length improves writing by making it more interesting and more complex. Focusing on the six basic patternssubject-verb, subject-linking verb-noun, subject-linking verbadjective, subject-verb-adverb, subject-verb-direct object, and subject-verb-indirect object-direct objectwill enhance your writing. Fragments and run-ons are two common errors in sentence construction. Fragments can be corrected by adding a missing subject or verb. Fragments that begin with a preposition or a dependent word can be corrected by combining the fragment with another sentence. Run-ons can be corrected by adding appropriate punctuation or adding a coordinating conjunction. Writing Application Use the six basic sentence structures to write one of the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. A work e-mail to a coworker about a presentation. A business letter to a potential employer. A status report about your current project. A job description for your rsum. 2. SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Dene subject-verb agreement 2. Identify common errors in subject-verb agreement In the workplace, you want to present a professional image. Your outt or suit says something about you in person, and your writing represents you in your absence. Grammatical mistakes in your writing, or even in speaking, make a negative impression on coworkers, clients, and potential employers. Subject-verb agreement is one of the most common errors people make. Having a solid understanding of this concept is critical when making a good impression, and it will help ensure that your ideas are communicated clearly. 2.1 Agreement Agreement in speech and in writing refers to the proper grammatical match between words and phrases. Parts of sentences must agree, or correspond with other parts in number, person, case, and gender. < Number: All parts must match in singular (I, you, he, she, it, me, her, him, my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers) or plural (they, them, us, your, yours, their, theirs, our, ours) forms. agree to match parts of speech in number, case, gender, or person. 44 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < < < Person: All parts must match in rst person (I), second person (you), or third person (he, she, it, they) forms. Case: All parts must match in subjective (I, you, he, she, it, they, we), objective (me, her, him, them, us), or possessive (my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, their, theirs, our, ours) forms. For more information on pronoun case agreement, see Chapter 2, Section 5. Gender: All parts must match in male (he, him, his) or female (she, her, hers) forms. Subject-verb agreement describes the proper match between subjects and verbs. Because subjects and verbs are either singular or plural, the subject of a sentence and the verb of a sentence must agree with each other in number. That is, a singular subject belongs with a singular verb form, and a plural subject belongs with a plural verb form. For more information on subjects and verbs, see Chapter 2, Section 1. Incorrect: The cats jumps over the fence. Regular Verbs regular verbs verbs that follow a predictable pattern when shifting from the present to the past tense. Regular verbs follow a predictable pattern. For example, in the third-person singular, regular verbs always end in s. Other forms of a regular verb do not end in s. Study the following table to see regular verb forms in the present tense. Singular Form Plural Form First person I live. We live. Second person You live. You live. Third person He/She/It lives. They live. Tip Add an es to the third-person singular form of regular verbs that end in sh, -x, -ch, and s. (I wish/He wishes, I x/She xes, I watch/It watches, I kiss/He kisses.) In these sentences, the verb form stays the same for the rst-person singular and the rst-person plural. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS In these sentences, the verb form stays the same for the second-person singular and the second-person plural. In the singular form, the pronoun you refers to one person. In the plural form, the pronoun you refers to a group of people, such as a team. Incorrect: My mother walk to work every morning. In this sentence, the subject is mother. Because only one mother is referred to, the subject is singular. The verb in this sentence must be in the third-person singular form. In this sentence, the subject is friends. Because this subject refers to more than one person, the subject is plural. The verb in this sentence must be in the third-person plural form. Tip Many singular subjects can be made plural by adding an s. Most regular verbs in the present tense end with an s in the third-person singular. This does not make the verbs plural. 45 46 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, choose and write the correct verb form for each of the following sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. I (brush/brushes) my teeth twice a day. You (wear/wears) the same shoes every time we go out. He (kick/kicks) the soccer ball into the goal. She (watch/watches) foreign lms. Catherine (hide/hides) behind the door. We (want/wants) to have dinner with you. You (work/works) together to nish the project. They (need/needs) to score another point to win the game. It (eat/eats) four times a day. David (x/xes) his own motorcycle. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Irregular Verbs irregular verbs verbs that do not follow a predictable pattern when shifting from the present to the past tense. Not all verbs follow a predictable pattern. These verbs are called irregular verbs. Some of the most common irregular verbs are be, have, and do. Learn the forms of these verbs in the present tense to avoid errors in subject-verb agreement. Be Study the dierent forms of the verb to be in the present tense. Singular Form Plural Form First person I am. We are. Second person You are. You are. Third person He/She/It is. They are. Have Study the dierent forms of the verb to have in the present tense. Singular Form Plural Form First person I have. We have. Second person You have. You have. Third person He/She/It has. They have. Do Study the dierent forms of the verb to do in the present tense. Singular Form Plural Form First person I do. We do. Second person You do. You do. Third person He/She/It does. They do. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 47 EXERCISE 2 Complete the following sentences by writing the correct present-tense form of be, have, or do. Use your own sheet of paper to complete this exercise. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. I __________ sure that you will succeed. They __________ front-row tickets to the show. He __________ a great Elvis Presley impersonation. We __________ so excited to meet you in person! She __________ a fever and a sore throat. You __________ not know what you are talking about. You __________ all going to pass this class. She __________ not going to like that. It __________ appear to be the right size. They __________ ready to take this job seriously. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 2.2 Errors in Subject-Verb Agreement Errors in subject-verb agreement may occur when: < < < < < a sentence contains a compound subject the subject of the sentence is separate from the verb the subject of the sentence is an indenite pronoun, such as anyone or everyone the subject of the sentence is a collective noun, such as team or organization the subject appears after the verb Recognizing the sources of common errors in subject-verb agreement will help you avoid these errors in your writing. This section covers the subject-verb agreement errors in more detail. Compound Subjects A compound subject is formed by two or more nouns and the coordinating conjunctions and, or, or nor. A compound subject can be made of singular subjects, plural subjects, or a combination of singular and plural subjects. Compound subjects combined with and take a plural verb form Compound subjects combined with or and nor are treated separately. The verb must agree with the subject that is nearest to the verb. compound subject a subject that is formed when two or more nouns are linked by the coordinating conjunctions and, or, or nor. 48 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip If you can substitute the word they for the compound subject, then the sentence takes the third-person plural verb form. Separation of Subjects and Verbs As you read or write, you may come across a sentence that contains a phrase or clause that separates the subject from the verb. Often, prepositional phrases or dependent clauses add more information to the sentence and appear between the subject and the verb. However, the subject and the verb must still agree. If you have trouble nding the subject and verb, cross out or ignore the phrases and clauses that begin with prepositions or dependent words. The subject of a sentence will never be in a prepositional phrase or dependent clause. Subject and verb separated by a prepositional phrase: Subject and verb separated by a dependent clause: CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 49 Indefinite Pronouns Indenite pronouns refer to an unspecied person, thing, or number. When an indenite pronoun serves as the subject of a sentence, you will often use a singular verb form. However, keep in mind that exceptions arise. Some indenite pronouns may require a plural verb form. To determine whether to use a singular or plural verb with an indenite pronoun, consider the noun that the pronoun would refer to. If the noun is plural, then use a plural verb with the indenite pronoun. View the chart to see a list of common indenite pronouns and the verb forms they agree with. Always singular Can be singular or plural anybody, anyone, anything all each any everybody, everyone, everything none much some many nobody, no one, nothing somebody, someone, something The indenite pronoun everybody takes a singular verb form because everybody is performing the same action as one person. The indenite pronoun all takes a plural verb form because all refers to the plural noun people. Because people is plural, all is plural. In this sentence, the indenite pronoun all takes a singular verb form because all refers to the singular noun cake. Because cake is singular, all is singular. indenite pronoun a pronoun that refers to an unspecied person, thing, or number. 50 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Collective Nouns collective noun a noun that identies more than one person, place, or thing and treats those people, places, or things as a singular unit. A collective noun is a noun that identies more than one person, place, or thing and considers those people, places, or things one singular unit. Because collective nouns count as one, they are singular and require a singular verb. Some commonly used collective nouns are group, team, army, ock, family, and class. In this sentence, class is a collective noun. Although the class consists of many students, the class is treated as a singular unit and requires a singular verb form. The Subject Follows the Verb You may encounter sentences in which the subject comes after the verb instead of before the verb. In other words, the subject of the sentence may not appear where you expect it to appear. To ensure proper subject-verb agreement, you must correctly identify the subject and the verb. Here or There In sentences that begin with here or there, the subject follows the verb. If you have trouble identifying the subject and the verb in sentences that start with here or there, it may help to reverse the order of the sentence so the subject comes rst. Questions When you ask questions, a question word (who, what, where, when, why, or how) appears rst. The verb and then the subject follow. Tip If you have trouble nding the subject and the verb in questions, try answering the question: CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 51 EXERCISE 3 Correct the errors in subject-verb agreement in the following sentences. If there are no errors in subject-verb agreement, write OK. Copy the corrected sentence or the word OK on your own sheet of notebook paper. The rst two have been completed for you. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. My dog and cats chase each other all the time. The books that are in my library are the best I have ever read. Everyone are going to the concert except me. __________ My family are moving to California. __________ Here is the lake I told you about. __________ There is the newspapers I was supposed to deliver. __________ Which room is bigger? __________ When are the movie going to start? __________ My sister and brother cleans up after themselves. __________ Some of the clothes is packed away in the attic. __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 4 Correct the errors in subject-verb agreement in the following paragraph. Copy the paragraph on a piece of notebook paper and make corrections. Dear Hiring Manager, I feels that I am the ideal candidate for the receptionist position at your company. I has three years of experience as a receptionist in a company that is similar to yours. My phone skills and written communication is excellent. These skills, and others which I have learned on the job, helps me to understand that every person in a company helps to make the business a success. At my current job, the team always say that I am very helpful. Everyone appreciate when I go the extra mile to get the job done right. My current employer and coworkers feels that I am an asset to the team. I is ecient and organized. Is there any other details about me that you would like to know? If so, please contact me. Here are my rsum. You can reach me by -email or phone. I looks forward to speaking with you in person. Thanks, Felicia Fellini For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 52 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work Imagine that you are a prospective client and you saw this ad online. Would you call Terra Services to handle your next project? Probably not! Mistakes in subject-verb agreement can cost a company business. Paying careful attention to grammatical details ensures professionalism that clients will recognize and respect. KEY < < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Parts of sentences must agree in number, person, case, and gender. A verb must always agree with its subject in number. A singular subject requires a singular verb; a plural subject requires a plural verb. Irregular verbs do not follow a predictable pattern in their singular and plural forms. Common irregular verbs are to be, to have, and to do. A compound subject is formed when two or more nouns are joined by the words and, or, or nor. In some sentences, the subject and verb may be separated by a phrase or clause, but the verb must still agree with the subject. Indenite pronouns, such as anyone, each, everyone, many, no one, and something, refer to unspecied people or objects. Most indenite pronouns are singular. A collective noun is a noun that identies more than one person, place, or thing and treats those people, places, or things one singular unit. Collective nouns require singular verbs. In sentences that begin with here and there, the subject follows the verb. In questions, the subject follows the verb. Writing Application Use your knowledge of subject-verb agreement to write one of the following: 1. An advertisement for a potential company. 2. A memo to all employees of a particular company. 3. A cover letter describing your qualications to a potential employer. Be sure to include at least: < < < one collective noun one irregular verb one question CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 53 3. VERB TENSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize regular and irregular verbs 2. Use regular and irregular verbs correctly in basic sentences Suppose you must give an oral presentation about what you did last summer. How do you make it clear that you are talking about the past, and not the present or the future? Using the correct verb tense can help you do this. It is important to use the proper verb tense. Otherwise, your listener might judge you harshly. Mistakes in tense often leave a listener or reader with a negative impression. 3.1 Regular Verbs Verbs indicate actions or states of being in the past, present, or future using tenses. Regular verbs follow regular patterns when shifting from the present to past tense. For example, to form a past-tense or past-participle verb form, add ed or d to the end of a verb. You can avoid mistakes by understanding this basic pattern. Verb tense identies the time of action described in a sentence. Verbs take dierent forms to indicate dierent tenses. Verb tenses indicate: < < < an action or state of being in the present an action or state of being in the past an action or state of being in the future Helping verbs such as be and have also create verb tenses. regular verbs verbs that follow regular patterns when shifting from the present to past tense. verb tense a verb form that identies the time of action described in a sentence. 54 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct form of the verb in simple present, past, or future tenses. Write the corrected sentence on your own sheet of paper. 1. The Dust Bowl (is, was, will be) a name given to a period of very destructive dust storms that occurred in the United States during the 1930s. 2. Historians today (consider, considered, will consider) the Dust Bowl to be one of the worst weather of events in U.S. history. 3. The Dust Bowl mostly (aects, aected, will aect) the states of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. 4. Dust storms (continue, continued, will continue) to occur in these dry regions, but not to the devastating degree of the 1930s. 5. The dust storms during the Dust Bowl (cause, caused, will cause) irreparable damage to farms and the environment for a period of several years. 6. When early settlers (move, moved, will move) into this area, they (remove, removed, will remove) the natural prairie grasses in order to plant crops and graze their cattle. 7. They did not (realize, realized, will realize) that the grasses kept the soil in place. 8. There (is, was, will be) also a severe drought that (aects, aected, will aect) the region. 9. The worst dust storm (happens, happened, will happen) on April 14, 1935, a day called Black Sunday. 10. The Dust Bowl era nally came to end in 1939 when the rains (arrive, arrived, will arrive). 11. Dust storms (continue, continued, will continue) to aect the region, but hopefully they will not be as destructive as the storms of the 1930s. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 3.2 Irregular Verbs irregular verbs verbs that do not follow regular patterns when shifting from present to past tense. Irregular verbs do not follow the same patterns as regular verbs. Therefore, the past tense of an irregular verb is not formed using the same patterns that regular verbs follow. Study the following chart, which lists the common irregular verbs. Tip The best way to learn irregular verbs is to memorize them. With the help of a classmate, create ash cards of irregular verbs and test yourselves until you master them. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 55 Simple Present Past Simple Present Past Be was, were lose lost become became make made begin began mean meant Blow blew meet met break broke pay paid bring brought put put build built quit quit burst burst read read Buy bought ride rode catch caught ring rang choose chose rise rose come came run ran Cut cut say said Dive dove (dived) see saw Do did seek sought Draw drew sell sold drink drank send sent drive drove set set Eat ate shake shook Fall fell shine shone (shined) Feed fed shrink shrank (shrunk) Feel felt sing sang Fight fought sit sat Find found sleep slept Fly ew speak spoke forget forgot spend spent forgive forgave spring sprang freeze froze stand stood Get got steal stole Give gave strike struck Go went swim swam Grow grew swing swung Have had take took Hear heard teach taught Hide hid tear tore Hold held tell told Hurt hurt think thought Keep kept throw threw know knew understand understood Lay laid wake woke Lead led wear wore leave left win won Let let wind wound Lie lay write wrote Using Irregular Verbs 56 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 2 Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct form of the irregular verb in simple present, past, or future tense. Write the correct response on your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Marina nally (forgived, forgave, will forgive) her sister for snooping around her room. The house (shook, shaked, shakes) as the airplane rumbled overhead. I (buyed, bought, buy) several items of clothing at the thrift store on Wednesday. She (put, putted, puts) the lotion in her shopping basket and proceeded to the checkout line. The prized goose (layed, laid, lay) several golden eggs last night. Mr. Batista (teached, taught, taughted) the class how to use correct punctuation. I (drink, drank, will drink) several glasses of sparkling cider instead of champagne on New Years Eve next year. 8. Although Hector (growed, grew, grows) three inches in one year, we still called him Little Hector. 9. Yesterday our tour guide (lead, led, will lead) us through the maze of people in Times Square. 10. The rock band (burst, bursted, bursts) onto the music scene with their catchy songs. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 3 On your own sheet of paper, write a sentence using the correct form of the verb tense shown below. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. throw (past) __________ paint (simple present) __________ smile (future) __________ tell (past) __________ share (simple present) __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 3.3 Maintaining Consistent Verb Tense consistent verb tense using the same verb tense throughout a sentence or paragraph. Consistent verb tense means the same verb tense is used throughout a sentence or a paragraph. As you write and revise, it is important to use the same verb tense consistently and to avoid shifting from one tense to another, unless there is a good reason for the tense shift. In the box below, see whether you notice the dierence between a sentence with consistent tense and one with inconsistent tense. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 57 Tip In some cases, clear communication will call for dierent tenses. For example: If the time frame for each action or state is dierent, a tense shift is appropriate. EXERCISE 4 Edit the following paragraph by correcting the inconsistent verb tense. Write the corrected paragraph onto your own sheet of paper. In the Middle Ages, most people lived in villages and work as agricultural laborers, or peasants. Every village has a lord, and the peasants worked on his land. Much of what they produce go to the lord and his family. What little food was left over goes to support the peasants families. In return for their labor, the lord oers them protection. A peasants day usually began before sunrise and involves long hours of backbreaking work, which includes plowing the land, planting seeds, and cutting crops for harvesting. The working life of a peasant in the Middle Ages is usually demanding and exhausting. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Writing at Work Read the excerpt from the work e-mail below: 58 WRITING FOR SUCCESS The inconsistent tense in the e-mail will very likely distract the reader from its overall point. Most likely, your coworkers will not correct your verb tenses or call attention to grammatical errors, but it is important to keep in mind that errors such as these have a subtle negative impact in the workplace. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Verb tense helps you express when an event takes place in time. Regular verbs follow regular patterns when shifting from present to past tense. Irregular verbs do not follow regular, predictable patterns when shifting from present to past tense. Using consistent verb tense is a key element to eective writing. Writing Application Tell a family story. You likely have several family stories to choose from, but pick one to write about that you nd most interesting. Use as many details as you can in the telling. As you write and proofread, make sure your all your verbs are correct and the tenses are consistent. 4. CAPITALIZATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the basic rules of capitalization 2. Recognize common capitalization errors capitalization using a capital letter as the rst letter of a word. Text messages, casual e-mails, and instant messages often ignore the rules of capitalization. In fact, it can seem unnecessary to capitalize in these contexts. In more formal forms of communication, however, knowing the basic rules of capitalization and using capitalization correctly gives the reader the impression that you choose your words carefully and care about the ideas you are conveying. 4.1 Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence The rst word to begin a sentence is always capitalized. 4.2 Capitalize Proper Nouns (the names of specific people, places, objects, streets, buildings, events, titles [of individuals]) All proper nouns require capitalization. Proper names are the names of specic people, places, objects, streets, buildings, events, and titles of individuals. No matter where the proper noun appears in the sentence, it must be capitalized. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 59 Incorrect: president barack obama won the 2008 election. Correct: President Barack Obama won the 2008 election. Incorrect: johnny depp was my favorite actor in public enemies. Correct: Johnny Depp was my favorite actor in Public Enemies. Tip Always capitalize nationalities, races, languages, and religions. For example, American, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. Do not capitalize nouns for people, places, things, streets, buildings, events, and titles when the noun is used in general or common way. See the chart below for the dierence between proper nouns and common nouns. Common Noun (used in a general way) Proper Noun (used in a specic way) museum The Art Institute of Chicago theater Apollo Theater country Malaysia uncle Uncle Javier doctor Dr. Jackson book Pride and Prejudice college Smith College war Spanish-American War historical event The Renaissance EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, write ve proper nouns for each common noun that is listed. The rst one has been done for you. Common Noun: river Proper Nouns: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Nile River Amazon River Mississippi River Snake River Potomac River Common Noun: musician Common Noun: magazine For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 60 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 4.3 Capitalize Days of the Week, Months of the Year, and Holidays All days of week, months of the year, and holidays should be capitalized. 4.4 Capitalize Titles Titles of literary works, lms, television shows, etc. as well as titles before the names of individuals should be capitalized. Tip Computer-related words such as Internet and World Wide Web are usually capitalized; however, e-mail and online are never capitalized. EXERCISE 2 Edit the following sentences by correcting the capitalization of titles. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The prince of england enjoys playing polo. Ode to a nightingale is a sad poem. My sister loves to read magazines such as the new yorker. The house on Mango street is an excellent novel written by Sandra Cisneros. My physician, dr. alvarez, always makes me feel comfortable in her oce. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 61 EXERCISE 3 Edit the following paragraphs by correcting the capitalization. david granns the lost City of Z mimics the snake-like winding of amazon River. The three distinct Stories that are introduced are like twists in the River. First, the Author describes his own journey to the amazon in the present day, which is contrasted by an account of percy fawcetts voyage in 1925 and a depiction of James Lynchs expedition in 1996. Where does the river lead these explorers? the answer is one that both the Author and the reader are hungry to discover. The rst lines of the preface pull the reader in immediately because we know the author, david grann, is lost in the amazon. It is a compelling beginning not only because its thrilling but also because this is a true account of granns experience. grann has dropped the reader smack in the middle of his conict by admitting the recklessness of his decision to come to this place. the suspense is further perpetuated by his unnerving observation that he always considered himself A Neutral Witness, never getting personally involved in his stories, a notion which is swiftly contradicted in the opening pages, as the reader can clearly perceive that he is in a dire predicamentand frighteningly involved. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Writing at Work Did you know that if you use all capital letters to convey a message, the capital letters come across like shouting? In addition, all capital letters are more dicult to read and may annoy the reader. To avoid shouting at or annoying your reader, use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Learning and applying the basic rules of capitalization is a fundamental aspect of good writing. Identifying and correcting errors in capitalization is an important writing skill. Writing Application Write a one-page biography. Make sure to identify people, places, and dates and use capitalization correctly. 5. PRONOUNS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify pronouns and their antecedents 2. Use pronouns and their antecedents correctly 3. Summarize appropriate use of pronouns for academic writing If there were no pronouns, all types of writing would be quite tedious to read. We would soon be frustrated by reading sentences like Bob said that Bob was tired or Christina told the class that Christina received an A. Pronouns help a writer avoid constant repetition. Knowing how pronouns work is an important aspect of clear and concise writing. 62 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 5.1 Pronoun Agreement pronoun a word that substitutes for a noun; for example, I, you, he, she, it, we, or they. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of (or refers back to) a noun or another pronoun. The word or words a pronoun refers to is called the antecedent of the pronoun. < antecedent the noun that a pronoun refers to. (1) Lani complained that she was exhausted. < < She refers to Lani. Lani is the antecedent of she. < (2) Jeremy left the party early, so I did not see him until Monday at work. < < Him refers to Jeremy. Jeremy is the antecedent of him. < (3) Crina and Rosalie have been best friends ever since they were freshmen in high school. < They refers to Crina and Rosalie. Crina and Rosalie is the antecedent of they. < Pronoun agreement errors occur when the pronoun and the antecedent do not match or agree with each other. There are several types of pronoun agreement. Agreement in Number If the pronoun takes the place of or refers to a singular noun, the pronoun must also be singular. Agreement in Person Singular Pronouns First person I Second person you Third person Plural Pronouns me my (mine) you your (yours) you you he, she, it him, her, it his, her, its we us our (ours) your (your) they them their (theirs) If you use a consistent person, your reader is less likely to be confused. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 63 EXERCISE 1 Edit the following paragraph by correcting pronoun agreement errors in number and person and rewriting it on a separate piece of paper. Over spring break I visited my older cousin, Diana, and they took me to a buttery exhibit at a museum. Diana and I have been close ever since she was young. Our mothers are twin sisters, and she is inseparable! Diana knows how much I love butteries, so it was their special present to me. I have a soft spot for caterpillars, too. I love them because something about the way it transforms is so interesting to me. One summer my grandmother gave me a buttery growing kit, and you got to see the entire life cycles of ve painted lady butteries. I even got to set it free. So when my cousin said they wanted to take me to the buttery exhibit, I was really excited! For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Indefinite Pronouns and Agreement Indenite pronouns do not refer to a specic person or thing and are usually singular. Note that a pronoun that refers to an indenite singular pronoun should also be singular. Here are some common indenite pronouns. all each one any each other many anybody either few nothing several one some neither one another somebody anything everybody nobody oneself someone both everyone something each everything no one others none other anyone indenite pronoun does not refer to a specic person or thing and is usually singular. 64 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Collective Nouns collective noun a noun that identies more than one person, place, or thing and treats those people, places, or things as a singular unit. Collective nouns suggest more than one person but are usually considered singular. Here is a partial list of collective nouns: Common Collective Nouns audience faculty public band family school class government society committee group team company tribe jury CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 65 EXERCISE 2 Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct pronoun. Copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper. Then circle the noun the pronoun replaces. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. In the current economy, nobody wants to waste __________ money on frivolous things. If anybody chooses to go to medical school, __________ must be prepared to work long hours. The plumbing crew did __________best to repair the broken pipes before the next ice storm. If someone is rude to you, try giving __________a smile in return. My family has __________faults, but I still love them no matter what. The school of education plans to train __________students to be literacy tutors. The commencement speaker said that each student has a responsibility toward __________. My mothers singing group has __________rehearsals on Thursday evenings. No one should suer __________pains alone. I thought the ock of birds lost __________way in the storm. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 5.2 Subject and Object Pronouns Now that we know what a pronoun is, look at functions that the pronoun serves in the sentence. Subject pronouns function as subjects in a sentence. Object pronouns function as the object of a verb or of a preposition. subject pronoun pronoun that functions as the subject in a sentence. Singular Pronouns Plural Pronouns object pronoun Subject Object Subject Object I me we us pronoun that functions as the object of a verb or a preposition. you you you you he, she, it him, her, it they them Pronouns as Subjects < < (1) She loves the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall. (2) Every summer, they picked up litter from national parks. Pronouns as Objects < < (3) Marie leaned over and kissed him. (4) Jane moved it to the corner. Tip Note that a pronoun can also be the object of a preposition. Near them, the children played. OR My mother stood between us. The pronouns us and them are objects of the prepositions near and between. They answer the questions near whom? And between whom? 66 compound subject pronoun two or more pronouns joined by a conjunction or preposition that function as the subject of the sentence. WRITING FOR SUCCESS Compound subject pronouns are two or more pronouns joined by a coordinating conjunction or a preposition that function as the subject of the sentence. Pronouns with Compound Subjects Incorrect: Me and Harriet visited the Grand Canyon last summer. Correct: Harriet and I visited the Grand Canyon last summer. Correct: Jenna accompanied Harriet and me on our trip. Tip Note that object pronouns are never used in the subject position. One way to remember this rule is to remove the other subject in a compound subject, leave only the pronoun, and see whether the sentence makes sense. For example, Me visited the Grand Canyon last summer sounds immediately incorrect. Compound object pronouns are two or more pronouns joined by a coordinating conjunction or a preposition that function as the object of the sentence. Incorrect: I have a good feeling about Janice and I. Correct: I have a good feeling about Janice and me. Tip It is correct to write Janice and me, as opposed to me and Janice. Just remember it is more polite to refer to yourself last. Writing at Work In casual conversation, people sometimes mix up subject and object pronouns. For instance, you might say, Me and Donnie went to a movie last night. However, when you are writing or speaking at work or another formal situation, you need to remember the distinctions between subject and object pronouns and be able to correct yourself. These subtle grammar corrections will enhance your professional image and reputation. EXERCISE 3 Revise the following sentences in which the subject and object pronouns are used incorrectly. Copy the revised sentence onto your own sheet of paper. Write OK for each sentence that is correct. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Meera and me enjoy doing yoga together on Sundays. __________ She and him have decided to sell their house. __________ Between you and I, I do not think Jerey will win the election. __________ Us and our friends have game night the rst Thursday of every month. __________ They and I met while on vacation in Mexico. __________ Napping on the beach never gets boring for Alice and I. __________ New Years Eve is not a good time for she and I to have a serious talk. __________ You exercise much more often than me. __________ I am going to the comedy club with Yolanda and she. __________ The cooking instructor taught her and me a lot. __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 67 5.3 Who vs. Whom Who or whoever is always the subject of a verb. Use who or whoever when the pronoun performs the action indicates by the verb. Who won the marathon last Tuesday? I wonder who came up with that terrible idea! On the other hand, whom and whomever serve as objects. They are used when the pronoun does not perform an action. Use whom or whomever when the pronoun is the direct object of a verb or the object of a preposition: Whom did Frank marry the third time? (direct object of verb) OR From whom did you buy that old record player? (object of preposition) Tip If you are having trouble deciding when to use who and whom, try this trick. Take this sentence: Who/Whom do I consider my best friend? Reorder the sentence in your head, using either he or him in place of who or whom: I consider him my best friend. OR I consider he my best friend. Which sounds better? The rst one, of course. So the trick is, if you can use him, you should use whom. EXERCISE 4 Complete the following sentences by adding who or whom. Write the correct choice on your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. __________ hit the home run? I remember __________ won the Academy Award for Best Actor last year. To __________ is the letter addressed? I have no idea __________ left the iron on, but I am going to nd out. __________ are you going to recommend for the internship? With __________ are you going to Hawaii? No one knew __________ the famous actor was. __________ in the oce knows how to x the copy machine? From __________ did you get the concert tickets? No one knew __________ ate the cake Mom was saving. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Pronouns and their antecedents need to agree in number and person. Most indenite pronouns are singular. Collective nouns are usually singular. Pronouns can function as subjects or objects. Subject pronouns are never used as objects, and object pronouns are never used as subjects. Who serves as a subject of a verb. Whom serves as an object of a sentence or the object of a preposition. 68 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing Application Write about what makes an ideal marriage or long-term relationship. Provide specic details to back up your assertions. After you have written a few paragraphs, go back and proofread your paper for correct pronoun usage. 6. ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify adjectives and adverbs 2. Use adjectives and adverbs correctly Adjectives and adverbs are descriptive words that bring your writing to life. 6.1 Identifying Adjectives and Adverbs adjective a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. It often answers questions, such as which one, what kind, or how many. < < < < adverb a word that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb and often ends in ly. (1) (2) The green sweater belongs to Iris. She looks beautiful. In the sentence 1, the adjective green describes the noun sweater. In sentence 2, the adjective beautiful describes the pronoun she. An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs frequently end in ly. They answer questions, such as how, to what extent, why, when, and where. < < < < < < (3) (4) (5) Bertrand sings horribly. My sociology instructor is extremely wise. He threw the ball very accurately. In sentence 3, horribly describes the verb sings. How does Bertrand sing? He sings horribly. In sentence 4, extremely describes the adjective wise. How wise is the instructor? Extremely wise. In sentence 5, very describes the adverb accurately. How accurately did he throw the ball? Very accurately. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 69 EXERCISE 1 Complete the following sentences by adding the correct adjective or adverb from the list. Identify the word as an adjective or an adverb. Please write the word you select on a separate piece of paper and compare your answers to the following pages. cherished cold good hungrily nearly personally secretly softly splendid vivid For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 1. Frederick __________ choked on the piece of chicken when he saw Margaret walk through the door. __________ 2. His __________ eyes looked at everyone and everything as if they were specimens in a biology lab. __________ 3. Despite her pessimistic views on life, Lauren believes that most people have __________ hearts. __________ 4. Although Stefan took the criticism __________, he remained calm. __________ 5. The child developed a __________ imagination because he read a lot of books. __________ 6. Madeleine spoke __________ while she was visiting her grandmother in the hospital. __________ 7. Hectors most __________ possession was his fathers bass guitar from the 1970s. __________ 8. My denition of a __________ afternoon is walking to the park on a beautiful day, spreading out my blanket, and losing myself in a good book. __________ 9. She __________ eyed her new coworker and wondered if he was single. __________ 10. At the party, Denise __________ devoured two pieces of pepperoni pizza and a several slices of ripe watermelon. __________ 6.2 Comparative vs. Superlative Comparative adjectives and adverbs are used to compare two people or things. < < < < (1) Jorge is thin. (2) Steven is thinner than Jorge. comparatives adjectives and adverbs used to compare two things. Sentence 1 describes Jorge with the adjective thin. Sentence 2 compares Jorge to Steven, stating that Steven is thinner. So, thinner is the comparative form of thin. Form comparatives in two ways: 1. If the adjective or adverb is a one-syllable word, add er to it to form the comparative. For example, big, fast, and short would become bigger, faster, and shorter in the comparative form. 2. If the adjective or adverb is a word of two or more syllables, place the word more in front of it to form the comparative. For example, happily, comfortable, and jealous would become more happily, more comfortable, and more jealous in the comparative. This is typically a good rule of thumb, but there are exceptions. Superlative adjectives and adverbs are used to compare more than two people or two things. < < < < (1) Jackie is the loudest cheerleader on the squad. (2) Kenyatta was voted the most condent student by her graduating class. Sentence 1 shows that Jackie is not just louder than one other person, but she is the loudest of all the cheerleaders on the squad. Sentence 2 shows that Kenyatta was voted most condent student of all of the students in her class. superlatives adjectives and adverbs used to compare more than two people or two things. 70 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Form superlatives in two ways: 1. If the adjective or adverb is a one-syllable word, add est to form the superlative. For example, big, fast, and short would become biggest, fastest, and shortest in the superlative form. 2. If the adjective or adverb is a word of two or more syllables, place the word most in front of it. For example, happily, comfortable, and jealous would become most happily, most comfortable, and most jealous in the superlative form. Tip Remember this exception: If the word has two syllables and ends in y, change the y to an i and add est. For example, happy would change to happiest in the superlative form; healthy would change to healthiest. EXERCISE 2 Edit the following paragraph by correcting the errors in comparative and superlative adjectives. Rewrite the revised paragraph on your own sheet of paper. Our argument started on the most sunny afternoon that I have ever experienced. Max and I were sitting on my front stoop when I started it. I told him that my dog, Jacko, was more smart than his dog, Merlin. I could not help myself. Merlin never came when he was called, chased his tail, and barked at rocks. I told Max that Merlin was the most dumbest dog on the block. I guess I was angrier about a bad grade that I received, so I decided to pick on poor little Merlin. Even though Max insulted Jacko, too, I felt I had been more mean. The next day I apologized to Max and brought Merlin some of Jackos treats. When Merlin placed his paw on my knee and licked my hand, I was the most sorry person on the block. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 6.3 Irregular Words: Good, Well, Bad, and Badly Good, well, bad, and badly are often used incorrectly. Study the chart below to learn their correct usage in the comparative and superlative forms. Comparative Superlative Adjective good better best Adverb well better best Adjective bad worse worst badly worse worst Adverb Good, Well Incorrect: Cecilia felt that she had never done so good on a test. Correct: Cecilia felt that she had never done so well on a test. < Good is always an adjective, a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. The second sentence is correct because well is an adverb that tells how something is done. Incorrect: Cecilias team received a well score. Correct: Cecilias team received a good score. < Well is always an adverb that describes a verb, adverb, or adjective. The second sentence is correct because good is an adjective that describes the noun score. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 71 Bad, Badly Incorrect: I did bad on my accounting test because I didnt study. Correct: I did badly on my accounting test because I didnt study. < Bad is always an adjective. The second sentence is correct because badly is an adverb that tells how the speaker did on the test. Incorrect: The coming thunderstorm looked badly. Correct: The coming thunderstorm looked bad. < Badly is always an adverb. The second sentence is correct because bad is an adjective that describes the noun thunderstorm. Tip Remember better and worse compare two persons or things. Best and worst compare three or more persons or things. Better, Worse < < (1) Tyra likes sprinting better than long-distance running. (2) The trac is worse in Chicago than in Atlanta. Best, Worst < < (1) Tyra sprints best of all the other competitors. (2) Peter nished worst of all the runners in the race. EXERCISE 3 Write good, well, bad, or badly to complete each sentence. Copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Donna always felt __________ if she did not see the sun in the morning. The school board president gave a __________ speech for once. Although my dog, Comet, is mischievous, he always behaves __________ at the dog park. I thought my back injury was __________ at rst, but it turned out to be minor. Steve was shaking __________ from the extreme cold. Apple crisp is a very __________ dessert that can be made using whole grains instead of white our. The meeting with my sons math teacher went very __________. Juan has a __________ appetite, especially when it comes to dessert. Magritte thought the guests had a __________ time at the party because most people left early. She __________ wanted to win the writing contest, which included a trip to New York. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 72 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 4 Write the correct comparative or superlative form of the word in parentheses. Copy the correct comparative or superlative word onto your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. This research paper is __________ (good) than my last one. Tanaya likes country music __________ (well) of all. My motorcycle rides __________ (bad) than it did last summer. That is the __________ (bad) joke my father ever told. The hockey team played __________ (badly) than it did last season. Tracey plays guitar __________ (well) than she plays the piano. It will go down as one of the __________ (bad) movies I have ever seen. The deforestation in the Amazon is __________ (bad) than it was last year. Movie ticket sales are __________ (good) this year than last. My husband says mystery novels are the __________ (good) types of books. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. Writing at Work The irregular words good, well, bad, and badly are often misused along with their comparative and superlative forms better, best, worse, and worst. You may not hear the dierence between worse and worst, and therefore type it incorrectly. In a formal or business-like tone, use each of these eight words in separate sentence. Assume these sentences will be seen and judged by your current or future employer. KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Adjectives describe a noun or a pronoun. Adverbs describe a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Most adverbs are formed by adding ly to an adjective. Comparative adjectives and adverbs compare two persons or things. Superlative adjectives or adverbs compare more than two persons or things. The adjectives good and bad and the adverbs well and badly are unique in their comparative and superlative forms and require special attention. Writing Application Using the exercises as a guide, write your own 10-sentence quiz for your classmate(s) using the concepts covered in this section. Try to include two questions from each subsection in your quiz. Exchange papers and see whether you can get 100 percent. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 73 7. MISPLACED MODIFIERS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify modiers 2. Demonstrate how to correct misplaced and dangling modiers A modier is a word, phrase, or clause that claries or describes another word, phrase, or clause. Sometimes writers use modiers incorrectly, leading to strange and unintentionally humorous sentences. There are two common types of modier errors: misplaced modiers and dangling modiers. If either of these errors occurs, readers can no longer read smoothly. Instead, they become stumped trying to gure out what the writer meant to say. A writers goal must always be to communicate clearly, not distract the reader with strange sentences or awkward sentence constructions. The good news is that these errors can be easily overcome. 7.1 Misplaced Modifiers A misplaced modier is a modier that is placed too far from the word or words it modies. Misplaced modiers make the sentence awkward and sometimes unintentionally humorous. Incorrect: She wore a bicycle helmet on her head that was too large. Correct: She wore a bicycle helmet that was too large on her head. < < < Notice in the incorrect sentence it sounds as if her head was too large! Of course, the writer is referring to the helmet, not the persons head. The corrected version of the sentence claries this. Here are two more examples: Incorrect: They bought a kitten for my brother they call Shadow. Correct: They bought a kitten they call Shadow for my brother. In the incorrect sentence, it seems that the brothers name is Shadow. That is because the modier is too far from the word it modies, which is kitten. Incorrect: The patient was referred to the physician with stomach pains. Correct: The patient with stomach pains was referred to the physician. The incorrect sentence reads as if it is the physician who has stomach pains. What the writer means is that the patient has stomach pains. Tip Simple modiers like only, almost, just, nearly, and barely often get used incorrectly, and writers often stick them in the wrong place: Confusing: Tyler almost found 50 cents under the sofa cushions. Repaired: Tyler found almost 50 cents under the sofa cushions. < How do you almost nd something? You either nd it or you dont. The repaired sentence is much clearer. modier a word or phrase that qualies the meaning of another element in a sentence. misplaced modier a modier that is placed too far away from the word or words it modies. dangling modier a word, phrase, or clause that describes or modies something that has been left out of the sentence. 74 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the following sentences to correct the misplaced modiers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The young lady was walking the dog on the telephone. I heard that there was a robbery on the evening news. Uncle Louie bought a running stroller for the baby that he called Speed Racer. Rolling down the mountain, the explorer stopped the boulder with his powerful foot. We are looking for a babysitter for our precious 6-year-old who doesnt drink or smoke and owns a car. The teacher served cookies to the children wrapped in aluminum foil. The mysterious woman walked toward the car holding an umbrella. We returned the wine to the waiter that was sour. Charlie spotted a stray puppy driving home from work. I ate nothing but a cold bowl of noodles for dinner. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 7.2 Dangling Modifiers A dangling modier is a word, phrase, or clause that describes something that has been left out of the sentence. When there is nothing that the word, phrase, or clause can modify, the modier is said to dangle. Incorrect: Riding in the sports car, the world whizzed by rapidly. Correct: As Jane was riding in the sports car, the world whizzed by rapidly. < < In the incorrect sentence, Riding in the sports car is dangling. The reader is left wondering who is riding in the sports car. The writer may tell the reader. Incorrect: Walking home at night, the trees looked like spooky aliens. Correct: As Jonas was walking home at night, the trees looked like spooky aliens. OR Correct: The trees looked like spooky aliens as Jonas was walking home at night. < In the incorrect sentence Walking home at night is dangling. Who is walking home at night? Jonas. Note that there are two dierent ways the dangling modier can be corrected. Incorrect: To win the spelling bee, Luis and Gerard should join our team. Correct: If we want to win the spelling bee this year, Luis and Gerard should join our team. < In the incorrect sentence, To win the spelling bee is dangling. Who wants to win the spelling bee? We do! Tip Here are three quick ways to spot a dangling modier: 1. Look for an ing modier at the beginning of your sentence or another modifying phrase: Painting for three hours at night, the kitchen was nally nished by Maggie. (Painting is the -ing modier) 2. Underline the rst noun that follows it: Painting for three hours at night, the kitchen was nally nished by Maggie. 3. Make sure the modier and noun go together logically. If they do not, you likely have a dangling modier. Rewrite the sentence: Painting for three hours at night, Maggie nally nished the kitchen. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 75 EXERCISE 2 Rewrite the following the sentences onto your own sheet of paper to correct the dangling modiers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Bent over backward, the posture was very challenging. Making discoveries about new creatures, this is an interesting time to be a biologist. Walking in the dark, the picture fell o the wall. Playing a guitar in the bedroom, the cat was seen under the bed. Packing for a trip, a cockroach scurried down the hallway. While looking in the mirror, the towel swayed in the breeze. While driving to the veterinarians oce, the dog nervously whined. The priceless painting drew large crowds when walking into the museum. Piled up next to the bookshelf, I chose a romance novel. Chewing furiously, the gum fell out of my mouth. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 3 Rewrite the following paragraph correcting all the misplaced and dangling modiers. I bought a fresh loaf of bread for my sandwich shopping in the grocery store. Wanting to make a delicious sandwich, the mayonnaise was thickly spread. Placing the cold cuts on the bread, the lettuce was placed on top. I cut the sandwich in half with a knife turning on the radio. Biting into the sandwich, my favorite song blared loudly in my ears. Humming and chewing, my sandwich went down smoothly. Smiling, my sandwich will be made again, but next time I will add cheese. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS Misplaced and dangling modiers make sentences dicult to understand. Misplaced and dangling modiers distract the reader. There are several eective ways to identify and correct misplaced and dangling modiers. Writing Application See how creative and humorous you can get by writing 10 sentences with misplaced and dangling modiers. This is a deceptively simple task, but rise to the challenge. Your writing will be stronger for it. Exchange papers with a classmate and rewrite your classmates sentences. 76 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 8. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS 77 EXERCISES I. On your own sheet of paper, identify each sentence as a fragment, a run-on, or correct (no error). Then rewrite the paragraph by correcting the sentence fragments and run-ons. My favorite book is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, he was born in 1894 and died in 1963__________. Written in 1931__________. A futuristic society where humans are born out of test tubes and kept in rigid social classes__________. This may not seem like a humorous premise for a novel, but Huxley uses satire, which is a type of humor that is used to make a serious point__________. The humans in Brave New World learn through sleep teaching, Huxley calls this hypnopedia __________. Everyone is kept happy in the brave new world by taking a pill called soma, there is one character named John the Savage who does not take soma__________. Because he comes from a dierent part of the world where there is no technology, and he believes in natural ways of living__________. It turns out that John has a big problem with the brave new world and how people live there__________. Will he be able to survive living there, well you will have to read the novel to nd out__________. Brave New World is considered a classic in English literature, it is one of the best novels I have ever read__________. II. Each sentence contains an error in subject-verb agreement, irregular verb form, or consistent verb tense. On your own sheet of paper, identify the type of error. Then rewrite the sentence correctly. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Maria and Ty meets me at the community center for cooking classes on Tuesdays__________. Johns ability to laugh at almost anything amaze me__________. Samantha and I were walking near the lake when the large, colorful bird appears__________. I builded my own telescope using materials I bought at the hardware store__________. My mother freezed the remaining tomatoes from her garden so that she could use them during the winter__________. Bernard asked the stranger sitting next to him for the time, and she says it was past midnight__________. My mother and brother wears glasses, but my father and sister do not__________. We held our noses as the skunk runs away__________. Neither Soren nor Andrew are excited about the early morning swim meet__________. My hands hurted at the thought of transcribing all those notes__________. The police questioned the suspect for hours, but she gives them no useful information__________. Terry takes short weekend trips because her job as a therapist was very emotionally draining__________. She criticize delicately, making sure not to hurt anyones feelings__________. Davis winded the old clock and set it atop his nightstand__________. Cherie losed four poker hands in a row before realizing that she was playing against professionals__________. Janis and Joan describes their trip to the Amazon in vivid detail__________. You should decides for yourself whether or not to reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet__________. The oil rig exploded and spills millions of gallons of oil into the ocean__________. The handsome vampire appeared out of nowhere and smiles at the smitten woman__________. The batter swinged at the ball several times but never hit it__________. III. Correct the capitalization errors in the following ctional story. Copy the corrected paragraph onto your own sheet of paper. lance worthington signed a Recording Contract with Capitol records on june 15, 2007. Despite selling 2 million copies of his Debut Album, nothing to lose, lance lost quite a bit, as his tax returns from the irs revealed. lance did not think it was fair that the Record Company kept so much of his earnings, so he decided to hire robert bergman, a prominent music Attorney with a Shark-like reputation. bergman represented lance all the way to the supreme court, where lance won the case against capitol records. Lance worthington was instrumental in changing intellectual property rights and long standing Record Company practices. All artists and musicians can thank him for his brave stance against record companies. Lance subsequently formed his own independent record label called worthy records. worthy is now a successful Label based out of chicago, illinois, and its Artists have appeared on well known shows such as The tonight show and Saturday night live. Lance worthington is a model for success in the do-ityourself World that has become the Music Industry. 78 WRITING FOR SUCCESS IV. Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct comparative or superlative adjective. Then copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Denise has a (cheerful) __________ outlook on life than her husband. I dont mean to brag, but I think I am the (good) __________ cook in my family. Lydia is the (thoughtful) __________ person I know. Italy experienced the (bad) __________ heat wave in its history last year. My teacher, Ms. Beckett, is the (strange) __________ person I know, and I like that. Dorians drawing skills are (good) __________ this semester than last. My handwriting is the (sloppy) __________ of all my classmates. Melvins soccer team played (badly) __________ than it did last season. Josies pen writes (smooth) __________ than mine. I felt (lucky) __________ than my sister because I got in to the college of my choice. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 9 at the end of this chapter. 9. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Subject: The gym; Prepositional Phrase: until 9 oclock tonight 2.Subject: We; Prepositional Phrase: to the store 3. Subject: The student; Prepositional Phrase: with the most extra credit 4. Subject: Maya and Tia; Prepositional Phrase: by the side; of the road 5. Subject: The driver; Prepositional Phrase: of that pickup; on the ice 6. Subject: Anita; Prepositional Phrase: with time 7. Subject: The people; Prepositional Phrase: for that company; about the merger 8. Subject: You; Prepositional Phrase: in haste 9. Subject: The soundtrack; Prepositional Phrase: over 60 songs; in languages; from around the world 10. Subject: invention; Prepositional Phrase: of us Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Verb: sounds (LV); to (HV) come (V) 2.Verb: have (HV); eaten (V) 3. Verb: took (LV); to (HV) move (V) 4. Verb: was (HV) lled (V) 5. Verb: walked (V); inspecting (V) 6. Verb: was (HV) expecting (V) 7. Verb: felt (LV); had (HV) been (V) 8. Verbs: runs (LV); praised (V) Section 1 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Kevin (S) runs (V). Elsbeth (S) and Bethany (S) are (LV) roommates (N). Otis (S) is (LV) orange (ADJ). The cake (S) baked (V) quickly (ADV). Justin (S) sings (V) a song (DO). I (S) made (V) them (IO) grilled cheese sandwiches (DO). Section 1 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. Fragment: Working without taking a break; Complete sentence: We try to get as much work done as we can in an hour by working without taking a break. 2. Fragment: In order to meet the deadline; Complete sentence: I needed to bring work home in order to meet the deadline. 3. Fragment: Unless the ground thaws before spring break; Complete sentence: We wont be planting any tulips this year unless the ground thaws before spring. 4. Fragment: Turning the lights o after he was done in the kitchen; Complete sentence: Robert tries to conserve energy whenever possible by turning the lights o after he is done in the kitchen. 5. Fragment: On the shelf next to the potted plant; Complete sentence: Youll nd what you need if you look on the shelf next to the potted plant. 6. Fragment: To nd the perfect apartment; Complete sentence: Deirdre scoured the classieds each day to nd the perfect apartment. CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS Section 1 Exercise 5 Answers: 1. The report is due on Wednesday, but were ying back from Miami that morning. I told the project manager that we would be able to get the report to her later that day. She suggested that we come back a day early to get the report done, and I told her we had meetings until our ight took o. We emailed our contact, who said that he would check with his boss. His boss said that the project could aord a delay as long as they wouldnt have to make any edits or changes to the le. Our new deadline is next Friday. 2. Anna tried getting a reservation at the restaurant, but when she called, they said that there was a waiting list. She put our names down on the list, and when the day of our reservation arrived, we only had to wait 30 minutes because a table opened up unexpectedly. That was good because we were able to catch a movie after dinner in the time that wed expected to wait to be seated. 3. Without a doubt, my favorite artist is Leonardo da Vinci. Its not because of his paintings, but because of his fascinating designs, models, and sketches, including plans for scuba gear and a ying machine, as well as a life-size mechanical lion that actually walked and moved its head. His paintings are beautiful, too, especially when you see the computer-enhanced versions that researchers have used a variety of methods on to discover and enhance the paintings original colors. The result of these computer-enhanced versions are stunningly vibrant, yet delicate displays of the mans genius. Section 2 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. brush 2. wear 3. kicks 4.watches 5. hides 6. want 7. work 8. need 9. eats 10. xes Section 2 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. am 2. have 3. has OR does 4. are 5. has 6. do 7. are 8. is 9. does 10. are Section 2 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. My dog and cats chase each other all the time. 2.The books that are in my library are the best I have ever read 3. Everyone is going to the concert except me. 4. My family is moving to California. 5. OK 6. There are the newspapers I was supposed to deliver. 7. OK 8. When is the movie going to start? 9. My sister and brother clean up after themselves. 10. Some of the clothes are packed away in the attic. Section 2 Exercise 4 Answers: Dear Hiring Manager, I fees that I am the ideal candidate for the receptionist position at your company. I have three years of experience as a receptionist in a company that is similar to yours. My phone skills and written communication are excellent. These skills, and others which I have learned on the job, help me to understand that every person in a company helps to make the business a success. At my current job, the team always says that I am very helpful. Everyone appreciates when I go the extra mile to get the job done right. My current employer and coworkers feel that I am an asset to the team. I am ecient and organized. Are there any other details about me that you would like to know? If so, please contact me. Here is my rsum. You can reach me by e-mail or phone. I look forward to speaking with you in person. Thanks, Felicia Fellini Section 3 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. was 2. consider 3. aected 4. continue 5. caused 6. moved 7. realize 8. is 9. happened 10. arrived 11. will continue Section 3 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. forgave 2. shook 3. bought 4.put 5. laid 6. taught 7. drank 8. grew 9. led 10. burst Section 3 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. He threw out the rst pitch. 2. Jon paints the canvas. 3. She will smile when she sees the gift. 4. I told you that was incorrect. 5. Jenn shares everything in her lunch. Section 3 Exercise 4 Answers: In the Middle Ages, most people lived in villages and worked as agricultural laborers, or peasants. Every village had a lord, and the peasants worked on his land. Much of what they produced went to the lord and his family. What little food was left over went to support the peasants families. In return for their labor, the lord oered them protection. A peasants day usually began before sunrise and involved long hours of backbreaking work, which included plowing the land, planting seeds, and cutting crops for harvesting. The working life of a peasant in the Middle Ages was usually demanding and exhausting. Section 4 Exercise 1 Answers: Musician: Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Joanna Newsom Magazine: People, Time, The New Yorker, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan 79 80 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Section 4 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. The prince of England enjoys playing polo. 2. Ode to a Nightingale is a sad poem. 3. My sister loves to read magazines such as The New Yorker. 4. The House on Mango Street is an excellent novel written by Sandra Cisneros. 5. My physician, Dr. Alvarez, always makes me feel comfortable in her oce. Section 4 Exercise 3 Answers: David Granns The Lost City of Z mimics the snake-like winding of Amazon River. The three distinct stories that are introduced are like twists in the river. First, the author describes his own journey to the Amazon in the present day, which is contrasted by an account of Percy Fawcetts voyage in 1925 and a depiction of James Lynchs expedition in 1996. Where does the river lead these explorers? The answer is one that both the author and the reader are hungry to discover. The rst lines of the preface pull the reader in immediately because we know the author, David Grann, is lost in the Amazon. It is a compelling beginning not only because its thrilling but also because this is a true account of Granns experience. Grann has dropped the reader smack in the middle of his conict by admitting the recklessness of his decision to come to this place. The suspense is further perpetuated by his unnerving observation that he always considered himself a neutral witness, never getting personally involved in his stories, a notion which is swiftly contradicted in the opening pages, as the reader can clearly perceive that he is in a dire predicamentand frighteningly involved. Section 5 Exercise 1 Answers: Over spring break I visited my older cousin, Diana, and she took me to a buttery exhibit at a museum. Diana and I have been close ever since we were young. Our mothers are twin sisters, and they are inseparable! Diana knows how much I love butteries, so it was her special present to me. I have a soft spot for caterpillars, too. I love them because something about the way they transform is so interesting to me. One summer my grandmother gave me a buttery growing kit, and I got to see the entire life cycles of ve painted lady butteries. I even got to set them free. So when my cousin said she wanted to take me to the buttery exhibit, I was really excited! Section 5 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. pronoun: his or her; noun: nobody 2. pronoun: he or she; pronoun: anybody 3. pronoun: its; noun: plumbing crew 4. pronoun: him or her; noun: someone 5. pronoun: its; noun: family 6. pronoun: its; noun: school of education 7. pronoun: him/herself; noun: student 8. pronoun: its; noun: singing group 9. pronoun: his or her; noun: No one 10. pronoun: its; noun: ock of birds Section 5 Exercise 3 Answers: 1, Meera and I enjoy doing yoga together on Sundays. 2. She and he have decided to sell their house. 3. Between you and me, I do not think Jerey will win the election. 4. We and our friends have game night the rst Thursday of every month. 5. OK 6. Napping on the beach never gets boring for Alice and me. 7. New Years Eve is not a good time for her and me to have a serious talk. 8. You exercise much more often than I. 9. I am going to the comedy club with Yolanda and her. 10. OK. Section 5 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. who 2. who 3. whom 4. who 5. who 6. whom 7. who 8. who 9. whom 10. who Section 6 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. nearly 2. cold 3. good 4. personally 5. vivid 6. softly 7. cherished 8. splendid 9. secretly 10. hungrily Section 6 Exercise 2 Answers: Our argument started on the sunniest afternoon that I have ever experienced. Max and I were sitting on my front stoop when I started it. I told him that my dog, Jacko, was smarter than his dog, Merlin. I could not help myself. Merlin never came when he was called, chased his tail, and barked at rocks. I told Max that Merlin was the dumbest dog on the block. I guess I was angrier about a bad grade that I received, so I decided to pick on poor little Merlin. Even though Max insulted Jacko, too, I felt I had been meaner. The next day I apologized to Max and brought Merlin some of Jackos treats. When Merlin placed his paw on my knee and licked my hand, I was the sorriest person on the block. Section 6 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. bad 2. good 3. well 4. bad 5. badly 6. good 7. well 8. good 9. bad 10. badly Section 6 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. better 2. best 3. worse 4. worst 5. worse 6. better 7. worst 8. worse 9. better 10. best CHAPTER 2 WRITING BASICS Section 7 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. The young lady on the telephone was walking the dog. 2. On the evening news, I heard that there was a robbery. 3. Uncle Louie brought a running stroller that he called Speed Racer for the baby. 4. The explorer stopped the boulder rolling down the mountain with his powerful foot. 5. We are looking for a babysitter who doesnt drink or smoke and owns a car for our precious 6-year-old. 6. The teacher served cookies wrapped in aluminum foil to the children. 7. The mysterious woman holding an umbrella walked toward the car. 8. We returned wine that was sour to the waiter. 9. Driving home from work, Charlie spotted a stray puppy. 10. For dinner, I ate nothing but a cold bowl of noodles. Section 7 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Because it involved being bent over backward, the posture was very challenging. 2. This is an interesting time to be a biologist making discoveries about new creatures. 3. While I was walking in the dark, the picture fell o the wall. 4. The cat was seen under the bed while I was playing guitar in the bedroom. 5. A cockroach scurried down the hallway while she was packing for a trip. 6. A towel swayed in the breeze while he was looking in the mirror. 7. While she was driving to the veterinarians oce, her dog nervously whined. 8. The priceless painting drew large crowds walking into the museum. 9. I chose a romance novel from the books piled up next to the bookshelf. 10. The gum fell out of my mouth while I was chewing furiously. Section 7 Exercise 3 Answers: I bought a fresh loaf of bread for sandwiches when I went shopping in the grocery store. Wanting to make a delicious sandwich, I placed the cold cuts on the bread that had mayonnaise thickly spread on it, and placed the lettuce on top. I cut the sandwich in half with a knife, and then turned on the radio. My favorite song blared loudly in my ears as I bit into the sandwich. Humming and chewing, my sandwich went down smoothly. I smiled knowing that my sandwich will be made again, but next time cheese will be added. End of Chapter Exercises Answers Exercise I Answers: My favorite book is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, he was born in 1894 and died in 1963 <Run-on>. Written in 1931 <Fragment>. A futuristic society where humans are born out of test tubes and kept in rigid social classes <Fragment>. This may not seem like a humorous premise for a novel, but Huxley uses satire, which is a type of humor that is used to make a serious point <OK>. The humans in Brave New World learn through sleep teaching, Huxley calls this hypnopedia <Run-on>. Everyone is kept happy in the brave new world by taking a pill called soma, there is one character named John the Savage who does not take soma <Run-on>. Because he comes from a dierent part of the world where there is no technology, and he believes in natural ways of living <Fragment>. It turns out that John has a big problem with the brave new world and how people live there <OK>. Will he be able to survive living there, well you will have to read the novel to nd out <Run-on>. Brave New World is considered a classic in English literature, it is one of the best novels I have ever read <Run-on>. Re-written: My favorite book is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. He was born in 1894 and died in 1963. Written in 1931, Brave New World is about a futuristic society where humans are born out of test tubes and kept in rigid social classes. This may not seem like a humorous premise for a novel, but Huxley uses satire, which is a type of humor that is used to make a serious point. The humans in Brave New World learn through sleep teaching; Huxley calls this hypnopedia. Everyone is kept happy in the brave new world by taking a pill called soma, although there is one character named John the Savage who does not take soma. Because he comes from a dierent part of the world where there is no technology, he believes in natural ways of living. It turns out that John has a big problem with the brave new world and how people live there. Will he be able to survive living there? Well, you will have to read the novel to nd out. Brave New World is considered a classic in English literature, and it is one of the best novels I have ever read. Exercise II Answers: 1. subject-verb agreement; Maria and Ty meet me at the community center for cooking classes on Tuesdays. 2. subject-verb agreement; Johns ability to laugh at almost anything amazes me. 3. consistent verb tense; Samantha and I were walking near the lake when the large, colorful bird appeared. 4. irregular verb form; I built my own telescope using materials I bought at the hardware store. 5. irregular verb form; My mother froze the remaining tomatoes from her garden so that she could use them during the winter. 6. consistent verb tense; Bernard asked the stranger sitting next to him for the time, and she said it was past midnight. 7. subject-verb agreement; My mother and brother wear glasses, but my father and sister do not. 8. consistent verb tense; We held out noses as the skunk ran away. 9. irregular verb and subject-verb agreement; Neither Soren nor Andrew was excited about the early morning swim meet. 10. irregular verb form; My hands hurt at the thought of transcribing all those notes. 11. consistent verb tense; The police questioned the suspect for hours, but she gave 81 82 WRITING FOR SUCCESS them no useful information. 12. consistent verb tense; Terry takes short weekend trips because her job as a therapist is very emotionally draining. 13. consistent verb tense; She criticized delicately, making sure not to hurt anyones feelings. 14. irregular verb form; Davis wound the old clock and set it atop his nightstand. 15. irregular verb form; Cherie lost four poker hands in a row before realizing that she was playing against professionals. 16. consistent verb tense; Janis and Joan described their trip to the Amazon in vivid detail. 17. subjectverb agreement; You should decide for yourself whether or not to reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet. 18. consistent verb tense; The oil rig exploded and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. 19. consistent verb tense; The handsome vampire appeared out of nowhere and smiled at the smitten woman. 20. irregular verb form; The batter swung at the ball several times but never hit it. Exercise III Answers: Lance Worthington signed a recording contract with Capitol Records on June 15, 2007. Despite selling 2 million copies of his debut album, Nothing to Lose, Lance lost quite a bit, as his tax returns from the IRS revealed. Lance did not think it was fair that the record company kept so much of his earnings, so he decided to hire Robert Bergman, a prominent music attorney with a shark-like reputation. Bergman represented Lance all the way to the Supreme Court, where Lance won the case against Capitol Records. Lance Worthington was instrumental in changing intellectual property rights and long standing record company practices. All artists and musicians can thank him for his brave stance against record companies. Lance subsequently formed his own independent record label called Worthy Records. Worthy is now a successful label based out of Chicago, Illinois, and its artists have appeared on well known shows such as The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. Lance Worthington is a model for success in the do-it-yourself world that has become the music industry. Exercise IV Answers: 1. Denise has a more cheerful outlook on life than her husband. 2. I dont mean to brag, but I think I am the best cook in my family. 3. Lydia is the most thoughtful person I know. 4. Italy experienced the worst heat wave in its history last year. 5. My teacher, Ms. Beckett, is the strangest person I know, and I like that. 6. Dorians drawing skills are better this semester than last. 7. My handwriting is the sloppiest of all my classmates. 8. Melvins soccer team played worse than it did last season. 9. Josies pen writes more smoothly than mine. 10. I felt luckier than my sister because I got into the college of my choice.. CHAPTER 3 Punctuation 1. COMMAS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of commas 2. Use commas in sentences correctly Suppose you are presenting a speech. If you read too quickly, your audience will not be able to understand what you are saying. You also will need to stop and take a breath a few times as you read. How do you know where to pause, where to change your voice, and where to stop? You can use the punctuation marks you encounter as a guide for your pacing. Punctuation marks provide visual clues to readers, telling them how the sentence should be read. Some punctuation marks tell you that you are reading a list of items, while other marks tell you that a sentence contains two independent ideas. Punctuation marks tell you not only when a sentence ends, but also what kind of sentence you have read. This chapter covers dierent types of punctuation and how they can be used in sentences to convey meaning. 1.1 Commas One of the punctuation clues to reading you may encounter is the comma (,). The comma is a punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, or a separation of things in a list. Commas can be used in a variety of ways. Take a look at some of the sentences below to see how you might use a comma when writing a sentence. Introductory word: Personally, I think the practice is helpful. Sometimes, it is too hot to go outside. Lists: The wind destroyed the barn, the tool shed, and the back porch. I added watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew to my fruit salad. Coordinating adjectives: He was tired, hungry, and late. She was a prepared, organized, punctual student. Conjunctions in compound sentences: The bedroom door was closed, so the children knew their mother was asleep. They needed a break, and they went to the movies. Interrupting words: I knew where it was hidden, of course, but I wanted them to nd it themselves. The girl, accidentally, found herself lost. Dates, addresses, greetings, and letters: The letter was postmarked December 8, 1945. He grew up on 123 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10003. Commas after an Introductory Word or Phrase You may notice a comma that appears near the beginning of the sentence, usually after a word or phrase. This comma lets the reader know where the introductory word or phrase ends and the main sentence begins. Without spoiling the surprise, we need to tell her to save the date. comma a punctuation mark that tells the reader when to pause, or when a word is part of a list 84 WRITING FOR SUCCESS In this sentence, without spoiling the surprise is an introductory phrase, while we need to tell her to save the date is the main sentence. Notice how they are separated by a comma. When only an introductory word appears in the sentence, a comma also follows the introductory word. Ironically, she already had plans for that day. EXERCISE 1 Look for the introductory word or phrase. On your own sheet of paper, copy the sentence and add a comma to correct the sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Suddenly the dog ran into the house. In the blink of an eye the kids were ready to go to the movies. Confused he tried opening the box from the other end. Every year we go camping in the woods. Without a doubt green is my favorite color. Hesitating she looked back at the directions before proceeding. Fortunately the sleeping baby did not stir when the doorbell rang. Believe it or not the criminal was able to rob the same bank three times. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Commas in a List of Items When you want to list several nouns in a sentence, you separate each word with a comma. This allows the reader to pause after each item and identify which words are included in the grouping. When you list items in a sentence, put a comma after each noun, then add the word and before the last item. However, you do not need to include a comma before the last item. We will need to get our, tomatoes, and cheese at the store. The pizza will be topped with olives, peppers, and pineapple chunks. Commas and Coordinating Adjectives coordinating adjectives a series of adjectives that come before the noun they describe You can use commas to list adjectives as well as nouns. A string of adjectives that describe a noun are called coordinating adjectives. These adjectives come before the noun they modify and are separated by commas. One important thing to note, however, is that unlike listing nouns, the word and does not always need to be before the last adjective. It was a bright, windy, clear day. Our kite glowed red, yellow, and blue in the morning sunlight. EXERCISE 2 On your own sheet of paper, use what you have learned so far about comma use to add commas to the sentences below. 1. Monday Tuesday and Wednesday are all booked with meetings. 2. It was a quiet uneventful unproductive day. 3. Well need to prepare statements for the Franks Todds and Smiths before their portfolio reviews next week. 4. Michael Nita and Desmond nished their report last Tuesday. 5. With cold wet aching ngers he was able to secure the sails before the storm. 6. He wrote his name on the board in clear precise delicate letters. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 85 For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Commas before Conjunctions in Compound Sentences Commas are sometimes used to separate two independent clauses. The comma comes after the rst independent clause, followed by a conjunction, such as for, and, or but. For a full list of conjunctions, look in Chapter 2. He missed class today, and he thinks he will be out tomorrow, too. He says his fever is gone, but he is still very tired. EXERCISE 3 On your own sheet of paper, create a compound sentence by combining the two independent clauses with a comma and a conjunction. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The presentation was scheduled for Monday. The weather delayed the presentation for four days. He wanted a snack before bedtime. He ate some fruit. The patient is in the next room. I can hardly hear anything. We could go camping for vacation. We could go to the beach for vacation. I want to get a better job. I am taking courses at night. I cannot move forward on this project. I cannot aord to stop on this project. Patrice wants to stop for lunch. We will take the next exit to look for a restaurant. I need to get this paper done. I have class in ten minutes. The weather was clear yesterday. We decided to go on a picnic. I have never dealt with this client before. I know Leonardo has worked with them. Lets ask Leonardo for his help. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Commas before and after Interrupting Words In conversations, you might interrupt your train of thought by giving more details about what you are talking about. In a sentence, you might interrupt your train of thought with a word or phrase called interrupting words. Interrupting words can come at the beginning or middle of a sentence. When the interrupting words appear at the beginning of the sentence, a comma appears after the word or phrase. If you can believe it, people once thought the sun and planets orbited around Earth. Luckily, some people questioned that theory. When interrupting words come in the middle of a sentence, they are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. You can determine where the commas should go by looking for the part of the sentence that is not essential for the sentence to make sense. An Italian astronomer, Galileo, proved that Earth orbited the sun. We have known, for hundreds of years now, that Earth and the other planets exist in a solar system. interrupting words words or phrases that describe a noun, separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. Interrupters can come before or after the noun they describe. 86 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 4 On your own sheet of paper, copy the sentence and insert commas to separate the interrupting words from the rest of the sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. I asked my neighbors the retired couple from Florida to bring in my mail. Without a doubt his work has improved over the last few weeks. Our professor Mister Alamut drilled the lessons into our heads. The meeting is at noon unfortunately which means I will be late for lunch. We came in time for the last part of dinner but most importantly we came in time for dessert. All of a sudden our network crashed and we lost our les. Alex hand the wrench to me before the pipe comes loose again. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Commas in Dates, Addresses, Greetings, and Letters You will also use commas when you write the date in cover letters and emails. Commas are used when you write the date, when you include an address, and when you greet someone. If you are writing out the full date, add a comma after the day and before the year. You do not need to add a comma when you write the month and the day, or when you write the month and the year. If you need to continue the sentence after you add a date, add a comma after the date. The letter is postmarked May 4, 2001. Her birthday is May 5. He visited the country in July 2009. I registered for the conference on March 7, 2010, so we should get our tickets soon. You will also use commas when you include addresses and locations. When you include an address in a sentence, be sure to place a comma after the street and after the city. Do not place a comma between the state and the zip code. Like a date, if you need to continue the sentence after adding the address, simply add a comma after the address. We moved to 4542 Boxwood Lane, Hope, Missouri 70832. After moving to Boston, Massachusetts, Eric used public transportation to get to work. Greetings are also separated by commas. When you write an email or a letter, you add a comma after the greeting word or the persons name. You also need to include a comma after a word or phrase you put before your signature. Hello, I would like more information about your job posting. Thank you, Anita Al-Sayf Dear Mrs. Al-Sayf, Thank you for your letter. Please read the attached document for details. Sincerely, Jack Fromont CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 87 EXERCISE 5 Use what you have learned about the application of commas to correctly insert commas in the exercise below. Alexa March March 27 2010 14 Taylor Drive Apt. 6 New Castle Maine 90342 Dear Mr. Timmons Thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I am available on Monday the 5th. I can stop by your oce at any time. Is your address still 7309 Marcourt Circle #501? Please get back to me at your earliest convenience. Thank you Alexa For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 6 On your own sheet of paper, use what you have learned about comma usage to edit the paragraphs below correctly. 1. My only brother Nathaniel is a collector of many rare unusual things. He has collected lunchboxes limited edition books and hat pins at various points of his life. His current collection of unusual bottles has over fty pieces. Usually he sells one collection before starting another. 2. Our meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 20. In that time we need to gather all of our documents together. Alice is in charge of the timetables and schedules. Tom is in charge of updating the guidelines. I am in charge of the presentation. To prepare for this meeting please print out any emails faxes or documents you have referred to when writing your sample. 3. It was a cool crisp autumn day when the group set out. They needed to cover several miles before they made camp so they walked at a brisk pace. The leader of the group Garth kept checking his watch and their GPS location. Isabelle Raoul and Maggie took turns carrying the equipment while Carrie took notes about the wildlife they saw. As a result no one noticed the darkening sky until the rst drops of rain splattered on their faces. 4. Please have your report complete and led by April 15 2010. In your submission letter please include your contact information the position you are applying for and two people we can contact as references. We will not be available for consultation after April 10 but you may contact the oce if you have any questions. Thank you H.R. Department. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 88 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Punctuation marks provide visual cues to readers to tell them how to read a sentence. Punctuation marks convey meaning. Commas indicate a pause or a list in a sentence. A comma should be used after an introductory word to separate the word from the main sentence. A comma comes after each noun in a list. The word and is added before the last noun. A comma comes after every coordinating adjective except for the last adjective. Commas can be used to separate the two independent clauses in compound sentences as long as a conjunction follows the comma. Commas are used to separate interrupting words from the rest of the sentence. When you write the date, you add a comma between the day and the year. You also add a comma after the year if the sentence continues after the date. When they are used in a sentence, addresses have commas after the street address and the city. If a sentence continues after the address, a comma comes after the zip code. When you write a letter, you use commas in your greetings at the beginning and the end of your letter. 2. SEMICOLONS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of semicolons 2. Use semicolons in sentences correctly 2.1 Semicolons semicolon (;) a punctuation mark that indicates a pause and joins two independent clauses Another punctuation mark you will encounter is the semicolon (;). Like most punctuation marks, the semicolon can be used in a variety of ways. The semicolon indicates a break in the ow of a sentence, but functions dierently than a period or a comma. When you encounter a semicolon while reading aloud, this represents a good place to pause and take a breath. Semicolons to Join Two Independent Clauses Use a semicolon to combine two closely related independent clauses. Relying on a period to separate the related clauses into two shorter sentences could lead to choppy writing. Using a comma would create an awkward run-on sentence. Correct (semicolon): Be sure to wear clean, well-pressed clothes to the interview; appearances are important. Choppy (period): Be sure to wear clean, well-pressed clothes to the interview. Appearances are important. Incorrect (comma): Be sure to wear clean, well-pressed clothes to the interview, appearances are important. In this case, writing the independent clauses as two sentences separated by a period is correct. However, using a semicolon to combine the clauses can make your writing more interesting by creating a variety of sentence lengths and structures while preserving the ow of ideas. Tip Use semicolons to join two main clauses. Do not use semicolons with coordinating conjunctions such as and, or, and but. Semicolons to Join Items in a List You can also use a semicolon to join items in a list, when the items in the list already require commas. Semicolons help the reader distinguish between items in a list. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 89 Correct (semicolons): The color combinations we can choose from are black, white, and grey; green, brown, and black; and red, green, and brown. Incorrect (commas): The color combinations we can choose from are black, white, and grey, green, brown, and black, and red, green, and brown. By using semicolons in this sentence, the reader can easily distinguish between the three sets of colors. EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, correct the following sentences by adding semicolons. If the sentence is correct as it is, write OK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I did not notice that you were in the oce I was behind the front desk all day. Do you want turkey, spinach, and cheese roast beef, lettuce, and cheese or ham, tomato, and cheese? Please close the blinds there is a glare on the screen. Unbelievably, no one was hurt in the accident. I cannot decide if I want my room to be green, brown, and purple green, black, and brown or green, brown, and dark red. 6. Lets go for a walk the air is so refreshing. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses. Use a semicolon to separate items in a list when those items already require a comma. 3. COLONS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of colons 2. Use colons in sentences correctly 3.1 Colons The colon (:) is another punctuation mark used to indicate a full stop. Use a colon to introduce lists, quotes, examples, and explanations. You can also use a colon after the greeting in business letters and memos. Dear Hiring Manager: To: Human Resources From: Deanna Dean Colons to Introduce a List Use a colon to introduce a list of items. Introduce the list with an independent clause. The team will tour three states: New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. colon (:) a punctuation mark that is used to indicate a full stop. Colons can introduce lists, quotes, examples, and explanations. 90 WRITING FOR SUCCESS I have to take four classes this semester: Composition, Statistics, Ethics, and Italian. I am adding three ingredients to my pasta sauce: basil, garlic, and mushrooms. Colons to Introduce a Quote You can use a colon to introduce a quote. The quote expands on the introductory, independent clause. Mark Twain said it best: When in doubt, tell the truth. My favorite quote is from The Godfather: Leave the gun. Take the cannoli. Franklin D. Roosevelt comforted the country when he said: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. If a quote is longer than 40 words, skip a line after the colon and indent the left margin of the quote ve spaces. Because quotations longer than 40 words use indentation to indicate a quote, quotation marks are not necessary. My father always loved Mark Twains words: There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The rst group is less crowded. Tip Long quotations that are 40 words or more are called block quotations. Block quotations frequently appear in longer essays and research papers. For more information about block quotations, see Chapter 13. Colons to Introduce Examples or Explanations Use a colon to introduce an example or to further explain an idea presented in the rst part of a sentence. The rst part of the sentence must always be an independent clause; that is, it must stand alone as a complete thought with a subject and verb. Do not use a colon after phrases like such as and for example. Correct: Our company oers many publishing services: writing, editing, and reviewing. Incorrect: Our company oers many publishing services, such as: writing, editing, and reviewing. Tip Capitalize the rst letter following a colon for a proper noun, the beginning of a quote, or another independent clause. Do NOT capitalize if the information following the colon is not a complete sentence. Proper noun: We visited three countries: Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. Beginning of a quote: My mother loved this line from Hamlet: To thine own self be true. Another independent clause: There are drawbacks to modern technology: My brothers cell phone died and he lost a lot of phone numbers. Incorrect: The recipe is simple: Tomato, basil, and avocado. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 91 EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, correct the following sentences by adding semicolons or colons where needed. If the sentence does not need a semicolon or colon, write OK. 1. Dont give up you never know what tomorrow brings. 2. Our records show that the patient was admitted on March 9, 2010 January 13, 2010 and November 16, 2009. 3. Allow me to introduce myself I am the greatest ice-carver in the world. 4. Where I come from, there are three ways to get to the grocery store by car, by bus, and by foot. 5. Listen closely you will want to remember this speech. 6. I have lived in Sedona, Arizona Baltimore, Maryland and Knoxville, Tennessee. 7. The bosss message was clear Lateness would not be tolerated. 8. Next semester, we will read some more contemporary authors, such as Vonnegut, Miller, and Orwell. 9. My little sister said what we were all thinking We should have stayed home. 10. Trust me I have done this before. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Use a colon to introduce a list, quote, or example. Use a colon after a greeting in business letters and memos. 4. QUOTES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of quotes 2. Use quotes in sentences correctly 4.1 Quotation Marks Quotation marks ( ) set o a group of words from the rest of the text. Use quotation marks to indicate direct quotations of another persons words or to indicate a title. Quotation marks always appear in pairs. Direct Quotations A direct quotation is an exact account of what someone said or wrote. To include a direct quotation in your writing, enclose the words in quotation marks. An indirect quotation is a restatement of what someone said or wrote. An indirect quotation does not use the persons exact words. You do not need to use quotation marks for indirect quotations. Direct quotation: Carly said, Im not ever going back there again. Indirect quotation: Carly said that she would never go back there. Direct quotation: My favorite ice cream avor is chocolate, Ryan said. Indirect quotation: Chocolate is Ryans favorite ice cream avor. Direct quotation: Where are you going on vacation? I asked. Indirect quotation: I asked her where she was going on vacation. quotation marks ( ) punctuation marks that are used in pairs to enclose direct quotations and titles of short works direct quotation an exact account of what someone said or wrote. Direct quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks. indirect quotation a restatement of what someone said or wrote. An indirect quotation does not use the persons exact words. You do not need to use quotation marks for indirect quotations. 92 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work Most word processing software is designed to catch errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. While this can be a useful tool, it is better to be well acquainted with the rules of punctuation than to leave the thinking to the computer. Properly punctuated writing will convey your meaning clearly. Consider the subtle shifts in meaning in the following sentence: < < The client said he thought our manuscript was garbage. The client said, He thought our manuscript was garbage. The rst sentence reads as an indirect quote in which the client does not like the manuscript. But did he actually use the word garbage? This is alarming! Or, has the speaker paraphrased (and exaggerated) the clients words? The second sentence reads as a direct quote from the client. But who is he in this sentence? Is it a third party? Word processing software would not catch this. Neither sentence is grammatically incorrect. However, the meanings of the sentences are not the same. Understanding punctuation will help you write what you mean, and in this case, could save a lot of confusion around the oce. Punctuating Direct Quotations Quotation marks show readers another persons exact words. Often, you will want to identify who is speaking. You are not required to do this, especially in creative writing, but identifying the speaker is preferred in academic writing. You can do this at the beginning, middle, or end of the quote. Notice the use of commas and capitalized words. Beginning: Madison said, Lets stop at the farmers market to buy some fresh vegetables for dinner. Middle: Lets stop at the farmers market, Madison said, to buy some fresh vegetables for dinner. End: Lets stop at the farmers market to buy some fresh vegetables for dinner, Madison said. Speaker not identied: Lets stop at the farmers market to buy some fresh vegetables for dinner. Always capitalize the rst letter of a quote, even if it is not the beginning of the sentence. When using identifying words in the middle of a quote, the beginning of the second part of the quote does not need to be capitalized unless the second part begins with a proper noun. Use commas between identifying words and quotes. Quotation marks must be placed after commas and periods. Place quotation marks after question marks and exclamation points if the question or exclamation is part of the quoted text. Question is part of quoted text: The new employee asked, When is lunch? Question is not part of quoted text: Did you hear her say you were the next Picasso? Exclamation is part of quoted text: My supervisor beamed, Thanks for all of your hard work! Exclamation is not part of quoted text: He said I single-handedly saved the company thousands of dollars! Quotations within Quotations single quotation marks ( ) punctuation marks that are always used in pairs to enclose a quotation within a quotation Use single quotation marks ( ) to show a quotation within a quotation. Theresa said, I wanted to take my dog to the festival, but the man at the gate said, No dogs allowed. When you say, I cant help it, what exactly does that mean? The instructions say, Tighten the screws one at a time. Titles Use quotation marks around titles of short works of writing, such as essays, songs, poems, short stories, and chapters in a book. Usually, titles of longer works, such as books, magazines, albums, newspapers, and novels are underlined. Annabel Lee is one of my favorite romantic poems. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 93 Chapter 3, Punctuation, will teach you about quotation marks. American Pie is the longest song I can think of. The New York Times has been in publication since 1851. The fashion in Vogue sets trends worldwide. My favorite novel is Catcher in the Rye. Writing at Work In many businesses, the dierence between exact wording and a paraphrase is extremely important. For legal purposes, or for the purposes of doing a job correctly, it can be important to know exactly what the client, customer, or supervisor said. Sometimes, important details can be lost when instructions are paraphrased. Use quotes to indicate exact words where needed, and let your co-workers know the source of the quotation (client, customer, peer, etc.) EXERCISE 1 Copy the following sentences onto your own sheet of paper, and correct them by adding quotation marks and commas where necessary. If the sentence does not need any quotation marks, write OK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Yasmin said, I dont feel like cooking. Lets go out to eat. Where should we go? said Russell. Yasmin said it didnt matter to her. I know, said Russell, lets go to the Two Roads Juice Bar. Perfect! said Yasmin. Did you know the name of the juice bar is a reference to a poem? asked Russell. I didnt! exclaimed Yasmin. Which poem? The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Russell explained. Oh! said Yasmin, Is that the one that starts with the line, Two roads diverged in a yellow wood? Thats the one said Russell. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS Use quotation marks to enclose direct quotes and titles. Use single quotation marks to enclose a quote within a quote. Do not use any quotation marks for indirect quotations. 94 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 5. APOSTROPHES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of apostrophes 2. Use apostrophes in sentences correctly 5.1 Apostrophes apostrophe () a punctuation mark that is used with a noun to show possession, or to indicate where a letter has been left out to form a contraction An apostrophe () is a punctuation mark that is used with a noun to show possession, or to indicate where a letter has been left out to form a contraction. Possession An apostrophe and the letter s indicate who or what owns something. To show possession with a singular noun, add s. Jens dance routine mesmerized everyone in the room. The dogs leash is hanging on the hook beside the door. Jesss sister is also coming to the party. Notice that singular nouns that end in s still take the apostrophe s (s) ending to show possession. To show possession with a plural noun that ends in s, just add an apostrophe (). If the plural noun does not end in s, add an apostrophe and s (s). Plural noun that ends in s: The drummers sticks all moved in the same rhythm, like a machine. The two playwrights new show garnered rave reviews. The plants owers are all beginning to wilt. Plural noun that does not end in s: The peoples votes clearly showed that no one supported the management decision. The childrens toys were strewn across the oor. The womens apparel department was more popular than the mens. Contractions contraction a word that is formed by combining two words. In a contraction, an apostrophe shows where one or more letters have been left out. A contraction is a word that is formed by combining two words. In a contraction, an apostrophe shows where one or more letters have been left out. Contractions are commonly used in informal writing but not in formal writing. I do not like ice cream. I dont like ice cream. Notice how the words do and not have been combined to form the contraction dont. The apostrophe shows where the o in not has been left out. We will see you later. Well see you later. Look at the chart for some examples of commonly used contractions. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 95 TABLE 3.1 Commonly Used Contractions arent = are not hell = he will its = it is, it has cant = cannot Ill = I will lets = let us shell = she will shes = she is, she has doesnt = does not dont = do not isnt = is not theyll = they will theres = there is, there has youll = you will whos = who is, who has Tip Be careful not to confuse its with its. Its is a contraction of the words it and is. Its is a possessive pronoun. Its cold and rainy outside. = It is cold and rainy outside. The cat was chasing its tail. (Shows that the tail belongs to the cat.) When in doubt, substitute the words it is in a sentence. If it works, use the contraction its. EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, write the incorrect words in each sentence and correct them by inserting apostrophes. If the sentence is correct as it is, write OK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. What a beautiful child! She has her mothers eyes. My brothers wife is one of my best friends. I couldnt believe it when I found out that I got the job! My supervisors informed me that I wouldnt be able to take the days o. Each of the students responses were unique. Wont you please join me for dinner tonight? For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Use apostrophes to show possession. Add s to singular nouns and plural nouns that do not end in s. Add to plural nouns that end in s. Use apostrophes in contractions to show where a letter or letters have been left out. 6. PARENTHESES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of parentheses 2. Use parentheses in sentences correctly 6.1 Parentheses Parentheses ( ) are punctuation marks that are always used in pairs and contain material that is secondary to the meaning of a sentence. Parentheses must never contain the subject or verb of a sentence. A sentence should make sense if you delete any text within parentheses and the parentheses. Parentheses allow you to add and set o extra information to help clarify a sentence. Parentheses ( ) punctuation marks that are used in pairs to contain information that is secondary to the meaning of a sentence 96 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Attack of the Killer Potatoes has to be the worst movie I have seen (so far). Your spinach and garlic salad is one of the most delicious (and nutritious) foods I have ever tasted! Chocolate (especially dark) is my favorite candy. I liked everything about the restaurant (except for the dcor). EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, clarify the following sentences by adding parentheses. If the sentence is clear as it is, write OK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Are you going to the seminar this weekend I am? I recommend that you try the sushi bar unless you dont like sushi. I was able to solve the puzzle after taking a few moments to think about it. Please complete the questionnaire at the end of this letter. Has anyone besides me read the assignment? Please be sure to circle not underline the correct answers. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Parentheses enclose information that is secondary to the meaning of a sentence. Parentheses are always used in pairs. 7. DASHES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of dashes 2. Use dashes in sentences correctly 7.1 Dashes dash () a punctuation mark used to set o information in a sentence for emphasis A dash () is a punctuation mark used to set o information in a sentence for emphasis. You can enclose text between two dashes or use just one dash. To create a dash on a computer keyboard, type two hyphens together. Do not put a space between dashes and text. Arrive to the interview earlybut not too early. Any of the suitsexcept for the purple oneshould be ne to wear. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 97 EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, clarify the following sentences by adding dashes. If the sentence is clear as it is, write OK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Which hairstyle do you prefer short or long? I dont know I hadnt even thought about that. Guess what I got the job! I will be happy to work over the weekend if I can have Monday o. You have all of the qualities that we are looking for in a candidate intelligence, dedication, and a strong work ethic. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Dashes indicate a pause in text. Dashes set o information in a sentence to show emphasis. 8. HYPHENS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the uses of hyphens 2. Use hyphens in sentences correctly 8.1 Hyphens A hyphen (-) looks similar to a dash but is shorter and used in dierent ways. The next section will cover the many uses of hyphens and how to place them correctly in sentences. Hyphens between Two Adjectives that Work as One Use a hyphen to combine words that work together to form a single description. The fty-ve-year-old athlete was just as qualied for the marathon as his younger opponents. My doctor recommended against taking the medication, since it can be habit-forming. My study group focused on preparing for the mid-year review. Hyphens When a Word Breaks at the End of a Line Use a hyphen to divide a word across two lines of text. You may notice that most word processing programs will do this for you. If you have to manually insert a hyphen, place the hyphen between two syllables. If you are unsure of where to place the hyphen, consult a dictionary or move the entire word to the next line. My supervisor was concerned that the team meeting would conict with the client meeting. Im looking forward to taking the holiday o. The baseball game went into extra innings. hyphen (-) a punctuation mark that combines words that work together to form a single description. Use a hyphen to break a word across two lines of text. 98 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Hyphens join words that work as one adjective. Hyphens break words across two lines of text. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION 9. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES 99 100 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISES I. Each sentence contains a punctuation error. On your own sheet of paper, correct each sentence by adding the correct punctuation. The headings will let you know which type of punctuation mistakes to look for. If the sentence does not need corrections, write OK. Commas 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The wedding will be July 13 2012. The date by the way is the anniversary of the day they met. The groom the bride and their parents are all planning the event. Actually all of their friends and relatives are involved in the planning. The bride is a baker so she will be making the wedding cake herself. The photography the catering and the music will all be friends. Semicolons < < 7. Some people spend a lot of money hiring people for wedding services they are lucky to have such talented friends. 8. The owers will either be roses, daisies, and snapdragons orchids, tulips, and irises or peonies and lilies. Colons < < < 9. There will be three colors for the wedding: white, black, and gold. 10. Theyve nally narrowed down the dinner choices salmon, steak, and a vegan stew. 11. Their wedding invitations contained the following quote from the Roman poet Ovid If you want to be loved, be lovable. Quotes < < < 12. The invitations said that the wedding would be outdoor casual. 13. What exactly does outdoor casual mean? I asked the bride. 14. She told me to dress comfortably and wear shoes that do not sink into the ground. Apostrophes < < < 15. On the day of the wedding, were going to rent a limo. 16. My brothers wife will make the arrangements. 17. Shes a great party organizer. Parentheses < < 18. On the day of the wedding, the bride looked more beautiful than ever and Ive known her for 15 years. 19. All of the details were perfect in my opinion. Dashes < < 20. Everyone danced at the wedding except my mother. 21. It was to be expected she just had hip surgery. Hyphens < < 22. The groom danced with his new mother in law. 23. It was a spectacular, fun lled day for everyone. II. Each sentence contains a punctuation error. On your own sheet of paper, correct each sentence by adding commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, parentheses, hyphens, and dashes as needed. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. My mothers garden is full of beautiful owers. She has carefully planted several species of roses peonies and irises. She is especially proud of her thirty year old Japanese maple tree. I am especially proud of the sunowers I planted them! You should see the birds that are attracted to the garden hummingbirds, nches, robins, and sparrows. I like to watch the hummingbirds they are my favorite. We spend a lot of time in the garden planting weeding and just enjoying the view. Each ower has its own personality some seem shy and others seem bold. Arent gardens wonderful? You should come visit sometime Do you like to garden? III. The following paragraph contains errors in punctuation. On your own sheet of paper, correct the paragraph by adding commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, parentheses, hyphens, and dashes as needed. There may be more than one way to correct the paragraph. CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION May 18 2011 Dear Hiring Manager Allow me to introduce myself in my previous position I was known as the King of Sales. I hope to earn the same title within your company. My name is Frances Fortune. I have 13 years of experience in corporate sales and account management. I have been the top rated seller for 2 years in a row in my previous position. Clients recognize me as dependable honest and resourceful. I have a strong work ethic and great interpersonal skills. I excel at goal setting and time management. However you dont have to take my word for it I will be happy to provide personal and professional references upon request. Youre welcome to contact my previous employer to inquire about my work performance. I look forward to speaking with you in person in the near future. Sincerely Frances Fortune IV. Read the following paragraph. Edit by adding apostrophes, parentheses, dashes, and hyphens where needed. There may be more than one correct way to edit some sentences. Consider how the punctuation you choose aects the meaning of the sentence. I was a little nervous about the interview it was my rst in years. I had to borrow my roommates suit, but it t me well. A few days ago, I started to research the companys history and mission. I felt like I was well qualied for the job. When I arrived, I shook hands with the interviewer she had a strong grip! It nearly caught me o guard, but I did my best to smile and relax. I was a little distracted by all of the books in the womans oce she must have had 100 books in that tiny room. However, I think my responses to her questions were good. Ill send her an email to thank her for her time. Hopefully shell call me soon about the position. Writing Application Review some of the recent or current assignments you have completed for school or work. Look through recent business and personal emails. Does your work contain any errors in punctuation? Correct the errors and compile a list of the types of errors you are correcting (commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, quotation marks, parentheses, dashes, hyphens, etc.). Use this list as a reference for the types of punctuation marks that you should review and practice. If you do not nd many errorsgreat! You can still look for ways to add interest to your writing by using dashes, semicolons, colons, and parentheses to create a variety of sentence lengths and structures. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 10. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Suddenly, 2. In the blink of an eye, 3. Confused, 4. Every year, 5. Without a doubt, 6. Hesitating, 7. Fortunately, 8. Believe it or not, Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Monday, Tuesday, 2. quiet, uneventful, 3. Franks, Todds, 4. Michael, Nita, 5. cold, wet, ngers, 6. clear, precise, Section 1 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. Monday, but the 2. bedtime, so he 3. room, and 4. vacation, or we 5. job, so 6. project, but 7. lunch, so we 8. done, because 9. yesterday, so we 10. before, but/them, so lets Section 1 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. neighbors, the retired couple from Florida, 2. doubt, 3. professor, Mister Alamut, 4. noon, unfortunately, 5. but, most importantly, 6. sudden, 7. Alex, Section 1 Exercise 5 Answers: March 27, 2010/Drive, Apt./Castle, Maine/Timmons,/Thank you, 101 102 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Section 1 Exercise 6 Answers: 1. My only brother, Nathaniel, is a collector of many rare, unusual things. He has collected lunchboxes, limited edition books, and hat pins at various points of his life. His current collection of unusual bottles has over fty pieces. Usually, he sells one collection before starting another. 2. Our meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 20. In that time, we need to gather all of our documents together. Alice is in charge of the timetables and schedules, Tom is in charge of updating the guidelines, and I am in charge of the presentation. To prepare for this meeting, please print out any emails, faxes, or documents you have referred to when writing your sample. 3. It was a cool, crisp autumn day when the group set out. They needed to cover several miles before they made camp, so they walked at a brisk pace. The leader of the group, Garth, kept checking his watch and their GPS location. Isabelle, Raoul, and Maggie took turns carrying the equipment, while Carrie took notes about the wildlife they saw. As a result, no one noticed the darkening sky until the rst drops of rain splattered on their faces. 4. Please have your report complete and led by April 15, 2010. In your submission letter, please include your contact information, the position you are applying for, and two people we can contact as references. We will not be available for consultation after April 10, but you may contact the oce if you have any questions. Thank you, H.R. Department. Section 2 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. oce; 2. cheese; roast beef, lettuce, and cheese; or 3. blinds; there 4. OK 5. purple; green, black, and brown; or 6. walk; the Section 3 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Dont give up; you never know what tomorrow brings. 2. Our records show that the patient was admitted on: March 9, 2010; January 13, 2010; and November 16, 2009. 3. Allow me to introduce myself; I am the greatest ice-carver in the world. 4. Where I come from, there are three ways to get to the grocery store: by car, by bus, and by foot. 5. Listen closely; you will want to remember this speech. 6. I have lived in Sedona, Arizona; Baltimore, Maryland; and Knoxville, Tennessee. 7. The bosss message was clear: Lateness would not be tolerated. 8. OK 9. My little sister said what we were all thinking: We should have stayed home. 10. Trust me; I have done this before. Section 4 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Yasmin said, I dont feel like cooking. Lets go out to eat. 2. Where should we go? said Russell. 3. OK 4. I know, said Russell, lets go to the Two Roads Juice Bar. 5. Perfect! said Yasmin. 6. Did you know the name of the juice bar is a reference to a poem? asked Russell. 7. I didnt! exclaimed Yasmin. Which poem? 8. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, Russell explained. 9. Oh! said Yasmin. Is that the one that starts with the line, Two roads diverged in a yellow wood? 10. Thats the one, said Russell. Section 5 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. mothers 2. brothers 3. couldnt 4. wouldnt 5. students 6. wont Section 6 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. (I am) 2. (unless you dont like sushi) 3. (after taking a few moments to think about it) 4. OK 5. (besides me) 6. (not underline) Section 7 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. prefershort 2. knowI 3. whatI 4. OK 5. candidateintelligence, End of Chapter Exercises Answers Exercise I Commas Answers: 1. 13, 2012 2. date, by the way, 3. groom, the bride, 4. Actually, 5. baker, so 6. photography, the catering, Exercise I Semicolons Answers: 7. services; they 8. snapdragons; orchids, tulips, and irises; or Exercise I Colons Answers: 9. OK 10. choices: salmon 11. Ovid: If you want to be loved, be lovable. Exercise I Quotes Answers: 12. be outdoor casual. 13. OK 14. OK CHAPTER 3 PUNCTUATION Exercise I Apostrophes Answers: 15. were 16. brothers 17. Shes Exercise I Parentheses Answers: 18. (and Ive known her for 15 years). 19. (in my opinion). Exercise I Dashes Answers: 20. weddingexcept 21. expectedshe Exercise I Hyphens Answers: 22. mother-in-law 23. fun-lled Exercise II Answers: 1. mothers 2. roses, peonies, 3. thirty-year-old 4. (I planted them). 5. garden: hummingbirds 6. hummingbirds; they 7. planting, weeding, 8. personality; some 9. Arent 10. sometime: Do Exercise III Answers: May 18, 2011 Dear Hiring Manager: Allow me to introduce myself; in my previous position, I was known as the King of Sales. I hope to earn the same title within your company. My name is Frances Fortune. I have 13 years of experience in corporate sales and account management. I have been the top-rated seller for 2 years in a row in my previous position. Clients recognize me as dependable, honest, and resourceful. I have a strong work ethic and great interpersonal skills. I excel at goal setting and time management. However, you dont have to take my word for itI will be happy to provide personal and professional references upon request. Youre welcome to contact my previous employer to inquire about my work performance. I look forward to speaking with you in person in the near future. Sincerely, Frances Fortune Exercise IV Answers: I was a little nervous about the interviewit was my rst in years. I had to borrow my roommates suit, but it t me well. A few days ago, I started to research the companys history and mission. I felt like I was well qualied for the job. When I arrived, I shook hands with the interviewershe had a strong grip! It nearly caught me o guard, but I did my best to smile and relax. I was a little distracted by all of the books in the womans oceshe must have had 100 books in that tiny room. However, I think my responses to her questions were good. Ill send her an email to thank her for her time. Hopefully shell call me soon about the position. 103 104 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 4 Working with Words Which Word is Right? 1. COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify commonly confused words 2. Use strategies to avoid commonly confused words. Just as a mason uses bricks to build sturdy homes, writers use words to build successful documents. Consider the construction of a building. Builders need to use tough, reliable materials to build solid and structurally sound skyscrapers. From the foundation to the roof, and every oor in between, every part is necessary. Writers need to use strong, meaningful words from the rst sentence to the last, and every sentence in between. You already know a lot of words that you use every day as part of your writing and speaking vocabulary. You probably also know that certain words t better in certain situations. Letters, emails, and even quickly jotted grocery lists require the proper selection of vocabulary. Imagine you are writing a grocery list to purchase the ingredients for a recipe but accidentally write down cilantro when the recipe calls for parsley. Even though cilantro and parsley look remarkably alike, each produces a very dierent eect in a recipe. This seemingly small error could radically alter the avor of your dish! Having a valuable everyday vocabulary will help you while writing, and learning new words and avoiding common word errors will make a real impression on your readers. Experienced writers know that deliberate, careful word selection and usage leads to more polished, more meaningful work. This chapter covers word-choice and vocabulary-building strategies that will improve your writing. vocabulary A collection of spoken and written words used by individuals or groups. 1.1 Commonly Confused Words Some words in English cause trouble for speakers and writers because these words share a similar pronunciation, meaning, or spelling with another word. These words are called commonly confused words. For example, read aloud the following sentences containing the commonly confused words new and knew. I liked her new sweater. I knew she would wear that sweater today. These words may sound alike when spoken, but they carry entirely dierent usages and meanings. New is an adjective that describes the sweater, and knew is the past tense of the verb to know. To read more about adjectives, verbs, and other parts of speech see Chapter 2. Recognizing Commonly Confused Words New and knew are just two of the words that can be confusing because of their similarities. The chart below lists additional commonly confused words. Recognizing these words in your own writing and in other pieces of writing can help you choose the correct word. commonly confused words Words that share a similar pronunciation, meaning, or spelling. 106 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 4.1 General Rules for Commonly Confused Words Key Commonly confused word (type of speech) general rules: example a, an, and a (article) is used before a word that begins with a consonant: a key, a mouse, a screen. an (article) is used before a word that begins with a vowel or an acronym that begins with a consonant but has a vowel sound: an airplane, an ocean, an igloo, an LED. and (conjunction) connects two or more words together: peanut butter and jelly, pen and pencil, jump and shout. accept, except accept (verb) means to take or agree to something oered: They accepted our proposal for the conference. except (conjunction) means only or but: We could y there except the tickets cost too much. advice, advise advice (noun) means to give a recommendation for an action: My mothers favorite television shows are the ones that give callers nancial advice. advise (verb) is the verb form of advice: Dave Ramsey is a talk-show host who advises people to save as much money as they can every month. aect, eect aect (verb) means to create a change: Hurricane winds aect the amount of rainfall. eect (noun) means an outcome or result: The heavy rains will have an eect on the crop growth. are, our are (verb) is a conjugated form of the verb to be: My cousins are all tall and blond. our (pronoun) indicates possession, usually follows the pronoun we: We will bring our cameras to take pictures. by, buy by (preposition) means next to: My glasses are by the bed. buy (verb) means to purchase: I will buy new glasses after the doctors appointment. denitely, deantly denitely (adverb) means free of uncertainty; unambiguous: Allen is denitely going to his friends birthday party Friday night. Deantly (adverb) means bold resistance or refusal: The elderly woman deantly refused to give the robber her purse. its, its its (pronoun) is a form of it that shows possession: The buttery apped its wings. its (contraction) joins the words it and is: Its the most beautiful buttery I have ever seen. know, no know (verb) means to understand or possess knowledge: I know the male peacock sports the brilliant feathers. no is used to make a negative: I have no time to visit the zoo this weekend. loose, lose loose (adjective) describes something that is not tight or is detached: Without a belt, her pants are loose on her waist. lose (verb) means to forget, give up, or fail to earn something: She will lose even more weight after nishing the marathon training. of, have of (preposition) means from or about: I studied maps of the city to know where to rent a new apartment. Note: In everyday speech, people frequently say could of or should of. This is incorrect. In these instances, have is the correct choice. have (verb) means to possess something: I have many friends to help me move. have (linking verb) is used to connect verbs: I should have helped her with that heavy box. quite, quiet, quit quite (adverb) means really or truly: My work will require quite a lot of concentration. right, write quiet (adjective) means not loud: I need a quiet room to complete the assignments. quit (verb) means to stop or to end: I will quit when I am hungry for dinner. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS Key 107 Commonly confused word (type of speech) general rules: example right (adjective) means proper or correct: When bowling, she practices the right form. right (adjective) also means the opposite of left: The ball curved to the right and hit the last pin. write (verb) means to communicate on paper: After each team members bowls, I will write down their scores. set, sit set (verb) means to put an item down: She set the mug on the saucer.set (noun) means a group of similar objects: All the mugs and saucers belonged in a set. sit (verb) means to lower oneself down on a chair or another place: Ill sit on the sofa while she brews the tea. suppose, supposed suppose (verb) means to think or to consider: I suppose I will bake the bread, because no one else has the recipe. suppose (verb) means to suggest: Suppose we all split the cost of the dinner. supposed (verb) is the past tense form of the verb suppose, meaning required or allowed: She was supposed to create the menu. than, then than (conjunction) is used to connect two or more items when comparing: Registered nurses require less schooling than doctors. then (adverb) means next or at a specic time: Doctors rst complete medical school and then obtain a residency. their, theyre, there their (pronoun) is a form theyre (contraction) joins the words they of they that shows and are: Theyre the sweetest dogs in the possession: The dog walkers neighborhood. feed their dogs everyday at 2 oclock. there (adverb) indicates a particular place: The dogs bowls are over there, next to the pantry. there (pronoun) also indicates the presence of something: There are more treats if the dogs behave. to, two, too to (preposition) indicates movement: Lets go to the circus. to is a word that completes an innitive verb: to play, to ride, to watch two is the number after one. It describes how many: Two clowns squirted the elephants with water. too (adverb) means also or very: The tents were too loud, and we left. use, used use (verb) means to apply for some purpose: He uses a weed wacker to trim the hedges. used is the past tense form of the verb to use: He used the lawn mower last night before it rained. used to indicates something done in the past but not in the present: He used to hire a team to landscape, but now he landscapes alone. weather, whether weather (noun) means the state of the climate related to temperature, moisture, and cloudiness: Because the weather was perfect, Adriana and her family decided to have a picnic. whether (conjunction) is used to introduce two or more alternatives: Justine doesnt know whether or not shell be a starter for Saturdays softball game. whos, whose whos (contraction) joins the words who and either is or has: Whos the new student? Whos met him? whose (pronoun) is a form of who that shows possession: Whose schedule allows them to take the new student on a campus tour? your, youre your (pronoun) is a form of you that shows possession: Your book bag is unzipped. youre (contraction) joins the words you and are: Youre the girl with the unzipped book bag. The English language contains so many words that no one can say for certain how many words exist. In fact, many words in English are borrowed from other languages. In addition, words are still being created and added to the dictionary every year. For example, words such as ringtone and spyware have recently been added to the dictionary. Many words have multiple meanings and forms, further 108 WRITING FOR SUCCESS expanding the immeasurable number of English words. Although the table serves as a helpful guide, even these words have more meanings than shown here. When in doubt, consult an expert: the dictionary. EXERCISE 1 Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct word. 1. My little cousin turns __________ (to, too, two) years old tomorrow. 2. The next-door neighbors dog is __________ (quite, quiet, quit) loud. He barks constantly throughout the night. 3. __________ (Your, Youre) mother called this morning to talk about the party. 4. I would rather eat a slice of chocolate cake __________ (than, then) eat a chocolate mun. 5. Before the meeting, he drank a cup of coee and __________ (than, then) brushed his teeth. 6. Do you have any __________ (loose, lose) change to pay the parking meter? 7. Father must __________ (have, of) left his briefcase at the oce. 8. Before playing ice hockey, I was __________ (suppose, supposed) to read the contract, but I only skimmed it and signed my name quickly, which may __________ (aect, eect) my understanding of the rules. 9. Tonight she will __________ (set, sit) down and __________ (right, write) a cover letter to accompany her rsum and job application. 10. It must be fall, because the leaves __________ (are, our) changing and __________ (its, its) getting darker earlier. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. Strategies to Avoid Commonly Confused Words When writing, you need to choose the correct word according to its spelling and meaning in the context. Not only does selecting the correct word improve your vocabulary and your writing, but it also makes a good impression on your readers, helps reduce confusion, and improves clarity. The following strategies can help you avoid misusing confusing words. 1. Use a dictionary. Keep a dictionary at your desk while you write. Look up words when you are uncertain of their meanings or spellings. Many dictionaries are available online, and the Internets easy access will not slow you down. Another great online resource is Paul Brians Common Errors in English Usage website, http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html. 2. Keep a list of words you commonly confuse. Be aware of the words that often confuse you. When you notice a pattern of confusing words, keep a list nearby, and consult the list as you write. If you are having trouble with certain words, try to create a sentence or question that will help distinguish the dierence between words. For example, Am I accepting something, or is there an exception? Or, I sit myself down, but I set down whatever I am carrying. Check the list again before you submit an assignment to your instructor. 3. Study the General Rules for Commonly Confused Words table You may not yet know which words confuse you, but before you sit down to write, study the words in Table 4.1. Prepare your mind for working with words by reviewing the commonly confused words identied in this chapter. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 109 Tip Commonly confused words appear in many locations, not just at work or at school. Be on the lookout for misused words wherever you nd yourself throughout the day. Make a mental note of the error and remember its correction for your own pieces of writing. Writing at Work All employers value eective communication. From an application to an interview to the rst month on the job, employers pay attention to your vocabulary. You do not need a large vocabulary to succeed, but you do need to be able to express yourself clearly and avoid commonly misused words. When giving an important presentation on the eect of ination on prot margins, you must know the dierence between eect and aect and choose the correct word. When writing an email to conrm deliveries, you must know if the shipment will arrive in to days, too days, or two days. Confusion may arise if you choose the wrong word. Consistently using the proper words will improve your communication and make a positive impression on your boss and colleagues. EXERCISE 2 The paragraph below contains 11 errors. Find each misused word and correct it by adding the proper word. The original United States Declaration of Independence sets in a case at the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom as part of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Since 1952, more than 1 million visitors each year of passed through the Rotunda too snap a photograph to capture theyre experience. Although signs state, No Flash Photography, forgetful tourists leave the ash on, an a bright light ickers for just a millisecond. This millisecond of light may not seem like enough to eect the precious document, but supposed how much light could be generated when all those milliseconds are added up. According to the National Archives administrators, its enough to signicantly damage the historic document. So, now, the signs display quit a dierent message: No Photography. Visitors continue to travel to see the Declaration that began are country, but know longer can personal pictures serve as mementos. The administrators compromise, they say, is a visit to the gift shop for a preprinted photograph. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 110 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS To write accurately, it is important for writers to be aware of commonly confused words. Although commonly confused words may look alike and/or sound alike, their meanings are very dierent. Consulting the dictionary is one way to make sure you are using the correct word in your writing. You may also keep a list of commonly confused words nearby when you write or study the chart in this book. Choosing the proper words leaves a positive impression on your readers. Writing Application Review the latest assignment you completed for school or for work. Does it contain any commonly confused words? Circle each example and use the circled words to begin your own checklist of commonly confused words. Continue to add to your checklist each time you complete an assignment and nd a misused word. 2. SPELLING LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify common spelling rules, commonly misused homonyms, and misspelled words 2. Apply common spelling rules 3. Assess personal commonly misspelled words One essential aspect of good writing is accurate spelling. With computer spell checkers, spelling may seem simple, but these programs fail to catch every error. Spell checkers identify some errors, but writers still have to consider the agged words and suggested replacements. Writers are still responsible for the errors that remain. For example, if the spell checker highlights a word that is misspelled and gives you a list of alternative words, you may choose a word that you never intended even though it is spelled correctly. This can change the meaning of your sentence. It can also confuse readers, making them lose interest. Computer spell checkers are useful editing tools, but they can never replace human knowledge of spelling rules, homonyms, and commonly misspelled words. 2.1 Common Spelling Rules The best way to master new words is to understand the key spelling rules. Keep in mind, however, that some spelling rules carry exceptions. A spell checker may catch these exceptions, but knowing them yourself will prepare you to spell accurately on the rst try. You may want to try memorizing each rule and its exception like you would memorize a rhyme or lyrics to a song. Write i before e except after c, or when pronounced ay like neighbor or weigh. achieve, niece, alien, thief, hygiene receive, deceive, ceiling, beige, vein When words end in a consonant plus y, drop the y and add an i before adding another ending. happy + er = happier cry + ed = cried theory + es = theories happy + ness = happiness CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 111 When words end in a vowel plus y, keep the y and add ending. delay + ed = delayed valley + s = valleys study + ing = studying Here are some exceptions to this rule to memorize: day, lay, say, pay = daily, laid, said, paid When adding an ending that begins with a vowel, such as able, ence, ing, or ity, drop the last e in a word. write + ing = writing pure + ity = purity note + able = notable When adding an ending that begins with a consonant, such as less, ment, or ly, keep the last e in a word. hope + less = hopeless advertise + ment = advertisement fortunate + ly = fortunately For many words ending in a consonant plus o, add s for the plural form. photo + s = photos soprano + s = sopranos taco + s = tacos kimono + s = kimonos Add es to words that end in s, ch, sh, and x. church + es = churches fax + es = faxes bush + es = bushes glass + es = glasses EXERCISE 1 Identify and correct the nine misspelled words in the paragraph below. Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. He is a Spokane/Coeur dAlene Indian and an American writer, poet, and lmmaker. Alexie was born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. This condition led doctors to predict that he would likly suer long-term brain damage and possibly mental retardation. Although Alexie survived with no mental disabilitys, he did suer other serious side eects from his condition, which plagud him throughout his childhood. Amazingly, Alexie learned to read by the age of 3, and by age 5 he had read novels such as John Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath. Raised on an Indian reservation, Alexie often felt aleinated from his peers due to his avid love for reading and also the long-term eects of his illness, which often kept him from socializeing with his peers on the reservation. The reading skills he displaid at such a young age foreshadowed what he would later become. Today, Alexie is a prolic and successful writer with several story anthologeis to his credit, noteably The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistght in Heaven and The Toughest Indian in the World. Most of his ction is about contemporary Native Americans who are inuenced by pop culture and powwows and everything in between. His work is sometimes funny but always thoughtful and full of richness and depth. Alexie also writes poetry, novels, and screenplays. His latest collection of storys is called War Dances, which came out in 2009. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 112 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Eight Tips to Improve Spelling Skills mnemonic devices Techniques and learning aids that include inventive sayings or practices that help in remembering 1. Read the words in your assignment carefully and avoid skimming over the page. Focusing on your written assignment word by word will help you pay close attention to each words spelling. If you skim quickly, you may overlook misspelled words. 2. Use mnemonic devices to remember the correct spelling of words.Mnemonic devices, or memory techniques and learning aids, include inventive sayings or practices that help you remember. For example, the saying It is important to be a beautiful person inside and out may help you remember that beautiful begins with be a. The practice of pronouncing the word Wednesday Wed-nes-day may help you remember how to spell the word correctly. 3. Use a dictionary. Many professional writers rely on the dictionary, either in print or online. If you nd it dicult to use a regular dictionary, ask your instructor to help you nd a poor spellers dictionary. 4. Use your computers spell checker. The spell checker will not solve all your spelling problems, but it is a useful tool for nding quick and simple spelling mistakes in your writing. However, remember to use the spell checker with care. See the introduction to this chapter for cautions about spell checkers. 5. Keep a list of frequently misspelled words. You will often misspell the same words again and again, but do not let this discourage you. All writers struggle with the spellings of certain words; they become aware of their spelling weaknesses and work to improve. Be aware of which words you commonly misspell and add them to a list to learn to spell them correctly. 6. Look over corrected papers for misspelled words. Add these words to your list and practice writing each word four to ve times each. Writing teachers will especially notice which words you frequently misspell, and it will help you excel in your classes if they see your spelling improve. 7. Test yourself with ash cards. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods are best, and for spelling, this tried-and-true technique has worked for many students. You can work with a peer or alone. 8. Review the common spelling rules explained in this chapter. Take the necessary time to master the material; you may return to the rules in this chapter again and again, as needed. Tip Remember to focus on spelling during the editing and revising step of the writing process. Start with the big ideas such as organizing your piece of writing and developing eective paragraphs, and then work your way down towards the smaller, but equally important, details like spelling and punctuation. To read more about the writing process and editing and revising, see Chapter 8. Homonyms homonym A word that sounds like another word but has a dierent meaning. Homonyms are words that sound like one another but have dierent meanings. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 113 T ABLE 4.2 Commonly Misused Homonyms principle, principal principle (noun) means a fundamental concept that is accepted as true: The principle of human equality is an important foundation for all nations. principal (noun) means the original amount of debt on which interest is calculated: The payment plan allows me to pay back only the principal amount, not any compounded interest. principal (noun) means a person who is the main authority of a school: The principal held a conference for parents and teachers. where, wear, ware where (adverb) means the place in which something happens: Where is the restaurant? wear (verb) means to carry or have on the body: I will wear my hiking shoes when I go on a climb tomorrow morning. ware (noun) means articles of merchandise or manufacture (usually, wares): When I return from shopping, I will show you my wares. lead, led lead (noun) means a type of metal used in pipes and batteries: The lead pipes in my homes are old and need to be replaced. led (verb) is the past tense of the verb lead: After touring the garden, she led the patrons through the museum. which, witch which (pronoun) replaces one out of a group: Which apartment is yours? witch (noun) means a person who practices sorcery or has supernatural powers: She thinks she is a witch, but she does not seem to have any powers. peace, piece peace (noun) means a state of tranquility or quiet: For once there was peace between the argumentative brothers. piece (noun) means a part of a whole: I would like a large piece of cake, thank you. passed, past passed (verb) means to go away or move: He passed the slower cars on the road using the left lane. past (noun) means having existed or taken place in a period before the present: The argument happened in the past, so there is no use in dwelling on it. lessen, lesson lessen (verb) means to reduce in number, size, or degree: My lesson (noun) means a reading or exercise to be dentist gave me medicine to lessen the pain of my aching tooth. studied by a student: Todays lesson was about mortgage interest rates. patience, patients patience (noun) means the capacity of being patient (waiting for a period of time or enduring pains and trials calmly): The novice teachers patience with the unruly class was astounding. patients (plural noun) are individuals under medical care: The patients were tired of eating the hospital food, and they could not wait for a homecooked meal. sees, seas, seize sees (verb) means to perceive with the eye: He sees a whale through his binoculars. seas (plural noun) is the plural of sea, a great body of salt water: The tidal uctuation of the oceans and seas are inuenced by the moon. seize (verb) means to possess or take by force: The king plans to seize all the peasants land. threw, through threw (verb) is the past tense of throw: She threw the football with perfect form. through (preposition) is a word that indicates movement: She walked through the door and out of his life. 114 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 2 Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct homonym. 1. Do you agree with the underlying __________ (principle, principal) that ensures copyrights are protected in the digital age? 2. I like to __________ (where, wear, ware) unique clothing from thrift stores that do not have company logos on them. 3. Marjorie felt like she was being __________ (led, lead) on a wild-goose chase, and she did not like it one bit. 4. Serina described __________ (witch, which) house was hers, but now that I am here, they all look the same. 5. Seeing his friend without a lunch, Miguel gave her a __________ (peace, piece) of his apple. 6. Do you think that it is healthy for mother to talk about the __________ (passed, past) all the time? 7. Eating healthier foods will __________ (lessen, lesson) the risk of heart disease. 8. I know it sounds clich, but my father had the __________ (patients, patience) of a saint. 9. Daniela __________ (sees, seas, seize) possibilities in the bleakest situations, and that it is why she is successful. 10. Everyone goes __________ (through, threw) hardships in life regardless of who they are. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. Commonly Misspelled Words Below is a list of commonly misspelled words. You probably use these words every day either in speaking or writing. Each word has a segment in bold type, which indicates the problem area of the word that is often spelled incorrectly. Use this list as a guide before, during, and after you write. Tip Here are two tricks to help you master these troublesome words: (1) copy each word a few times and underline the problem area. (2) Copy the words onto ash cards and have a friend test you. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 115 T ABLE 4.3 Commonly Misspelled Words across grammar possible address height prefer answer illegal prejudice argument immediately privilege athlete important probably beginning integration psychology behavior intelligent pursue calendar interest reference career interfere rhythm conscience jewelry ridiculous crowded judgment separate definite knowledge similar describe maintain since desperate mathematics speech dierent meant strength disappoint necessary success disapprove nervous surprise doesnt occasion taught eighth opinion temperature embarrass optimist thorough environment particular thought exaggerate perform tired familiar perhaps until nally personnel weight government possess written EXERCISE 3 Identify and correct the 10 commonly misspelled words in the paragraph below. Brooklyn is one of the ve boroughs that make up New York City. It is located on the eastern shore of Long Island directly accross the East River from the island of Manhattan. Its beginings stretch back to the 16th century, when it was founded by the Dutch, who originally called it Breuckelen. Immedietely after the Dutch settled Brooklyn, it came under British rule. However, neither the Dutch nor the British were Brooklyns rst inhabitants. When European settlers rst arrived, Brooklyn was largely inhabited by the Lenapi, a collective name for several organized bands of Native American people who settled a large area of land that extended from upstate New York through the entire state of New Jersey. They are sometimes referred to as the Delaware Indians. Over time, the Lenapi succumbed to European diseases or conicts between European settlers or other Native American enemies. Finalley they were pushed out of Brooklyn completely by the British. In 1776, Brooklyn was the site of the rst importent battle of the American Revolution, known as the Battle of Brooklyn. The colonists lost this battle, which was led by George Washington, but over the next two years they would win the war, kicking the British out of the colonies once and for all. By the end of the 19th century Brooklyn grew to be a city in its own right. The completion of the Brooklyn Bridge was an ocasion for celebration; transportation and commerce between Brooklyn and Manhattan now became much easier. Eventually, in 1898, Brooklyn lost its seperate identity as an independent city and became one of ve boroughs of New York City. However, in some peoples opinien, the intagration into New York City should have never happened; they though Brooklyn should have remained an independent city. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 116 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work In todays job market, writing emails has become a means by which many people nd employment. Emails to prospective employers require thoughtful word choice, accurate spelling, and perfect punctuation. Employers inboxes are inundated with countless emails on a daily basis. If the subject line of an email contains a spelling error, even prior to opening the mail, the reader will have a negative impression of the message as a whole. The best thing to do after you proofread an email to an employer and run the spell checker is to have an additional set of eyes go over it with you. If you are sending an informal email, you could simply have your friend or colleague review it. On the other hand, if you are sending a formal email, ask one of your teachers to read the email and give you suggestions for improvement. Most colleges and universities also have writing centers that can assist you. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Accurate, error-free spelling enhances your credibility with readers. Mastering the rules of spelling may help you become a better speller. Knowing the commonly misused homonyms may prevent spelling errors. Studying the list of commonly misspelled words in this chapter, or studying a list of your own, is one way to improve your spelling skills. Writing Application What is your denition of a successful person? Is it based on a persons profession or on his or her character? Perhaps success means a combination of both. In one paragraph describe in detail what you think makes a person successful. When you are nished, proofread your work for spelling errors. Exchange papers with a partner and read each others work. See if you catch any spelling errors that your partner missed. 3. WORD CHOICE LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Analyze why using a dictionary and thesaurus is important when writing 2. Identify how to use proper connotations 3. Determine how to avoid using slang, clichs, and overly general words in your writing Eective writing involves making conscious choices with words. When you sit down to write your rst draft, you likely have already completed some of the following: freewriting exercises, choosing your topic, developing your thesis statement, writing an outline, and even selecting your sources. When it is time to write your rst draft, start to consider which words to use to best convey your ideas to the reader. Some writers are picky about word choice as they start drafting. They may practice some specic strategies, such as using a dictionary and thesaurus, using words and phrases with proper connotations, and avoiding slang, clichs, and overly general words. Once you understand these tricks of the trade, you can move ahead condently in writing your assignment. Remember, the skill and accuracy of your word choice are major factors in developing your writing style. Precise selection of your words will help you be more clearly understoodin writing as well as speaking. 3.1 Using a Dictionary and Thesaurus No one knows every word in the English language and their multiple uses and meanings, so all writers, from novices to professionals, can benet from the use of dictionaries. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 117 Most dictionaries provide the following information: < < < < < < Spelling (how the word and its dierent forms are spelled) Pronunciation (how to say the word) Part of speech (the function of the word) Denition (the meaning of the word) Synonyms (words that have similar meanings) Etymology (the history of the word) Look at the sample dictionary entry below and see which of the above information you can identify: myth, mith, n. [Gr. mythos, a word, a fable, a legend.] A fable or legend embodying the convictions of a people as to their gods or other divine beings, their own beginnings and early history and the heroes connected with it, or the origin of the world; any invented story; something or someone having no existence in fact.myth ic, myth i cal < < < < < < Highlight myth and insert a bubble with: This is the name of the entry with the correct spelling. Highlight mith and insert a bubble with: The pronunciation shows you that the y in myth is pronounced using a short i vowel. Highlight n. and insert a bubble with: This is the part of speech. The word myth is a noun. Highlight text in brackets and insert a bubble with: The etymology of the word myth comes from the Greek word mythos meaning a word, fable, or legend. Highlight text beginning a fable or legend embodying through existence in fact. Insert a bubble with: This is the denition of the word. Highlight bolded terms at end of entry and insert a bubble with: These are the inected forms of the word myth. These show dierent forms and grammatical functions of the word. Like a dictionary, a thesaurus is another indispensable writing tool. A thesaurus gives you a list of synonyms, words that have the same (or very close to the same) meaning as another word. It also lists antonyms, words with the opposite meaning of the word. A thesaurus will help you when you are looking for the perfect word with just the right meaning to convey your ideas. It will also help you learn more words and use the ones you already know more correctly. However, keep connotations in mind when searching for that perfect word. precocious adj, Shes such a precocious little girl!: uncommonly smart, mature, advanced, smart, bright, brilliant, gifted, quick, clever, apt. Ant. slow, backward, stupid. 3.2 Using Proper Connotations A denotation is the dictionary denition of a word. A connotation, on the other hand, is the emotional or cultural meaning attached to a word. The connotation of a word can be positive, negative, or neutral. Keep in mind the connotative meaning when choosing a word. Word: Scrawny. < < < Denotation: Exceptionally thin and slight or meager in body or size. Word used in a sentence: Although he was a premature baby and a scrawny child, Martin has developed into a strong man. Connotation: (Negative) In this sentence the word scrawny may have a negative connotation in the readers minds. They might nd it to mean a weakness or a personal aw; however, the word ts into the sentence appropriately. Word: Skinny. < Denotation: Lacking sucient esh, very thin. denotation The dictionary denition of a word. connotation The emotional or cultural meaning attached to a word. 118 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < < Word used in a sentence: Skinny jeans have become very fashionable in the past couple of years. Connotation: (Positive) Based on cultural and personal impressions of what it means to be skinny, the reader may have positive connotations of the word skinny. Word: Lean. < < < Denotation: Lacking or decient in esh; containing little or no fat. Word used in a sentence: My brother has a lean gure, whereas I have a more muscular build. Connotation: (Neutral) In this sentence, lean has a neutral connotation. It does not call to mind an overly skinny person like the word scrawny, nor does imply the positive cultural impressions of the word skinny. It is merely a neutral descriptive word. Notice that all the words have a very similar denotation; however, the connotations of each word dier. EXERCISE 1 In each item below, you will nd words with similar denotations. Identify the words connotations as positive, negative, or neutral. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. curious, nosy, interested lazy, relaxed, slow courageous, foolhardy, assured new, new-fangled, modern mansion, shack, residence spinster, unmarried woman, career woman giggle, laugh, cackle boring, routine, prosaic noted, notorious, famous assertive, condent, pushy Example: Positive Negative Neutral Skinny Scrawny Lean For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 3.3 Avoiding Slang slang Informal words that are considered nonstandard English. Slang describes informal words that are considered nonstandard English. Slang often changes with passing fads and may be used by or be familiar to only a specic group of people. Most people use slang when they speak and in personal correspondences, such as email, text, and instant messages. Slang is appropriate between friends in an informal context but should be avoided in formal academic writing. Writing at Work Frequent exposure to media and popular culture has desensitized many of us to slang. In certain situations, using slang at work may not be problematic, but keep in mind that words have a powerful eect. Slang in professional emails or during meetings may convey the wrong message or even oend someone. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 119 EXERCISE 2 Edit the following paragraph by replacing the slang words and phrases with more formal language. I felt like such an airhead when I got up to give my speech. As I walked toward the podium I banged my knee on a chair. Man, I felt like such a klutz. On top of that, I kept saying like and um, and I could not stop dgeting. I was so stressed out about being up there. I feel like Ive been practicing this speech 24/7, and I still bombed. It was 10 minutes of me going o about how we sometimes have to do things we dont enjoy doing. Wow, did I ever prove my point. My speech was so bad Im surprised that people didnt boo. My teacher said not to sweat it, though. Everyone gets nervous their rst time speaking in public, and with time she said I would become a whiz at this speech giving stu. I wonder if I have the guts to do it again. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. Avoiding Clichs Clichs are descriptive expressions that have lost their eectiveness because they are overused. Writing that uses clichs often suers from a lack of originality and insight. Avoiding clichs in formal writing will help you write in original and fresh ways. Clichd: Whenever my brother and I get into an argument, he always says something that makes my blood boil. Plain: Whenever my brother and I get into an argument, he always says something that makes me really angry. Original: Whenever my brother and I get into an argument, he always says something that makes me want to go to the gym and punch the bag for a few hours. Tip Think about all the clich phrases that you hear in popular music or in everyday conversation. What would happen if these clichs transformed into something unique? EXERCISE 3 Rewrite the sentences below by replacing the clichs with fresh, original descriptions. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. She is writing a memoir in which she will air her familys dirty laundry. Fran had an ax to grind with Benny, and she planned to confront him that night at the party. Mr. Muller was at his wits end with the rowdy class of seventh graders. The bottom line is that Greg was red because he missed too many days of work. Sometimes it is hard to make ends meet with just one paycheck. My brain is fried from pulling an all-nighter. Maria left the dishes in the sink all week to give Je a taste of his own medicine. While they were at the carnival Janice exclaimed, Time sure does y when you are having fun! Jeremy became tongue-tied after the interviewer asked him where he saw himself in ve years. Jordan was dressed to the nines that night. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. Avoid Overly General Words Specic words and images make your writing more interesting to read. Whenever possible, avoid overly general words in your writing; instead, try to replace general language with particular nouns, verbs, and modiers that convey details and bring your words to life. Add words that provide color, texture, sound, and even smell to your writing. clich Descriptive expressions that have lost their eectiveness because they are overused. 120 WRITING FOR SUCCESS General: My new puppy is cute. Specic: My new puppy is a ball of white fuzz with the biggest black eyes I have ever seen. General: My teacher told us that plagiarism is bad. Specic: My teacher, Ms. Atwater, created a presentation detailing exactly how plagiarism is illegal and unethical. EXERCISE 4 Rewrite the following sentences by replacing the overly general words with more precise and attractive language. Write the new sentences on your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Reilly got into her car and drove o. I would like to travel to outer space because it would be amazing. Jane came home after a bad day at the oce. I thought Milos essay was fascinating. The dog walked up the street. The coal miners were tired after a long day. The tropical sh are pretty. I sweat a lot after running. The goalie blocked the shot. I enjoyed my Mexican meal. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Using a dictionary and thesaurus as you write will improve your writing by improving your word choice. Connotations of words may be positive, neutral, or negative. Slang, clichs, and overly general words should be avoided in academic writing. Slang may only be understood by a specic group of people. If you use slang, your teachers may not understand what you are trying to say. Clichs are overused terms or phrases that show a lack of insight. When you are working on a formal writing assignment, avoid clichs and use original terms instead. General words can make your writing feel dull or dry. Use specic words whenever possible to make your writing more captivating. Writing Application Review a piece of writing that you have completed for school. Circle any sentences with slang, clichs, or overly general words and rewrite them using stronger language. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 121 4. PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the meanings of common prexes 2. Recognize the common sux rules The English language contains an enormous and ever-growing number of words. Enhancing your vocabulary by learning new words can seem overwhelming, but if you know the common prexes and suxes of English, you will understand many more words. Mastering common prexes and suxes is like learning a code. Once you crack the code, you can not only spell words more correctly but also recognize and perhaps even dene unfamiliar words. 4.1 Prefixes A prex is a word part added to the beginning of a word to create a new meaning. Study the common prexes in the box below. Tip The main rule to remember when adding a prex to a word is not to add letters or leave out any letters. See Table 4.4 for examples of this rule. TABLE 4.4 Common Prefixes Prex Meaning Examples dis not, opposite of dis + satised = dissatised mis wrongly mis + spell = misspell un not un + acceptable = unacceptable re again re + election = reelection inter between inter + related = interrelated pre before pre + pay = prepay non not non + sense = nonsense super above super + script = superscript sub under sub + merge = submerge anti against, opposing anti + bacterial = antibacterial EXERCISE 1 Identify the ve words with prexes in the following paragraph, and then write their meanings on a separate sheet of paper. At rst I thought one of my fuzzy orange socks disappeared in the dryer, but I could not nd it in there. Because it was my favorite pair, nothing was going to prevent me from nding that sock. I looked all around my bedroom, under the bed, on top of the bed, and in my closet, but I still could not nd it. I did not know that I would discover the answer just as I gave up my search. As I sat down on the couch in the family room, my dad was reclining on his chair. I laughed when I saw that one of his feet was orange and the other blue! I forgot that he was color blind. Next time he does laundry I will have to supervise him while he folds the socks so that he does not accidentally take one of mine! For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. prex A word part added to the beginning of a word to create a new meaning. 122 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 2 Add the correct prex to the word to complete each sentence. Write the word on your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. I wanted to ease my stomach (__________comfort), so I drank some ginger root tea. Lenny looked funny in his (__________matched) shirt and pants. Penelope felt (__________glamorous) at the party because she was the only one not wearing a dress. My mother said those (__________aging) creams do not work, so I should not waste my money on them. The childs (__________standard) performance on the test alarmed his parents. When my sister rst saw the meteor she thought it was a (__________natural) phenomenon. Even though she got an excellent job oer, Cherie did not want to (__________locate) to a dierent country. 8. With a small class size, the students get to (__________act) with the teacher more frequently. 9. I slipped on the ice because I did not heed the (__________cautions) about watching my step. 10. A (__________combatant) is another word for civilian. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 4.2 Suffixes sux A word part added to the end of a word to create a new meaning. A sux is a word part added to the end of a word to create a new meaning. Study the sux rules in the boxes below. Rule 1: When adding the suxes ness and ly to a word, the spelling of the word does not change. Examples: dark + ness = darkness scholar + ly = scholarly Exceptions to Rule 1: When the word ends in y, change the y to i before adding ness and ly. Examples: ready + ly = readily happy + ness = happiness Rule 2: When the sux begins with a vowel, drop the silent e. Examples: care + ing = caring use + able = usable Exceptions to Rule 2: When the word ends in ce or ge, keep the silent e if the sux begins with a or o. Examples: replace + able = replaceable courage + ous = courageous Forgetting this exception is a common mistake many people make. So, instead of writing noticeable, people often write noticable, which is incorrect. Rule 3: When the sux begins with a consonant, keep the silent e. Examples: care + ful = careful care + less = careless Exceptions to Rule 3: true + ly = truly argue + ment = argument Rule 4: When the words end in a consonant plus y, change the y to i before any sux not beginning with i. Examples: sunny + er = sunnier hurry + ing = hurrying CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 123 Rule 5: When the sux begins with a vowel, double the nal consonant only if (1) the word has only one syllable or is accented on the last syllable, and (2) the word ends in a single vowel plus single consonant. Examples: tan + ing = tanning (one syllable word) regret + ing = regretting (the accent is on the last syllable; the word ends in a single vowel plus single consonant) cancel + ed = canceled (the accent is not on the last syllable) prefer + ed = preferred EXERCISE 3 Write the correct forms of the following words with their suxes. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. refer + ed refer + ence mope + ing approve + al green + ness benet + ed resubmit + ing use + age greedy + ly excite + ment For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS A prex is a word part added to the beginning of a word that changes the words meaning. A sux is a word part added to the end of a word that changes the words meaning. Learning the meanings of prexes and suxes will help expand your vocabulary, which will help improve your writing. Writing Application Write a paragraph describing one of your life goals. Include ve words with prexes and suxes. Exchange papers with a classmate and circle the prexes and suxes in your classmates paper. Correct each prex or sux that is spelled incorrectly. 5. SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize how synonyms improve writing 2. Apply common antonyms to increase your vocabulary As you work with your draft, you will want to pay particular attention to the words you have chosen. Do they express exactly what you are trying to convey? Can you choose better, more eective words? Familiarity with synonyms and antonyms can be helpful in answering these questions. 124 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 5.1 Synonyms synonym Words that have the same, or almost the same, meaning as another word. Synonyms are words that have the same, or almost the same, meaning as another word. You can say an easy task or a simple task because easy and simple are synonyms. You can say Hong Kong is a large city or a metropolis because city and metropolis are synonyms. However, it is important to remember that not all pairs of words in the English language are so easily interchangeable. The slight but important dierences in meaning between synonyms can make a big dierence in your writing. For example, the words boring and insipid may have similar meanings, but the subtle dierences between the two will aect the message your writing conveys. The word insipid evokes a scholarly and perhaps more pretentious message than boring. The English language is full of pairs of words that have subtle distinctions between them. All writers, professionals and beginners alike, face the challenge of choosing the most appropriate synonym to best convey their ideas. When you pay attention to synonyms in your writing it comes across to your reader. The sentences become clearer and richer in meaning. Writing at Work Any writing you do at work involves a careful choice of words. For example, if you are writing an email to your employer regarding your earnings, you can use the word pay, salary, or hourly wage. There are also other synonyms to choose from. Just keep in mind that the word you choose will have an eect on the reader, so you want to choose wisely to get the desired eect. EXERCISE 1 Replace the underlined words in the paragraph with appropriate synonyms. When most people think of the Renaissance, they might think of artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, or Leonardo da Vinci, but they often overlook one of the very important gures of the Renaissance: Filippo Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi was born in Florence, Italy, in 1377. He is considered the very best architect and engineer of the Renaissance. His impressive accomplishments are a testament to following ones dreams, persevering in the face of obstacles, and realizing ones vision. The most dicult undertaking of Brunelleschis career was the dome of Florence Cathedral, which took 16 years to construct. However, a major blow to the progress of the construction happened in 1428. Brunelleschi had designed a special ship to carry the 100 tons of marble needed for the dome. He felt this would be the most inexpensive way to transport the marble, but the unthinkable happened. The ship went down to the bottom of the water, taking all the marble with it to the bottom of the river. Brunelleschi was really sad. Nevertheless, he did not give up. He held true to his vision of the completed dome. Filippo Brunelleschi completed construction of the dome of Florence Cathedral in 1446. His inuence on artists and architects alike was felt strongly during his lifetime and can still be felt in this day and age. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 2 On your own sheet of paper, write a sentence with each of the following words that illustrates the specic meaning of each synonym. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. leave, abandon mad, insane outside, exterior poor, destitute quiet, peaceful riot, revolt rude, impolite talk, conversation hug, embrace home, residence CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 125 For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 5.2 Antonyms Antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of a given word. The study of antonyms will not only help you choose the most appropriate word as you write, but it will also sharpen your overall sense of language. The chart below lists common words and their antonyms. antonym Words that have the opposite meaning of a given word. 126 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 4.5 Common Antonyms Word Antonym absence presence accept refuse accurate inaccurate advantage disadvantage ancient modern abundant scarce articial natural attractive repulsive borrow lend bravery cowardice build destroy, demolish bold timid, meek capable incapable combine separate conceal reveal common rare decrease increase denite indenite despair hope discourage encourage ebb ow encourage discourage employer employee expand contract forget remember frequent seldom harmful harmless horizontal vertical imitation genuine include exclude increase decrease inhabited uninhabited inferior superior intentional accidental justice injustice knowledge ignorance landlord tenant likely unlikely minority majority miser spendthrift obedient disobedient optimist pessimist permanent temporary plentiful scarce private public CHAPTER 4 Word WORKING WITH WORDS 127 Antonym prudent imprudent qualied unqualied satisfactory unsatisfactory tame wild vacant occupied Tip Learning antonyms is an eective way to increase your vocabulary. Memorizing words in combination or in relation to other words often helps us retain them. EXERCISE 3 Correct the following sentences by replacing the underlined words with an antonym. Write the antonym on your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The pilot who landed the plane was a coward because no one was injured. Even though the botany lecture was two hours long, Gerard found it incredibly dull. My mother says it is impolite to say thank you like you really mean it. Although I have learned a lot of information through textbooks, it is life experience that has given me ignorance. When our instructor said the nal paper was compulsory, it was music to my ears! My only virtues are coee, video games, and really loud music. Elvin was so bold when he walked in the classroom that he sat in the back row and did not participate. Maria thinks elephants that live in freedom have a sad look in their eyes. The teacher lled her students minds with gloomy thoughts about their futures. The guest attended to every one of our needs. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Synonyms are words that have the same, or almost the same, meaning as another word. Antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning as another word. Choosing the right synonym renes your writing. Learning common antonyms sharpens your sense of language and expands your vocabulary. Writing Application Write a paragraph that describes your favorite dish or food. Use as many synonyms as you can in the description, even if it seems too many. Be creative. Consult a thesaurus and take this opportunity to use words you have never used before. Be prepared to share your paragraph. 128 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 6. USING CONTEXT CLUES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the dierent types of context clues 2. Use context clues while reading context clues Words or phrases in a text that help clarify the meaning of an unfamiliar word. Context clues are bits of information within a text that will help you decipher the meaning of unknown words. Because most of your knowledge of vocabulary comes from reading, it is important to recognize context clues. By becoming more aware of particular words and phrases surrounding a dicult word, you can make logical guesses about its meaning. The dierent types of context clues are brief denition or restatement, synonyms and antonyms, and < example. < < 6.1 Brief Definition or Restatement Sometimes a text directly states the denition or a restatement of the unknown word. The brief denition or restatement is signaled by a word or a punctuation mark. For example: If you visit Alaska you will likely see many glaciers, or slow moving masses of ice. In this sentence, the word glaciers is dened by the phrase that follows the signal word or: slow moving masses of ice. In other instances the text may restate the meaning of the word in a dierent way, by using punctuation as a signal. For example: Marina was indignantfuming mad when she discovered her brother had left for the party without her. Although fuming mad is not a formal denition of the word indignant, it does serve to dene it. These two examples use signalsthe word or and the punctuation dashesto indicate the meaning of the unfamiliar word. Other signals to look for are the words is, means, known as, and refers to. 6.2 Synonyms and Antonyms Sometimes a text gives a synonym of the unknown word to signal the meaning of the unfamiliar word: When you interpret an image, you actively question and examine what the image connotes and suggests. In this sentence the word suggests is a synonym of the word connotes. The word and sometimes signals synonyms. Likewise, the word but may signal a contrast, which can help you dene a word by its antonym. I abhor clothes shopping, but I adore grocery shopping. The word abhor is contrasted with its opposite: adore. From this context, the reader can guess that abhor means to dislike greatly. 6.3 Example Sometimes a text will give you an example of the word that sheds light on its meaning: I knew Marks ailurophobia was in full force because he began trembling and stuttering when he saw my cat, Ludwig, slink out from under the bed. Although ailurophobia is an unknown word, the sentence gives an example of its eects. Based on this example, a reader could condently surmise that the word means a fear of cats. Tip Look for signal words like such as, for instance, and for example. These words signal that a words meaning may be revealed through an example. CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS 129 EXERCISE 1 Identify the context clue that helps dene the underlined words in each of the following sentences. 1. Lucinda is very adroit on the balance beam, but Constance is rather clumsy. 2. I saw the entomologist, a scientist who studies insects, cradle the giant dung beetle in her palm. 3. Lances comments about politics were irrelevant and meaningless to the botanists lecture on plant reproduction. 4. Before I left for my trip to the Czech Republic, I listened to my mothers sage advice and made a copy of my passport. 5. His rancor, or hatred, for socializing resulted in a life of loneliness and boredom. 6. Martin was mortied, way beyond embarrassment, when his friends teamed up to shove him into the pool. 7. The petulant 4-year-old had a baby sister who was, on the contrary, not grouchy at all. 8. The philosophy teacher presented the students with several conundrums, or riddles, to solve. 9. Most Americans are omnivores, people who eat both plants and animals. 10. Elena is eervescent, as excited as a cheerleader, for example, when she meets someone for the rst time. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 2 Use the surrounding sentences to determine the context and meaning of the underlined words. Maggie was a precocious child to say the least. She produced brilliant watercolor paintings by the age of 3. At rst, her parents were abbergastedutterly blown awayby their daughters ability, but soon they got used to their little painter. Her preschool teacher said that Maggies dexterity, or ease with which she used her hands, was something she had never before seen in such a young child. Little Maggie never gloated or took pride in her paintings; she just smiled contentedly when she nished one and requested her parents give it to someone as a gift. Whenever people met Maggie for the rst time they often watched her paint with their mouths agape, but her parents always kept their mouths closed and simply smiled over their little Monet. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. Tip In addition to context clues to help you gure out the meaning of a word, examine the word parts: prexes, roots, and suxes. Writing at Work Jargon a type of shorthand communication often used in the workplace. It is the technical language of a specialized eld. Imagine it is your rst time working as a server in a restaurant and your manager tells you he is going to 86 the roasted chicken. If you do not realize that 86 means to remove an item from the menu, you could be confused. When you rst start a job, no matter where it may be, you will encounter jargon that is foreign to you. Perhaps after working the job for a short time, you too will feel comfortable enough to use it. When you are rst hired, however, jargon can be baing and make you feel like an outsider. If you cannot decipher the jargon based on the context, it is always a good policy to ask. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS Context clues are words or phrases within a text that help clarify vocabulary that is unknown to you. There are several types of context clues, including brief denition and restatement, synonyms and antonyms, and example. 130 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing Application Write a paragraph describing your rst job. In the paragraph, use ve words previously unknown to you. These words could be jargon words, or you may consult a dictionary or thesaurus to nd a new word. Make sure to provide a specic context clue for understanding each word. Exchange papers with a classmate and try to decipher the meaning of the words in each others paragraphs based on the context clues. 7. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. Proofread the paragraph and correct any commonly confused words and misspelled words. Grunge, or the Seattle sound, is a type of rock music that became quiet popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It began in Seattle, Washington. Grunge musicians rejected the dramatic an expensive stage productions that were trendy at the time. There music was striped down with an emphasis on distorted electric guitars. Grunge musicians did not ware makeup or sport extravagent hairstyles like many of the days rock musicians and bands. Many grunge musicians would by theyre clothes from secondhand stores. The lyrics too grunge songs were also quit dierent compared two what was populer at the time. Grunge lyrics are charecterized by dark or socially conscience themes. Grunge music is still admired today buy music lovers of all ages. II. Complete the following sentences by selecting the correct homonym or frequently misspelled word. 1. Kevin asked me a serious question and __________ (then, than) interrupted me when I attempted to answer. 2. A hot compress will __________ (lessen, lesson) the pain of muscle cramps. 3. Jason was not a graceful __________ (looser, loser) because he knocked his chair over and stormed o the basketball court. 4. Please consider the __________ the (eects, aects) of not getting enough green vegetables in your diet. 5. __________ (Except, Accept) for Ajay, we all had our tickets to the play. 6. I am __________ (threw, through) with this magazine, so you can read it if you like. 7. I dont care __________ (whose, whos) coming to the party and __________ (whose, whos) not. 8. Crystal could __________ (sea, see) the soaring hawk through her binoculars. 9. The __________ (principal, principle) gave the students a very long lecture about peer pressure. 10. Dr. Frankl nearly lost his __________ (patience, patients) with one of his __________ (patience, patients). III. Rewrite the following personal essay by replacing the slang, clichs, and overly general language with stronger, more precise language. My biggest regret happened in high school. I had always felt like a sh out of water, so during my sophomore year I was determined to t in with the cool people. Man, was that an uphill battle. I dont even know why I tried, but hindsight is 20/20 I guess. The rst thing I did was change the way I dressed. I went from wearing clothes I was comfortable in to wearing stu that was so not me. Then I started wearing a ton of makeup, and my brother was all like, What happened to your face? Not only did my looks change, but my personality changed a lot, too. I started to act all stuck up and bossy with my friends, and they didnt know how to respond to this person that used to be me. Luckily this phase didnt last more than a couple of months. I decided it was more fun to be me than to try and be someone else. I guess you cant t a square peg in a round hole after all. IV. Write the correct synonym for each word. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. lenient __________ (relaxed, callous) abandon __________ (vacate, deceive) berate __________ (criticize, encourage) experienced __________ (callow, matured) spiteful __________ (malevolent, mellow) tame __________ (subdued, wild) tasty __________ (savory, bland) banal __________ (common, interesting) contradict __________ (deny, revolt) vain __________ (boastful, simple) CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 8 at the end of this chapter. 8. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. two 2. quite 3. Your 4. than 5. then 6. loose 7. have 8. supposed; aect 9. sit; write 10. are; its Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: The original United States Declaration of Independence sits in a case at the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom as part of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Since 1952, more than 1 million visitors each year have passed through the Rotunda to snap a photograph to capture their experience. Although signs state, No Flash Photography, forgetful tourists leave the ash on, and a bright light ickers for just a millisecond. This millisecond of light may not seem like enough to aect the precious document, but suppose how much light could be generated when all those milliseconds are added up. According to the National Archives administrators, its enough to signicantly damage the historic document. So, now, the signs display quite a dierent message: No Photography. Visitors continue to travel to see the Declaration that began our country, but no longer can personal pictures serve as mementos. The administrators compromise, they say, is a visit to the gift shop for a preprinted photograph. Section 2 Exercise 1 Answers: Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. He is a Spokane/Coeur dAlene Indian and an American writer, poet, and lmmaker. Alexie was born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. This condition led doctors to predict that he would likely suer long-term brain damage and possibly mental retardation. Although Alexie survived with no mental disabilities, he did suer other serious side eects from his condition, which plagued him throughout his childhood. Amazingly, Alexie learned to read by the age of 3, and by age 5 he had read novels such as John Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath. Raised on an Indian reservation, Alexie often felt alienated from his peers due to his avid love for reading and also the long-term eects of his illness, which often kept him from socializing with his peers on the reservation. The reading skills he displayed at such a young age foreshadowed what he would later become. Today, Alexie is a prolic and successful writer with several story anthologies to his credit, notably The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistght in Heaven and The Toughest Indian in the World. Most of his ction is about contemporary Native Americans who are inuenced by pop culture and powwows and everything in between. His work is sometimes funny but always thoughtful and full of richness and depth. Alexie also writes poetry, novels, and screenplays. His latest collection of stories is called War Dances, which came out in 2009. Section 2 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. principle 2. wear 3. led 4. which 5. piece 6. past 7. lessen 8. patience 9. sees 10. through Section 2 Exercise 3 Answers: Brooklyn is one of the ve boroughs that make up New York City. It is located on the eastern shore of Long Island directly across the East River from the island of Manhattan. Its beginnings stretch back to the 16th century, when it was founded by the Dutch, who originally called it Breuckelen. Immediately after the Dutch settled Brooklyn, it came under British rule. However, neither the Dutch nor the British were Brooklyns rst inhabitants. When European settlers rst arrived, Brooklyn was largely inhabited by the Lenapi, a collective name for several organized bands of Native American people who settled a large area of land that extended from upstate New York through the entire state of New Jersey. They are sometimes referred to as the Delaware Indians. Over time, the Lenapi succumbed to European diseases or conicts between European settlers or other Native American enemies. Finally they were pushed out of Brooklyn completely by the British. In 1776, Brooklyn was the site of the rst important battle of the American Revolution, known as the Battle of Brooklyn. The colonists lost this battle, which was led by George Washington, but over the next two years they would win the war, kicking the British out of the colonies once and for all. By the end of the 19th century Brooklyn grew to be a city in its own right. The completion of the Brooklyn Bridge was an occasion for celebration; transportation and commerce between Brooklyn and Manhattan now became much easier. Eventually, in 1898, Brooklyn lost its separate identity as an independent city and became one of ve boroughs of New York City. However, in some peoples opinion , the integration into New York City should have never happened; they thought Brooklyn should have remained an independent city. Section 3 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. Positive: curious; negative: nosy; neutral: interested Positive: relaxed; negative: lazy; neutral: slow Positive: courageous; negative: foolhardy; neutral: assured Positive: modern; negative: new-fangled; neutral: new 131 132 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Positive: mansion; negative: shack; neutral: residence Positive: career woman; negative: spinster; neutral: unmarried woman Positive: giggle; negative: cackle; neutral: laugh Positive: routine; negative: boring; neutral: prosaic Positive: famous; negative: notorious; neutral: noted Positive: condent; negative: pushy; neutral: assertive Section 3 Exercise 2 Suggested Answers: I felt nervous when I got up to give my speech. As I walked toward the podium I banged my knee on a chair. I felt so clumsy. On top of that, I kept saying like and um, and I could not stop dgeting. I was so stressed out about being up there. I feel like Ive been practicing this speech constantly , and I was still terrible. It was 10 minutes of me talking about how people sometimes have to do things they dont enjoy doing. Wow, did I ever prove my point. My speech was so bad Im surprised that people didnt heckle me. My teacher said not to worry, though. Everyone gets nervous their rst time speaking in public, and with time she said I would become comfortable giving speeches. I wonder if I have the courage to do it again. Section 3 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. She is writing a memoir in which she will air her familys hidden secrets. Fran couldnt wait to talk to Benny, and she planned to confront him that night at the party. Mr. Muller was upset and didnt know what to do with the rowdy class of seventh graders. The main point is that Greg was red because he missed too many days of work. Sometimes it is hard to make enough money to survive with just one paycheck. My brain is mentally exhausted from pulling an all-nighter. Maria left the dishes in the sink all weekend to give Je an example of his disgusting habit. While they were at the carnival, Janice exclaimed, I had such as great time, I didnt realize how long we were here. 9. Jeremy had no idea what to say after the interviewer asked him where he saw himself in ve years. 10. Jordan was well dressed that night. Section 3 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. Reilly was so upset with her brother that she ran to her car and drove to a friends house to calm down. 2. I would love to travel to outer space to get a closer look at all the stars and planets in the galaxy and to see Earth from a dierent perspective. 3. Jane could not wait to get home from work after her computer crashed and back-to-back meetings. 4. I thought Milos essay was interesting because he included lots of examples and pictures. 5. The dog walked as fast as his owner would let him up the street, toward the dog park. 6. The coal miners could barely keep their eyes open after a 10-hour day in the mines. 7. Tropical sh come in gorgeous shades of blue, orange, and yellow. 8. I have sweat running down my face after a long run through my neighborhood. 9. The goalie jumped up at the perfect time to block the speeding ball from entering the goal. 10. I was extremely satised after my dinner of chicken fajitas, black beans, and rice. Section 4 Exercise 1 Answers: Disappear to remove from view Prevent to stop; to hold back Discover to nd or make visible Reclining the act of leaning back Supervise to oversee or to be in charge of an activity Section 4 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. dis 2. mis 3. un 4. anti 5. sub 6. super 7. re 8. inter 9. pre 10. non Section 4 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. referred 2. reference 3. moping 4. approval 5. greenness 6. benetted 7. resubmitting 8. usage 9. greedily 10. excitement Section 5 Exercise 1 Answers: very important signicant CHAPTER 4 WORKING WITH WORDS very best predominant impressive extraordinary most inexpensive cheapest went down to the bottom of the water sunk really sad devastated in this day and age - today Section 5 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Jessica had to leave work early to go to a doctors appointment. Ryan found a box full of abandoned kittens next to a dumpster. 2. Jeremy went so mad with pain after the accident that rescuers found it dicult to treat his injuries. Medical ocials declared the defendant criminally insane at the time of the crime, so he was not held responsible for his behavior. 3. Every night after dinner, I take my dog, Rufus, outside for his evening walk. After I got home, I realized the paint I purchased for my room was for exterior surfaces, so I had to return it to the store. 4. Even though the Brown family is poor, they do not need to apply for welfare. On his morning walk to work, Sean gave a destitute woman sitting on the ground a few dollars to help her out. 5. After the defendant confessed to the crime, the courtroom was quiet. Lillian spent a peaceful afternoon alone tending to her garden. 6. After the basketball game, unhappy students created a riot by shattering car windows and looting. After taxes on food went up for the second time this year, citizens revolted against the government. 7. When Kenya asked the man how he was doing, he rudely replied, How do you think Im doing? Ive been standing in this line for 10 minutes. My mother always told me its impolite not to say thank you when someone gives you a present. 8. My English professor can spend the entire class talking about his favorite poet, Robert Frost. Raymond can speak and understand some Spanish, but not enough to have a real conversation with someone else. 9. When Justin went home for winter break, he gave his mom a big hug since he hadnt seen her in over three months. Even though Katherine didnt want to mess up Emilys dress, she briey embraced her soon-to-be daughter-in-law before the wedding. 10. Janines family has a summer residence in Florida. Carlos has lived in and visited places all over the world, but he only considers the house he grew up in to be his home. Section 5 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. hero 2. interesting 3. gracious 4. knowledge 5. optional 6. vices 7. shy 8. captivity 9. bright 10. sta Section 6 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Synonyms and Antonyms 2. Brief Description or Restatement 3. Synonyms and Antonyms 4. Example 5. Brief Description or Restatement 6. Brief Description or Restatement 7. Example 8. Brief Description or Restatement 9. Brief Description or Restatement 10. Example Section 6 Exercise 2 Answers: precocious smart at a young age abbergasted surprised; amazed dexterity skillfulness or ability to use hands gloated to praise oneself; to be extremely self satised agape open 133 134 WRITING FOR SUCCESS End of Chapter Exercises Answers Exercise I Answers: Grunge, or the Seattle sound, is a type of rock music that became quite popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It began in Seattle, Washington. Grunge musicians rejected the dramatic and expensive stage productions that were trendy at the time. Their music was stripped down with an emphasis on distorted electric guitars. Grunge musicians did not wear makeup or sport extravagant hairstyles like many of the days rock musicians and bands. Many grunge musicians would buy their clothes from secondhand stores. The lyrics to grunge songs were also quite dierent compared to what was popular at the time. Grunge lyrics are characterized by dark or socially conscience themes. Grunge music is still admired today by music lovers of all ages. Exercise II Answers: 1. then 2. lessen 3. loser 4. eects 5. Except 6. through 7. whos; whos 8. see 9. principal 10. patience; patients Exercise III Answers: My biggest regret happened in high school. I had always felt out of place at school, so during my sophomore year I was determined to t in with the cool people who wore nice clothes and always looked like they were having a good time. Trying to t in with a new group of people was really hard; I had to change myself on the inside and out. I dont even know why I tried, but thats easy to see years later. Back then being one of the cool people was all I could think about. The rst thing I did was change the way I dressed. I went from wearing clothes I was comfortable in sneakers and T-shirts to wearing stu that was so not me, like tight clothes and high heels. Then I started wearing a ton of makeup. I wore so much that my little brother didnt recognize me. Once he even asked me, What happened to your face? Not only did my looks change, but my personality changed a lot, too. I started to act arrogant, conceited, and bossy with my friends, and they didnt know how to respond to this person that used to be me. Luckily this phase didnt last more than a couple of months. I decided it was more fun to be me than to try and be someone else. I also learned that its dicult to combine two things that dont really belong together, like me and a snobby attitude. Exercise IV Answers: 1. relaxed 2. vacate 3. criticize 4. matured 5. malevolent 6. subdued 7. savory 8. common 9. deny 10. boastful CHAPTER 5 Help for ELLs 1. WORD ORDER LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the basic structures of sentences 2. Determine ways to turn sentences into questions 3. Dene adjectives and how they are used If your rst language is not English, you may need some extra help when writing in Standard, or formal, English. New students of Standard English often make similar kinds of errors. Even if you have been speaking English for a long time, you may not feel condent in your written English skills. This chapter covers the most common errors made by English language learners and helps you to avoid similar mistakes in your writing. 1.1 Basic Sentence Structures The most basic sentence structure in English is a subject plus a verb. A subject performs the action in the sentence, and the verb identies the action. Keep in mind that in some languages, such as Spanish and Italian, an obvious subject does not always perform the action in a sentence; the subject is often implied by the verb. However, every sentence in English must have a subject and a verb to express a complete thought. subject A word that tells what the sentence is about. Subjects are usually nouns or pronouns. verb A word that tells what the subject is doing or links the subject to a describing word. Most sentences, however, are not as simple as a subject plus a verb. To form more complex sentences, writers build upon this basic structure. Adding a prepositional phrase creates a more complex sentence. A preposition is a part of speech that relates a noun or a pronoun to another word in a sentence. It also introduces a prepositional phrase. If you can identify a preposition, you will be able to identify a prepositional phrase. preposition Type of word that connects a noun, pronoun, or verb to another word that describes or modies it. Common prepositions include in, on, under, near, by, with, and about. prepositional phrase S group of words that begins with a preposition. 136 WRITING FOR SUCCESS TABLE 5.1 Common Prepositions about beside o above between on across by over after during through against except to along toward for among from under around in until at up into before like with behind of without EXERCISE 1 Copy the following sentences onto your own sheet of paper and underline the prepositional phrases. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. direct object A noun or pronoun in a sentence that receives the action of the verb. The direct object answers whom? or what? after the verb in a sentence. Linda and Javier danced under the stars. Each person has an opinion about the topic. The fans walked through the gates. Jamyra ran around the track. Maria celebrated her birthday in January. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Another sentence structure that is important to understand is subject + verb + object. There are two types of objects: direct objects and indirect object. indirect object A noun or pronoun in a sentence that answers the question to whom? or to what? The indirect object comes before the direct object in a sentence. Tip A quick way to nd the direct object is to ask what? or who? Sentence: Maurice kicked the ball. What did Maurice kick? The direct object, ball. Sentence: Maurice kicked Tom by accident. Who did Maurice kick? The direct object, Tom. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 137 Tip Even though the indirect object is not found after a preposition in English, it can be discovered by asking to whom? or for whom? after the verb: Sentence: Dad baked the children some cookies. For whom did Dad bake the cookies? The indirect object, children Sentence: Mom gave her niece an art book. To whom did Mom give the art book? The indirect object, her niece Sentence: The deliveryman brought our neighbor the package. To whom did the deliveryman bring the package? The indirect object, our neighbor EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, identify the subject, verb, direct object, and indirect object in the following sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Captain Karl told the crew a story. Jermaine gave his girlfriend a dozen yellow tulips. That hospital oers nurses better pay. Dad served Grandma a delicious dinner. Mom bought herself a new car. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the sentences in the correct order. If the sentence is correct as it is, write C. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The pizza Jeannine burnt. To the Mexican restaurant we had to go for dinner. Jeannine loved the food. So full were we during the walk home. I will make the pizza next time. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 1.2 Questions English speakers rely on two common ways to turn sentences into questions: 1. Move the helping verb and add a question mark. 2. Add the verb do, does, or did and add a question mark. Move the helping verb and add a question mark: Sentence: Sierra can pack these boxes. Question: Can Sierra pack these boxes? Add the verb do, does, or did and add a question mark: Sentence: Jolene skated across the pond. Question: Did Jolene skate across the pond? 138 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 4 On a separate sheet of paper, create questions from the following sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Slumdog Millionaire is a lm directed by Danny Boyle. The story centers on a character named Jamal Malik. He and his older brother nd dierent ways to escape the slums. His brother, Salim, pursues a life of crime. Jamal ends up on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 1.3 Adjectives adjective A word that describes a noun or a pronoun. An adjective is a kind of descriptive word that describes a noun or a pronoun. It tells which one, what kind, and how many. Adjectives make your writing more lively and interesting. Keep in mind that a common error English language learners make is misplacing the adjectives in a sentence. It is important to know where to place the adjective in a sentence so that readers are not confused. If you are using more than one adjective to describe a noun, place the adjectives in the following order before the noun: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Opinion: an interesting book, a boring movie, a fun ride Size: a large box, a tiny turtle, a tall woman Shape: a round ball, a long hose, a square eld Age: a new day, an old horse, a modern building Color: an orange sunset, a green jacket, a red bug Ethnicity: Italian cheese, French wine, Chinese tea Material: silk shirt, wool socks, a cotton dress Tip Adjectives can also be placed at the end of a sentence if they describe the subject of a sentence and appear after the verb. Examples: My English teacher is excellent. The sun is bright. The apples are ripe. Her jewelry is expensive. EXERCISE 5 On a separate sheet of paper, place the following sets of adjectives in the correct order before the noun. The rst one has been done for you. 1. book: old, small, Spanish a small old Spanish book (age, size, ethnicity) 2. photograph: new, strange 3. suit: wool, green, funny 4. opinion: refreshing, new 5. dress: fashionable, purple For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 139 KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS The most basic sentence structure is a subject plus a verb that expresses a complete thought. Adding a prepositional phrase or a direct or indirect object to a sentence makes it more complex. English speakers change a sentence into a question in two ways: moving the helping verb and adding a question mark, and adding the verb do, does, or did and adding a question mark. Adjectives follow a particular order before the noun they describe. The order is opinion, size, shape, age, color, ethnicity, and material. Writing Application Write a paragraph about a memorable family trip. Although writers rarely use multiple adjectives to describe one noun, practice the order of adjectives by using at least two adjectives to describe each noun in your paragraph. Proofread your paragraph, and then exchange papers with a classmate. Check your classmates use of adjectives to make sure they are correct. 2. NEGATIVES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify a negative statement correctly 2. Determine how to use negative statements in your writing Negative statements are the opposite of positive statements and are necessary to express an opposing idea. The following negative words plus a helping verb from the Common Helping Verbs chart below form a negative statement. never nobody no one nowhere no none scarcely barely not hardly rarely TABLE 5.2 Common Helping Verbs am is are was were be being been have has had do does did can could may might must should will would ought to used to The box below shows you several ways to make a sentence negative in the present tense: 1. helping verb + negative word not: sentence: My guests are arriving now. negative: My guests are not arriving now. sentence: The girl is smiling. negative: The girl is not smiling. sentence: Our family is eating. negative: Our family is not eating. negative A sentence or phrase that expresses the opposite of a positive statement. helping verb A verb that is used with a main verb to describe mood or tense. The helping verb is usually a form of be, do, or have. 140 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 2. no sentence: Jennie has money. negative: Jennie has no money. sentence: I have patience. negative: I have no patience. sentence: He has brothers. negative: He has no brothers. 3. the contraction nt sentence: Janetta does miss her mom. negative: Janetta doesnt miss her mom. sentence: The salesman can make change. negative: The salesman cant make change sentence: I can drive today. negative: I cant drive today. Tip Using the contraction nt creates a negative sentence when speaking and writing for an informal audience. However, do not use contractions in formal academic papers. Use the verb plus the word not. 4. negative adverb: rarely sentence: I always go to the gym after work. negative: I rarely go to the gym after work. sentence: She eats dessert after dinner. negative: She rarely eats dessert after dinner. sentence: Jillian nds time to relax. negative: Jillian rarely nds time to relax. 5. negative subject: nobody sentence: Everybody gets the day o. negative: Nobody gets the day o. sentence: Everyone rides the bus. negative: Nobody rides the bus. sentence: My friend likes everybody. negative: My friend likes nobody. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the positive sentences as negative sentences. Be sure to keep the sentences in the present tense. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Everybody is happy about the mandatory lunch. Deborah likes to visit online dating sites. Jordan donates blood every six months. Our writing instructor is very eective. That beautiful papaya is cheap. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. The box below shows you the ways to make a sentence negative in the past tense: sentence: Paul called me yesterday. negative: Paul did not call me yesterday. sentence: Jamilee went to the grocery store. negative: Jamilee never went to the grocery store. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 141 sentence: Gina laughed when she saw the huge pile of laundry. negative: Gina did not laugh when she saw the huge pile of laundry. Notice when forming a negative in the past tense the helping verb did is what signals the past tense, and the main verb laugh does not have an ed ending. EXERCISE 2 Rewrite the paragraph below by correcting the errors in the past-tense negative sentences. Celeste no did call me when she reached North Carolina. I was worried because she not drove alone before. She was going to meet her friend Terry, who lived in a town called Asheville, North Carolina. I did never want to worry, but she said she was going to call when she reached there. Finally, four hours later, she called and said, Mom, Im sorry I did no call. I lost track of time because I was so happy to see Terry! I was relieved. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Double negatives are two negatives used in the same phrase or sentence. They are considered incorrect in Standard English. You should avoid using double negatives in all formal writing. If you want to say something negative, use only one negative word in the sentence. Return to the beginning of this section for a list of negative words, and then study the chart below: Tip Aint is considered a contraction of am not. Although some may use it in everyday speech, it is considered incorrect Standard English. Avoid using it when speaking and writing in formal contexts. EXERCISE 3 On your own sheet of paper, correct the double negatives and rewrite the following sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Jose didnt like none of the choices on the menu. Brittany cant make no friends with nobody. The Southwest hardly had no rain last summer. My kids never get into no trouble. I could not do nothing about the past. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. double negative Two negatives used in the same phrase or sentence. 142 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS Negatives are usually formed using a negative word plus a helping verb. Double negatives are considered incorrect in Standard English. Only one negative word is used to express a negative statement. Writing Application Write a paragraph describing your favorite meal. Use rich, colorful language to describe the meal. Exchange papers with a classmate and read his or her paragraph. Then rewrite each sentence of your classmates paragraph using negatives. Be sure to avoid double negatives. Share your negative paragraphs with each other. 3. COUNT AND NON-COUNT NOUNS/ARTICLES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify count and non-count nouns 2. Recognize denite and indenite articles noun A word that identies a person, place, thing, or idea. count noun A noun that can be made plural by adding s. non-count noun A noun that cannot be counted in individual units. Nouns are words that name things, and also places, people, and ideas. Right now, you may be surrounded by desks, computers, and notebooks. These are called count nouns, because you can count the exact number of desks, computers, and notebooks: three desks, one computer, and six notebooks, for example. On the other hand, you may be carrying a small amount of money in your wallet and sitting on a piece of furniture. These are called non-count nouns. Although you can count the pieces of furniture or the amount of money, you cannot add a number in front of money or furniture and simply add s. Instead, you must use other words and phrases to indicate the quantity of money and furniture. Incorrect: ve moneys, two furnitures Correct: some money, two pieces of furniture By the end of Section 5.3A, you will grasp the dierence between the two types of nouns and be able to use them condently in speaking and writing. 3.1 Count and Non-Count Nouns A count noun refers to people, places, and things that are separate units. You make count nouns plural by adding s. TABLE 5.3 Count Nouns Count Noun Sentence Quarter Chair A noun that you cannot see, touch, or count. The three adults in the room acted like children. Comedian abstract noun The two candidates debated the issue. Adult A noun you can see, taste, touch, or count. Make sure to push in your chairs before leaving class. Candidate concrete noun It takes six quarters to do my laundry. The two comedians made the audience laugh. A non-count noun identies a whole object that cannot separate and be counted individually. Noncount nouns may refer to concrete objects or abstract objects. A concrete noun identies an object you can see, taste, touch, or count. An abstract noun identies an object that you cannot see, touch, or count. There are some exceptions, but most abstract nouns cannot be made plural, so they are noncount nouns. Examples of abstract nouns include anger, education, melancholy, softness, violence, and conduct. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 143 T ABLE 5.4 Types of Non-Count Nouns Type of NonCount Noun Food sugar, salt, pepper, lettuce, rice Add more sugar to my coee, please. concrete, silver, soap The dirty dishes were covered in foamy soap. Fields of Study literature, biology, history, politics I may need to research more literature to earn a good grade on my paper. Abstract Ideas Abstract Nouns Sentence Solids Concrete Nouns Examples peace, warmth, hospitality, happiness, advice Most politicians encourage peace in other countries. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, label each of the following nouns as abstract or concrete. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. milk __________ water __________ book __________ philosophy __________ strength __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, identify if the underlined noun in the sentence is a count or non-count noun by writing C or NC above the noun. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The amount of trac on the way home was terrible. Forgiveness is an important part of growing up. I made caramel sauce for the organic apples I bought. I prefer lm cameras instead of digital ones. My favorite subject is history. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 3.2 Definite and Indefinite Articles The word the is a denite article. A denite article belongs before one or more specic things. For example, the woman refers to not any woman but a particular woman. The denite article the is used before singular and plural count nouns. The words a and an are indenite articles. They refer to one nonspecic thing. For example, a woman refers to any woman, not a specic woman. The indenite article a or an is used before a singular count noun. Denite (The) and Indenite Articles (A/An) with Count Nouns I saw the concert. (singular, refers to a specic concert) I saw the concerts. (plural, refers to more than one specic concert) I saw a concert. (singular, refers to any nonspecic concert) I saw the U2 concert last night. (singular, refers to a specic concert) 144 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, write the correct article in the blank for each of the following sentences. Leave the line blank if the sentence is correct. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. (A/An/The) camel can live for days without water. __________ I enjoyed (a/an/the) pastries at the Bar Mitzvah. __________ (A/An/The) politician spoke of many important issues. __________ I really enjoyed (a/an/the) actors performance in the play. __________ (A/An/The) goal I have is to run a marathon this year. __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 4 Correct the misused articles and rewrite the paragraph. Stars are large balls of spinning hot gas like our sun. A stars look tiny because they are far away. Many of them are much larger than sun. Just like human being, the star has a life cycle from birth to death, but its lifespan is billions of years long. The star is born in a cloud of cosmic gas and dust called a nebula. Our sun was born in the nebula nearly 5 billion years ago. Photographs of the star-forming nebulas are astonishing. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS You can make count nouns plural by adding s. Count nouns are individual people, places, or things that can be counted, such as politicians, deserts, or candles. Non-count nouns refer to whole things that cannot be made plural, such as salt, peace, or happiness. The is a denite article and is used to refer to a specic person, place, or thing, such as the queen of England. A and an are indenite articles, and they refer to nonspecic people, places, or things, such as an apple or a bicycle. Writing Application Write ve sentences using the denite article the. Write ve sentences using the indenite article a or an. Exchange papers with a classmate and check each others work. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 145 4. PRONOUNS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize subject and object pronouns 2. Identify possessive pronouns correctly 3. Determine common pronoun errors A pronoun is a word that can be used in place of the noun. We use pronouns so we do not have to repeat words. For example, imagine writing this sentence: Afrah put her scarf on because Afrah was cold. The sentence sounds a bit strange because Afrah is named twice; however, if you use a pronoun, the sentence will be shorter and less repetitive. You might rewrite the sentence to something like this: Afrah put her scarf on because she was cold. She refers to Afrah, so you do not have to write the name twice. pronoun A word that substitutes for a noun; for example, I, you, he, she, it, we, or they. 4.1 Types of Pronouns Subject pronouns are often the subject of a sentence, the who and the what the sentence is about. She loves the desserts in France. (She is the subject.) By lunch time, they were hungry. (They is the subject.) subject pronoun Pronoun that functions as the subject in a sentence; the who and the what the sentence is about. He volunteered every weekend at the animal shelter. (He is the subject.) We could not stop laughing during the show. (We is the subject.) After completing the assignment, you may leave class. (You is the subject.) Object pronouns are often the object of the verb, the who or what acted upon. Melanies thoughtfulness touched him. (Him is the object of the verb touched.) We lifted it. (It is the object of the verb lifted.) object pronoun Pronoun that functions as the object of a verb or a preposition; the who or what acted upon. I called her yesterday. (Her is the object of the verb called.) The farmer gave us the corn for free. (Us is the object of the verb gave.) When our relatives visit, Mom bakes them a cake. (Them is the object of the verb bakes.) Tip The masculine subject pronoun is he, and the masculine object pronoun is him. The feminine subject pronoun is she, and the feminine object pronoun is her. A pronoun that shows possession or ownership is called a possessive pronoun. The teacher took her apple and left. (The pronoun her shows that the teacher owns the apple.) The hikers spotted their guide on the trail. (The pronoun their shows that the hikers follow the guide who was assigned to the hikers.) I will return your book when I nish reading it. (The pronoun your shows that the book belongs to you.) The mechanic explained the problem with our cars engine. (The pronoun our shows that the car belongs to you and another owner of the car.) I saw Cheri wearing that earlier; the sweatshirt is hers. (The pronoun hers shows that the sweatshirt belongs to Cheri.) possessive pronoun A pronoun that shows possession or ownership. 146 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 5.5 Pronouns Subject Pronouns I, you, he, she, it, we, they Object Pronouns me, you, him, her, it, us, them Possessive Pronouns my (mine), your(s), his, her(s), its, our(s), their(s) EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by circling the correct pronoun. Identify the pronoun as subject, object, or possessive. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Unfortunately, the house was too expensive for (we, us, they). I completed (mine, my, your) research paper, and she completed (his, hers, theirs). My dog Buster is old, but (he, it, them) is very playful. That ring belongs to my father, so it is (hers, his, theirs). I cannot nd my textbook, so I think (they, it, he) is lost. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 4.2 Common Pronoun Errors English language learners often make the same errors when using pronouns. The boxes below show examples of these common errors. Error: Me and Daniela went to the restaurant for lunch. This sentence is incorrect because an object pronoun (me) is used instead of a subject pronoun. Correction: Daniela and I went to the restaurant for lunch. This sentence is now correct because a subject pronoun (I) is used. Error: Mark put her grocery bag on the counter. This sentence is incorrect because the pronoun her refers to a female, and Mark is a male. Correction: Mark put his grocery bag on the counter. This sentence is now correct because the male pronoun his refers to the male person, Mark. Error: The woman she went to work earlier than usual. This sentence is incorrect because the subject the woman is repeated by the pronoun she. Correction: The woman went to work earlier than usual. OR Correction: She went to work earlier than usual. These sentences are now correct because the unnecessary repeated subject has been removed. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 147 EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, correct the following sentences that have pronoun errors. If the sentence is correct as it is, write C. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Us are going to the county fair this weekend. Steven did not want to see a movie because she had a headache. The teacher congratulated Maria and me. The eighth grade students they were all behaving mysteriously well. Derrick and he received the best grade on the grammar test. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 4.3 Relative Pronouns A relative pronoun is a type of pronoun that helps connect details to the subject of the sentence and may often combine two shorter sentences. The relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, which, and that. sentence: A relative pronoun is a type of pronoun. The subject of this sentence is a relative pronoun. The clause is a type of pronoun gives some information about the subject. The relative pronoun that may be added to give more details to the subject: sentence using a relative pronoun: A relative pronoun is a type of pronoun that helps connect details to the subject of the sentence. Tip Remember: Who, whom, and whose refer only to people. Examples: The supervisor does not know whose paycheck is late. James, who lives in Arizona, travels to Washington, D.C., to visit family. Abdul called a consultant whom he met at a conference. Which refers to things. Examples: The mug, which is sitting on the table, has a broken handle. Autumn, which is my favorite season, brings colorful leaves. The teacher recorded the names of which students were often tardy. That refers to people or things. Examples: The button that I wore supported the local candidate. Terry chose the book that best suited his interests. The group that she joined helped her make new friends. The following examples show how a relative pronoun may be used to connect two sentences and connect details to the subject. sentence 1: Gossip is a form of communication. sentence 2: It is a waste of time and energy. combination of 1 and 2: Gossip is a form of communication that is a waste of time and energy. Notice how the relative pronoun that replaces the subject it in sentence 2. That is called a relative pronoun because it connects the details is a waste of time and energy to the subject Gossip. sentence 1: My grandmother is 80 years old. relative pronoun A type of pronoun that helps combine two sentences. 148 WRITING FOR SUCCESS sentence 2: She collects seashells. combination of 1 and 2: My grandmother, who is 80 years old, collects seashells. Notice how the relative pronoun who replaces the subject she in sentence 2. Who is called a relative pronoun because it connects the details is 80 years old to the subject My grandmother. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by selecting the correct relative pronoun. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. He showed me a photo (who, that) upset me. Soccer is a fast-moving game (who, that) has many fans worldwide. Juan is a man (which, who) has high standards for everything. Jamaica is a beautiful country (that, who) I would like to visit next year. My mother only eats bananas (who, that) are green. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 4 On a separate sheet of paper, combine the two sentences into one sentence using a relative pronoun. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Je is a dependable person. He will never let you down. I rode a roller coaster. It was scary. At the beach, I always dig my feet into the sand. It protects them from the hot sun. Jackie is trying not to use so many plastic products. They are not good for the environment. My Aunt Sherry is teaching me how to drive. She has never been in accident or gotten a ticket. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS A pronoun is used in place of a noun. There are several types of pronouns including subject and object pronouns, possessive pronouns, and relative pronouns. Subject pronouns are the who and what the sentence is about. Object pronouns are the who and what that receive the action. A possessive pronoun is a pronoun showing ownership. Common pronoun errors include mixing up subject, object, and gender pronouns, and repeating the subject of a sentence with a pronoun. Relative pronouns help combine two separate sentences. Writing Application Proofread a piece of your writing for the types of pronoun errors discussed in this section. Correct any errors you come across. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 149 5. VERB TENSES LEARNING 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. OBJECTIVES Identify simple verb tenses Recognize to be, to have, and to do verbs Use perfect verb tenses correctly Apply progressive verb tenses Dene gerunds and innitives You must use a verb in every sentence you write. Verbs are parts of speech that indicate actions or states of being. The most basic sentence structure is a subject plus a verb. 5.1 Simple Verb Tenses Verb tenses tell the reader when the action takes place. The action could be in the past, present, or future. Present Past Future verb A word that tells what the subject is doing or links the subject to a describing word. verb tense A verb form that identies the time of action described in a sentence. Yesterday I jumped. Today I jump. Tomorrow I will jump. Simple present verbs are used when simple present 1. the action takes place now: I drink the water greedily. 2. the action is something that happens regularly: I always cross my ngers for good luck. 3. describing things that are generally true: College tuition is very costly. Study the examples of regular present-tense verbs in Table 5.6. Verb tense that describes things that are generally true, or indicates that an action takes place in the present or that the action is something that happens regularly TABLE 5.6 Regular Simple Present Verbs I He/She/It You We They ask Ask asks ask ask ask bake Bake bakes bake bake bake cook Cook cooks cook cook cook cough cough coughs cough cough cough clap clap Clap claps clap clap dance dance dances dance dance dance erase Erase erases erase erase erase kiss Kiss kisses kiss kiss kiss push Push pushes push push push wash Wash washes wash wash wash When it is he, she, or it doing the present-tense action, remember to add s, es or change the y to ies. Simple past verbs are used when the action has already taken place and is now nished. I washed my uniform last night. < I asked for more pie. < I coughed loudly last night. < Study the examples of regular past-tense verbs in Table 5.7. simple past Verb tense that is used when the action has already taken place and is now nished 150 WRITING FOR SUCCESS TABLE 5.7 Regular Past Verbs I He/She/It You We They ask asked asked asked asked asked bake baked baked baked baked baked cook cooked cooked cooked cooked cooked cough coughed coughed coughed coughed Coughed clap clapped clapped Clapped danced danced danced Danced erased erased erased erased Erased kiss kissed kissed kissed kissed Kissed push pushed pushed pushed pushed Pushed wash Verb tense that is used when the action has not yet taken place clapped erase simple future clapped dance danced washed washed washed washed Washed When it is he, she, or it doing the action in the past tense, remember to add d or ed to the end of regular verbs. Simple future verbs are used when the action has not yet taken place. I will work late tomorrow. < I will kiss my boyfriend when I see him. < I will erase the board after class. < TABLE 5.8 Regular Simple Future Verbs I He/She/It You We They ask will ask will ask will ask will ask will ask bake will bake will bake will bake will bake will bake cook will cook will cook will cook will cook will cook cough will cough will cough will cough will cough will cough clap will clap will clap will clap will clap will clap dance will dance will dance will dance will dance will dance erase will erase will erase will erase will erase will erase kiss will kiss will kiss will kiss will kiss will kiss push will push will push will push will push will push wash will wash will wash will wash will wash will wash Going to can also be added to the main verb to make it future tense: I am going to go to work tomorrow. She is going to ask him on Monday. My mom is going to wash the car this weekend. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by adding the verb in the correct simple tense. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Please do not (erase, erased, will erase) what I have written on the board. They (dance, danced, will dance) for hours after the party was over. Harrison (wash, washed, will wash) his laundry after several weeks had passed. Yesterday Mom (ask, asked, will ask) me about my plans for college. I (bake, baked, will bake) several dozen cookies for tomorrows bake sale. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 151 EXERCISE 2 Correct the verb tense mistakes in the following paragraph. Last summer, I walk around Walden Pond. Walden Pond is in Concord, Massachusetts. It is where the philosopher Henry David Thoreau will live during the mid-19th century. During his time there, he wrote a book called Walden. Walden is a book of Thoreaus reections on the natural environment. It will be consider a classic in American literature. I did not know that Walden Pond is consider the birthplace of the environmental movement. It was very relaxing there. I will listen to birds, frogs, and crickets, not to mention the peaceful sound of the Pond itself. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 5.2 To Be, To Do, and To Have There are some troublesome verbs in English that are formed in special ways. The most common of these are the verbs to be, to have, and to do. TABLE 5.9 To Be, To Do, To Have Verbs Base Form Present Past Future Be am/is/are was/were will be Do do/does Have have/has had did will do will have Tip Try memorizing the present-tense forms of to be, to do, and to have. A song or rhythmic pattern will make them easier to memorize. Here are some examples of to be, to do, and to have used in sentences. Past Present Future Today I am not angry. Tomorrow I will be angry. I do my best every day. Tomorrow I will do my best. To Be Yesterday I was angry. To Do I did my best yesterday. To Have Yesterday I had ten dollars. Today I have ten dollars. Tomorrow I will have ten dollars. Remember: To Be I am/was/will be you/we/they are/were/will be he/she/it is/will be To Have I/you/we/they have/had/will have he/she/it has/had/will have To Do I/you/we/they do/did/will do he/she/it does/will do 152 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip Remember, if you have a compound subject like Marie and Jennifer, think of the subject as they: < < Marie and Jennifer (they) have a house on Bainbridge Island. Similarly, single names can be thought of as he, she, or it: LeBron (he) has scored 30 points so far. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by circling the correct form of the verbs to be, to have, and to do in the three simple tenses. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Stefan always (do, does, will do) his taxes the day before they are due. We (are, is, was) planning a surprise birthday party for my mother. Turtles (have, had, has) the most beautiful patterns on their shells. I always (do, did, will do) my homework before dinner so I can eat in peace. You (is, are, was) so much smarter than you think! For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 5.3 Perfect Verb Tenses present perfect Verb tense that describe a continuing situation or something that has just happened past perfect Up to this point, we have studied the three simple verb tensessimple present, simple past, and simple future. Now we will add three more tenses, which are called perfect tenses. They are present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect. These are the three basic tenses of English. A past participle is often called the ed form of a verb because it is formed by adding d or ed to the base form of regular verbs. It can also end in t or en. Keep in mind, however, the past participle is also formed in various other ways for irregular verbs. The past participle can be used to form the present perfect tense. Verb tenses that describe a continuing situation in the past The basic formula for the present perfect tense: future perfect I Verb tense used when anticipating completing an event in the future, but event is not completed yet The present perfect tense has a connection with the past and the present: subject + has or have + past participle have helped You should use the present perfect tense to describe a continuing situation and to describe an action that has just happened. < < I have worked as a caretaker since June. This sentence tells us that the subject has worked as a caretaker in the past and is still working as a caretaker in the present. Justin has spent a lot of money on textbooks. This sentence tells us that Justin has spent money on textbooks in the past and continues to spend money on textbooks. CHAPTER 5 < < HELP FOR ELLS 153 The store has turned a large prot this month. This sentence tells us that the store has earned a prot earlier this month and still earns a prot in the present moment this month. Dmitri has just received an award from the dean of students. This sentence tells us that Dmitri has very recently received the award. The word just emphasizes the action happened very recently. The basic formula for the past perfect tense is subject + had or have + past participle I had listened Here are some examples: < The bus had left by the time Theo arrived at the station. Notice that both of the actions occurred entirely in the past, but one action occurred before the other. At some time in the past, Theo arrived (simple past tense) at the station, but at some time before that, the bus had left (past perfect). < Sheila purchased an umbrella just after the rain had started falling. Both actions occurred entirely in the past. However, one action occurred before the other. At some time in the past, Sheila purchased (simple past tense) an umbrella, but some time before her purchase, the rain had started falling (past perfect). < I had already eaten lunch when she invited me to the restaurant. Both actions occurred entirely in the past. However, one action occurred before the other. At some time in the past, the speakers friend invited (simple past tense) the speaker to lunch, but some time before the invitation, the speaker had eaten (past perfect). The basic formula for the future perfect tense is subject + will have + past participle I will have graduated The future perfect tense describes an action from the past in the future, as if the past event has already occurred. You use the future perfect tense when you anticipate completing an event in the future but have not completed it yet. 154 WRITING FOR SUCCESS For example: < You will have forgotten me after you move to London. Notice that both the actions occur in the future, but one action will occur before the other. At some time in the future, the subject (you) will move to London, and at some time after that the subject will have forgotten (future perfect tense) the speaker, me. < She will have completed her degree by the time she begins her job. Notice that both the actions occur in the future, but one action will occur before the other. At some time in the future, the subject (she) will begin her degree, and at some time after that the subject will have completed (future perfect tense) her degree. < After the sun rises, the snow will have melted. Notice that both the actions occur in the future, but one action will occur before the other. At some time in the future, the subject (sun) will rise, and at some time after that the snow will have melted (future perfect tense). EXERCISE 4 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by adding the correct perfect verb tense for the verb in parentheses. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I plan to start a compost bin because I __________ (to want) one for a long time now. My brother told me he __________ (to argue) with his friend about politics. By the time we reach the mountain top the sun __________ (to set). Denise __________ (to walk) several miles in the past three hours. His mother __________ (to oer) to pay him to work in her oce. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 155 5.4 Progressive Verb Tenses Progressive verb tenses describe a continuing or unnished action, such as I am going, I was going, or I will be going. progressive verb tenses Verb tenses that describe a continuing or unnished action present progressive The present progressive tense describes an action or state of being that takes place in the present and that continues to take place. To make verbs in the present progressive tense, combine these two parts: present tense form of to be + ing (present participle) Verb tense that describes an action or state of being that takes place in the present and that is continuing to take place (am/is/are) You should use the present progressive tense to describe a planned activity, to describe an activity that is recurring right now, and to describe an activity that is in progress, although not actually occurring at the time of speaking: < < < < < < < < < Preeti is starting school on Tuesday. I am traveling next week. We are planning a fundraiser next year. These sentences describe a planned activity. Janetta is getting her teeth cleaned right now. The cooks are preparing the soup. I am singing along with the music. These sentences describe an activity that is occurring right now. I am studying ballet at school. Daphne is teaching an evening class. We are enjoying our weekly exercises. These sentences describe an activity that is in progress but not actually occurring at the time of speaking. past progressive tense The past progressive tense describes an action or state of being that took place in the past and that continues to take place. To make verbs in the past progressive tense, combine these two parts: past tense form of to be + ing (present participle) (was/were) You should use the past progressive tense to describe a continuous action in the past, to describe a past activity in progress while another activity occurred, and to describe two past activities in progress at the same time. < < < < < < < < < Ella and I were planning a vacation. He was resting during our meeting. We were playing a game last night. These sentences describe a continuous action in the past. I was helping a customer when I smelled delicious fried chicken. Rachel was mowing the lawn when the children arrived home from school. We were xing the broken hinge at the time the lights went out. These sentences describe a past activity in progress while another activity occurred. While I was nishing my homework, my wife was talking on the phone. When she was jogging, I was chopping vegetables. Adeola was writing the introduction as Bart was creating the graphics. These sentences describe two past activities in progress at the same time. Verb tense that describes an action or state of being that took place in the past and that was continuing to take place 156 future progressive Verb tense that describes an action or state of being that will take place in the future and that will continue to take place WRITING FOR SUCCESS The future progressive tense describes an action or state of being that will take place in the future and that will continue to take place. The action will have started at that future moment, but it will not have nished at that moment. To make verbs in the future progressive tense, combine these two parts: future tense form of to be + ing (present participle) (will be) Use the future progressive tense to describe an activity that will be in progress in the future: < < Samantha and I will be dancing in the school play next week. Tomorrow Agnes will be reading two of her poems. EXERCISE 5 On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the verbs in simple tenses and change them to the progressive tenses indicated in parentheses. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. He prepared the food while I watched. (past progressive tense) Jonathan will speak at the conference. (future progressive) Josie traveled to Egypt last July. (past progressive tense) My foot aches, so I know it will rain. (present progressive tense) Micah will talk a lot when I see him. (future progressive) I yawn a lot because I feel tired. (present progressive tense) For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. present perfect progressive Verb tense used to indicate an action that was begun in the past and continues into the present Similar to the present perfect tense, the present perfect progressive tense is used to indicate an action that was begun in the past and continues into the present. The present perfect progressive, however, is used when you want to stress that the action is ongoing. To make verbs in the present perfect progressive tense, combine these two parts: present tense form of to have + been + ing (present participle) (has or have) < < < She has been talking for the last hour. This sentence indicates that she started talking in the past and is continuing to talk in the present. I have been feeling tired lately. This sentence indicates that I started feeling tired in the past, and I continue to feel tired in the present. Instead of indicating time, as in the rst sentence, the second sentence uses the adverb lately. He has been complaining a lot recently. This sentence indicates that he began complaining in the past and continues to complain in the present. This sentence uses the adverb recently when using the present perfect progressive tense. past perfect progressive Verb tense used to indicate an action that was begun in the past and continued until another time in the past Similar to the past perfect tense, the past perfect progressive tense is used to indicate an action that was begun in the past and continued until another time in the past. The past perfect progressive does not continue into the present but stops at a designated moment in the past. To make verbs in the past perfect progressive tense, combine these two parts: past tense form of to have + been + ing (present participle) (had) < The employees had been talking until their boss arrived. CHAPTER 5 < < HELP FOR ELLS 157 This sentence indicates that the employees were talking in the past and they stopped talking when their boss arrived, which also happened in the past. I had been working all day. This sentence implies that I had been working. The action does not continue into the future, but the sentence implies that the subject stopped working for unstated reasons. He had been speaking softly until I complimented his accent. This sentence indicates that the subject he was speaking softly in the past, but spoke more loudly when the speaker complimented him, an action that also occurred in the past. future perfect progressive The future perfect progressive tense is rarely used. It is used to indicate an action that will begin in the future and will continue until another time in the future. To make verbs in the future perfect progressive tense, combine these two parts: future tense form of to have + been + ing (present participle) Verb tense that is rarely used to indicate an action that will begin in the future and will continue until another time in the future (will have) < < < By the end of the meeting, I will have been hearing about mortgages and taxes for eight hours. This sentence indicates that in the future I will hear about mortgages and taxes for eight hours, but it has not happened yet. It also indicates the action of hearing will continue until the end of the meeting, something that is also in the future. After the end of the year, she will have been studying English for six months. This sentence indicates that in the future, the subject she will study English for six months, but this action has not happened yet. It indicates that the action of studying will continue until the end of the year, a time also in the future. When the season ends, he will have been playing with the basketball team 12 years. This sentence indicates that in the future, the subject he will have played basketball with one team for 12 years. However, this action has not happened yet. The action of playing will continue until the season ends, an event that is also in the future. 5.5 Gerunds A gerund is a form of a verb that is used as a noun. All gerunds end in ing. Because gerunds function as nouns, they occupy places in a sentence that a noun would, such as the subject, direct object, and object of a preposition. You can use a gerund as 1. a subject: Traveling is Cynthias favorite pastime. 2. a direct object: I enjoy jogging. 3. an object of a proposition: The librarian scolded me for laughing. Often verbs are followed by gerunds. Study Table 5.10: Gerunds and Verbs for examples of this. TABLE 5.10 Gerunds and Verbs Gerund Verb followed by gerund moving Denise considered moving to Paris. cleaning I hate cleaning the bathroom. winning Nate imagines winning an Oscar one day. worrying Mom says she has stopped worrying. taking She admitted taking the pumpkin. gerund A verb form ending in ing that is used as a noun, such as running, writing, or celebrating. 158 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 5.6 Infinitives innitive A verb form that combines the word to with a verb, such as to buy, to go, or to gather. An innitive is a form of a verb that comes after the word to and acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb. to + verb = innitive Examples of innitives include to move, to sleep, to look, to throw, to read, and to sneeze. Often verbs are followed by innitives. Study Table 5.11 below for examples of this. TABLE 5.11 Infinitives and Verbs Innitive Verb followed by innitive to help Jessica oered to help her move. to arrive Mick expects to arrive early. to win Sunita wants to win the writing contest. to close He forgot to close the curtains. to eat She likes to eat late. You may wonder which verbs can be followed by gerunds, and which verbs can be followed by innitives. With the following verbs, you can use either a gerund or an innitive. TABLE 5.12 Infinitives and Gerunds Verbs Base form of verb Sentences with verbs followed by gerunds and innitives begin hate forget like continue start try prefer love 1. John began crying. 2. John began to cry. 1. Marie hated talking on the phone. 2. Marie hated to talk on the phone. 1. Wendell forgot paying the bills. 2. Wendell forgot to pay the bills. 1. I liked leaving messages. 2. I liked to leave messages. 1. He continued listening to the news. 2. He continued to listen to the news. 1. I will start recycling immediately. 2. I will start to recycle immediately. 1. Mikhail will try climbing the tree. 2. Mikhail will try to climb the tree. 1. I prefer baking. 2. I prefer to bake. 1. Josh loves diving. 2. Josh loves to dive. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 159 EXERCISE 6 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by circling the correct innitive or gerund. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I meant __________ (to kiss, kissing) my kids before they left for school. The children hoped (to go, going) to a restaurant for dinner. Do you intend __________ (to eat, eating) the entire pie? Crystal postponed __________ (to get dressed, getting dressed) for the party. When we nish __________ (to play, playing) this game, we will go home. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Verb tenses tell the reader when the action takes place. Actions could be in the past, present, or future. There are some troublesome verbs in English that are formed in special ways. The most common of these troublesome verbs are the verbs to be, to have, and to do. There are six main verb tenses in English: simple present, simple past, simple future, present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect. Verbs can be followed by either gerunds or innitives. Writing Application Write about a lively event that is either remembered or imagined. Here are three questions to ask yourself: What happened during the event? What happened after the event? Looking back, what do you think of the event now? Use a paragraph to answer each question in order to keep the present, past, and future tense verbs separate. 6. MODAL AUXILIARIES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify modal auxiliaries 2. Determine how and when to use modal auxiliaries We all need to express our moods and emotions, both in writing and in our everyday life. We do this by using modal auxiliaries. 6.1 Modal Auxiliaries Modal auxiliaries are a type of helping verb that are only used with a main verb to help express its mood. The basic formula for using a modal auxiliary is Subject + modal auxiliary + main verb James may call There are 10 main modal auxiliaries in English: modal auxiliary A type of helping verb that is only used with a main verb to help express its mood. 160 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 5.13 Modal Auxiliaries Modal It is used to Auxiliary can express an ability or possibility Modal Auxiliary + Helping Verb < < could express an ability in the past; a present possibility; a past or future permission < < < may express uncertain future action; permission; ask a yes-no question < < < might express uncertain future action shall express intended future action should express obligation; ask if an obligation exists express intended future action; ask a favor; ask for information < I shall go to the opera. (intended future action) < I should mail my RSVP. (obligation, same as ought to) Should I call my mother? (asking if an obligation exists) < < state a preference; request a choice politely; explain an action; introduce habitual past actions < < < < must obligation I would like the steak, please. (preference) Would you like to have breakfast in bed? (request a choice politely) I would go with you if I didnt have to babysit tonight. (explain an action) He would write to me every week when we were dating. (habitual past action) modal auxiliary + subject + main verb drive? We must be on time for class. < Follow this format for a yes-no question with a modal auxiliary: I I will get an A in this class. (intended future action) Will you buy me some chocolate? (favor) Will you be nished soon? (information) < ought to obligation Should I may attend the concert. (uncertain future action) You may begin the exam. (permission) May I attend the concert? (yes-no questions) I might attend the concert (uncertain future actionsame as may) < would I could beat you at chess when we were kids. (past ability) We could bake a pie! (present possibility) Could we pick some owers from the garden? (future permission) < < will I can lift this 40 pound box. (ability) We can embrace green sources of energy. (possibility) I ought to mail my RSVP. (obligation, same as may) CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 161 Be aware of these common errors when using modal auxiliaries: 1. Using an innitive instead of a base verb after a modal: Incorrect: I can to move this heavy table. Correct: I can move this heavy table. Incorrect: Claudia would to come if she were not busy. Correct: Claudia would come if she were not busy. 2. Using a gerund instead of an innitive or a base verb after a modal: Incorrect: I could moving to the United States. Correct: I could move to the United States. Incorrect: The teacher may rewarding the best student. Correct: The teacher may reward the best student. 3. Using two modals in a row: Incorrect: I should must renew my passport. Correct: I must renew my passport. Correct: I should renew my passport. Incorrect: Dianne can will explain the movie. Correct: Dianne can explain the movie. Correct: Dianne will explain the movie. 4. Leaving out a modal: Incorrect: I renew my passport. Correct: I must renew my passport. Incorrect: He study harder. Correct: He ought to study harder EXERCISE 1 Edit the following paragraph by correcting the common modal auxiliary errors. I may to go to France on vacation next summer. I shall might visit the Palace of Versailles. I would to drive around the countryside. I could imagining myself living there; however, I will not move to France because my family should miss me very much. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 6.2 Modals and Present Perfect Verbs In the previous section, we dened present perfect verb tense as describing a continuing situation or something that has just happened. Remember, when the sentence has a modal auxiliary before the verb, the helping verb is always have. 162 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Be aware of the following common errors when using modal auxiliaries in the present perfect tense: 1. Using had instead of have Incorrect: Jamie would had attended the party, but he was sick. Correct: Jamie would have attended the party, but he was sick. 2. Leaving out have Incorrect: Jamie would attended the party, but he was sick. Correct: Jamie would have attended the party, but he was sick. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by changing the given verb to a modal auxiliary in present perfect. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The man __________ (laugh). The frogs __________ (croak). My writing teacher __________ (smile). The audience __________ (cheer) all night. My best friend __________ (giggled). For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS The basic formula for using a modal auxiliary is subject + modal auxiliary + main verb There are 10 main modal auxiliaries in Standard English: can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, and ought to. The four common types of errors when using modals include: using an innitive instead of a base verb after a modal; using a gerund instead of an innitive or a base verb after a modal; using two modals in a row; leaving out a modal. In the present perfect tense, when a sentence has a modal auxiliary before the verb, the helping verb is always have. The two common errors when using modals in the present perfect tense include using had instead of have and leaving out have. Writing Application On a separate sheet of paper, write 10 original sentences using modal auxiliaries. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 163 7. PREPOSITIONS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify how to use prepositions correctly 2. Determine how and when to use prepositions A preposition is a word that connects a noun or a pronoun to another word in a sentence. Most prepositions such as above, below, and behind indicate a location in the physical world, but some prepositions such as during, after, and until show location in time. 7.1 In, At, and On The prepositions in, at, and on are used to indicate both location and time, but they are used in specic ways. Study Table 5.14, Table 5.15, and Table 5.16 below to learn when to use each one. TABLE 5.14 In Preposition: In Time Example < < < < year month season time of day (not night) Place < < < < In 1942 In August In the summer In the afternoon Example < < < country state city < < < In Zimbabwe In California In Chicago TABLE 5.15 On Preposition: On Time Example < < < day date specic days/dates < < < Place < < < On Monday On May 23 On Monday Example surfaces streets modes of transportation < < < On the table On 124th Street On the bus TABLE 5.16 At Preposition: At Time Example < < time with night Place < < < < At 5 oclock At night Example addresses location < < At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue At Rooneys Grill preposition Type of word that connects a noun, pronoun, or verb to another word that describes or modies it. Common prepositions include in, on, under, near, by, with, and about. 164 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 Edit the following letter from a resident to her landlord by correcting errors with in, at, and on. Dear Mrs. Salazar, I am writing this letter to inform you that I will be vacating apartment 2A in 356 Maple Street at Wednesday, June 30, 2010. I will be cleaning the apartment at the Monday before I leave. I will return the keys to you on 5 p.m. sharp at June 30. If you have any questions or specic instructions for me, please contact me in my oce. I have enjoyed living at Austin, Texas, but I want to explore other parts of the country now. Sincerely, Milani Davis For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 7.2 Prepositions after Verbs Prepositions often follow verbs to create expressions with distinct meanings. These expressions are sometimes called prepositional verbs. It is important to remember that these expressions cannot be separated. TABLE 5.17 Verbs + Prepositions Verb + Preposition Meaning Example agree with to agree with something or someone My husband always agrees with me. apologize for to express regret for something; to say sorry about something I apologize for being late. apply for to ask for something formally I will apply for that job. believe in to have a rm conviction in something; to believe in the existence of something I believe in educating the worlds women. care about to think that someone or something is important I care about the health of our oceans. hear about to be told about something or someone I heard about the teachers strike. look after to watch or to protect someone or something Will you look after my dog while I am on vacation? talk about to discuss something We will talk about the importance of recycling. speak to, with to talk to/with someone I will speak to his teacher tomorrow. wait for I will wait for my package to arrive. to await the arrival of someone or something Tip It is a good idea to memorize these combinations of verbs plus prepositions. Write them down in a notebook along with the denition and practice using them when you speak. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by circling the correct verb and preposition pair. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Charlotte does not __________ (apologize for, believe in) aliens or ghosts. It is impolite to __________ (hear about, talk about) people when they are not here. Herman said he was going to __________ (believe in, apply for) the internship. Jonas would not __________ (talk about, apologize for) eating the last piece of cake. I __________ (care about, agree with) the environment very much. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 165 For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 7.3 Prepositions after Adjectives Similar to prepositions after verbs, prepositions after adjectives create expressions with distinct meanings unique to English. Remember, these expressions also cannot be separated. TABLE 5.18 Adjectives + Prepositions Adjective + Preposition Meaning Example angry at, about to feel or show anger toward (or about) someone or something I am angry about the oil spill in the ocean. confused about to be unable to think with clarity about someone or something. Shawn was confused about the concepts presented at the meeting. disappointed to feel dissatisfaction with someone or something in, with I was disappointed in my husband because he voted for that candidate. dressed in to clothe the body He was dressed in a pinstriped suit. happy for to show happiness for someone or something I was happy for my sister who graduated from college. interested in giving attention to something; expressing interest I am interested in musical theater. jealous of to feel resentful or bitter toward someone or something (because of their status, possessions, or ability) I was jealous of her because she always went on vacation. thankful for to express thanks for something I am thankful for my wonderful friends. tired of disgusted with; have a distaste for I was tired of driving for hours without end. worried about to express anxiety or worry about something I am worried about my fathers health. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following sentences by circling the correct adjective and preposition pair. 1. Meera was deeply __________ (interested in, thankful for) marine biology. 2. I was __________ (jealous of, disappointed in) the main character on the season nale of my favorite show. 3. Jordan won the race, and I am __________ (happy for, interested in) him. 4. The lawyer was __________ (thankful for, confused about) the details of the case. 5. Chloe was __________ (dressed in, tired of) a comfortable blue tunic. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. Tip The following adjectives are always followed by the preposition at < < < good (She is really good at chess.) excellent (Henry is excellent at drawing.) brilliant (Mary Anne is brilliant at playing the violin.) 166 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS The prepositions in, at, and on are used to indicate both location and time, but they are used in specic ways. The preposition in is used with year, month, season, time of day (not night), and country, state, and city The preposition on is used with day, date, specic days/dates, surfaces, streets, and transportation modes The preposition at is used with time, night, addresses, and location Prepositions often follow verbs to create expressions with distinct meanings that are unique to English. Prepositions also follow adjectives to create expressions with distinct meanings that are unique to English. Writing Application Write about a happy childhood memory using as many prepositions followed by verbs and adjectives as you can. Use at 10 ten. When you are nished, exchange papers with a classmate and correct any preposition errors you nd. 8. SLANG & IDIOMS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize slang and idioms 2. Determine how to avoid using slang and idioms in formal writing Words are the basis of how a reader or listener judges you, the writer and speaker. When you write an academic paper or speak in a business interview, you want to be sure to choose your words carefully. In our casual, everyday talk, we often use a lot of ums, likes, yeahs, and so on. This everyday language is not appropriate for formal contexts, such as academic papers and business interviews. You should switch between dierent ways of speaking and writing depending on whether the context is formal or informal. 8.1 Slang slang Informal words that are considered nonstandard English. Hey, guys, lets learn about slang and other stu! Itll be awesome. This section is o the hook, yo! What do you notice about the previous paragraph? You might notice that the language sounds informal, or casual, like someone might talk with a friend or family member. The paragraph also uses a lot of slang. Slang is a type of language that is informal and playful. It often changes over time. The slang of the past is dierent than the slang of today, but some slang has carried over into the present. Slang also varies by region and culture. The important thing to understand is that slang is casual talk, and you should avoid using it in formal contexts. There are literally thousands of slang words and expressions. The chart below explains just a few of the more common terms. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 167 TABLE 5.19 Slang Expressions If you say this slang word or phrase You mean this all-nighter n. studying all night awesome adj. great check it out, check this out v. look at, watch, examine chocoholic/workaholic/shopaholic n. a person who loves, is addicted to chocolate/work/shopping cool adj. good, fashionable crack up v. to laugh uncontrollably dude, man n. person, man gross, nasty adj. disgusting pro n. a person who is a professional pig out v. eat a lot, overeat screw up v. make a mistake stu n. things (used as a singular, non-count noun) taking care of business to nish things that need to be done veg (sounds like the veg in vegetable) v. relax and do nothing EXERCISE 1 Edit the business email by replacing any slang words and phrases with more formal language. Dear Ms. OConnor: I am writing to follow up on my interview from last week. First of all, it was awesome to meet you. You are a really cool lady. I believe I would be a pro at all the stu you mentioned that would be required of me in this job. I am not a workaholic, but I do work hard and take care of business. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Sincerely, M. Ernest Anderson For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 8.2 Idioms Idioms are expressions that have a meaning dierent from the dictionary denitions of the individual words in the expression. Because English contains many idioms, non-native English speakers have diculties making logical sense of idioms and idiomatic expressions. The more you are exposed to English, however, the more idioms you will come to understand. Until then, memorizing the more common idioms may be of some help. TABLE 5.20 Idioms Idiom Denition a blessing in disguise a good thing you do not recognize at rst a piece of cake easy to do better late than never it is better to do something late than not at all get over it recover from something (like a perceived insult) I have no idea I dont know not a chance it will denitely not happen on pins and needles very nervous about something that is happening on top of the world feeling great pulling your leg making a joke by tricking another person the sky is the limit. the possibilities are endless idioms Expressions that have a meaning dierent from the dictionary denitions of the individual words that make them up. 168 context clues Words or phrases in a text that help clarify the meaning of an unfamiliar word. WRITING FOR SUCCESS What if you come across an idiom that you do not understand? There are clues that can help you. They are called context clues. Context clues are words or phrases around the unknown word or phrase that may help you decipher its meaning. 1. Denition/explanation clue An idiom may be explained immediately before or after its use. example: I felt like I was sitting on pins and needles I was so nervous. example: We were so hungry, we grabbed a bite to eat before dinner. example: He was so indecisive that he could not make up his mind. 2. Restatement/synonym clues An idiom may be simplied or restated. example: The young girl felt as though she had been sent to the dog house when her mother punished her for ghting in school. example: If we stick together, we can accomplish this as a group. example: I am going to give him a piece of my mind and tell him my honest opinion. 3. Contrast/Antonym clues An idiom may be claried by a contrasting phrase or antonym that is near it. example: Chynna thought the 5K marathon would be a piece of cake, but it turned out to be very dicult. example: The guide told me he knew the ropes. However, we lost our way after the second mile. example: Amanda tried to hide the ring from sight, but it caught Lisas eye. Pay attention to the signal words but and however, which tell the reader than an opposite thought or concept is occurring. KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS Informal language is not appropriate in formal writing or speaking contexts. Slang and idioms might not make logical sense to non-native speakers of English. It is good to be aware of slang and idioms so they do not appear in your formal writing. Writing Application Write a short paragraph about yourself to a friend. Write another paragraph about yourself to an employer. Examine and discuss the dierences in language between the two paragraphs. CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS 169 9. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. On a separate sheet of paper, create questions from the following sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. My daughter will have to think about her college options. Otto is waiting in the car for his girlfriend. The article talks about conserving energy. We need to reduce our needs. Rusha is always complaining about her work. II. Underline the prepositional phrase in each of the following sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Monica told us about her trip. I hope we have sunshine throughout the summer. The panther climbed up the tree. The little boy was standing behind his mothers legs. We stayed awake until dawn. III. Place the following sets of adjectives in the correct order before the noun. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. eyes: black, mesmerizing jacket: vintage, orange, suede pineapple: ripe, yellow, sweet vacation: fun, skiing movie: hilarious, independent IV. On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the positive sentences as negative sentences. Be sure to keep the sentences in the present tense. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Sometimes I work on Saturdays. The garden attracts butteries and bees. He breathes loudly at night. I chew on blades of grass in the summer time. I communicate well with my husband. V. On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the following paragraph by correcting the double negatives. That morning it was so hot Forrest felt like he couldnt hardly breathe. Isnt nothing would get him out the door into that scorching heat. Then he remembered his dog, Zeus, who started whining right then. Zeus was whining and barking so much that Forrest didnt have no choice but to get o the couch and face the day. That dog didnt do nothing but sni around the bushes and try to stay in the shade while Forrest was sweating in the sun holding the leash. He couldnt not wait for winter to come. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 10 at the end of this chapter. 10. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Linda and Javier danced under the stars. 2. Each person has an opinion about the topic. 3. The fans walked through the gates. 4. Jamyra ran around the track. 5. Maria celebrated her birthday in January Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. subject: Captain Karl; verb: told; direct object: a story; indirect object: the crew. 2. subject: Jermaine; verb: gave; direct object: a dozen yellow tulips; indirect object: his girlfriend. 3. subject: That hospital; verb: oers; direct object: better pay; indirect object: nurses. 4. subject: Dad; verb: served; direct object: a delicious dinner; indirect object: Grandma. 5. subject: Mom; verb: bought; direct object: a new car; indirect object: herself. 170 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Section 1 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. Jeannine burnt the pizza. 2. We had to go to the Mexican restaurant for dinner. 3. C 4. We were so full during the walk home. 5. C Section 1 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. Is Slumdog Millionaire a lm directed by Danny Boyle? 2. Does the story center on a character named Jamal Malik? 3. Do he and his older brother nd dierent ways to escape the slums? 4. Does his brother, Salim, pursue a life of crime? 5. Does Jamal end up on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Section 1 Exercise 5 Answers: 2. a new strange photograph 3. a funny wool green suit 4. a refreshing new opinion 5. a fashionable purple dress Section 2 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Nobody is happy about the mandatory lunch. 2. Deborah does not/doesnt like to visit online dating sites. 3. Jordan does not/doesnt donate blood every six months. 4. Our writing instructor is not/isnt very eective. 5. That beautiful papaya is not/isnt cheap. Section 2 Exercise 2 Answers: Celeste did not/didnt call me when she reached North Carolina. I was worried because she had not/hadnt driven alone before. She was going to meet her friend Terry, who lived in a town called Asheville, North Carolina. I did not/didnt want to worry, but she said she was going to call when she reached there. Finally, four hours later, she called and said, Mom, Im sorry I did not/didnt call. I lost track of time because I was so happy to see Terry! I was relieved Section 2 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. Jose didnt like any of the choices on the menu. 2. Brittany cant make friends with anyone. 3. The Southwest hardly had any rain last summer. 4. My kinds never get into trouble. 5. I could not do anything about the past. Section 3 Exercise 1 Answers: concrete 2. concrete 3. concrete 4. abstract 4. abstract Section 3 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. NC 2. NC 3. C 4. C 5. NC Section 3 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. A 2. the 3. The 4. the 5. A Section 3 Exercise 4 Answers: Stars are large balls of spinning hot gas like our sun. The stars look tiny because they are far away. Many of them are much larger than the sun. Just like a human being, a star has a life cycle from birth to death, but its lifespan is billions of years long. A star is born in a cloud of cosmic gas and dust called a nebula. Our sun was born in a nebula nearly 5 billion years ago. Photographs of the star-forming nebulas are astonishing Section 4 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. us, object 2. my, possessive; hers, possessive 3. he, subject 4. his, possessive 5. it, subject Section 4 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. We are going to the county fair this weekend. 2. Steven did not want to see a movie because he had a headache 3. C 4. The eighth grade students were all behaving mysteriously well. 5. C Section 4 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. that 2. that 3. who 4. that 5. that Section 4 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. Je is a dependable person who will never let you down. 2. I rode a roller coaster that was scary. 3. At the beach I always dig my feet into the sane, which protects them from the hot sun. 4. Jackie is trying not to use so many plastic products that are not good for the environment. 5. My Aunt Sherry, who has never been in an accident or gotten a ticket, is teaching me how to drive. Section 5 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. erase 2. danced 3. washed 4. asked 5. will bake CHAPTER 5 HELP FOR ELLS Section 5 Exercise 2 Answers: Last summer, I walked around Walden Pond. Walden Pond is in Concord, Massachusetts. It is where the philosopher Henry David Thoreau lived during the mid-19th century. During his time there, he wrote a book called Walden. Walden is a book of Thoreaus reections on the natural environment. It is considered a classic in American literature. I did not know that Walden Pond is considered the birthplace of the environmental movement. It was very relaxing there. I listened to birds, frogs, and crickets, not to mention the peaceful sound of the pond itself Section 5 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. does 2. are 3. have 4. do 5. are Section 5 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. have wanted 2. has argued 3. had set 4. had walked 5. has oered Section 5 Exercise 5 Answers: 1. was preparing; was watching 2. will be speaking 3. was traveling 4. is aching; is raining 5. will be talking; will be seeing 6. am yawning; am feeling Section 5 Exercise 6 Answers: 1. to kiss 2. to go 3. to eat 4. getting dressed 5. playing Section 6 Exercise 1 Answers: I may to go to France on vacation next summer. I might visit the Palace of Versailles. I could drive around the countryside. I could imagining myself living there; however, I would not move to France because my family would miss me very much Section 6 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. would have laughed 2. would have croaked 3. would have smiled 4. would have cheered 5. would have giggled Section 7 Exercise 1 Answers: Dear Mrs. Salazar, I am writing this letter to inform you that I will be vacating apartment 2A in 356 Maple Street on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. I will be cleaning the apartment on the Monday before I leave. I will return the keys to you at 5 p.m. sharp on June 30. If you have any questions or specic instructions for me, please contact me at my oce. I have enjoyed living in Austin, Texas, but I want to explore other parts of the country now. Sincerely, Milani Davis Section 7 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. believe in 2. talk about 3. apply for 4. apologize for 5. care about Section 7 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. interested in 2. disappointed in 3. happy for 4. confused about 5. dressed in Section 8 Exercise 1 Answers: Dear Ms. OConnor: I am writing to follow up on my interview from last week. First of all, it was a pleasure to meet you. You are an inspiring individual. I believe I would be eective at all the tasks you mentioned that would be required of me in this job. I am not overworked, but I do work hard and complete projects. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Sincerely, M. Ernest Anderson End of Chapter Exercises Answers Exercise I Answers: 1. Will my daughter have to think about her college options? 2. Is Otto waiting in the car for his girlfriend? 3. Does the article talk about conserving energy? 4. Do we need to reduce our needs? 5. Is Rusha always complaining about her work? 171 172 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Exercise II Answers: 1. about her trip 2. throughout the summer 3. up the tree 4. behind his mothers legs 5. until dawn Exercise III Answers: 1. black mesmerizing eyes 2. vintage orange suede jacket 3. sweet ripe yellow pineapple 4. fun skiing vacation 5. hilarious independent movie Exercise IV Answers: 1. Sometimes I do not/dont work on Saturdays. 2. The garden does not/doesnt attract butteries and bees. 3. He does not/doesnt breathe loudly at night. 4. I do not/dont chew on blades of grass in the summer time. 5. I do not/dont communicate well with my husband. Exercise V Answers: That morning it was so hot Forrest felt like he could hardly breathe. Nothing would get him out the door into that scorching heat. Then he remembered his dog, Zeus, who started whining right then. Zeus was whining and barking so much that Forrest didnt have any choice but to get o the couch and face the day. That dog didnt do anything but sni around the bushes and try to stay in the shade while Forrest was sweating in the sun holding the leash. He could not wait for winter to come. CHAPTER 6 Writing Paragraphs Separating Ideas and Shaping Content 1. PURPOSE, AUDIENCE, TONE, AND CONTENT LEARNING 1. 2. 3. 4. OBJECTIVES Identify the dierences between summary, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation paragraphs Identify the content in writing paragraphs Demonstrate how audience and tone inuence content Apply purpose, audience, tone, and content to a specic assignment Imagine reading a poorly written review of a movie that you would like to see this weekend. You cannot follow the characters, action, or conict because the author of the review rambles on and on. Without clear paragraphs, this review will likely lose your interest, and you may skip the movie altogether! When you are the writer, it is helpful to position yourself as a reader. Ask yourself whether you can focus easily on each point you make. Eective writers use a single paragraph for each new idea they introduce. Paragraphs separate ideas into logical, manageable, and distinct units. Each paragraph focuses on only one main idea and presents coherent sentences to support that single point. Because all the sentences in one paragraph support the same point, a paragraph may stand on its own. Each paragraph is shaped by Purpose: the reason why the writer composes the paragraph. < Tone: the attitude the writer conveys about the paragraphs subject. < Audience: the individual or group whom the writer intends to address. < Content: the written material in the paragraph. < 174 WRITING FOR SUCCESS To create longer assignments and to discuss more than one point, writers group together paragraphs and link them together with transitions. The assignments purpose, audience, and tone dictate the content, which determines what paragraphs cover and how each will support a main point. The main point of the paragraph is the message you want to share with the reader. This section covers how purpose, audience, and tone aect the content, which aects your reading and writing of paragraphs. 1.1 Common Academic Purposes: Summary, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation Paragraphs purpose Identies the reason(s) why a writer creates a document. The common academic purposes are summary, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The purpose for a piece of writing identies the reason you write a particular document. It the question Why? For example, why write a play? To entertain a packed theater. Why write instructions to the babysitter? To inform him or her of your schedule and rules. Why write an email to your congressperson? To persuade him or her to address your communitys needs. In academic settings, the reasons for writing fulll four main purposes: to summarize, to analyze, to synthesize, and to evaluate. You will encounter these four purposes not only as you read textbooks for your classes but also as you read for work or pleasure. Tip Another common purpose for writing is persuasion, both in academic contexts and everyday contexts. In many assignments and daily writings, the four academic purposes for writing paragraphs can work together to support an entire persuasive argument. See Chapter 10 for more information on the persuasive essay and persuasive arguments. Because reading and writing work together, your writing skills will improve as your reading skills improve. To read more about reading in the writing process, see Chapter 8. Eventually, your instructors will ask you to complete assignments specically designed to meet one of the four purposes. As you will see, the purpose for writing will guide you through each part of the paper, helping you make decisions about content and style. For now, identifying these purposes by reading paragraphs will prepare you to write individual paragraphs and also to build longer assignments. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 175 Summary Paragraphs A summary shrinks a large amount of information into only the essentials. You probably summarize events, books, and movies on a daily basis. Think about the last blockbuster movie you saw or the last novel you read. Chances are, at some point in a casual conversation with a friend, coworker, or classmate, you compressed all the action in a two-hour lm or in a 200-page book into a brief description of the major plot movements. While in conversation, you probably described the major highlights or main points in just a few sentences using your own vocabulary and manner of speaking. Similarly, a summary paragraph condenses a long piece of writing into a smaller paragraph by extracting only the vital information. A summary uses only the writers own words. Like the summarys purpose in daily conversation, the academic summary paragraphs purpose is to maintain all the essential information from a longer document. Although shorter than the original piece of writing, a summary should still communicate all the key points and key support. In other words, summary paragraphs should be succinct and to the point. Consider Journal Report 6.1 from the journal Alcohol Research & Health: Report Journal Report 6.1 summary A purpose for writing that condenses a long piece of writing into a smaller paragraph by extracting only the vital information. Writers use their own words to create summaries. 176 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Source: Spoth, R., Greenberg, M., & Turrisi, R. 2009. Overview of preventive interventions and addressing underage drinking: state of the evidence and steps toward public health impact. Alcohol Research & Health. Retrieved from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ Overview+of+preventive+interventions+addressing+underage+drinking%3a...-a0217185291. A summary of the report should present all the main points and supporting details in brief. Here is a summary of the report written by a student: CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 177 Notice how the summary retains the key points made by the writers of the original report but omits most of the statistical data. Summaries need not contain all of the specic facts and gures in the original document; they provide only an overview of the essential information. Analysis Paragraphs An analysis separates complex materials in their dierent parts and studies how the parts relate to one another. The analysis of simple table salt, for example, would require an identication of its partsthe elements sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl). Then scientists would study how the two elements interact to create the compound NaCl, or sodium chloride: simple table salt. Analysis is not limited to the sciences, of course. An analysis paragraph in academic writing fullls the same purpose. Instead of deconstructing, or breaking down, compounds, academic analysis paragraphs typically deconstruct documents. In other words, an analysis deconstructs, or takes apart, a primary source (an essay, a book, an article, etc.) point by point. It communicates the main points of the document by examining individual points and identifying how the points relate to one another. Analyzing a document involves a close examination of each of its individual parts and how they work together. Take a look at a students analysis of Journal Report 6.1. Notice how the analysis does not simply repeat information from the original report but considers how the points within the report relate to one another. analysis A purpose for writing that separates the individual points in a piece of writing and studies how the points relate to one another. 178 WRITING FOR SUCCESS By examining individual parts of the document and how they work together, the student uncovers a discrepancy between the points that are backed up by statistics and those that require additional information. Synthesis Paragraphs synthesis A purpose for writing that considers the main points from one or more pieces of writing and links them together to create a new point. A synthesis combines two or more items to create an entirely new item. Consider the electronic musical instrument aptly named the synthesizer. It looks like a simple keyboard but displays a dashboard of switches, buttons, and levers. With the ip of a few switches, a musician may combine the distinct sounds of a piano, a ute, or a guitaror any other combination of instrumentsto create a new sound. The purpose of the synthesizer is to blend together the notes from individual instruments to form new, unique sounds. The purpose of an academic synthesis is to blend individual documents into a new document. An academic synthesis paragraph considers the main points from one or more pieces of writing and links the main points together to create a new point, one not replicated in either document. Take a look at a students synthesis of several sources about underage drinking: Notice how the synthesis paragraphs consider each source and use information from each to create a new thesis. A good synthesis does not repeat information; the writer uses a variety of sources to create a new idea. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 179 Evaluation Paragraphs An evaluation judges the value of something and determines its worth. Evaluations in everyday experiences are often dictated by set standards but also inuenced by opinion and prior knowledge. For example, at work, a supervisor may complete an employee evaluation by judging his subordinates performance based on the companys goals. If the company focuses on improving communication, the supervisor will rate the employees customer service according to a standard scale. However, the evaluation still depends on the supervisors opinion and prior experience with the employee. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine how well the employee performs at his or her job. An academic evaluation communicates your opinion, and its justications, about a document or a topic of discussion. Evaluations are inuenced by your reading of the document, your prior knowledge, and your prior experience with the topic or issue. Because an evaluation incorporates your point of view and reasons for your point of view, it typically requires more critical thinking and a combination of summary, analysis, and synthesis skills. For this reason, evaluation paragraphs often follow summary, analysis, and synthesis paragraphs. Read a students evaluation paragraph: Notice how the paragraph incorporates the students own personal judgment within the evaluation. Evaluating a document requires prior knowledge that is often based on additional research. Study Table 6.1 for a review of summary, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation paragraphs. evaluation A purpose for writing that communicates a writers opinion about a document or a topic and the justications for that opinion. 180 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 6.1 Summary, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation Paragraphs Summary < < < < condenses a long piece of writing into a smaller paragraph by extracting only the vital information uses only the writers own words maintains all the essential information from a longer document but is shorter than the original document should be succinct and to the point Analysis < < < Synthesis deconstructs, or takes apart, a primary source (an essay, a book, an article, etc.) point by point communicates the main points of the document by examining individual points and identifying how the points relate to one another does not simply repeat information from the original report, but considers how the points within the report relate to one another < < blends individual documents into a new document considers the main points from one or more pieces of writing and links the main points together to create a new point, one not replicated in either document Evaluation < < < < communicates your opinion, about a document or a topic of discussion inuenced by your readings, your prior knowledge, and your prior experience incorporates your point of view and reasons requires more critical thinking and a combination of summary, analysis, and synthesis skills Tip When reviewing directions for assignments, look for the verbs summarize, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate. Instructors often use these words to clearly indicate the assignments purpose. These words will cue you on how to complete the assignment, because you will know its exact purpose. EXERCISE 1 Read the following paragraphs about four lms and then identify their purpose on your own sheet of paper. 1. This lm could easily have been cut down to less than two hours. By the nal scene, I noticed that most of my fellow moviegoers were snoozing in their seats and were barely paying attention to what was happening on screen. Although the director sticks diligently to the book, he tries too hard to cram all the action in, which is just too ambitious for such a detail-oriented story. If you want my advice, read the book and give the movie a miss. 2. During the opening scene, we learn that the character Laura is adopted and that she has spent the past three years desperately trying to track down her real parents. Having exhausted all the usual optionsadoption agencies, online searches, family trees, etc.she is on the verge of giving up, when she meets a stranger on a bus. The chance encounter leads to a complicated chain of events that ultimately results in Laura getting her lifelong wish. But is it really what she wants? Throughout the rest of the lm, Laura discovers that sometimes the past is best left where it belongs. 3. To create the feeling of being gripped in a vice, director May Lee uses a variety of elements to gradually increase the tension. The creepy, haunting melody that subtly enhances the earlier scenes becomes ever more insistent, rising to a disturbing crescendo toward the end of the movie. The desperation of the actors, combined with the claustrophobic atmosphere and tight camera angles, create a realistic restorm, from which there is little hope of escape. Walking out of the theater at the end feels like staggering out of a Roman dungeon. 4. The scene in which Campbell and his fellow prisoners assist the guards in shutting down the riot immediately strikes the viewer as unrealistic. Based on the recent reports on prison riots in both Detroit and California, it seems highly unlikely that a posse of hardened criminals will help their captors on purpose at the risk of inciting future revenge from other inmates. Instead, both news reports and psychological studies indicate that prisoners who dont actively participate in a riot will go back to their cells and avoid conict altogether. Examples of this lack of attention to detail happen throughout the lm, making it almost unbearable to watch. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 181 Writing at Work Thinking about the purpose of writing a report in the workplace can help focus and structure the document. A summary should provide colleagues with a factual overview of your ndings without going into too much specic detail. In contrast, an evaluation should include your personal opinion, along with supporting evidence, research, or examples to back it up. Listen for words such as summarize, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate when your boss asks you to complete a report to help determine a purpose for writing. EXERCISE 2 Consider an essay most recently assigned to you. Identify the most eective academic purpose for the assignment. My assignment: __________ My purpose: __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. 1.2 Identifying the Audience Imagine you must give a presentation to a group of executives in an oce. Weeks before the big day, you spend time creating and rehearsing the presentation. You must make important, careful decisions not only about the content but also about your delivery. Will the presentation require technology to project gures and charts? Should the presentation dene important words, or will the executives already know the terms? Should you wear your favorite tie, or high heels? The answers to these questions will help you develop an appropriate relationship with your audience, making them more receptive to your message. Now imagine you must explain the same business concepts from your presentation to a group of high school students. Those important questions you previously answered may now require dierent answers. The gures and charts may be too sophisticated, and the terms will certainly require denitions. You may even reconsider your outt and sport a more casual look. Because the audience has shifted, your presentation and delivery will shift as well to create a new relationship with the new audience. In these two situations, the audiencethe individuals who will watch and listen to the presentationplays a role in the development of the presentation. As you prepare the presentation, you visualize the audience to anticipate their expectations and reactions. What you imagine aects the information and how you will present it. Then, during the presentation, you meet the audience in person. Although the audience for writing assignmentsyour readersmay not appear in person, they play an equally vital role. Even in everyday writing activities, you identify your readers characteristics, interests, and expectations before making decisions about what you write. In fact, thinking about audience has become so common that you may not even detect your audience-driven decisions. For example, you update your status on a social networking site with the awareness of who will digitally follow the post. If you want to brag about a good grade, you may write the post to please family members. If you want to describe a funny moment, you may write with your friends senses of humor in mind. Even at work, you want to send emails with an awareness of an unintended receiver who could intercept the message. In other words, being aware of invisible readers is a skill you already possess and one you rely on everyday. Consider Example 6.1.2A and Example 6.1.2B. Which one would the author send to her parents? Which one would she send to her best friend? Example A Last Saturday, I volunteered at a local hospital. The visit was fun and rewarding. I even learned how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. Unfortunately, I think caught a cold from one of the patients. This week, I will rest in bed and drink plenty of clear uids. I hope I am well by next Saturday to volunteer again. Example B audience Identies the individual(s) or group(s) whom the writer intends to address. 182 WRITING FOR SUCCESS OMG! You wont believe this! My adviser forced me to do my community service hours at this hospital all weekend! We learned CPR, but we did it on dummies, not even real peeps. And some kid sneezed on me and got me sick! I was so bored and sniing all weekend, I hope I dont have to go back next week. I def do NOT want to miss the basketball tournament! Most likely, you matched each paragraph to its intended audience with little hesitation. Because each paragraph reveals the authors relationship with her intended readers, you can identify the audience fairly quickly. When writing your own paragraphs, you must engage with your audience to build an appropriate relationship given your subject. Eective communication involves not just the speaker or writer who sends messages but also the audience who receives the messages. The audiences mood, values, understanding, background, and familiarity with the subject and the writer will impact the audiences perception of the piece of writing. Imagining your readers and their traits during each stage of the writing process will help you make decisions about your writing. Ultimately, the people you visualize will aect what and how you write. Tip While giving a speech, you may articulate an inspiring or critical message, but if you left your hair a mess and laced up mismatched shoes, your audience would not take you seriously. They may be too distracted by your appearance to listen to your words. Similarly, grammar and sentence structure serve as the appearance of a piece of writing. Polishing your work using correct grammar will impress your readers and allow them to focus on what you have to say. Because focusing on audience will enhance your writing, your process, and your nished product, you must consider the specic traits of your audience members. Try to anticipate the readers demographics, education, prior knowledge, and expectations. The following describes these four important characteristics: < < < < Demographics measure important data about a group of people, such as their age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, and gender. Certain topics and assignments will require you to consider these kinds of traits and beliefs. For other topics and assignments, these measurements may not inuence your writing in the end. Regardless, it is important to consider demographics when you begin to think about your purpose for writing. Education considers the audiences level of schooling. If audience members have earned doctorates, for example, you may need to elevate your style and use more formal language. Or, if your audience members are still in college, you could write in a more relaxed style. An audience members major or emphasis may also dictate your writing. Prior knowledge refers to what the audience already knows about your topic. If your readers have studied certain topics, they may already know some terms and concepts related to the topic. You may decide whether to dene terms and explain concepts based on your audiences prior knowledge. Although you cannot peer inside the brains of your readers to discover their knowledge, you can make reasonable assumptions. For instance, a nursing major would presumably know more about health-related topics than a business major. Expectations indicate what readers will look for while reading your assignment. Readers may expect consistencies in the assignments appearance, such as correct grammar and traditional formatting, like double-spaced lines and legible font. Readers may also have content-based expectations given the assignments purpose and organization. In an essay titled The Economics of Enlightenment: The Eects of Rising Tuition, for example, audience members may expect to read about the economic repercussions of college tuition costs. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 183 EXERCISE 3 On your own sheet of paper, generate a list of characteristics under each category for each audience. This list will help you later when you read about tone and content. 1. Your classmates < < < < Demographics __________ Education __________ Prior knowledge __________ Expectations __________ 2. Your instructor < < < < Demographics __________ Education __________ Prior knowledge __________ Expectations __________ 3. The head of your academic department < < < < Demographics __________ Education __________ Prior knowledge __________ Expectations __________ 4. Now, think about your next writing assignment. Identify the purpose (you may use the same purpose listed in Exercise 2), and then identify the audience. Create a list of characteristics under each category. My assignment: __________ My purpose: __________ My audience: __________ < < < < Demographics __________ Education __________ Prior knowledge __________ Expectations __________ Keep in mind that as your topic shifts in the writing process, your audience may also shift. For more information about the writing process, see Chapter 8. Also, remember that decisions about style depend on audience, purpose, and content. Identifying your audiences demographics, education, prior knowledge, and expectations will aect how you write, but purpose and content play an equally important role. The next subsection covers how to select an appropriate tone to match the audience and purpose. 1.3 Selecting an Appropriate Tone Tone identies a speakers attitude toward a subject or another person. You may pick up a persons tone of voice fairly easily in conversation. A friend who tells you about her weekend may speak in an informal tone, expressing excitement about a fun skiing trip. Or, a coworker who needs to let o some steam may crack a sarcastic joke after a long meeting. An instructor who means business may speak in a formal tone, using a low, slow voice to emphasize her serious mood. Just as speakers transmit emotion through voice, writers can transmit through writing a range of attitudes, from excited and humorous feelings to somber and critical feelings. These emotions create connections among the audience, the author, and the subject, ultimately building a relationship between the audience and the text. To stimulate these connections, writers intimate their attitudes and feelings with useful devices, such as sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, and formal or informal language. Keep in mind that the writers attitude should always appropriately match to the audience and purpose. Read the following paragraph below and consider the writers tone. How would you describe the writers attitude toward wildlife conservation? tone Identies a writers attitude toward his or her subject and audience. 184 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Many species of plants and animals are disappearing right before our eyes. If we dont act fast, it might be too late to save them. Human activities, including pollution, deforestation, hunting, and overpopulation, are devastating the natural environment. Without our help, many species will not survive long enough for our children to see them in the wild. Take the tiger, for example. Today, tigers occupy just 7 percent of their historical range, and many local populations are already extinct. Hunted for their beautiful pelts and other body parts, the tiger population has plummeted from 100,000 in 1920 to just a few thousand. Contact your local wildlife conservation society today to nd out how you can stop this terrible destruction. The author of this paragraph transmits a serious and concerned tone about wildlife conservation. Phrases such as disappearing right before our eyes, too late to save them, and will not survive long enough for our children to see them in the wild appeal to the audiences emotions and show the gravity of the loss of wildlife. The authors choice of the strong verbs devastating and plummeted reects the negative eects of human activities. Even the last sentence calls the audience to act, which creates urgency for the issue. EXERCISE 4 Think about the assignment and purpose you selected in Exercise 2, and the audience you selected in Exercise 3. Now, identify the tone you would use in the assignment. My assignment: __________ My purpose: __________ My audience: __________ My tone: __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. 1.4 Choosing Appropriate, Interesting Content content All the written substance in a document. Content refers to all the written substance in a document. After selecting an audience and a purpose, you must choose what information will make it to the page. Identifying Content in Writing Paragraphs Content is all the material in your document. It may consist of examples, statistics, facts, anecdotes, testimonies, and/or observations. Keep in mind, however, that content includes not only the text but also graphs, pictures, and all other material in a document. But no matter the type, the information must be appropriate and interesting for the audience and purpose. Knowing your audience, purpose, and tone allows you to shape the content eectively. An essay written for third-graders that summarizes the legislative process, for example, would have to contain succinct and simple content. Perhaps the essay would include basic gures and images that would appeal to young minds. The purpose for the essayto summarizewould also dictate the appropriate amount of details, examples, and supporting facts. Content is also shaped by tone. When the tone matches the content, the audience will be more engaged, and you will build a stronger relationship with your readers. Consider the audience of thirdgraders. You would choose simple content that the audience will easily understand, and you would express that content through an enthusiastic tone. The same considerations apply to all audiences and purposes. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 185 EXERCISE 5 Match the content in the box to the appropriate audience and purpose. A. Whereas economist Holmes contends that the nancial crisis is far from over, presidential adviser Jones points out that it is vital to catch the rst wave of opportunity to increase market share. We can use elements of both experts visions. Let me explain how. B. In 2000, foreign money owed into the United States, contributing to easy credit conditions. People bought larger houses than they could aord, eventually defaulting on their loans as interest rates rose. C. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, known by most of us as the humungous government bailout, caused mixed reactions. Although supported by many political leaders, the statute provoked outrage among grassroots groups. In their opinion, the government was actually rewarding banks for their appalling behavior. 1. Audience: An instructor Purpose: To analyze the reasons behind the 2007 nancial crisis Content: __________ 2. Audience: Classmates Purpose: To summarize the eects of the $700 billion government bailout Content: __________ 3. Audience: An employer Purpose: To synthesize two articles on preparing businesses for economic recovery Content: __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 6 Using the assignment, purpose, audience, and tone from Exercise 4, generate a list of content ideas. Remember that content consists of examples, statistics, facts, anecdotes, testimonies, and observations. My assignment: __________ My purpose: __________ My audience: __________ My tone: __________ My content ideas: __________ For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Paragraphs separate ideas into logical, manageable chunks of information. The content of each paragraph and document is shaped by purpose, audience, and tone. The four common academic purposes are to summarize, to analyze, to synthesize, and to evaluate. Identifying the audiences demographics, education, prior knowledge, and expectations will aect how and what you write. Devices such as sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, and formal or informal language communicate tone and create a relationship between the writer and his or her audience. Content may consist of examples, statistics, facts, anecdotes, testimonies, and observations. All content must be appropriate and interesting for the audience, purpose, and tone. 186 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 2. EFFECTIVE MEANS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify characteristics of a good topic sentence 2. Identify the three parts of a developed paragraph 3. Apply knowledge of topic sentences and parts of a developed paragraph in an assignment Now that you have identied common purposes for writing and learned how to select appropriate content for a particular audience, you can think about the structure of a paragraph in greater detail. Composing an eective paragraph requires a method similar to building a house. You may have the nest content, or materials, but if you do not arrange them in the correct order, the nal product will not hold together very well. A strong paragraph contains three distinct components: body < The middle part of a paragraph containing supporting sentences. The body of the paragraph provides additional information about the topic sentence. Topic sentence: the main idea of the paragraph. < conclusion The closing paragraph that reinforces the thesis statement and leaves the audience with a feeling of completion. topic sentence The sentence in a paragraph that controls the point of the paragraph. A topic sentence is most often located at the beginning of a paragraph, and it makes the structure of a text and the writers basic arguments easy to locate and comprehend. Body supporting sentences that develop the main point. < Conclusion concluding sentence that summarizes the main point. The foundation of a good paragraph is the topic sentence, which expresses the main idea of the paragraph. The topic sentence relates to the thesis or main point of the essay (see Chapter 9 for more information about thesis statements) and guides the reader by signaling what the paragraph is about. All of the sentences in the rest of the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence. This section covers the major components of a paragraph and examines how to develop an eective topic sentence. 2.1 Developing a Topic Sentence Pick up any newspaper or magazine and read the rst sentence of an article. Are you fairly condent that you know what the rest of the article is about? If so, you have likely read the topic sentence. An eective topic sentence combines a main idea with the writers personal attitude or opinion. It serves to orient the reader and provides an indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph. Read the following example: Creating a national set of standards for math and English education will improve student learning in many states. This topic sentence declares a favorable position for standardizing math and English education. After reading this sentence, a reader might reasonably expect the writer to provide supporting details and facts as to why standardizing math and English education might improve student learning in many states. If the purpose of the essay is actually to evaluate education in only one particular state or to summarize national English standards, then the topic sentence is misleading. Read the following examples to see how a dierent purpose changes the topic sentence. Purpose: To evaluate education in California Topic sentence: The education principles created by the California State Board of Education overemphasize college preparation. Purpose: To summarize national English standards Topic sentence: The national English standards require students to not only recognize literary devices in published works but also apply these literary strategies in their own writing. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 187 Tip When writing a draft of an essay, allow a friend or colleague to read the topic sentence of your rst paragraph. Ask them to predict what your paper will be about. If they are unable to accurately guess your topic, you should consider revising your topic sentence so that it clearly denes your purpose in writing. Main Idea vs. Controlling Idea Topic sentences contain both a main ideathe subject, or topic, that the writer is discussing, and a controlling ideathe writers specic stance on that subject that also directs the paragraph. Dierent writers may use the same main idea but can steer their paragraph in a number of dierent directions according to their stance on the subject. Read the following examples: main idea The topic discussed throughout the paragraph. controlling idea Maruana is a destructive inuence on teens and causes long-term brain damage. The antinausea properties in maruana are a lifeline for many cancer patients. Legalizing maruana would create a higher demand for Class A and Class B drugs. Although the main ideamaruanais the same in all three topic sentences, the controlling idea diers depending on the writers viewpoint. EXERCISE 1 Consider the main idea and the controlling idea when reading each of the following topic sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Exercising three times a week is the only way to maintain good physical health. Sexism and racism are still rampant in todays workplace. Raising the legal driving age to 21 would decrease road trac accidents. Owning a business is the only way to achieve nancial success. Dog owners should be prohibited from taking their pets on public beaches. Characteristics of a Good Topic Sentence Five characteristics dene a good topic sentence. A good topic sentence: 1. Provides an accurate, specic indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph. In the topic sentences examples, the writer discusses a specic incident in which a unit of reghters risked their lives to save a boy during a riot. Weak Example: Fireghters are rarely given the credit they deserve for such a physically and emotionally demanding job. [The paragraph is about a specic incident that involved a specic group of reghters; therefore this topic sentence is too general.] Stronger Example: During the October riots, Unit 3B went above and beyond the call of duty to save the life of a young boy trapped in a burning building. [This topic sentence is more specic and indicates that the paragraph will contain information about how exactly Unit 3B saved the boy.] 2. Contains both a topic and a controlling idea or stance. In the topic sentence examples, the writer discusses insucient health care and its relationship to rising suicide rates among young professionals. Weak Example: In this paper, I am going to discuss health care and the rising suicide rate among young professionals. [This topic sentence provides a main idea but does not present a controlling idea, or stance.] Stronger Example: The rising suicide rate among young professionals is a result of the insucient mental-health resources provided by employers health care providers. [This topic sentence presents the writers stance on the subject of health care and rising suicide rates among young professionals.] 3. Is clearly articulated. In the topic sentence examples, the writer discusses the benets of rst constructing an outline before beginning to write. Indicates the writers stance on the main idea of a paragraph. The controlling idea appears in the paragraphs topic sentence. 188 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Weak Example: In general, writing an essay, thesis, or other academic or nonacademic document is considerably easier and of much higher quality if you rst construct an outline, of which there are many dierent types. [This topic sentence includes a main idea and a controlling idea, but both are buried beneath the confusing sentence structure and unnecessary vocabulary. These obstacles make it dicult for the reader to follow.] Stronger Example: Most forms of writing can be improved by rst creating an outline. [This topic sentence cuts out unnecessary verbiage and simplies the previous statement, making it easier for the reader to follow.] 4. Does not include unnecessary supporting details. Supporting details can be found in the middle part of a paragraph and help to explain, enhance, or support the topic sentence. These supporting details should not appear in the topic sentence itself. In the topic sentence examples, the writer discusses the necessity for a cap on baseball salaries. Weak Example: Salaries should be capped in baseball for many reasons, most importantly so we dont allow the same team to win year after year. [This topic sentence includes a supporting detail that should be included later in the paragraph to back up the main point.] Stronger Example: Introducing a salary cap would improve the game of baseball for many reasons. [This topic sentence omits the additional supporting detail so that it can be expanded upon later in the paragraph.] 5. Engages the reader by using interesting vocabulary. In the topic sentence examples, the writer argues for better equipment for the military. Weak Example: The military deserves better equipment. [This topic sentence includes a controlling idea, but the language is bland and unexciting.] Stronger Example: The appalling lack of resources provided to the military weakens our soldiers and requires our immediate attention. [This topic sentence reiterates the same controlling idea, but adjectives such as appalling and immediate better engage the reader. These words also indicate the writers tone.] EXERCISE 2 Choose the most eective topic sentence from the following sentence pairs. 1. a. This paper will discuss the likelihood of the Democrats winning the next election. b. To boost their chances of winning the next election, the Democrats need to listen to public opinion. 2. a. The unrealistic demands of union workers are crippling the economy for three main reasons. b. Union workers are crippling the economy because companies are unable to remain competitive as a result of added nancial pressure. 3. a. Authors are losing money as a result of technological advances. b. The introduction of new technology will devastate the literary world. 4. a. Rap music is produced by untalented individuals with oversized egos. b. This essay will consider whether talent is required in the rap music industry. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 3 Using the tips on developing eective topic sentences in this section, create a topic sentence on each of the following subjects. Remember to include a controlling idea as well as a main idea. Write your responses on your own sheet of paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. An endangered species The cost of fuel The legal drinking age A controversial lm or novel For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 189 Writing at Work When creating a workplace document, headings are often used in place of topic sentences. In a text-heavy document, break up each paragraph with individual headings. These serve as useful navigation aids, enabling colleagues to skim through the document and locate relevant paragraphs. This method saves busy colleagues precious time and eort trying to gure out the main points and relevant details. 2.2 Developing Paragraphs that Use Topic Sentences, Supporting Ideas, and Transitions Effectively Learning how to develop a good topic sentence is the rst step toward writing a solid paragraph. Once you have composed your topic sentence, you have a guideline for the rest of the paragraph. To complete the paragraph, a writer must support the topic sentence with additional information and summarize the main point with a concluding sentence. This section identies the three major structural parts of a paragraph and covers how to develop a paragraph using transitional words and phrases. Identifying Parts of a Paragraph An eective paragraph contains three main parts: a topic sentence, the body, and the concluding sentence. A topic sentence is often the rst sentence of a paragraph. This chapter has already discussed its purpose: to express a main idea combined with the writers attitude about the subject. The body of the paragraph usually follows, containing supporting details. Supporting sentences help to explain, prove, or enhance the topic sentence. The concluding sentence is the last sentence in the paragraph. It reminds the reader of the main point by restating it in dierent words. supporting sentence A sentence in the middle part of the paragraph that helps to explain, enhance, or prove the topic sentence. concluding sentence The nal sentence of a paragraph that summarizes the topic sentence using dierent words. 190 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Read the following paragraph. The topic sentence is underlined for you. After reading the new TV Guide this week I had just one thought: Why are we still being bombarded with reality shows? This season, the plague of reality television continues to darken our airwaves. Along with the return of viewer favorites, we are to be cursed with yet another mindless creation. The television reality show Prisoner follows the daily lives of eight suburban housewives who have chosen to be put in jail for the purposes of this fake psychological experiment. A preview for the rst episode shows the usual tears and tantrums associated with reality television. I dread to think what producers will come up with next season, but if any of them are reading this blogstop it! Weve had enough reality television to last us a lifetime! The rst sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence. It tells the reader that the paragraph will be about reality television shows and expresses the writers distaste for these shows through the use of the word bombarded. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS Each of the following sentences in the paragraph support the topic sentence by providing further information about specic reality television shows. The nal sentence is the concluding sentence. It reiterates the main point that viewers are bored with reality television shows using dierent words from the topic sentence. Paragraphs that begin with the topic sentence move from the general to the specic. They open with a general statement about a subject (reality shows) and then discuss specic examples (the reality show Prisoner). Most academic essays contain the topic sentence at the beginning of the rst paragraph. Now take a look at the following paragraph. The topic sentence is underlined for you. Last year, a cat traveled 130 miles to reach its family who had moved to another state and left their pet behind. Even though it had never been to their new home, the cat was able to track down its former owners. A dog in my neighborhood can predict when its master is about to have a seizure. It makes sure that he does not hurt himself during an epileptic t. Compared to many animals, our own senses are dull. The last sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence. It draws on specic examples (a cat that tracked down its owners, a dog that can predict seizures), and then makes a general statement that draws a conclusion from these examples (animals senses are better than humans). In this case, the supporting sentences are placed before the topic sentence and the concluding sentence is the same as the topic sentence. This technique is frequently used in persuasive writing. The writer produces detailed examples as evidence to back up his or her point, preparing the reader to accept the concluding topic sentence as the truth. Sometimes, the topic sentence appears in the middle of a paragraph. Read the following example. The topic sentence is underlined for you. For many years, I suered from severe anxiety every time I took an exam. Hours before the exam, my heart would begin pounding, my legs would shake, and sometimes I became physically unable to move. Last year, I was referred to a specialist and nally found a way to control my anxietybreathing exercises. It seems so simple, but by doing just a few breathing exercises a couple of hours before an exam, I gradually reduced my anxiety. The exercises help to slow my heart rate and make me feel less anxious. Better yet, they require no pills, no equipment, and take very little time. Its amazing how just breathing correctly has helped me learn to manage my anxiety. In this paragraph, the underlined sentence is the topic sentence. It expresses the main idea: that breathing exercises can help control anxiety. The preceding sentences enable the writer to build up to his main point (breathing exercises can help control anxiety) by using a personal anecdote (how he used to suer from anxiety). The supporting sentences then expand on how breathing exercises help the writer by providing additional information. The last sentence is the concluding sentence and restates how breathing can help to manage anxiety. Placing a topic sentence in the middle of a paragraph is often used in creative writing. If you notice that you have used a topic sentence in the middle of a paragraph in an academic essay, read through the paragraph carefully to make sure that it contains only one major topic. To read more about topic sentences and where they appear in paragraphs, see Chapter 8. Implied Topic Sentences Some well-organized paragraphs do not contain a topic sentence at all. Instead of being directly stated, the main idea is implied in the content of the paragraph. These implied topic sentences most often appear in narration and description essays, which are covered in more detail in Chapter 10. Read the following example paragraph from a narration essay in which the writer describes her interaction with an elderly woman: Heaving herself up the stairs, Luella had to pause for breath several times. She let out a wheeze as she sat down heavily in the wooden rocking chair. I approached her cautiously, as if she might crumble at the slightest touch. I studied her face, like parchment; stretched across the bones so nely I could almost see right through the skin to the decaying muscle underneath. Luella smiled a toothless grin. Although no single sentence in this paragraph states the main idea, the entire paragraph focuses on one concept: that Luella is extremely old. The topic sentence is thus implied rather than stated. This technique is often used in descriptive or narrative writing. For more information on these kinds of essays, see Chapter 10. Implied topic sentences work well if the writer has a rm idea of what he or she intends 191 192 WRITING FOR SUCCESS to say in the paragraph and sticks to it. However, a paragraph loses its eectiveness if an implied topic sentence is too subtle or the writer loses focus. Tip Avoid using implied topic sentences in an informational document. Readers often lose patience or interest if they are unable to quickly grasp what the writer is trying to say. For example, imagine you are reading an article that aims to describe the specs of your new cell phone. In the paragraph where you expect straightforward information about downloading capabilities, the writer instead describes his rst visit to an online store. In his storytelling, he does imply the downloading capabilities, but you have lost interest trying to nd the point. The clearest and most ecient way to communicate in an informational document is to position the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. EXERCISE 4 Identify the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence in the following paragraph. The desert provides a harsh environment in which few mammals are able to adapt. Of these hardy creatures, the kangaroo rat is possibly the most fascinating. Able to live in some of the most arid parts of the Southwest, the kangaroo rat neither sweats nor pants to keep cool. Its specialized kidneys enable it to survive on a miniscule amount of water. Unlike other desert creatures, the kangaroo rat does not store water in its body but is instead able to convert the dry seeds it eats into moisture. Its ability to adapt to such a hostile environment makes the kangaroo rat a truly amazing creature. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 4 at the end of this chapter. Supporting Sentences If you think of a paragraph as a hamburger, the supporting sentences are the meat inside the bun. They make up the body of the paragraph by explaining, proving, or enhancing the controlling idea in the topic sentence. Most paragraphs contain three to six supporting sentences, depending on the audience and purpose for writing. A supporting sentence usually oers one of the following: Reason: The refusal of the baby-boom generation to retire is contributing to the current lack of available jobs. Arranged marriages tend to be more successful and last longer than traditional marriages because arranged marriages support family growth. Low wages are not to blame for widespread poverty in Americas cities. < Fact: Many families now rely on older relatives to support them nancially. Indian tradition dictates the compatibility factors that determine the partners in arranged marriages. Employees who work for the federal minimum wage earn $7.25 each hour. < Statistic: Nearly 10 percent of adults are currently unemployed in the United States. One-third of all American marriages end in divorce. In the United States, the average workers yearly earnings exceed $47,000. < Quotation: We will not allow this situation to continue, Senator Johns said. To marry for love, explained Adam Deasy, a marriage expert, was considered taboo in India. According to working student Diana Reyes, The jobs pay well, but we simply dont have enough positions to hire new employees. < Example: Last year, Bill was asked to retire at the age of 55. < CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS At the end of the spring semester, a successful graduate student in the United States left his studies and returned to India to meet his bride for the rst time. I earned less than $20,000 last year, but I made ends meet and did not fall below the poverty line. The type of supporting sentence you choose will depend on what you are writing and why you are writing. For example, if you are attempting to persuade your audience to take a particular position, you should rely on objective data, such as facts, statistics, and concrete examples, rather than subjective data, such as personal opinions. Read the following example: There are numerous advantages to owning a hybrid car. [Topic sentence] First, they get 20 percent to 35 percent more miles to the gallon than a fuel-ecient gas-powered vehicle. [Supporting sentence 1: statistic] Second, they produce very few emissions during low-speed city driving. [Supporting sentence 2: fact] Because they require less gas, hybrid cars reduce dependency on fossil fuels, which helps to lower prices at the pump. [Supporting sentence 3: reason] Alex bought a hybrid car two years ago and has been extremely impressed with its performance. [Supporting sentence 4: example] Its the cheapest car Ive ever had, she said. The running costs are far lower than previous gas-powered vehicles Ive owned. [Supporting sentence 5: quotation] Given the low running costs and environmental benets of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alexs example in the near future. [Concluding sentence] To nd information for your supporting sentences, you might consider using one of the following sources: < < < < < < < < < < reference book encyclopedia web site biography/autobiography map dictionary newspaper/magazine interview previous experience personal research To read more about sources and research, see Chapter 11. Tip When searching for information on the Internet, remember that some web sites are more reliable than others. Web sites ending in .gov or .edu are generally more reliable than Web sites ending in .com or .org. Wikis and blogs are not reliable sources of information because they lack professional review and are subject to inaccuracies. To read more about reliable sources, see Chapter 11. Concluding Sentences An eective concluding sentence draws together all of the ideas you have raised in your paragraph. It reminds readers of the main pointthe topic sentencewithout restating it in exactly the same words. Using the hamburger example, the top bun (the topic sentence) and the bottom bun (the concluding sentence) are very similar. They frame the meat, or body, of the paragraph. Compare the topic sentence and concluding sentence from the previous example: Topic sentence: There are numerous advantages to owning a hybrid car. 193 194 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Concluding sentence: Given the low running costs and environmental benets of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alexs example in the near future. Notice the use of the synonyms advantages and benets. The concluding sentence reiterates the idea that owning a hybrid is advantageous without using the exact same words. It also summarizes two examples of the advantages covered in the supporting sentences: low running costs and environmental benets. You should avoid introducing any new ideas into your concluding sentence. A conclusion is intended to provide the reader with a sense of completion. Introducing a subject that is not covered in the paragraph will confuse the reader and weaken your writing. A concluding sentence may: Restate the main idea. Example: Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. < Summarize the key points in the paragraph. Example: A lack of healthy choices, poor parenting, and an addiction to video games are among the many factors contributing to childhood obesity. < Draw a conclusion based on the information in the paragraph. Example: These statistics indicate that unless we take action, childhood obesity rates will continue to rise. < Make a prediction, suggestion, or recommendation about the information in the paragraph. Example: Based on this research, more than 60 percent of children in the United States will be morbidly obese by the year 2030 unless we take evasive action. < Oer an additional observation about the controlling idea. Example: Childhood obesity is an entirely preventable tragedy. < EXERCISE 5 On your own paper, write one example of each type of concluding sentence based on a topic of your choice. Transitions transitions Words and phrases that show how the ideas in sentences and paragraphs are related. A strong paragraph moves seamlessly from the topic sentence into the supporting sentences and on to the concluding sentence. To help organize a paragraph and ensure that ideas logically connect to one another, writers use transitional words and phrases. A transition is a connecting word or phrase that describes a relationship between ideas. Take another look at the earlier example: There are numerous advantages to owning a hybrid car. First, they get 20 percent to 35 percent more miles to the gallon than a fuel-ecient gas-powered vehicle. Second, they produce very few emissions during low-speed city driving.Because they do not require gas, hybrid cars reduce dependency on fossil fuels, which helps to lower prices at the pump. Alex bought a hybrid car two years ago and has been extremely impressed with its performance.Its the cheapest car Ive ever had, she said. The running costs are far lower than previous gas-powered vehicles Ive owned.Given the low running costs and environmental benets of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alexs example in the near future. Each of the underlined words is a transition word. Words such as rst and second are transition words that show sequence or clarify order. They help organize the writers ideas by showing that he or she has another point to make in support of the topic sentence. Other transition words that show order include third, also, and furthermore. The word because is a transition word of consequence that continues a line of thought. It indicates that the writer will provide an explanation of a result. In this sentence, the writer explains why hybrid cars will reduce dependency on fossil fuels (because they do not require gas). Other transition words of consequence include as a result, so that, since, or for this reason. To include a summarizing transition in her concluding sentence, the writer could rewrite the nal sentence as follows: In conclusion, given the low running costs and environmental benets of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alexs example in the near future. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 195 Table 6.2 provides some useful transition words to connect supporting sentences and concluding sentences. See Chapter 8 for a more comprehensive look at transitional words and phrases. TABLE 6.2 Useful Transition Words and Phrases Useful Transitional Words and Phrases for Supporting Sentences for example, for instance, above all, subsequently, therefore, also, furthermore, moreover, in addition, likewise, in particular, correspondingly, conversely, nevertheless, but, however, at the same time, to begin with, on one hand, on the contrary, later on, meanwhile, moreover, aside from Example Without Transitional Word:Today, an overwhelming number of Americas children do not get enough exercise during the school day. Many school districts in the United States are arguing for legislation that would eliminate recess from the school day. Example With Transitional Word: Today, an overwhelming number of Americas children do not get enough exercise during the school day. However, many school districts in the United States are arguing for legislation that would eliminate recess from the school day. [The transitional word however connects the topic sentence to a supporting sentence by showing a contrast.] Concluding Sentences all in all, after all, in conclusion, in summary, in brief, on balance, to sum up, nally, thus, all things considered, on the whole Example Without Transitional Word:Eliminating recess from the school day would eliminate time set aside for Americas children to exercise when children lack this time elsewhere in the day. As a vital part of our youths health and well-being, recess should remain in the school days activities. Example With Transitional Word: Eliminating recess from the school day would eliminate time set aside for Americas children to exercise when children lack this time elsewhere in the day. Thus, as a vital part of our youths health and well-being, recess should remain in the school days activities. [The transitional word thus connects the supporting sentence to a concluding sentence by showing a logical conclusion.] EXERCISE 6 Using your own paper, write a paragraph on a topic of your choice. Be sure to include a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence, and to use transitional words and phrases to link your ideas together. Writing at Work Transitional words and phrases are useful tools to incorporate into workplace documents. They guide the reader through the document, clarifying relationships between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader understands why they have been written in that particular order. For example, when writing an instructional memo, it may be helpful to consider the following transitional words and phrases: before you begin, rst, next, then, nally, after you have completed. Using these transitions as a template to write your memo will provide readers with clear, logical instructions about a particular process and the order in which steps are supposed to be completed. 2.3 Apply Knowledge of Topic Sentences and Parts of a Developed Paragraph in an Assignment To see an example of how to apply the knowledge covered in this section, reread the sample answer from Exercise 6 in Section 1. The students assignment was to choose a recent newspaper article and write two paragraphs explaining how the author presents the event, issue, or story. In a third paragraph, the assignment asked the student to explain whether or not the authors techniques are eective. The student, Roger, identied the assignments purpose, audience, tone, and content ideas as the following: Purpose: To analyze and to evaluate Audience: My instructor and my classmates Tone: Formal Content ideas: Denitions of the techniques, examples of the authors techniques, and observations on the eectiveness of the techniques After completing this exercise, Roger found and read an article from his hometown newspaper about local unemployment rates. To complete the rst two paragraphs in the assignment, Roger knew 196 WRITING FOR SUCCESS he would have to analyze the article by breaking it down into its dierent parts. As he read the article a second time, Roger generated a list of the ways the author explained the unemployment issue: < < < < < Headline: Joblessness Discourages Unemployed Article begins with a statistic, showing the rates of unemployment from this month compared to last month. Author continues to cite data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes a quote from a local economics professor. Author lists causes for unemployed peoples loss of motivation, such as the stock market and reduced spending. Author closes the article by naming other areas with high unemployment rates. After reviewing his list, Roger realized he listed examples of the authors techniques. The author relied on a succinct headline, statistics and data, quotes, and causes to explain the unemployment issue. From these notes, Roger developed a topic sentence and supporting details for his rst assignment paragraph, saving the remaining techniques for the second assignment paragraph. Roger also kept in mind his purpose (to analyze) and his tone (formal). An analysis of David Strasburgs article Joblessness Discourages Unemployed from The Montgomery Herald shows Strasburgs successful use of statistics, data, and quotations to explain the current lack of motivation among the unemployed residents of Montgomery County. First, Strasburg opens the article with the following statistic: More than 10 percent of all Montgomery County residents old enough to work have been unemployed, without any source of income, since April 15. Although this data is startling enough, Strasburg continues to point out that the unemployment rate exceeds the national average, a comparison that creates immediacy and urgency for this issue right at the beginning of the article. Second, Strasburg cites data from previous years unemployment rates according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a very reliable and credible source. In addition, the quote from an Montgomery Universitys economics professor corroborates the information from the government source. In a personal interview, Dr. Mahtani tells Strasburg, My graduate students completed their own case study on a number of jobless individuals here. Their ndings showed a signicant correlation between employment status and motivation levels. Despite the professors clear language, Strasburg ensures his readers comprehension by paraphrasing Dr. Mahtanis words. To complete the paragraph with all its parts, Roger added concluding sentences to transition into his second assignment paragraph: In each of these techniques, Strasburg adds words and phrases to clarify the information for his readers, and these careful additions contribute to the articles success. Later in the brief article, Strasburg relies on even more techniques and details to elaborate the issue. With the three parts of Rogers rst paragraph completed, he may move on to the second and third paragraphs. KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS A good paragraph contains three distinct components: topic sentence, body, and concluding sentence. The topic sentence expresses the main idea of the paragraph combined with the writers attitude or opinion about the topic. Good topic sentences contain both a main idea and a controlling idea, are clear and easy to follow, use engaging vocabulary, and provide an accurate indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph. Topic sentences may be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph. In most academic essays, the topic sentence is placed at the beginning of a paragraph. Supporting sentences help to explain, prove, or enhance the topic sentence by oering facts, reasons, statistics, quotations, or examples. Concluding sentences summarize the key points in a paragraph and reiterate the main idea without repeating it word for word. Transitional words and phrases help organize ideas in a paragraph and show how these ideas relate to one another. CHAPTER 6 WRITING PARAGRAPHS 197 3. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. Select one of the following topics or choose a topic of your choice: < < < < < Drilling for oil in Alaska Health care reform Introducing a four-day work week Bringing pets to work Charging airline passengers to use the in-ight bathroom Create a topic sentence based on the topic you choose, remembering to include both a main idea and a controlling idea. Next, write an alternative topic sentence using the same main idea but a dierent controlling idea. Explain how each fully developed paragraph might dier in tone and content. II. At some point during your career, you may be asked to write a report or complete a presentation. Imagine that you have been asked to report on the issue of health and safety in the workplace. Using the information in 6.1.2, complete an analysis of your intended audienceyour fellow oce workers. Consider how demographics, education, prior knowledge, and expectations will inuence your report and explain how you will tailor it to your audience accordingly. III. Collect four dierent kinds of documents. These documents might include magazine or newspaper articles, workplace documents, academic essays, chapters from a reference book, lm or book reviews, or any other type of writing. Read through each document and identify the authors purpose for writing. Use the information you have learned in this chapter to decide whether the main purpose is to summarize, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate. Write a brief report on the purpose of each document, using supporting evidence from the text. IV. Select a workplace document or academic essay that has a clear thesis. Examine each paragraph and identify the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence. Then choose one particular paragraph and answer the following questions: < < < < Is the topic sentence clearly identiable or is it implied? Do all of the supporting sentences relate to the topic sentence? Does the writer use eective transitions to link his or her ideas? Does the concluding sentence accurately summarize the main point of the paragraph? Identify the weakest areas of the paragraph and rewrite them. Focus on the relationship among the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence. Use transitions to illustrate the connection between each sentence in the paragraph. V. Using the information you have learned in this chapter, write a paragraph about a current event. Underline the topic sentence in your paragraph. Now, rewrite the paragraph, placing the topic sentence in a dierent part of the paragraph. Identify which paragraph is more eective and why. 4. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. evaluate 2. summary 3. analysis 4. synthesis Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: My assignment: Choose a recent newspaper article and write two paragraphs explaining how the author presents the event, issue, or story. In a third paragraph, explain whether or not the authors techniques are eective. My purpose: To analyze and to evaluate. Section 1 Exercise 4 Answers: My assignment: Choose a recent newspaper article and write two paragraphs explaining how the author presents the event, issue, or story. In a third paragraph, explain whether or not the authors techniques are eective. My purpose: To analyze and to evaluate 198 WRITING FOR SUCCESS My audience: My instructor and my classmates My tone: Formal Section 1 Exercise 5 Answers: 1. B, 2. C, 3. A Section 1 Exercise 6 Answers: My assignment: Choose a recent newspaper article and write two paragraphs explaining how the author presents the event, issue, or story. In a third paragraph, explain whether or not the authors techniques are eective. My purpose: To analyze and to evaluate My audience: My instructor and my classmates My tone: Formal My content ideas: Denitions of the techniques, examples of the authors techniques, and observations on the eectiveness of the techniques Section 2 Exercise 2 Answers: 1.b 2. a 3. a 4. a Section 2 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. To better protect endangered marine mammals, the U.S. government should more strongly enforce the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 2. Keeping with the principles of economics, the cost of fuel will inevitably rise and fall with supply and demand. 3. After turning 21, most students abandon the argument for lowering the legal drinking age. 4. J. D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye has been unlawfully banned in our communitys library. Section 2 Exercise 4 Answers: Topic sentence: The desert provides a harsh environment in which few mammals are able to adapt. Support sentences: Of these hardy creatures, the kangaroo rat is possibly the most fascinating. Able to live in some of the most arid parts of the Southwest, the kangaroo rat neither sweats nor pants to keep cool. Its specialized kidneys enable it to survive on a miniscule amount of water. Unlike other desert creatures, the kangaroo rat does not store water in its body but is instead able to convert the dry seeds it eats into moisture. Concluding sentence: Its ability to adapt to such a hostile environment makes the kangaroo rat a truly amazing creature. CHAPTER 7 Refining Your Writing How do I Improve My Writing Technique? 1. SENTENCE VARIETY LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify ways to vary sentence structure 2. Use correct sentence structure at the beginning of sentences 3. Use correct sentence structure by connecting ideas Have you ever ordered a dish in a restaurant and been unhappy with its taste, even though it contained most of your favorite ingredients? Just as a meal might lack the nishing touches needed to spice it up, so too might a paragraph contain all the basic components but still lack the stylistic nesse required to engage a reader. Sometimes writers have a tendency to reuse the same sentence pattern throughout their writing. Like any repetitive task, reading text that contains too many sentences with the same length and structure can become monotonous and boring. Experienced writers mix it up by using an assortment of sentence patterns, rhythms, and lengths. In this chapter, you will follow a student named Naomi who has written a draft of an essay but needs to rene her writing. This section discusses how to introduce sentence variety into writing, how to open sentences using a variety of techniques, and how to use dierent types of sentence structure when connecting ideas. You can use these techniques when revising a paper to bring life and rhythm to your work. They will also make reading your work more enjoyable. 1.1 Sentence Variety Experienced writers incorporate sentence variety into their writing by varying sentence style and structure. Using a mixture of dierent sentence structures reduces repetition and adds emphasis to important points in the text. Read the following example: During my time in oce I have achieved several goals. I have helped to increase funding for local schools. I have reduced crime rates in the neighborhood. I have encouraged young people to get involved in their community. My competitor argues that she is the better choice in the upcoming election. I argue that it is ridiculous to x something that isnt broken. If you reelect me this year, I promise to continue to serve this community. In this extract from an election campaign, the writer uses short, simple sentences of a similar length and style. Writers often mistakenly believe that this technique makes the text more clear for the reader, but the result is a choppy, unsophisticated paragraph that does not grab the audiences attention. Now read the revised paragraph with sentence variety: During my time in oce, I have helped to increase funding for local schools, reduced crime rates in the neighborhood, and encouraged young people to get involved in their community. Why x what isnt broken? If you reelect me this year, I will continue to achieve great things for this community. Dont take a chance on an unknown contender; vote for the proven success. Notice how introducing a short rhetorical question among the longer sentences in the paragraph is an eective means of keeping the readers attention. In the revised version, the writer combines the choppy sentences at the beginning into one longer sentence, which adds rhythm and interest to the paragraph. Readers appreciate rhythm and interest, because these variations in sentence length keep them engaged with the content. Engaged readers continue to read and think critically about the text. Eective writers often implement the rule of three, which is basically the thought that things that contain three elements are more memorable and more satisfying to readers than any other number. sentence variety Use of an assortment of sentence patterns, rhythms, and lengths to reduce repetition and emphasize important points in a text. 200 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Try to use a series of three when providing examples, grouping adjectives, or generating a list. Read the following examples of the rule of three: Providing examples: Weak sentences: In this semesters course, students will learn to study eectively. Students will also practice laboratory procedures and treat patients. Strong sentence: In this semesters course, students will learn to study eectively, practice laboratory procedures, and treat patients. Grouping adjectives: Weak sentences: The campus store oers a lot of useful supplies and a variety of supplies. Students also nd the merchandise aordable. Strong sentence: The campus store oers supplies and merchandise that are various, useful, and aordable. Generating a list: Weak sentences: My books and pens must t in the front pocket of my backpack, and my folder should t, too. Strong sentence: All of the following items must t in the front pocket of my backpack: my books, pens, and folder. EXERCISE 1 Combine each set of simple sentences into a compound or a complex sentence. Write the combined sentence on your own sheet of paper. 1. Heroin is an extremely addictive drug. Thousands of heroin addicts die each year. 2. William Shakespeares writing is still relevant today. He wrote about timeless themes. These themes include love, hate, jealousy, death, and destiny. 3. Gay marriage is now legal in several states. Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine all permit same-sex marriage. Other states are likely to follow their example. 4. Prewriting is a vital stage of the writing process. Prewriting helps you organize your ideas. Types of prewriting include outlining, brainstorming, and idea mapping. 5. Mitch Bancroft is a famous writer. He also serves as a governor on the local school board. Mitchs two children attend the school. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. 1.2 Sentence Variety at the Beginning of Sentences Read the following sentences and consider what they all have in common: John and Amanda will be analyzing this weeks nancial report. The car screeched to a halt just a few inches away from the young boy. Students rarely come to the exam adequately prepared. If you are having trouble guring out why these sentences are similar, try underlining the subject in each. You will notice that the subject is positioned at the beginning of each sentenceJohn and Amanda, the car, students. Because the subject-verb-object pattern is the simplest sentence structure, many writers tend to overuse this technique, and that can result in repetitive paragraphs with little sentence variety. Naomi wrote an essay about the 2008 government bailout. Read this excerpt from Naomis essay: CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 201 This section examines several ways to introduce sentence variety at the beginning of sentences, using Naomis essay as an example. Starting a Sentence with an Adverb One technique you can use so as to avoid beginning a sentence with the subject is to use an adverb. An adverb is a word that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb and often ends in ly. Examples of adverbs include quickly, softly, quietly, angrily, and timidly. For more information about adverbs, see Chapter 2. Read the following sentences: She slowly turned the corner and peered into the murky basement. Slowly, she turned the corner and peered into the murky basement. In the second sentence, the adverb slowly is placed at the beginning of the sentence. If you read the two sentences aloud, you will notice that moving the adverb changes the rhythm of the sentence and slightly alters its meaning. The second sentence emphasizes how the subject movesslowlycreating a buildup of tension. This technique is eective in ctional writing. Note that an adverb used at the beginning of a sentence is usually followed by a comma. A comma indicates that the reader should pause briey, which creates a useful rhetorical device. Read the following sentences aloud and consider the eect of pausing after the adverb: Cautiously, he unlocked the kennel and waited for the dogs reaction. Solemnly, the policeman approached the mayor and placed him under arrest. Suddenly, he slammed the door shut and sprinted across the street. In an academic essay, moving an adverb to the beginning of a sentence serves to vary the rhythm of a paragraph and increase sentence variety. adverb A word that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb and often ends in ly. 202 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Naomi has used two adverbs in her essay that could be moved to the beginning of their respective sentences. Notice how the revised version creates a more varied paragraph: Tip Adverbs of timeadverbs that indicate when an action takes placedo not always require a comma when used at the beginning of a sentence. Adverbs of time include words such as yesterday, today, later, sometimes, often, and now. EXERCISE 2 On your own sheet of paper, rewrite the following sentences by moving the adverbs to the beginning. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The red truck sped furiously past the camper van, blaring its horn. Je snatched at the bread hungrily, polishing o three slices in under a minute. Underage drinking typically results from peer pressure and lack of parental attention. The reghters bravely tackled the blaze but were beaten back by ames. Mayor Johnson privately acknowledged that the budget was excessive and that further discussion was needed. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 203 Starting a Sentence with a Prepositional Phrase A prepositional phrase is a group of words that behaves as an adjective or an adverb, modifying a noun or a verb. Prepositional phrases contain a prepositiona word that species place, direction, or timeand an object of the prepositiona noun phrase or pronoun that follows the preposition. To read more about prepositions, see Chapter 2. prepositional phrase A group of words that begins with a preposition. preposition TABLE 7.1 Common Prepositions above across at around before beneath beside between beyond by despite except for from inside A word that connects a noun, pronoun, or verb to another word that describes or modies it. Common prepositions include in, on, under, near, by, with, and about. into like o on object of a preposition over outside past since through A noun phrase or pronoun that follows a preposition and completes its meaning. against near after among behind below throughout till toward under underneath until with within without up Read the following sentence: The terried child hid underneath the table. In this sentence, the prepositional phrase is underneath the table. The preposition underneath relates to the object that follows the preposition: the table. Adjectives may be placed between the preposition and the object in a prepositional phrase: The terried child hid underneath the heavy wooden table. Some prepositional phrases can be moved to the beginning of a sentence to create variety in a piece of writing. Look at the revised sentence: Underneath the heavy wooden table, the terried child hid. Notice that when the prepositional phrase is moved to the beginning of the sentence, the emphasis shifts from the subjectthe terried childto the location in which the child is hiding. Words that are placed at the beginning or end of a sentence generally receive the greatest emphasis. Take a look at the following examples. The prepositional phrase is underlined in each: The bandaged man waited in the doctors oce. In the doctors oce, the bandaged man waited. My train leaves the station at 6.45 a.m. At 6.45 a.m., my train leaves the station. Teenagers exchange drugs and money under the railway bridge. Under the railway bridge, teenagers exchange drugs and money. Prepositional phrases are useful in any type of writing. Take another look at Naomis essay on the government bailout: 204 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Now read the revised version: The underlined words are all prepositional phrases. Notice how they add additional information to the text and provide a sense of ow to the essay, making it less choppy and more pleasurable to read. Unmovable Prepositional Phrases Not all prepositional phrases can be placed at the beginning of a sentence. Read the following sentence: I would like a chocolate sundae without whipped cream. In this sentence, without whipped cream is the prepositional phrase. Because it describes the chocolate sundae, it cannot be moved to the beginning of the sentence. Without whipped cream, I would like a chocolate sundae does not make as much (if any) sense. To determine whether or not a prepositional phrase can be moved, we must determine the meaning of the sentence. Overuse of Prepositional Phrases Experienced writers often include more than one prepositional phrase in a sentence; however, it is important not to overload your writing. Using too many modiers in a paragraph may create an unintentionally comical eect, as shown below: The treasure lay buried under the old oak tree, behind the crumbling 15th century wall, near the schoolyard, where children played merrily during their lunch hour, unaware of the riches that remained hidden beneath their feet. A sentence is not necessarily eective just because it is long and complex. If your sentence appears cluttered with prepositional phrases, divide it into two shorter sentences. The previous sentence is far more eective when written as two simpler sentences: CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 205 The treasure lay buried under the old oak tree, behind the crumbling 15th century wall. In the nearby schoolyard, children played merrily during their lunch hour, unaware of the riches that remained hidden beneath their feet. Writing at Work The overuse of prepositional phrases often occurs when our thoughts are jumbled and we are unsure how concepts or ideas relate to one another. If you are preparing a report or a proposal, take time to organize your thoughts in an outline before writing a rough draft. Read the draft aloud, either to yourself or to a colleague, and identify areas that are rambling or unclear. If you notice that a particular part of your report contains several sentences over 20 words, you should double check that particular section to make certain that it is coherent and does not contain unnecessary prepositional phrases. Reading aloud sometimes helps to detect unclear and wordy sentences. You can also ask a colleague to paraphrase your main points to ensure that the meaning is clear. Starting a Sentence by Inverting Subject and Verb As we noted earlier, most writers follow the subject-verb-object sentence structure. In an inverted sentence, the order is reversed so that the subject follows the verb. Read the following sentence pairs: A truck was parked in the driveway. Parked in the driveway was a truck. A copy of the le is attached. Attached is a copy of the le. Notice how the second sentence in each pair places more emphasis on the subjectthe truck in the rst example and the le in the second. This technique is useful for drawing the readers attention to your primary area of focus. We can apply this method to an academic essay. Take another look at Naomis paragraph: To emphasize the subject in certain sentences, Naomi can invert the traditional sentence structure. Read her revised paragraph: inverted sentence A sentence that inverts the traditional subject-verb-object structure so that the verb follows the subject. 206 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Notice that in the rst underlined sentence, the subjectsome economistsis placed after the verbargued. In the second underlined sentence, the subjectthe governmentis placed after the verbexpects. EXERCISE 3 On your own sheet of paper, rewrite the following sentences as inverted sentences. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Teresa will never attempt to run another marathon. A detailed job description is enclosed with this letter. Bathroom facilities are across the hall to the left of the water cooler. The well-dressed stranger stumbled through the doorway. My colleagues remain unconvinced about the proposed merger. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. 1.3 Connecting Ideas to Increase Sentence Variety Reviewing and rewriting the beginning of sentences is a good way of introducing sentence variety into your writing. Another useful technique is to connect two sentences using a modier, a relative clause, or an appositive. This section examines how to connect ideas across several sentences in order to increase sentence variety and improve our writing. Joining Ideas Using an ing Modifier modier A word or phrase that qualies the meaning of another element in a sentence. Sometimes it is possible to combine two sentences by converting one of them into a modier using the ing verb formsinging, dancing, swimming. As you read in Chapter 2, a modier is a word or phrase that qualies the meaning of another element in the sentence. Read the following example: Original sentences: Steve checked the computer system. He discovered a virus. Revised sentence: Checking the computer system, Steve discovered a virus. To connect two sentences using an ing modier, add ing to one of the verbs in the sentences (checking) and delete the subject (Steve). Use a comma to separate the modier from the subject of the sentence. It is important to make sure that the main idea in your revised sentence is contained in the main clause, not in the modier. In this example, the main idea is that Steve discovered a virus, not that he checked the computer system. An ing modier indicates that two actions are occurring at the same time: CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 207 Noticing the police car, she shifted gears and slowed down. [Meaning: She slowed down at the same time she noticed the police car] Barking loudly, the dog ran across the driveway. [Meaning: The dog barked as it ran across the driveway.] You can add an ing modier to the beginning or the end of a sentence, depending on which ts best: Beginning: Conducting a survey among her friends, Amanda found that few were happy in their jobs. End: Maria led the nal report, meeting her deadline. Dangling Modifiers A common mistake when combining sentences using the ing verb form is to misplace the modier so that it is not logically connected to the rest of the sentence. This creates a dangling modier. Look at the following example: dangling modier A modier that is not logically connected to the rest of the sentence. Jogging across the parking lot, my breath grew ragged and shallow. In this sentence, Jogging across the parking lot seems to modify my breath. Because breath cannot jog, the sentence should be rewritten so that the subject is placed immediately after the modier or added to the dangling phrase: Jogging across the parking lot, I felt my breath grow ragged and shallow. For more information on dangling modiers, see Chapter 2. Joining Ideas Using an ed Modifier Some sentences can be combined using an ed verb formstopped, nished, played. To use this method, one of the sentences must contain a form of be as a helping verb in addition to the ed verb form. Take a look at the following example: Original sentences: The Jones family was delayed by a trac jam. They arrived several hours after the party started. Revised sentence: Delayed by a trac jam, the Jones family arrived several hours after the party started. In the original version, was acts as a helping verbit has no meaning by itself, but serves a grammatical function by placing the main verb (delayed) in the perfect tense. To connect two sentences using an ed modier, drop the helping verb (was) and the subject (the Jones family) from the sentence with an ed verb form. This forms a modifying phrase (delayed by a trac jam) that can be added to the beginning or end of the other sentence according to which ts best. As with the ing modier, be careful to place the word that the phrase modies immediately after the phrase in order to avoid a dangling modier. Using ing or ed modiers can help to streamline your writing by drawing obvious connections between two sentences. Take a look at how Naomi might use modiers in her paragraph: helping verb A verb that is used with a main verb to describe mood or tense. The helping verb is usually a form of be, do, or have. 208 WRITING FOR SUCCESS The revised version of the essay uses the ing modier opting to draw a connection between the governments decision to bail out the banks and the result of that decisionthe acquisition of the mortgage-backed securities. Joining Ideas Using a Relative Clause relative clause A group of words that contains a subject and a verb and describes a noun. A relative clause functions as an adjective in a sentence. Another technique that writers use to combine sentences is to join them using a relative clause. A relative clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and describes a noun. Relative clauses function as adjectives by answering questions such as Which one? or What kind? They begin with a relative pronoun, such as who, which, where, why, or when. Read the following examples: Original sentences: The managing director is visiting the company next week. He lives in Seattle. Revised sentence: The managing director, who lives in Seattle, is visiting the company next week. To connect two sentences using a relative clause, substitute the subject of one of the sentences (he) for a relative pronoun (who). This gives you a relative clause (who lives in Seattle) that can be placed next to the noun it describes (the managing director). Make sure you keep the sentence you want to emphasize as the main clause. For example, reversing the main clause and subordinate clause in the preceding sentence emphasizes where the managing director lives, not the fact that he is visiting the company. Revised sentence with reversed emphasis: The managing director, who is visiting the company next week, lives in Seattle. Relative clauses are a useful way of providing additional, nonessential information in a sentence. Take a look at how Naomi might incorporate relative clauses into her essay: CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 209 Notice how the underlined relative clauses can be removed from Naomis essay without changing the meaning of the sentence. Tip To check the punctuation of relative clauses, assess whether or not the clause can be taken out of the sentence without changing its meaning. If the relative clause is not essential to the meaning of the sentence, it should be placed in commas. If the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence, it does not require commas around it. Joining Ideas Using an Appositive An appositive is a word or group of words that describes a noun or pronoun. Incorporating appositives into your writing is a useful way of combining sentences that are too short and choppy. Take a look at the following example: Original sentences: Harland Sanders began serving food for hungry travelers in 1930. He is Colonel Sanders, or the Colonel. Revised sentence: Harland Sanders, the Colonel, began serving food for hungry travelers in 1930. In the revised sentence, the Colonel is an appositive because it renames Harland Sanders. To combine two sentences using an appositive, drop the subject and verb from the sentence that renames the noun and turn it into a phrase. Note that in the previous example, the appositive is positioned immediately after the noun it describes. An appositive may be placed anywhere in a sentence but must come directly before or after the noun to which it refers: Appositive after noun: Scott, a poorly trained athlete, was not expected to win the race. Appositive before noun: A poorly trained athlete, Scott was not expected to win the race. Unlike relative clauses, appositives are always punctuated by a comma or commas. Take a look at the way Naomi uses appositives to include additional facts in her essay: appositive A word or group of words that describes a noun or pronoun. 210 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 4 On your own sheet of paper, rewrite the following sentence pairs as one sentence using the techniques you have learned in this section. 1. Baby sharks are called pups. Pups can be born in one of three ways. 2. The Pacic Ocean is the worlds largest ocean. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south. 3. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in the 2008 Olympics. He is a champion swimmer. 4. Ashley introduced her colleague Dan to her husband, Jim. She speculated that the two of them would have a lot in common. 5. Cacao is harvested by hand. It is then sold to chocolate-processing companies at the Coee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. Writing at Work In addition to varying sentence structure, consider varying the types of sentences you are using in a report or other workplace document. Most sentences are declarative, but a carefully placed question, exclamation, or command can pique colleagues interest, even if the subject material is fairly dry. Imagine that you are writing a budget analysis. Beginning your report with a rhetorical question, such as Where is our money going? or How can we increase sales? encourages people to continue reading to nd out the answers. Although they should be used sparingly in academic and professional writing, questions or commands are eective rhetorical devices. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 211 KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS Sentence variety reduces repetition in a piece of writing and adds emphasis to important points in the text. Sentence variety can be introduced to the beginning of sentences by starting a sentence with an adverb, starting a sentence with a prepositional phrase, or by inverting the subject and verb. Sentence variety can be achieved by combining ideas through the use of modiers, relative clauses, or appositives. 2. COORDINATION AND SUBORDINATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify coordination and subordination in writing 2. Use coordination and subordination to combine sentences In the previous section, we learned how to use dierent patterns to create sentence variety and add emphasis to important points in our writing. Next, we will examine two ways in which we can join sentences with related ideas: coordination Joining two related ideas of equal importance. subordination Joining two related ideas of unequal importance. coordination Joining two related ideas of equal importance. subordination Joining two related ideas of unequal importance. Connecting sentences with coordinate or subordinate clauses creates more coherent paragraphs and, in turn, produces more eective writing. In this section, you will read excerpts from Naomis classmate Joshua, who drafted an essay about wine production. Read this excerpt from Joshuas essay: This section examines several ways to combine sentences with coordination and subordination, using Joshuas essay as an example. 212 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 2.1 Coordination Coordination joins two independent clauses that contain related ideas of equal importance. Read the following sentences: I spent my entire paycheck last week. I am staying home this weekend. In their current form, these sentences contain two separate ideas that may or may not be related. Am I staying home this week because I spent my paycheck, or is there another reason for my lack of enthusiasm to leave the house? To indicate a relationship between the two ideas, we can use the coordinating conjunction so: I spent my entire paycheck last week, so I am staying home this weekend. Billy did not get Sandys message canceling their date, so he kept calling to ask where she was. She wore SPF 60 sunscreen, so she did not get sunburned. The revised sentence illustrates that the two ideas are connected. Notice that the sentence retains two independent clauses (I spent my entire paycheck; I am staying home this weekend) that each stand alone as a complete idea. Coordinating Conjunctions coordinating conjunction A linking word that joins two independent clauses. The seven common coordinating conjunctions are for, and, but, nor, yet, so, and or. A coordinating conjunction is a word that joins two independent clauses. The most common coordinating conjunctions are and, but, for, nor, so, or, and yet. Note that a comma precedes the coordinating conjunction when joining two clauses. Independent Clause 1 Coordinating Independent Clause 2 Conjunction Revised Sentence Her car insurance nearly doubled. for (indicates a reason or cause) Her car insurance nearly doubled, for she was involved in three accidents in less than two months. I plan to stay home. and (joins two I will complete an essay ideas) for class. She was involved in three accidents in less than two months. I plan to stay home, and I will complete an essay for class. Jessie isnt going to be at nor (indicates Tom wont be there the dance. a negative) either. Jessie isnt going to be at the dance, nor will Tom. The fundraisers are hoping for a recordbreaking attendance. but (indicates I dont think many a contrast) people are going. The fundraisers are hoping for a recordbreaking attendance, but I dont think many people are going. I might go to the next fundraising event. or (oers an alternative) I might donate some money to the cause. I might go to the next fundraising event, or I might donate some money to the cause. My parents are worried that I am antisocial. yet (indicates a reason) I have many friends at school. My parents are worried that I am antisocial, yet I have many friends at school. Buying a new dress is expensive. so (indicates a By staying home I will result) save money. Buying a new dress is expensive, so by staying home I will save money. Tip To help you remember the seven coordinating conjunctions, think of the acronym FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Remember that when you use a coordinating conjunction in a sentence, a comma should precede it. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 213 Conjunctive Adverbs Another method of joining two independent clauses with related and equal ideas is to use a conjunctive adverb and a semicolon (see Chapter 2 for information on semicolon usage). As you read in Chapter 2, a conjunctive adverb is a linking word that demonstrates a relationship between two clauses. Read the following sentences: Bridget wants to take part in the next Olympics. She trains every day. Because these sentences contain two equal and related ideas, they may be joined using a conjunctive adverb. Now read the revised sentence: Bridget wants to take part in the next Olympics; therefore, she trains every day. The revised sentence explains the relationship between Bridgets desire to take part in the next Olympics and her daily training. Notice that the conjunctive adverb comes after a semicolon that separates the two clauses and is followed by a comma. Table 7.2 list of some common conjunctive adverbs and examples of how they are used: TABLE 7.2 Common Conjunctive Adverbs and Examples Function Addition Conjunctive Adverb also besides furthermore moreover Example Alicia was late for class and stuck in trac; furthermore, her shoe heel had broken and she had forgotten her lunch. Comparison likewise similarly Recycling aluminum cans is benecial to the environment; similarly, reusing plastic bags and switching o lights reduces waste. Contrast conversely however instead Most people do not walk to work; instead, they drive or take the train. Emphasis certainly indeed namely The Siberian tiger is a rare creature; indeed, there are fewer than 500 left in the wild. Cause and eect accordingly I missed my train this morning; consequently, I was late for my meeting. consequently hence thus Time nally Tim crossed the barrier, jumped over the wall, and pushed through the hole in the fence; nally, he made it to the station. next subsequently then Take a look at Joshuas essay on wine production and identify some areas in which he might use coordination: conjunctive adverb An adverb that connects two clauses by describing the relationship between them. 214 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Now look at Joshuas revised essay. Did you coordinate the same sentences? You may nd that your answers are dierent because there are usually several ways to join two independent clauses. However, the similarity between your paragraph and Joshuas is probably that the rhythm of the essay has changed. Combining sentences using dierent coordination techniques not only adds more interest to the paragraph but also allows it to read with more style and uidity. EXERCISE 1 Combine each sentence pair into a single sentence using either a coordinating conjunction or a conjunctive adverb. Then copy the combined sentence onto your own sheet of paper. 1. Pets are not allowed in Mr. Taylors building. He owns several cats and a parrot. 2. New legislation prevents drivers from sending or reading text messages while driving. Many people continue to use their phones illegally. 3. The coroner concluded that the young man had taken a lethal concoction of drugs. By the time his relatives found him, nothing could be done. 4. Amphibians are vertebrates that live on land and in the water. Flatworms are invertebrates that live only in water. 5. Ashley carefully fed and watered her tomato plants all summer. The tomatoes grew juicy and ripe. 6. When he lost his car key, Simon attempted to open the door with a wire hanger, a credit card, and a paper clip. He called the manufacturer for advice. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 215 Writing at Work When writing an essay or a report, it is important not to use excessive coordination. Workplace documents should be clear and concise, so only join two clauses that are logically connected and can work together to make one main point. If you repeat the same coordinating conjunction several times in a sentence, you are probably including more than one idea. This may make it dicult for readers to pick out the most important information in each sentence. The following sentence, for example, joins two clauses using the same coordinating conjunction, then: Chris had a party, then the house got messy, then he cleaned it. The repeated use of then muddles the main idea of the sentence. Readers would not know which of the three details to focus on: the party, the house, or the cleaning. 2.2 Subordination Subordination joins two sentences with related ideas by merging them into a main clause (a complete sentence) and a dependent clause (a construction that relies on the main clause to complete its meaning). Coordination allows a writer to give equal weight to the two ideas that are being combined, and subordination enables a writer to emphasize one idea over the other. Take a look at the following sentences: main clause A group of words that contain a subject and verb and can stand alone as a complete thought. dependent clause Tracy stopped to help the injured man. She would be late for work. To illustrate that these two ideas are related, we can rewrite them as a single sentence using the subordinating conjunction even though: Even though Tracy would be late for work, she stopped to help the injured man. In the revised version, we now have an independent clause (she stopped to help the injured man) that stands as a complete sentence and a dependent clause (even though Tracy would be late for work) that is subordinate to the main clause. Notice that the revised sentence emphasizes the fact that Tracy stopped to help the injured man, rather than the fact she would be late for work. We could also write the sentence this way: Tracy stopped to help the injured man even though she would be late for work. The meaning remains the same in both sentences, with the subordinating conjunction even though introducing the dependent clause. Tip To punctuate sentences correctly, look at the position of the main clause and the subordinate clause. If a subordinate clause precedes the main clause, use a comma. If the subordinate clause follows the main cause, no punctuation is required. A group of words that contain a subject and verb but cannot stand alone as a complete thought. 216 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Subordinating Conjunctions subordinating conjunction A word that connects a subordinate (dependent) clause to an independent (main) clause. A subordinating conjunction is a word that joins a subordinate (dependent) clause to a main (independent) clause. Table 7.3 lists of some common subordinating conjunctions and examples of how they are used: TABLE 7.3 Common Subordinating Conjunctions and Examples Function Subordinating Conjunctions Example Concession although even though though whereas while Sarah completed her report even though she had to stay late to get it done. Condition Until we know what is causing the problem, we will not be able to x it. if unless until Manner as if as though Everyone in the conference room stopped talking at once, as though they had been stunned into silence. Place where wherever Rita is in San Jose where she has several important client meetings. Reason because in order that since so that Because the air conditioning was turned up so high, everyone in the oce wore sweaters. Time after before once while when After the meeting had nished, we all went to lunch. Recall the excerpt from Joshuas essay earlier in the chapter and identify some areas in which he might use subordination: Now look at Joshuas revised essay and compare your answers. You will probably notice that there are many dierent ways to subordinate sentences. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 217 EXERCISE 2 Combine each sentence pair into a single sentence using a subordinating conjunction and then copy the combined sentence onto your own sheet of paper. 1. Jake is going to Mexico. There are beautiful beaches in Mexico. 2. A snowstorm disrupted trac all over the East Coast. There will be long delivery delays this week. 3. My neighbor had his television volume turned up too high. I banged on his door and asked him to keep the noise down. 4. Jessica prepared the potato salad and the sauted vegetables. Ashley marinated the chicken. 5. Romeo poisons himself. Juliet awakes to nd Romeo dead and stabs herself with a dagger. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 3 Copy the paragraph from Joshuas essay onto your own sheet of paper. Then edit using the techniques you have learned in this section. Join the underlined sentences using coordination or subordination. Check your revised sentences for punctuation. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Coordination and subordination join two sentences with related ideas. Coordination joins sentences with related and equal ideas, whereas subordination joins sentences with related but unequal ideas. Sentences can be coordinated using either a coordinating conjunction and a comma or a conjunctive adverb and a semicolon. Subordinate sentences are characterized by the use of a subordinate conjunction. In a subordinate sentence, a comma is used to separate the main clause from the dependent clause if the dependent clause is placed at the beginning of the sentence. 218 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 3. PARALLELISM LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify sentences that are parallel and not parallel 2. Identify ways to create parallelism in writing 3. Compose sentences using parallelism parallelism Using the same grammatical structure to express equal ideas in a sentence. Parallelism may occur at the word, phrase, or clause level. Earlier in this chapter, we learned that increasing sentence variety adds interest to a piece of writing and makes the reading process more enjoyable for others. Using a mixture of sentence lengths and patterns throughout an essay is an important writing technique. However, it is equally important to avoid introducing variation within individual sentences. A strong sentence is composed of balanced parts that all have the same structure. In this section, we will examine how to create a balanced sentence structure by using parallelism. 3.1 Parallelism faulty parallelism A failure to create grammatically parallel structures in a sentence. Parallelism is the use of similar structure in related words, clauses, or phrases. It creates a sense of rhythm and balance within a sentence. As readers, we often correct faulty parallelisma lack of parallel structureintuitively because an unbalanced sentence sounds awkward and poorly constructed. Read the following sentences aloud: Kelly had to iron, do the washing, and shopping before her parents arrived. Driving a car requires coordination, patience, and to have good eyesight. Ali prefers jeans to wearing a suit. All of these sentences contain faulty parallelism. Although they are factually correct, the construction is clunky and confusing. In the rst example, three dierent verb forms are used. In the second and third examples, the writer begins each sentence by using a noun (coordination, jeans), but ends with a phrase (to have good eyesight, wearing a suit). Now read the same three sentences that have correct parallelism: Kelly had to do the ironing, washing, and shopping before her parents arrived. Driving a car requires coordination, patience, and good eyesight. Ali prefers wearing jeans to wearing a suit. When these sentences are written using a parallel structure, they sound more aesthetically pleasing because they are balanced. Repetition of grammatical construction also minimizes the amount of work the reader has to do to decode the sentence. This enables the reader to focus on the main idea in the sentence and not on how the sentence is put together. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 219 Tip A simple way to check for parallelism in your writing is to make sure you have placed nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, prepositional phrases with prepositional phrases, and so on. Underline each element in a sentence and check that the corresponding element uses the same grammatical form. Creating Parallelism Using Coordinating Conjunctions When you connect two clauses using a coordinating conjunction (and, or, but, yet, for, nor, so), make sure that the same grammatical structure is used on each side of the conjunction. Take a look at the following example: Faulty parallelism: When I walk the dog, I like to listen to music and talking to friends on the phone. Correct parallelism: When I walk the dog, I like listening to music and talking to friends on the phone. The rst sentence uses two dierent verb forms (to listen, talking). In the second sentence, the grammatical construction on each side of the coordinating conjunction (and) is the same, creating a parallel sentence. The same technique should be used for joining items or lists in a series: Faulty parallelism: This committee needs to decide whether the company should reduce its workforce, cut its benets, or lowering workers wages. Correct parallelism: This committee needs to decide whether the company should reduce its workforce, cut its benets, or lower workers wages. The rst sentence contains two items that use the same verb construction (reduce, cut) and a third item that uses a dierent verb form (lowering). The second sentence uses the same verb construction in all three items, creating a parallel structure. EXERCISE 1 On your own sheet of paper, revise each of the following sentences if necessary to create parallel structure using coordinating conjunctions. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Mr. Holloway enjoys reading and to play his guitar on weekends. The doctor told Mrs. Franklin that she should either eat less or should exercise more. Breaking out of the prison compound, the escapees moved carefully, quietly, and were quick on their feet. I have read the book, but I have not watched the movie version. Deal with a full inbox rst thing in the morning, or by setting aside short periods of time in which to answer email queries. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. Creating Parallelism Using Than or As When you are making a comparison, the two items being compared should have a parallel structure. Comparing two items without using parallel structure can lead to confusion about what is being 220 WRITING FOR SUCCESS compared. Comparisons frequently use the words than or as, and the items on each side of these comparison words should be parallel. Take a look at the following example: Faulty parallelism: Swimming in the ocean is much tougher than a pool. Correct parallelism: Swimming in the ocean is much tougher than swimming in a pool. In the rst sentence, the elements before the comparison word (than) are not equal to the elements after the comparison word. It appears that the writer is comparing an action (swimming) with a noun (a pool). In the second sentence, the writer uses the same grammatical construction to create a parallel structure. This claries that an action is being compared with another action. To correct some instances of faulty parallelism, it may be necessary to add or delete words in a sentence: Faulty parallelism: A brisk walk is as benecial to your health as going for a run. Correct parallelism: Going for a brisk walk is as benecial to your health as going for a run. In this example, it is necessary to add the verb phrase going for to the sentence in order to clarify that the act of walking is being compared to the act of running. Faulty parallelism: Painting and dogs are two activities that Michelle and Roxy enjoy. Correct parallelism: Painting and walking dogs are two activities that Michelle and Roxy enjoy. In this example, it is necessary to add the word walking to the sentence in order to clarify that the act of walking dogs is an activity, like painting, that both Michelle and Roxy enjoy. EXERCISE 2 On your own sheet of paper, revise each of the following sentences to create parallel structure using than or as. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I would rather work at a second job to pay for a new car than a loan. How you look in the workplace is just as important as your behavior. The reghter spoke more of his childhood than he talked about his job. Indian cuisine is far tastier than the food of Great Britain. Jims opponent was as tall as Jim and he carried far more weight. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 221 Creating Parallelism Using Correlative Conjunctions A correlative conjunction is a paired conjunction that connects two equal parts of a sentence and shows the relationship between them. Common correlative conjunctions include: either or not only but also neither nor whether or rather than both and Correlative conjunctions should follow the same grammatical structure to create a parallel sentence. Take a look at the following example: Faulty parallelism: We can neither wait for something to happen nor can we take evasive action. Correct parallelism: We can neither wait for something to happen nor take evasive action. When using a correlative conjunction, the words, phrases, or clauses following each part should be parallel. In the rst sentence, the construction of the second part of the sentence does not match the construction of the rst part. In the second sentence, omitting needless words and matching verb constructions create a parallel structure. Sometimes, rearranging a sentence corrects faulty parallelism: Faulty parallelism: It was both a long movie and poorly written. Correct parallelism: The movie was both long and poorly written. Tip To see examples of parallelism in use, read some of the great historical speeches by rhetoricians such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Notice how they use parallel structures to emphasize important points and to create a smooth, easily understandable oration. Writing at Work Speechwriters use parallelism not only within sentences, but also throughout paragraphs and beyond. Repeating particular key phrases throughout a speech is an eective way to tie a paragraph together as a cohesive whole and create a sense of importance. This technique can be adapted to any piece of writing, but may be especially useful for creating a proposal or other type of persuasive workplace document. Note that the spelling and grammar checker on most word processors will not draw attention to faulty parallelism. When proofreading a document, read it aloud and listen for sentences that sound awkward or poorly phrased. correlative conjunction A paired conjunction that connects two equal parts of a sentence and shows the relationship between them. Common correlative conjunctions include both and, neither nor, and either or. 222 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 3 On your own sheet of paper, revise each of the following sentences to create parallel structure using correlative conjunctions. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The cyclist owns both a mountain bike and has a racing bike. The movie not only contained lots of action, but also it oered an important lesson. My current job is neither exciting nor is it meaningful. Jason would rather listen to his father than be taking advice from me. We are neither interested in buying a vacuum cleaner nor do we want to utilize your carpet cleaning service. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. EXERCISE 4 Read through the following excerpt from Alexs essay and revise any instances of faulty parallelism. Rewrite the sentences to create a parallel structure. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 5 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS Parallelism creates a sense of rhythm and balance in writing by using the same grammatical structure to express equal ideas. Faulty parallelism occurs when elements of a sentence are not balanced, causing the sentence to sound clunky and awkward. Parallelism may be created by connecting two clauses or making a list using coordinating conjunctions; by comparing two items using than or as; or by connecting two parts of a sentence using correlative conjunctions. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING 223 4. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. Childrens stories are deliberately written in short, simple sentences to avoid confusion. Most sentences are constructed using the standard subject-verb-object format. Choose a childrens story that is suitable for 8- to 10-year-olds. Rewrite a chapter of the story so that it appeals to a slightly older age group, by editing for sentence variety. Experiment with the techniques you learned in Lesson 7.1, including the three dierent ways to vary sentence structure at the beginning of a sentence and the three dierent ways to connect ideas between sentences. Compare the revised chapter with the original version and consider how sentence variety can be used to target a particular audience. II. Compile a selection of real-life writing samples from the workplace or around the home. You might like to choose one of the following: email, junk mail, personal letter, company report, social networking page, local newspaper, bulletin-board posting, or public notice. Choose two samples that lack sentence variety. Highlight areas of each writing sample that you would edit for sentence variety and explain why. Replace any recognizable name with a pseudonym or a ctitious name. III. Choose a well-known speech, such as Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a Dream speech, Winston Churchills Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat speech, or Barack Obamas inaugural address. Make a copy of the speech and underline examples of parallelism. Identify the eects of using parallelism and consider whether it is always used to achieve the same result or whether the writer manipulates parallelism to create a variety of responses among his or her audience. IV. Select a workplace document or academic essay. Examine each paragraph and identify examples of sentence variety, coordination and subordination, and parallelism. Then choose one particular paragraph and answer the following questions: < < < < Does the writer use sentence variety eectively? Does the writer connect his or her ideas eectively? Does the writer use subordination and coordination correctly? Does the writer use parallelism to emphasize his or her points? Identify the weaker areas of the paragraph and rewrite them. Focus on sentence structure and sentence variation. Use coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions to join sentences. V. Choose a college essay or a recent piece of writing from your work or everyday life. Use the techniques you have learned throughout this chapter to edit your writing for sentence variety, appropriate coordination and subordination, and parallelism. When you have nished, compare the two versions and write a brief analysis of how sentence variety, coordination and subordination, and parallelism help to rene a piece of writing. 5. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Heroin is an extremely addictive drug, and thousands of addicts die each year. 2. William Shakespeares writing is still relevant today, because he wrote about timeless themes like love, hate, jealousy, death, and destiny. 3. Gay marriage is now legal in several states, including Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and other states are likely to follow their example. 4. Prewriting, which includes outlining, brainstorming, and idea mapping, is a vital stage of the writing process and helps you organize your ideas. 5. Mitch Bancroft is a famous writer who also serves as a governor on the school board of his childrens school. Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Furiously, the red truck sped past the camper van, blaring its horn. 2. Hungrily, Je snatched at the bread, polishing o three slices in under a minute. 3. Typically, underage drinking results from peer pressure and lack of parental attention. 224 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 4. Bravely, the reghters tackled the blaze, but were beaten back by ames. 5. Privately, Mayor Johnson acknowledged that the budget was excessive and that further discussion was needed. Section 1 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. To run another marathon, Teresa will never attempt. Enclosed with this letter is a detailed job description. Across the hall to the left of the water coolers are the bathroom facilities. Through the doorway the well-dressed stranger stumbled. Unconvinced about the proposed merger my colleagues remain. Section 1 Exercise 4 Answers: 1. Baby sharks are called pups and can be born in one of three ways. 2. Extending from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, the Pacic Ocean is the worlds largest ocean. 3. Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals in the 2008 Olympics, is a champion swimmer. 4. Speculating that they would have a lot in common, Ashley introduced her colleague Dan to her husband, Jim. 5. Cacao is harvested by hand, and is then sold to chocolate-processing companies at the Coee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange. Section 2 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. Pets are not allowed in Mr. Taylors building; however, he owns several cats and a parrot. 2. New legislation prevents drivers from sending or reading text messages while driving, yet many people continue to use their phones illegally. 3. The coroner concluded that the young man had taken a lethal concoction of drugs; so, by the time his relatives found him, nothing could be done. 4. Amphibians are vertebrates that live on land and in the water; conversely, atworms are invertebrates that live only in water. 5. Ashley carefully fed and watered her tomato plants all summer; thus, the tomatoes grew juicy and ripe. 6. When he lost his car key, Simon attempted to open the door with a wire hanger, a credit card, and a paper clip; then he called the manufacturer for advice. Section 2 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Jake is going to Mexico, where there are beautiful beaches. 2. There will be long delivery delays this week, because a snowstorm disrupted trac all over the East Coast. 3. My neighbor had his television volume turned up too high even though I banged on his door and asked him to keep the noise down. 4. Jessica prepared the potato salad and the sauted vegetables while Ashley marinated the chicken. 5. After Romeo poisons himself, Juliet awakes to nd him dead and stabs herself with a dagger. CHAPTER 7 REFINING YOUR WRITING Section 2 Exercise 3 Answers: Section 3 Exercise 1 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Mr. Holloway enjoys reading and playing his guitar on weekends. The doctor told Mrs. Franklin that she should either eat less or exercise more. Breaking out of the prison compound, the escapees moved carefully, quietly, and quickly. I have read the book, but I have not watched the movie version. Deal with a full inbox rst thing in the morning, or set aside short periods of time in which to answer email queries. Section 3 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I would rather work at a second job to pay for a new car than take out a loan to pay for a new car. How you look in the workplace is just as important as how you behave. The reghter spoke more of his childhood than he spoke about his job. Indian cuisine is far tastier than British cuisine. Jims opponent was as tall as Jim, and he carried far more weight than Jim. Section 3 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The cyclist owns both a mountain bike and a racing bike. The movie not only contained lots of action, but it also oered an important lesson. My current job is neither exciting nor meaningful. Jason would rather listen to his father than take advice from me. We are neither interested in buying a vacuum cleaner nor in utilizing your carpet cleaning service. 225 226 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Section 3 Exercise 4 Answers: CHAPTER 8 The Writing Process 1. THE WRITING PROCESS: HOW DO I BEGIN? LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Use prewriting strategies to choose a topic and narrow the focus If you think that a blank sheet of paper or a blinking cursor on the computer screen is a scary sight, you are not alone. Many writers, students, and employees nd that beginning to write can be intimidating. When faced with a blank page, however, experienced writers remind themselves that writing, like other everyday activities, is a process. Every process, from writing to cooking, bike riding, and learning to use a new cell phone, will get signicantly easier with practice. Just as you need a recipe, ingredients, and proper tools to cook a delicious meal, you also need a plan, resources, and adequate time to create a good written composition. In other words, writing is a process that requires following steps and using strategies to accomplish your goals. These are the steps in the writing process: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Prewriting Outlining the structure of ideas Writing a rough draft Revising Editing Eective writing can be simply described as good ideas, expressed well and arranged in the proper order. This chapter will give you the chance to work on all these important aspects of writing. Although many more prewriting strategies exist, the chapter covers six: using experience and observations, freewriting, asking questions, brainstorming, mapping, and searching the Internet. Using the strategies in this chapter can help you overcome the fear of the blank page and condently begin the writing process. 1.1 Prewriting Prewriting is the stage of the writing process during which you transfer your abstract thoughts into more concrete ideas in ink on paper (or in text on a computer screen). Although prewriting techniques can be helpful in all stages of the writing process, the four strategies below are best used when initially deciding on a topic: < < < < Using experience and observations Reading Freewriting Asking questions At this stage in the writing process, it is okay if you choose a general topic. Later you will learn more prewriting strategies that will narrow the focus of the topic. 228 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Choosing a Topic purpose the reason(s) why a writer creates a document. audience the individual(s) or group(s) whom the writer intends to address. In addition to understanding that writing is a process, writers also understand that choosing a good general topic for an assignment is an essential step. Sometimes your instructor will give you an idea to begin an assignment, while other times your instructor will ask you to come up with a topic on your own. A good topic not only covers what an assignment will be about but also ts the assignments purpose and its audience. In this chapter you will follow a writer named Mariah as she prepares a piece of writing. You will also be planning one of your own. The rst important step is for you to tell yourself why you are writing (to inform, to explain, or some other purpose) and for whom you are writing. Write your purpose and your audience on your own sheet of paper, and keep the paper close by as you read and complete exercises in this chapter. My purpose: __________ My audience: __________ Using Experience and Observations When selecting a topic, you may also want to consider something that interests you or something based on your own life and personal experiences. Even everyday observations can lead to interesting topics. After writers think about their experiences and observations, they often take notes on paper to better develop their thoughts. These notes help writers discover what they have to say about their topic. Tip Have you seen an attention-grabbing story on your local news channel? Many current issues appear on television, in magazines, and on the Internet. These can all provide inspiration for your writing. Reading Reading plays a vital role in all the stages of the writing process, but it rst gures in the development of ideas and topics. Dierent kinds of documents can help you choose a topic and also develop that topic. For example, a magazine advertising the latest research on the threat of global warming may catch your eye in the supermarket. This cover may interest you, and you may consider global warming as a topic. Or maybe a novels courtroom drama sparks your curiosity of a particular lawsuit or legal controversy. After you choose a topic, critical reading is essential to the development of a topic. While reading almost any document, you evaluate the authors point of view by thinking about his main idea and his support. When you judge the authors argument, you discover not only more about the authors opinion but also more about your own opinion. If this step already seems daunting, remember that even the best writers need to use prewriting strategies to generate ideas. Tip The steps in the writing process may seem time-consuming at rst, but following these steps will save you time in the future. The more you plan in the beginning by reading and using prewriting strategies, the less time you may spend writing and editing later, because your ideas will develop more swiftly. Prewriting strategies depend on your critical reading skills. Reading prewriting exercises (and outlines and drafts later in the writing process) will further develop your topic and ideas. As you continue to follow the writing process, you will see how Mariah uses critical reading skills to assess her own prewriting exercises. Freewriting freewriting a prewriting strategy in which writers write freely about any topic for a set amount of time (usually three to ve minutes). Freewriting is an exercise in which you write freely about any topic for a set amount of time (usually three to ve minutes). During the time limit, you may jot down any thoughts that come to your mind. Try not to worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Instead, write as quickly as you can without stopping. If you are stuck, just copy the same word or phrase over and over until you come up with a new thought. Writing often comes easier when you have a personal connection with the topic you have chosen. Remember, to generate ideas in your freewriting, you may also think about readings that you have enjoyed or that have challenged your thinking. Doing this may lead your thoughts in interesting directions. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 229 Quickly recording your thoughts on paper will help you discover what you have to say about a topic. When writing quickly, try not to doubt or question your ideas. Allow yourself to write freely and unselfconsciously. Once you start writing with few limitations, you may nd you have more to say than you rst realized. Your ow of thoughts can lead you to discover even more ideas about the topic. Freewriting may even lead you to discover another topic that excites you even more. Look at Mariahs example below. The instructor allowed the members of the class to choose their own topics, and Mariah thought about her experiences as a communications major. She used this freewriting exercise to help her generate more concrete ideas from her own experience: Tip Some prewriting strategies can be used together. For example, you could use experience and observations to come up with a topic related to your course studies. Then you could use freewriting to describe your topic in more detail and gure out what you have to say about it. EXERCISE 1 Freewrite about one event you have recently experienced. With this event in mind, write without stopping for ve minutes. After you nish, read over what you wrote. Does anything stand out to you as a good general topic to write about? Asking Questions Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? In everyday situations, you pose these kinds of questions to get more information. Who will be my partner for the project? When is the next meeting? Why is my car making that odd noise? Even the title of this chapter begins with the question How do I begin? You seek the answers to these questions to gain knowledge, to better understand your daily experiences, and to plan for the future. Asking these types of questions will also help you with the writing 230 5WH the questions that reporters and journalists use to gather information for their stories and that writers use in the writing process: who? what? where? when? why? how? WRITING FOR SUCCESS process. As you choose your topic, answering these questions can help you revisit the ideas you already have and generate new ways to think about your topic. You may also discover aspects of the topic that are unfamiliar to you and that you would like to learn more about. All these idea-gathering techniques will help you plan for future work on your assignment. When Mariah reread her freewriting notes, she found she had rambled and her thoughts were disjointed. She realized that the topic that interested her most was the one she started with, the media. She then decided to explore that topic by asking herself questions about it. Her purpose was to rene media into a topic she felt comfortable writing about. To see how asking questions can help you choose a topic, take a look at the following chart that Mariah completed to record her questions and answers. She asked herself the questions that reporters and journalists use to gather information for their stories. The questions are often called the 5WH, after their initial letters. Tip Prewriting is very purpose driven; it does not follow a set of hard-and-fast rules. The purpose of prewriting is to nd and explore ideas so that you will be prepared to write. A prewriting technique like asking questions can help you both nd a topic and explore it. The key to eective prewriting is to use the techniques that work best for your thinking process. Freewriting may not seem to t your thinking process, but keep an open mind. It may work better than you think. Perhaps brainstorming a list of topics might better t your personal style. Mariah found freewriting and asking questions to be fruitful strategies to use. In your own prewriting, use the 5WH in any way that benets your planning. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 231 EXERCISE 2 Choose a general topic idea from the prewriting you completed in Exercise 1. Then read each question and use your own paper to ll in the 5WH table with your answers. As with Mariah when she explored her writing topic for more detail, it is okay if you do not know all the answers. If you do not know an answer, use your own opinion to speculate, or guess. You may also use factual information from books or articles you previously read on your topic. Later in the chapter, you will read about additional ways (like searching the Internet) to answer your questions and explore your guesses. Questions Answers Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Now that you have completed some of the prewriting exercises, you may feel less anxious about starting a paper from scratch. With some ideas down on paper (or saved on a computer), writers are often more comfortable continuing the writing process. After identifying a good general topic, you, too, are ready to continue the process. Write your general topic on your own sheet of paper, under where you recorded your purpose and audience. Choose it from among the topics you listed or explored during the prewriting you have done so far. Make sure that it is one that you feel comfortable with and feel capable of writing about. My general topic: __________ Tip You may nd that you need to adjust your topic as you move through the writing stages (and as you complete the exercises in this chapter). If the topic you have chosen is not working, you can repeat the prewriting activities until you nd a better one. 1.2 More Prewriting Techniques The prewriting techniques of freewriting and asking questions helped Mariah think more about her topic, but the following prewriting strategies can help her (and you) narrow the focus of the topic: < < < Brainstorming Idea mapping Searching the Internet Narrowing the Focus Narrowing the focus means breaking up the topic into subtopics, or more specic points. Generating lots of subtopics will help you eventually select the ones that t the assignment and appeal to you and your audience. After rereading her syllabus, Mariah realized her general topic, mass media, is too broad for her classs short paper requirement. Three pages are not enough to cover all the concerns in mass media today. Mariah also realized that although her readers are other communications majors who are interested in the topic, they may want to read a paper about a particular issue in mass media. 232 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Brainstorming brainstorming a prewriting strategy similar to list making. Writers start with a general category and list specic items that fall into the category. Brainstorming is similar to list making. You can make a list on your own or in a group with your classmates. Start with a blank sheet of paper (or computer document) and write your general topic across the top. Underneath your topic, make a list of more specic ideas. Think of your general topic as a broad category and the list items as things that t in that category. Often you will nd that one item can lead to the next, creating a ow of ideas that can help you narrow your focus to a more specic paper topic. Below is Mariahs brainstorming list: CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS From this list, Mariah could narrow her focus to a particular technology under the broad category of mass media. 233 234 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work Imagine you have to write an e-mail to your current boss explaining your prior work experience, but you do not know where to start. Before you begin the e-mail, you can use the brainstorming technique to generate a list of employers, duties, and responsibilities that fall under the general topic work experience. Idea Mapping idea mapping a prewriting strategy in which writers cluster ideas on paper using circles, lines, and arrows. Idea mapping allows you to visualize your ideas on paper using circles, lines, and arrows. This technique is also known as clustering, because ideas are broken down and clustered, or grouped together. Many writers like this method because the shapes show how the ideas relate or connect, and writers can nd a focused topic from the connections mapped. Using idea mapping, you might discover interesting connections between topics that you had not thought of before. To create an idea map, start with your general topic in a circle in the center of a blank sheet of paper. Then write specic ideas around it and use lines or arrows to connect them together. Add and cluster as many ideas as you can think of. In addition to brainstorming, Mariah tried idea mapping. Here is what Mariahs idea map looked like: FIGURE 8.1 Idea Map Notice Mariahs largest circle contains her general topic, mass media. Then, the general topic branches into two subtopics written in two smaller circles: TV and radio. The subtopic TV branches into even more specic topics: cable and DVDs. From there, Mariah drew more circles and wrote more specic ideas: high denition and digital recording from cable, and Blu-ray from DVDs. The radio topic led Mariah to draw connections between music, downloads vs. CDs, and, nally, piracy. From this idea map, Mariah saw she could consider narrowing the focus of her mass media topic to the more specic topic of music piracy. Searching the Internet Using search engines on the Internet is a good way to see what kinds of Web sites are available on your topic. Writers use search engines not only to understand more about the topics specic issues but also to get better acquainted with their audience. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS Tip Look back at the chart you completed in Exercise 2. Did you guess at any of the answers? Searching the Internet may help you nd answers to your questions and conrm your guesses. Be choosy about the Web sites you use. Make sure they are reliable sources for the kind of information you seek. When you search the Internet, type some key words from your broad topic, or words from your narrowed focus into your browsers search engine (many good general and specialized search engines are available for you to try). Then look over the results for relevant and interesting articles. Results from an Internet search show writers: < < < who is talking about the topic; how the topic is being discussed; and what specic points are currently being discussed about the topic. Tip If the search engine results are not what you are looking for, revise your key words and search again. Some search engines also oer suggestions for related searches that may give you better results. Mariah typed the words music piracy from her idea map into the search engine Google. FIGURE 8.2 Not all of the results online search engines return will be useful or reliable. Give careful consideration to the reliability of an online source before selecting a topic based on it. Remember that factual information can be veried in other sources, both online and in print. If you have doubts about any information you nd, do not use it or identify it as potentially unreliable. The results from Mariahs search included Web sites from university publications, personal blogs, online news sources, and lots of legal cases sponsored by the recording industry. Reading legal jargon made Mariah uncomfortable with the results, so she decided to look further. Looking back at her idea map, she realized that she was more interested in consumer aspects of mass media, so she refocused her search on media technology and the sometimes confusing array of expensive products that ll 235 236 WRITING FOR SUCCESS electronics stores. Now, Mariah considers a paper topic on the products that have fed the mass media boom in everyday lives. EXERCISE 3 In Exercise 2, you chose a possible topic and explored it by answering questions about it, using the 5WH. However, this topic may still be too broad. Here, in Exercise 3, choose and complete one of the prewriting strategies to narrow the focus: brainstorming, idea mapping, or searching the Internet. Prewriting strategies are a vital rst step in the writing process. They help you rst choose a broad topic and then narrow the focus of the topic to a more specic idea. A good topic ensures that you are ready for the next step. Checklist This checklist can help you decide if your narrower topic is a good topic for your assignment: < < < < < < Am I interested in this topic? Would my audience be interested? Do I have prior knowledge or experience with this topic? If so, would I be comfortable exploring this topic and sharing my experiences? Do I want to learn more about this topic? Is this topic specic? Does it t the length of the assignment? With your narrowed focus in mind, answer the bulleted questions above. If you can answer yes to all the questions, write your topic on the line. If you answer no to any of the questions, think about another topic, or adjust the one you have and try the prewriting strategies again. My narrowed topic: __________ KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS All writers rely on steps and strategies to begin the writing process. The steps in the writing process are prewriting, outlining, writing a rough draft, revising, and editing. Prewriting is the transfer of ideas from abstract thoughts into words, phrases, and sentences on paper. A good topic interests the writer, appeals to the audience, and ts the purpose of the assignment. Writers often choose a general topic rst and then narrow the focus to a more specic topic. 2. OUTLINING LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the steps in constructing an outline 2. Construct a topic outline and a sentence outline Your prewriting activities and readings have helped you gather information for your assignment. The more you sort through the pieces of information you found, the more you will begin to see the connections between them. Patterns and gaps may begin to stand out. But only when you start to organize your ideas will you be able to translate your raw insights into a form that will communicate meaning to your audience. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 237 Tip Longer papers require more reading and planning than shorter papers do. Most writers discover that the more they know about a topic, the more they can write about it with intelligence and interest. 2.1 Ways of Organizing Ideas When you write, you need to organize your ideas in an order that makes sense. The writing you complete in all your courses exposes how analytically and critically your mind works. In some courses, the only direct contact you may have with your instructor is through the assignments you write for the course. You can make a good impression by spending time ordering your ideas. Order refers to your choice of what to present rst, second, third, and so on in your writing. The order you pick is closely related to your purpose for writing that particular assignment. For example, when telling a story, it may be important to rst describe the background for the action. Or you may need to rst describe a 3-D movie projector or a television studio to help readers visualize. In a third case, you may want to group your support eectively to convince readers that your point of view on an issue is well reasoned and worthy of belief. In longer pieces of writing, you may organize dierent parts in dierent ways so that your purpose stands out clearly, and all parts of the paper work together to consistently develop your main point. Methods of Organizing Writing The three common methods of organizing writing are chronological (time) order, spatial order, and order of importance. You will learn more about them in Chapter 9 However, you need to keep these methods of organization in mind as you plan how to arrange the information you have gathered in an outline. An outline is a written plan that serves as a skeleton for the paragraphs you write. Later, when you draft paragraphs in the next stage of the writing process, you will add support to create esh and muscle for your assignment. When you write, your goal is not only to complete an assignment but also to write for a specic purposeperhaps to inform, to explain, to persuade, or for a combination of these purposes. Your purpose for writing should always be in the back of your mind, because it will help you decide which pieces of information belong together and how you will order them. In other words, you choose the order that will most eectively t your purpose and support your main point. The following chart shows the connection between order and purpose. TABLE 8.1 Order vs. Purpose Order Purpose Chronological Order To explain the history of an event or a topic To tell a story or relate an experience To explain how to do or make something To explain the steps in a process Spatial Order To help readers visualize something as you want them to see it To create a main impression using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound) Order of Importance To persuade or convince To rank items by their importance, benet, or signicance 2.2 Writing a Thesis Statement One legitimate question readers always ask about a piece of writing is What is the big idea? (You may even ask this question when you are the reader, critically reading an assignment or another document.) Every nonction writing task, from the short essay to the 10-page term paper to the lengthy senior thesis, needs a big idea, or a controlling idea, as the spine for the work. The controlling idea is the main idea that you want to present and develop. chronological order a method of organization that arranges ideas according to time. spatial order a method of organization that arranges ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. order of importance a method of organization that arranges ideas according to their signicance. 238 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip For a longer piece of writing, your main idea should be broader than the main idea for a shorter piece of writing. Be sure to frame a main idea that is appropriate for the length of the assignment. Ask yourself, How many pages will it take for me to explain and explore this main idea in detail? Be reasonable with your estimate. Then expand or trim it to t the required length. thesis statement a sentence that presents the controlling idea of an essay. A thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states the writers point of view. The big idea, or controlling idea, you want to present in an essay is expressed in a thesis statement. A thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states your point of view. The thesis statement is not the topic of the piece of writing but rather what you have to say about that topic and what is important to tell readers. The chart below compares topics and thesis statements. TABLE 8.2 Topics and Thesis Statements Topic Music piracy Everyone wants the newest and the best digital technology, but the choices are many, and the specications are often confusing. E-books and online newspapers are becoming more popular. E-books and online newspapers will bring an end to print media as we know it. Online education and the new media the rst thesis statement writers use while outlining an assignment. A working thesis statement may change during the writing process. The recording industry fears that so-called music piracy will diminish prots and destroy markets, but it cannot be more wrong. The number of consumer choices available in media gear is very large. working thesis statement Thesis Statement Someday, students and teachers will send avatars to their online classrooms. The rst thesis statement you write will be a preliminary thesis statement, or a working thesis statement. You will need it when you begin to outline your assignment as a way to organize it. As you continue to develop the arrangement, you can limit your working thesis statement if it is too broad or expand it if it proves too narrow for what you want to say. EXERCISE 1 Using the topic you selected in Section 1, write a working thesis statement that states your controlling idea for the piece of writing you are doing. On a sheet of paper, write your working thesis statement. Tip You will make several attempts before you devise a working thesis statement that you think is eective. Each draft of the thesis statement will bring you closer to the wording that expresses your meaning exactly. 2.3 Writing an Outline formal outline a detailed guide that shows how all the supporting ideas in an essay are related to one other. For an essay question on a test or a brief oral presentation in class, all you may need to prepare is a short, informal outline in which you jot down key ideas in the order you will present them. This kind of outline reminds you to stay focused in a stressful situation and include all the good ideas that help you explain or prove your point. For a longer assignment, like an essay or a research paper, many college instructors require students to submit a formal outline before writing a major paper as a way to be sure you are on the right track and are working in an organized manner. A formal outline is a detailed guide that shows how all your supporting ideas are related to each other. It helps you distinguish between ideas that are of equal importance and ones that are of lesser importance. You build your assignment based on the framework created by the outline. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 239 Tip Instructors may also require you to submit an outline with your nal draft to check the direction of the assignment and the logic of your nal draft. If you are required to submit an outline with the nal draft of a paper, remember to revise the outline to reect what you actually wrote in your paper. There are two types of formal outlines: the topic outline and the sentence outline. You format both types of formal outlines in the same way. You place your introduction and thesis statement at the beginning, under Roman numeral I. < You use Roman numerals (II, III, IV, V, and so on) to identify main points that develop the thesis statement. < You use capital letters (A, B, C, D, and so on) to divide your main points into parts. < You use Arabic numerals 2, (1, 3, 4, 5, and so on) if you need to subdivide any As, Bs, or Cs into smaller parts. < You end with the nal Roman numeral to express your idea for your conclusion. < Here is what the skeleton of a traditional formal outline looks like. The indention helps to clarify how the ideas are related. I. Introduction < Thesis statement II. Main point 1 Becomes the topic sentence of body paragraph 1 A. Supporting detail Becomes a support sentence of body paragraph 1 1. Subpoint 2. Subpoint B. Supporting detail 1. Subpoint 2. Subpoint C. Supporting detail 1. Subpoint 2. Subpoint III. Main point 2 Becomes the topic sentence of body paragraph 2 A. Supporting detail B. Supporting detail C. Supporting detail IV. Main point 3 Becomes the topic sentence of body paragraph 3 A. Supporting detail B. Supporting detail C. Supporting detail V. Conclusion Tip In an outline, any supporting detail can be developed with subpoints. For simplicity, the model shows them only under main point 1. 240 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip Formal outlines are often quite rigid in their organization. As many instructors will specify, you cannot subdivide one point if it is only one part. For example, for every Roman numeral I, there must be a II. For every capital A, there must be a B. For every Arabic numeral 1, there must be a 2. See for yourself on the sample outlines that follow. Constructing Topic Outlines A topic outline is the same as a sentence outline except you use words or phrases instead of complete sentences. Words and phrases keep the outline short and easier to comprehend. All the headings, however, must be written in parallel structure. (For more information on parallel structure, see Chapter 7.) Here is the topic outline that Mariah constructed for the essay she is developing. Her purpose is to inform, and her audience is a general audience of her fellow college students. Notice how Mariah begins with her thesis statement. She then arranges her main points and supporting details in outline form, using short phrases in parallel grammatical structure. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 241 Checklist This checklist can help you write an eective topic outline for your assignment. It will also help you discover where you may need to do additional reading or prewriting. < < < < < < Do I have a controlling idea that guides the development of the entire piece of writing? Do I have three or more main points that I want to make in this piece of writing? Does each main point connect to my controlling idea? Is my outline in the best orderchronological, spatial, or importancefor me to present my main points? Will this order help me get my main point across? Do I have supporting details that will help me inform, explain, or prove my main points? Do I need to add more support? If so, where? Do I need to make any adjustments in my working thesis statement before I lock it into place? Writing at Work Word processing programs generally have an automatic numbering feature that can be used to prepare outlines. This feature automatically sets indents and lets you use the tab key to arrange information just as an academic outline does. Although in business this style might be acceptable, in college your instructor might have dierent requirements. Teach yourself how to customize the levels of outline numbering in your word processing program to t your instructors preferences. EXERCISE 2 Using the working thesis statement you wrote in Exercise 1 and the reading you did in Section 1, construct a topic outline for your essay. Be sure to observe correct outline form, including correct indentions and the use of Roman and Arabic numerals and capital letters. Constructing Sentence Outlines A sentence outline is the same as a topic outline except you use complete sentences instead of words or phrases. Complete sentences create clarity and can advance you one step closer to a draft in the writing process. Here is the sentence outline that Mariah constructed for the essay she is developing. 242 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip The information compiled under each Roman numeral will become a paragraph in your nal paper. In the example above, the outline follows the standard ve-paragraph essay arrangement, but longer essays will require more paragraphs and thus more Roman numerals. If you think that a paragraph might become too long or stringy, add an additional paragraph to your outline, renumbering the main points appropriately. Writing at Work PowerPoint presentations, used both in schools and in the workplace, are organized in a way very similar to formal outlines. PowerPoint presentations often contain information in the form of talking points that the presenter develops with more details and examples than are contained on the PowerPoint slide. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 243 EXERCISE 3 Expand the topic outline you prepared in Exercise 2 to make it a sentence outline. In this outline, be sure to include multiple supporting points for your main topic, even if your topic outline does not contain them. Be sure to observe correct outline form, including correct indentions and the use of Roman and Arabic numerals and capital letters. KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Writers must put their ideas in order so the assignment makes sense. The most common orders are chronological, spatial, and importance. After gathering and evaluating the information you found for your assignment, the next step is to write a working, or preliminary, thesis statement. The working thesis statement expresses the main idea that you want to develop in the entire piece of writing. It can be modied as you continue the writing process. Eective writers prepare a formal outline to organize their main ideas and supporting details in the order they will be presented. A topic outline uses words and phrases to express the ideas. A sentence outline uses complete sentences to express the ideas. The writers thesis statement begins the outline, and the outline ends with suggestions for the concluding paragraph. 3. DRAFTING LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify drafting strategies that improve writing 2. Use drafting strategies to prepare the rst draft of an essay Drafting is the stage of the writing process in which you develop a complete rst version of a piece of writing. Even professional writers admit that an empty page scares them. They need to come up with something fresh and original every time they open a blank document on their computers. Because you have completed the rst two steps in the writing process, you have already recovered from empty page syndrome. You have hours of prewriting and planning already done. You know what will go on that blank page: what you wrote in your outline. 3.1 Getting Started: Strategies for Drafting Your objective for this portion of Chapter 8 is to draft the body paragraphs of a standard ve-paragraph essay. A ve-paragraph essay contains an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. If you are more comfortable starting on paper than on the computer, you can start on paper and then type it before you revise. You can also use a voice recorder to get yourself started, dictating a paragraph or two to get you thinking. In this lesson, Mariah does all her work on the computer, but remember: you may use pen and paper or the computer to write a rough draft. Making the Writing Process Work for You What makes the writing process so benecial to writers is that it encourages alternatives to standard practices while motivating you to get the best from yourself. For instance, these approaches, done alone or in combination with others, may improve your writing and help you move forward in the writing process. < Begin writing with the part you know the most about. You can start with the third paragraph in your outline if ideas come easily to mind. You can start with the second paragraph or the rst paragraph, too. Although paragraphs may vary in length, keep in mind that short paragraphs may contain insucient support. Readers may also think the writing is abrupt. Long paragraphs drafting the stage of the writing process in which the writer develops a complete rst version of a piece of writing. 244 WRITING FOR SUCCESS may be wordy and may lose your readers interest. As a guideline, try to write paragraphs longer than one sentence but shorter than the length of an entire double-spaced page. < Write one paragraph at a time and then stop. As long as you complete the assignment on time, you may choose how many paragraphs you complete in one sitting. On the other hand, try not to procrastinate. Writers should always meet their deadlines. < Take short breaks to refresh your mind. This tip might be most useful if you are writing a multipage report or essay. Still, if you are antsy or cannot concentrate, take a break to let your mind rest. But do not let breaks extend too long. If you spend too much time away from your essay, you may have trouble starting again. You may forget key points or lose momentum. Try setting an alarm to limit your break, and when the time is up, return to your desk to write. < Be reasonable with your goals. If you decide to take ten-minute breaks, try to stick to that goal. If you told yourself that you need more facts, then commit to nding them. Holding yourself to your own goals will create successful writing assignments. < Keep your audience and purpose in mind as you write. These aspects of writing are just as important when you are writing a single paragraph for your essay or considering the direction of the entire essay. Of all of these considerations, keeping your purpose and your audience at the front of your mind is the most important key to writing success. If your purpose is to persuade, for example, you will present your facts and details in the most logical and convincing way you can. Your purpose will guide your mind as you compose your sentences. Your audience will guide word choice. Are you writing for experts, for a general audience, for other college students, or for people who know very little about your topic? Keep asking yourself, what do your readers, with their background and experience, need to be told in order to understand your ideas? How can you best express your ideas so they are totally clear and your communication is eective? Tip You may want to identify your purpose and audience on an index card that you clip to your paper. On that card, you might want to write notes to yourselfperhaps about what that audience might not know about or what it needs to knowso that you will be sure to address those issues when you write. You may also want to state exactly what you want to explain to that audience, or to inform them of, or to persuade them about. Writing at Work Many of the documents you produce at work target a particular audience for a particular purpose. You may nd that it is highly advantageous to know as much as you can about your target audience and to prepare your message to reach that audience, even if the audience is a co-worker or your boss. Menu language is a common example. Descriptions like organic romaine and free-range chicken are intended to appeal to a certain type of customer, though perhaps not to the same customer who craves a thick steak. Similarly, mailorder companies research the demographics of the people who buy their merchandise. Successful vendors customize product descriptions in catalogs to appeal to their buyers tastes. For example, the product descriptions in a skateboarder catalog will dier from the descriptions in a clothing catalog for mature adults. EXERCISE 1 Using the topic for the essay that you outlined in Section 2, describe your purpose and your audience as specically as you can. Use your own sheet of paper to record your responses. Then keep these responses near you when you write during future stages of the writing process. My purpose: __________ __________ __________ My audience: __________ __________ __________ CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 3.2 Setting Goals for Your First Draft A draft is a complete version of a piece of writing, but it is not the nal version. The step in the writing process after drafting, as you may remember, is revising. During revising, you will have the opportunity to make changes to your rst draft before you put the nishing touches on it during the editing and proofreading stage. A rst draft gives you a working version that you can later improve. Writing at Work Workplace writing in certain environments is done by teams of writers who collaborate on the planning, writing, and revising of documents such as long reports, technical manuals, and the results of scientic research. Collaborators do not need to be in the same room, the same building, or even the same city. Many collaborations are conducted over the Internet. In a perfect collaboration, each contributor has the right to add, edit, and delete text. Strong communication skills, in addition to strong writing skills, are important in this kind of writing situation because disagreements over style, content, process, emphasis, and other issues may arise. The collaborative software, or document management systems, that groups use to work on common projects is sometimes called groupware or workgroup support systems. The Reviewing toolbar on some word processing programs also gives you access to a collaborative tool that many smaller workgroups use when they exchange text. You can also use it to leave comments to yourself. Tip If you invest some time now to investigate how the Reviewing toolbar on your word processor works, you will be able to use it with condence during the revision stage of the writing process. Then, when you start to revise, set your reviewing toolbar to Track Changes and you will be able to tinker with text and accept only those nal changes you want to keep. The Basic Elements of a First Draft If you have been using the information in this chapter step-by-step to help you develop an assignment, you already have both a formal topic outline and a sentence outline to direct your writing. Knowing what a rst draft looks like will help you make the creative leap from the outline to the rst draft. A rst draft should include: 245 246 introduction the opening paragraph of an essay that piques the audiences interest, tells what the essay is about, and motivates the audience to keep reading. WRITING FOR SUCCESS An introduction that piques the audiences interest, tells what the essay is about, and motivates readers to keep reading. < A thesis statement that presents the main point, or controlling idea, of the entire piece of writing. < < A topic sentence in each paragraph that states the main idea of the paragraph and implies how that main idea is connected to the thesis statement. < Supporting sentences in each paragraph that develop or explain the topic sentence. These can be specic facts, examples, anecdotes, or other details that elaborate on the topic sentence. topic sentence the sentence in a paragraph that controls the point of the paragraph. A topic sentence is most often located at the beginning of a paragraph, and it makes the structure of a text and the writers basic arguments easy to locate and comprehend. supporting sentences sentences in each paragraph that develop or explain the topic sentence. These can be specic facts, examples, anecdotes, or other details that elaborate on the topic sentence. conclusion the closing paragraph of an essay that reinforces the thesis statement and leaves the audience with a feeling of completion. topic sentence the sentence in a paragraph that controls the point of the paragraph. A topic sentence is most often located at the beginning of a paragraph, and it makes the structure of a text and the writers basic arguments easy to locate and comprehend. < A conclusion that reinforces the thesis statement and leaves the audience with a feeling of completion. These elements follow the standard ve-paragraph essay format, which you probably rst encountered in high school. This basic format is valid for most essays you will write in college, even much longer ones. For now, however, Mariah focuses on writing the three body paragraphs from her outline. Chapter 9 covers writing introductions and conclusions, and you will read Mariahs introduction and conclusion in Chapter 9. The Role of Topic Sentences Topic sentences make the structure of a text and the writers basic arguments easy to locate and comprehend. In college writing, using a topic sentence in each paragraph of the essay is the standard rule. However, the topic sentence does not always have to be the rst sentence in your paragraph, even if it the rst item in your formal outline. Tip When you begin to draft your paragraphs, you should follow your outline fairly closely. After all, you spent valuable time developing those ideas. However, as you begin to express your ideas in complete sentences, it might strike you that the topic sentence might work better at the end of the paragraph or in the middle. Try it. A draft, by its nature, is a good time for experimentation. The topic sentence can be the rst, middle, or nal sentence in a paragraph. The assignments audience and purpose will often determine where a topic sentence belongs. When the purpose of the assignment is to persuade, for example, the topic sentence should be the rst sentence in a paragraph. In a persuasive essay, the writers point of view should be clearly expressed at the beginning of each paragraph. Choosing where to position the topic sentence depends not only on your audience and purpose but also on the essays arrangement, or order. When you organize information according to order of importance, the topic sentence may be the nal sentence in a paragraph. All the supporting sentences build up to the topic sentence. Chronological order may also position the topic sentence as the nal sentence, because the controlling idea of the paragraph may make the most sense at the end of a sequence. When you organize information according to spatial order, a topic sentence may appear as the middle sentence in a paragraph. Spatial order often contains paragraphs that begin with descriptions. A reader may rst need a visual in his or her mind before understanding the development of the paragraph. When the topic sentence is in the middle, it unites the details that come before it with the ones that come after it. Tip As you read critically throughout the writing process, keep topic sentences in mind. You may discover topic sentences that are not always located at the beginning of a paragraph. For example, ction writers customarily use topic ideas, either expressed or implied, to move readers through their texts. In nonction writing, such as popular magazines, topic sentences are often used when the author thinks it is appropriate (based on the audience and the purpose, of course). A single topic sentence might even control the development of a number of paragraphs. For more information on topic sentences, please see Chapter 6. Developing topic sentences and thinking about their placement in a paragraph will prepare you to write the rest of the paragraph. Paragraphs The paragraph is the main structural component of an essay, as well as other forms of writing. Each paragraph of an essay adds another related main idea to support the writers thesis, or controlling idea. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 247 Each related main idea is supported and developed with facts, examples, and other details that explain it. By exploring and rening one main idea at a time, writers build a strong case for their thesis. Paragraph Length How long should a paragraph be? One answer to this important question may be long enoughlong enough for you to write what you need to write and explain your main idea. To grab attention or to present succinct supporting ideas, a paragraph can be fairly short and consist of two to three sentences. A paragraph in a complex essay about some abstract point in philosophy or archaeology can be three-quarters of a page or more in length. As long as the writer maintains close focus on the topic and does not ramble, a long paragraph is acceptable in college-level writing. However, try to keep the paragraphs longer than one sentence but shorter than one full page of double-spaced text. Tip Journalistic style often calls for brief two- or three-sentence paragraphs because of how people read the news, both online and in print. Blogs and other online information sources often adopt this paragraphing style, too. Readers often skim the rst paragraphs of a great many articles before settling on the handful of stories they want to read in detail. You may nd that a particular paragraph you write may be longer than will hold your audiences interest. In such cases, you should divide the paragraph into two or more shorter paragraphs, adding a topic statement or some kind of transitional word or phrase at the start of the divided paragraph. Transition words or phrases show the connection between the two. In all cases, however, be guided by what you instructor wants and expects to nd in your draft. Many instructors will expect you to develop a mature college-level style as you progress through the semesters assignments. EXERCISE 2 To build your sense of appropriate paragraph length, use the Internet to nd examples of the following items. Copy them into a le, identify your sources, and present them to your instructor, with your annotations, or notes. The items are: < < A news article written in short paragraphs. Take notes on, or annotate, your selection with your observations about the eect of combining paragraphs that develop the same topic idea. Explain how eective those paragraphs would be. A long paragraph from a scholarly work that you identify through an academic search engine. Annotate it with your observations about the authors paragraphing style. 3.3 Starting Your First Draft Now we are nally ready to look over Mariahs shoulder as she begins to write her essay about digital technology and the confusing choices that consumers face. As she does, you should have in front of you your outline, with its thesis statement and topic sentences, and the notes you wrote earlier in this lesson on your purpose and audience. Reviewing these will put you and her in the proper mind-set to start. The following is Mariahs thesis statement. 248 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Here are the notes that Mariah wrote to herself to characterize her purpose and audience. Mariah chose to begin by writing a quick introduction based on her thesis statement. She knew that she would want to improve her introduction signicantly when she revised. Right now, she just wanted to give herself a starting point. You will read her introduction in Lesson 8.4, when she revises it. Tip Remember Mariahs other options. She could have started directly with any of the body paragraphs. You will learn more about writing attention-getting introductions and eective conclusions in Chapter 9 of this book. With her thesis statement and purpose and audience notes in front of her, Mariah then looked at her sentence outline. She chose to use that outline because it includes the topic sentences. Below is the portion of her outline for the rst body paragraph. The Roman numeral II identies the topic sentence for the paragraph, capital letters indicate supporting details, and Arabic numerals label subpoints. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 249 Mariah then began to expand the ideas in her outline into a paragraph. Notice how the outline helps her guarantee that all her sentences in the body of the paragraph develop the topic sentence. Tip If you write your rst draft on the computer, consider creating a new le folder for each course and a set of subfolders inside the course folders, with one subfolder for each assignment you are given. Label the folders clearly with the course names, and label each assignment folder and word processing document with a title that you will easily recognize. The assignment name is a good choice. Then use that subfolder to store all the drafts you create. When you start each new draft, do not just write over the last one. Instead, save the draft with a new tag after the titledraft 1, draft 2, and so onso that you will have a complete history of drafts in case your instructor wishes you to submit them. In your documents, observe any formatting requirementsfor margins, headers, placement of page numbers, and other layout mattersthat your instructor requires. EXERCISE 3 Study how Mariah made the transition from her sentence outline to her rst draft. First, copy her outline onto your own sheet of paper. Leave a few spaces between each part of the outline. Then copy sentences from Mariahs paragraph to align each sentence with its corresponding entry in her outline. Continuing the First Draft Mariah continued writing her essay, moving to the second and third body paragraphs. She had supporting details but no numbered subpoints in her outline, so she had to consult her prewriting notes for specic information to include. 250 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip If you decide to take a break between nishing your rst body paragraph and starting the next one, do not start writing immediately. Put yourself back in context and in the mood by rereading what you have already written. This is what Mariah did. If she had stopped writing in the middle of writing the paragraph, she could have jotted down some quick notes to herself about what she would write next. Preceding each body paragraph that Mariah wrote is the appropriate section of her sentence outline. Notice how she expanded Roman numeral III in her outline into a rst draft of the second body paragraph. As you read, ask yourself how closely she stayed on purpose and how well she paid attention to the needs of her audience. Mariah then began her third and nal body paragraph, using Roman numeral IV in her outline. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 251 EXERCISE 4 Reread body paragraphs two and three of the essay that Mariah is writing. Then answer the questions on your own sheet of paper. 1. In body paragraph two, Mariah decided to develop her paragraph as a nonction narrative. Do you agree with her decision? Explain. How else could she have chosen to develop the paragraph? Why is that better? 2. Compare the writing styles of paragraphs two and three. What evidence do you have that Mariah was getting tired or running out of steam? What advice would you give her? Why? 3. Choose one of these two body paragraphs. Write a version of your own that you think better ts the audience and purpose. Writing a Title A writers best choice for a title is one that alludes to the main point of the entire essay. Like the headline in a newspaper or the big, bold title in a magazine, an essays title gives the audience a rst peek at the content. If readers like the title, they are likely to keep reading. 252 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Following her outline carefully, Mariah crafted each paragraph of her essay. Moving step-by-step in the writing process, Mariah nished her essay and even included a brief concluding paragraph (you will read her conclusion in Chapter 9). She then decided, as a nal touch for her writing session, to add an engaging title. 3.4 Writing Your Own First Draft Now you may begin your own rst draft, if you have not already done so. Follow the suggestions and the guidelines presented in this lesson. KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Make the writing process work for you. Use any and all of the strategies that help you move forward in the writing process. Always be aware of your purpose for writing and the needs of your audience. Cater to those needs in every sensible way. Remember to include all the key structural parts of an essay: a thesis statement that is part of your introductory paragraph, three or more body paragraphs as described in your outline, and a concluding paragraph. Then add an engaging title to draw readers in. Write paragraphs of an appropriate length for your writing assignment. Paragraphs in college-level writing can be a page long, as long as they cover the main topics in your outline. Use your topic outline or your sentence outline to guide the development of your paragraphs and the elaboration of your ideas. Each main idea, indicated by a Roman numeral in your outline, becomes the topic of a new paragraph. Develop it with the supporting details and subpoints of those details that you included in your outline. Generally speaking, write your introduction and conclusion last, after you have eshed out the body paragraphs. 4. REVISING AND EDITING LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify major areas of concern during revising and editing 2. Use peer review and editing checklists to assist revising and editing 3. Revise and edit the rst draft of your essay and produce a nal draft Revising and editing are the two important tasks you undertake to improve your essay. Both are very important elements of the writing process. You may think that a completed rst draft means little improvement is needed. However, even experienced writers need to improve their drafts and rely on peers during revising and editing. You may know that athletes miss catches, fumble throws, or overshoot goals. Dancers forget steps, turn too slowly, or miss beats. For both athletes and dancers, the more they improve, the stronger their performance will become. Web designers seek better photos, a CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 253 more clever design, or a more appealing background for their Web pages. Writing has the same capacity to prot from improvement and revision. 4.1 Understanding the Purpose of Revising and Editing Revising and editing allow you to examine two important aspects of your writing separately, so that you can give each task your undivided attention. < < When you revise, you take a second look at your ideas. You might add, cut, move, or change information in order to make your ideas clearer, more accurate, more interesting, or more convincing. When you edit, you take a second look at how you expressed your ideas. You add or change words. You x any problems in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. You improve your writing style. You make your essay into a polished, mature piece of writing, the end product of your best eorts. revise to examine a piece of writing for clarity of ideas. Revising often includes adding, cutting, moving, or changing information in order to make the ideas clearer, more accurate, more interesting, or more convincing. edit Tip How do you get the best out of yourself when you revise and edit? Here are some strategies that writers have developed to look at their rst drafts from a fresh perspective. Try them over the course of this semester; then keep using the ones that bring results. < < < < Take a break. You are proud of what you wrote, but you might be too close to it to make changes. Set aside your writing for a few hours or even a day until you can look at it objectively. Ask someone you trust for feedback and constructive criticism. Pretend you are one of your readers. Are you satised or dissatised? Why? Use the resources that your college provides. Find out where your schools writing lab is and ask about the assistance they provide online and in person. to examine a piece of writing for how the writer expressed his or her ideas. Editing often involves adding or changing words, and xing any problems in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Many people hear the words critic, critical, and criticism and pick up only negative vibes, provoking feelings that make them blush, grumble, or shout. However, as a writer and a thinker, you need to learn to be critical of yourself in a positive way and have high expectations for your work. You also need to train your eye and trust your ability to x what needs xing. For this, you need to teach yourself where to look. 4.2 Major Issues in Revising: Unity and Coherence Following your outline closely oers you a reasonable guarantee that your writing will stay on purpose and not drift away from the controlling idea. However, when writers are rushed, are tired, or cannot nd the right words, their writing may become less than they want it to be. Their writing may no longer be clear and concise, and they may be adding information that is not needed to develop the main idea. When a piece of writing has unity, all the ideas in each paragraph and in the entire essay clearly belong and are arranged in an order that makes logical sense. When the writing has coherence, the ideas ow smoothly. The wording clearly indicates how one idea leads to another within a paragraph and from paragraph to paragraph. Reading your writing aloud will often help you nd problems with unity and coherence. Listen for the clarity and ow of your ideas. Identify places where you nd yourself confused, and write a note to yourself about possible xes. Creating Unity Sometimes writers get caught up in the moment and cannot resist a good digression. Even though you might enjoy such detours when you chat with friends, unplanned digressions usually harm a piece of writing. Mariah stayed close to her outline when she drafted the three body paragraphs of her essay she tentatively titled Digital Technology: The Newest and the Best at What Price? But a recent shopping trip for an HDTV upset her enough that she digressed from the main topic of her third paragraph and unity a quality in which all the ideas in a paragraph and in the entire essay clearly belong and are arranged in an order that makes logical sense. coherence a quality in which the wording of an assignment clearly indicates how one idea leads to another within a paragraph and from paragraph to paragraph. 254 WRITING FOR SUCCESS included comments about the sales sta in the electronics store she visited. When she revised her essay, she deleted the o-topic sentences that aected the unity of the paragraph. Read the following paragraph twice, the rst time without Mariahs changes, and the second time with them. EXERCISE 1 A. Answer the following two questions about Mariahs paragraph. 1. Do you agree with Mariahs decision to make the deletions she made? Did she cut too much, too little, or just enough? Explain. 2. Is the explanation of what screen resolution means a digression? Or is it audience friendly and essential to understanding the paragraph? Explain. B. Now start to revise the rst draft of the essay you wrote in Lesson 8.3. Reread it to nd any statements that aect the unity of your writing. Decide how best to revise. Tip When you reread your writing to nd revisions to make, look for each type of problem in a separate sweep. Read it straight through once to locate any problems with unity. Read it straight through a second time to nd problems with coherence. You may follow this same practice during many stages of the writing process. Writing at Work Many companies hire copy editors and proofreaders to help them produce the cleanest possible nal drafts of large writing projects. Copy editors are responsible for suggesting revisions and style changes; proofreaders check documents for any errors in capitalization, spelling, and punctuation that have crept in. Many times, these tasks are done on a freelance basis, with one freelancer working for a variety of clients. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 255 Creating Coherence Careful writers use transitions to clarify how the ideas in their sentences and paragraphs are related. These words and phrases help the writing ow smoothly. Adding transitions is not the only way to improve coherence, but they are often useful and give a mature feel to your essays. The chart below groups many common transitions according to their purpose. TABLE 8.3 Common Transitional Words and Phrases Transitions that Show Sequence or Time after afterward as soon as at rst at last before before long nally rst second third in the rst place later meanwhile next soon then Transitions that Show Position above below across beside at the bottom beyond at the top inside behind near next to opposite to the left right side under where Transitions that Show a Conclusion indeed hence in conclusion in the nal analysis therefore thus Transitions that Continue a Line of Thought consequently furthermore additionally because besides that fact moreover following this idea further looking further in addition considering, it is clear to see that in the same way Transitions that Change a Line of Thought but yet however nevertheless on the contrary on the other hand Transitions that Show Importance above all best especially in fact more important most important most worst Transitions that Introduce the Final Thoughts in a Paragraph or Essay nally last in conclusion most of all least of all last of all All-Purpose Transitions to Open Paragraphs or to Connect Ideas inside Paragraphs admittedly generally speaking at this point in general certainly in this situation granted no doubt it is true no one denies obviously of course to be sure undoubtedly unquestionably Transitions that Introduce Examples for instance for example Transitions that Clarify the Order of Events or Steps rst second third generally furthermore nally in the rst place also last in the rst place furthermore nally in the rst place likewise lastly Mariah next examined her paragraph about televisions to check for coherence. She looked for places where she needed to add a transition or perhaps reword the text to make the ow of ideas clear. In the version below, she has already deleted the sentences that were o topic. transitions words and phrases that show how the ideas in sentences and paragraphs are related. 256 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip Many writers make their revisions on a printed copy and then transfer them to the version on-screen. They conventionally use a small arrow called a caret (^) to show where to insert an addition or correction. EXERCISE 2 A. Answer the following questions about Mariahs revised paragraph. 1. Do you agree with the transitions and other changes that Mariah made to her paragraph? Which would you keep and which were unnecessary? Explain. 2. What transition words or phrases did Mariah add to her paragraph? Why did she choose each one? 3. What eect does adding additional sentences have on the coherence of the paragraph? Explain. When you read both versions aloud, which version has a more logical ow of ideas? Explain. B. Now return to the rst draft of the essay you wrote in Lesson 8.3 and revise it for coherence. Add transition words and phrases where they are needed, and make any other changes that are needed to improve the ow and connection between ideas. 4.3 Major Issues in Revising: Being Clear and Concise Some writers are very methodical and painstaking when they write a rst draft. Other writers unleash a lot of words in order to get out all that they feel they need to say. Do either of these composing styles t your style? Or is your composing style somewhere in between? No matter which description best ts you, the rst draft of almost every piece of writing, no matter its author, can be made clearer and more concise. If you have a tendency to write too much, you will need to look for unnecessary words. If you have a tendency to be vague or imprecise in your wording, you will need to nd specic words to replace any overly general language. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 257 Identifying Wordiness Sometimes writers use too many words when fewer words will appeal more to their audience and better t their purpose. Here are some common examples of wordiness to look for in your draft. Eliminating wordiness helps all readers, because it makes your ideas clear, direct, and straightforward. Sentences that begin with There is or There are Wordy There are two major experiments that the Biology Department sponsors. Revised The Biology Department sponsors two major experiments. < Sentences with unnecessary modiers Wordy Two extremely famous and well-known consumer advocates spoke eloquently in favor of the proposed important legislation. Revised Two well-known consumer advocates spoke in favor of the proposed legislation. < Sentences with deadwood phrases that add little to the meaning. Be judicious when you use phrases such as in terms of, with a mind to, on the subject of, as to whether or not, more or less, as far as is concerned, and similar expressions. You can usually nd a more straightforward way to state your point. Wordy As a world leader in the eld of green technology, the company plans to focus its eorts in the area of geothermal energy. A report as to whether or not to use geysers as an energy source is in the process of preparation. Revised As a world leader in green technology, the company plans to focus on geothermal energy. A report about using geysers as an energy source is in preparation. < Sentences in the passive voice or with forms of the verb to be. Sentences with passive-voice verbs often create confusion, because the subject of the sentence does not perform an action. Sentences are clearer when the subject of the sentence performs the action and is followed by a strong verb. Use strong active-voice verbs in place of forms of to be, which can lead to wordiness. Avoid passive voice when you can. Wordy It might perhaps be said that using a GPS device is something that is a benet to drivers who have a poor sense of direction. Revised Using a GPS device benets drivers who have a poor sense of direction. < Sentences with constructions that can be shortened Wordy The e-book reader, which is a recent invention, may become as commonplace as the cell phone. My over-60 uncle bought an e-book reader, and his wife bought an e-book reader, too. Revised The e-book reader, a recent invention, may become as commonplace as the cell phone. My over-60 uncle and his wife both bought e-book readers. < EXERCISE 3 Now return once more to the rst draft of the essay you have been revising. Check it for unnecessary words. Try making your sentences as concise as they can be. Choose Specific, Appropriate Words Most college essays should be written in formal English suitable for an academic situation. Follow these principles to be sure that your word choice is appropriate. For more information about word choice, see Chapter 4. Avoid slang. Find alternatives to bummer, kewl, and rad. < Avoid language that is overly casual. Write about men and women rather than girls and guys unless you are trying to create a specic eect. A formal tone calls for formal language. < Avoid contractions. Use do not in place of dont, I am in place of Im, have not in place of havent, and so on. Contractions are considered casual speech. < Avoid clichs. Overused expressions such as green with envy, face the music, better late than never, and similar expressions are empty of meaning and may not appeal to your audience. < 258 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Be careful when you use words that sound alike but have dierent meanings. Some examples are allusion/illusion, complement/compliment, council/counsel, concurrent/consecutive, founder/ ounder, and historic/historical. When in doubt, check a dictionary. < Choose words with the connotations you want. Choosing a word for its connotations is as important in formal essay writing as it is in all kinds of writing. Compare the positive connotations of the word proud and the negative connotations of arrogant and conceited. < Use specic words rather than overly general words. Find synonyms for thing, people, nice, good, bad, interesting, and other vague words. Or use specic details to make your exact meaning clear. < Now read the revisions Mariah made to make her third paragraph clearer and more concise. She has already incorporated the changes she made to improve unity and coherence. EXERCISE 4 A. Answer the following questions about Mariahs revised paragraph. 1. Read the unrevised and the revised paragraphs aloud. Explain in your own words how changes in word choice have aected Mariahs writing. 2. Do you agree with the changes that Mariah made to her paragraph? Which would you keep and which were unnecessary? Explain. What other changes would you have made? 3. What eect does removing contractions and the pronoun you have on the tone of the paragraph? How would you characterize the tone now? Why? B. Now return once more to your essay in progress. Read carefully for problems with word choice. Be sure that your draft is written in formal language and that your word choice is specic and appropriate. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 259 4.4 Completing a Peer Review After working so closely with a piece of writing, writers often need to step back and ask for a more objective read. What writers most need is feedback from readers who can respond only to the words on the page. When they are ready, writers show their drafts to someone they respect and who can give an honest response about its strengths and weaknesses. You, too, can ask a peer to read your draft when it is ready. After evaluating the feedback and assessing what is most helpful, the readers feedback will help you when you revise your draft. This process is called peer review. You can work with a partner in your class and identify specic ways to strengthen each others essays. Although sharing your writing may seem uncomfortable at rst, remember that each writer is working toward the same goal: a nal draft that ts the audience and the purpose. Maintaining a positive attitude when providing feedback will put you and your partner at ease. The box that follows provides a useful framework for the peer review session. Questions for Peer Review Title of Essay: __________ Writers Name: __________ 1. 2. 3. 4. Date: __________ Peer Reviewers Name: __________ What this essay is about: __________ Your main points in this essay are __________ What I most liked about this essay is __________ These three points struck me as your strongest: __________ Point Why a. __________ b. __________ c. __________ __________ __________ __________ 5. These places in your essay are not clear to me. Where? Needs improvement because a. __________ b. __________ c. __________ __________ __________ __________ 6. The one additional change you could make that would improve this essay signicantly is __________ Writing at Work One of the reasons why word processing programs build in a Reviewing feature is that workgroups have become a common feature in many businesses. Writing is often collaborative, and the members of a workgroup and their supervisors often critique group members work and oer feedback that will lead to a better nal product. EXERCISE 5 Exchange essays with a classmate and complete a peer review of each others draft in progress. Remember to give positive feedback and to be courteous and polite in your responses. How to Use Feedback Objectively The purpose of peer feedback is to receive constructive criticism of your essay. Your peer reviewer is your rst real audience, and you have the opportunity to learn what confuses and delights a reader so that you can improve your work before sharing the nal draft with a wider audience (or your intended audience). It may not be necessary to incorporate every recommendation your peer reviewer makes. However, if you start to observe a pattern in the responses you receive from peer reviewers, you might peer review the process in which a writer asks a peer to read and evaluate a draft. 260 WRITING FOR SUCCESS want to take that feedback into consideration in future assignments. For example, if you read consistent comments about a need for more research, then you may want to consider including more research in future assignments. How to Use Feedback from Multiple Sources You might get feedback from more than one reader as you share dierent stages of your revised draft. In this situation, you may receive feedback from readers who do not understand the assignment or who lack your involvement with and enthusiasm for it. You need to evaluate the responses you receive according to two important criteria: < < Determine if the feedback supports the purpose of the assignment. Determine if the suggested revisions are appropriate to the audience. Then, using these standards, accept or reject revision feedback. EXERCISE 6 Work with two partners. Go back to Exercise 4 in this lesson and compare your responses to Activity A, about Mariahs paragraph, with your partners. Recall Mariahs purpose for writing and her audience. Then, working individually, list where you agree and where you disagree about revision needs. Editing Your Draft If you have been incorporating each set of revisions as Mariah has, you have produced multiple drafts of your writing. So far, all your changes have been content changes. Perhaps with the help of peer feedback, you have made sure that you suciently supported your ideas. You have checked for problems with unity and coherence. You have examined your essay for word choice, revising to cut unnecessary words and to replace weak wordings with specic and appropriate wordings. The next step after revising the content is editing. When you edit, you examine the surface features of your text. You examine your spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation. You also make sure you use the proper format when creating your nished assignment. Tip Editing often takes time. Budgeting time into the writing process allows you to complete additional edits after revising. Editing and proofreading your writing helps you create a nished work that represents your best eorts. Here are a few more tips to remember about your readers. < < < < < Readers do not notice correct spelling, but they do notice misspellings. Readers look past your sentences to get to your ideasunless the sentences are awkward, poorly constructed, and frustrating to read. Readers notice when every sentence has the same rhythm as every other sentence, with no variety. Readers do not cheer when you use there, their, and theyre correctly, but they notice when you do not. Readers will notice the care with which you handled your assignment. The rst section of this book oers a useful review of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Use it to help you eliminate major errors in your writing and rene your understanding of the conventions of language. Do not hesitate to ask for help, too, from peer tutors in your academic department or in the colleges writing lab. In the meantime, use the Editing Checklist below. Editing Checklist Grammar < < < < __ Are some sentences actually sentence fragments? __ Are some sentences run-on sentences? How can I correct them? __ Do some sentences need conjunctions between independent clauses? __ Does every verb agree with its subject? CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS __ Is every verb in the correct tense? __ Are tense forms, especially for irregular verbs, written correctly? __ Have I used subject, object, and possessive personal pronouns correctly? __ Have I used who and whom correctly? __ Is the antecedent of every pronoun clear? __ Do all personal pronouns agree with their antecedents? __ Have I used the correct comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs? __ Is it clear which word a participial phrase modies, or is it a dangling modier? < < < < < < < < Sentence Structure < < < < __ Are all my sentences simple sentences, or do I vary my sentence structure? __ Have I chosen the best coordinating or subordinating conjunctions to join clauses? __ Have I created long, overpacked sentences that should be shortened for clarity? __ Do I see any mistakes in parallel structure? Punctuation < < < < __ Does every sentence end with the correct end punctuation? __ Can I justify the use of every exclamation point? __ Have I used apostrophes correctly to write all singular and plural possessive forms? __ Have I used quotation marks correctly? Mechanics and Usage < < < < __ Can I nd any spelling errors? How can I correct them? __ Have I used capital letters where they are needed? __ Have I written abbreviations, where allowed, correctly? __ Can I nd any errors in the use of commonly confused words, such as to/too/two? Tip Be careful about relying too much on spelling checkers and grammar checkers. A spelling checker cannot recognize that you meant to write principle but wrote principal instead. A grammar checker often queries constructions that are perfectly correct. The program does not understand your meaning; it makes its check against a general set of formulas that might not apply in each instance. If you use a grammar checker, accept the suggestions that make sense, but consider why the suggestions came up. Tip Proofreading requires patience; it is very easy to read past a mistake. Set your paper aside for at least a few hours, if not a day or more, so your mind will rest. Some professional proofreaders read a text backward so they can concentrate on spelling and punctuation. Another helpful technique is to slowly read a paper aloud, paying attention to every word, letter, and punctuation mark. If you need additional proofreading help, ask a reliable friend, a classmate, or a peer tutor to make a nal pass on your paper to look for anything you missed. Formatting Remember to use proper format when creating your nished assignment. Sometimes an instructor, a department, or a college will require students to follow specic instructions on titles, margins, page numbers, or the location of the writers name. These requirements may be more detailed and rigid for research projects and term papers, which often observe the American Psychological Association (APA) or Modern Language Association (MLA) style guides, especially when citations of sources are included. To ensure the format is correct and follows any specic instructions, make a nal check before you submit an assignment. 261 262 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 7 With the help of the Editing Checklist, edit and proofread your essay. KEY < < < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Revising and editing are the stages of the writing process in which you improve your writing before producing a nal draft. During revising, you add, cut, move, or change information in order to improve content. During editing, you take a second look at the words and sentences you used to express your ideas and x any problems in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Unity in writing means that all the ideas in each paragraph and in the entire essay clearly belong together and are arranged in an order that makes logical sense. Coherence in writing means that the writers wording clearly indicates how one idea leads to another within a paragraph and between paragraphs. Transitional words and phrases eectively make writing more coherent. Writing should be clear and concise, with no unnecessary words. Eective formal writing uses specic, appropriate words and avoids slang, contractions, clichs, and overly general words. Peer reviews, done properly, can give writers objective feedback about their writing. It is the writers responsibility to evaluate the results of peer reviews and incorporate only useful feedback. Remember to budget time for careful editing and proofreading. Use all available resources, including editing checklists, peer editing, and the resources of your institutions writing lab, to improve your editing skills. CHAPTER 8 THE WRITING PROCESS 263 5. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Use the skills you have learned in the chapter 2. Work collaboratively with other students 3. Work with a variety of academic and on-the-job, real-world examples EXERCISES 1. In this chapter, you have thought and read about the topic of mass media. Starting with the general topic The Future of Information: How It Will Be Created, Transmitted, and Consumed, narrow the focus of the topic until it is suitable for a two- to three-page paper. Then narrow your topic with the help of brainstorming, idea mapping, and searching the Internet until you select a nal topic to explore. Keep a journal or diary in which you record and comment on everything you did to choose a nal topic. Then record what you will do next to explore the idea and create a thesis statement. 2. Write a thesis statement and a formal sentence outline for an essay about the writing process. Include separate paragraphs for prewriting, drafting, and revising and editing. Your audience will be a general audience of educated adults who are unfamiliar with how writing is taught at the college level. Your purpose is to explain the stages of the writing process so that readers will understand its benets. 3. Writing in a variety of real-life and work-related situations would benet from revising and editing. Consider the following list of real-life and work-related pieces of writing: e-mails, greeting card messages, junk mail, late-night television commercials, social networking pages, local newspapers, bulletin-board postings, and public notices. Find and submit at least two examples of writing that needs revision. Explain what changes you would make. Replace any recognizable names with pseudonyms. 4. Group Activity. At work, an employer might someday ask you to contribute to the research base for an essay such as the one Mariah wrote or the one you wrote while working through this chapter. Choosing either her topic or your own, compile a list of at least ve sources and, working in a group of four students, bring in printouts or PDF les of Internet sources or paper copies of non-Internet sources for the other group members to examine. In a group report, rate the reliability of each others sources. 5. Group Activity. Working in a peer-review group of four, go to Lesson 8.3 and reread the draft of the rst two body paragraphs of Mariahs essay, Digital Technology: The Newest and the Best at What Price? Review those two paragraphs using the same level of inspection given in Lesson 8.4 to the essays third paragraph. Suggest and agree on changes to improve unity and coherence, eliminate unneeded words, and rene word choice. Your purpose is to help Mariah produce two eective paragraphs for a formal college-level essay about her topic. 264 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 9 Writing Essays From Start to Finish 1. DEVELOPING A STRONG, CLEAR THESIS STATEMENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Develop a strong, clear thesis statement with the proper elements 2. Recognize common errors in thesis statements Have you ever known a person who was not very good at telling stories? You probably had trouble following his train of thought as he jumped around from point to point, being too brief in places that needed further explanation, or providing too many details about a meaningless element. Maybe he told the end of the story rst, then moved to the beginning, and later added details to the middle. His ideas were probably scattered, and the story did not ow very well. When the story was over, you probably had many questions. Just as a personal anecdote can be a disorganized mess, an essay can fall into the same trap of being out of order and confusing. That is why writers need a thesis statement to provide a specic focus for their essay and to organize what they are about to discuss in the body. Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may nd that the thesis needs revision as the essay develops. thesis statement A sentence that presents the controlling idea of an essay. A thesis statement is often once sentence long and it states the writers point of view. 1.1 Elements of a Thesis Statement For every essay you write, you must focus on a central idea. This idea stems from a topic you have chosen or been assigned, or from a question your teacher has asked. It is not enough merely to discuss a general topic or simply answer a question with a yes or no. You have to form a specic opinion, and then articulate that into a controlling ideathe idea upon which a thesis statement is built. Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself, but rather your interpretation of the question or subject. For whatever topic your professor gives you, you must ask yourself, What do I want to say about it? Asking and then answering this question is vital to forming a thesis that is precise, forceful, and condent. A thesis is one sentence long and can either be the rst or the last sentence of your introduction. It is specic and focuses on one to three points of a single ideapoints that can be demonstrated in the body of your essay. It forecasts the content of the essay and suggests how you will organize your information. Remember that a thesis statement does not summarize an issue, but rather dissects it. A Strong Thesis Statement A strong thesis statement contains the following qualities: Specicity. A thesis statement must concentrate on a specic area of a general topic. As you may recall from Chapter 8, the creation of a thesis statement begins when you choose a broad subject and then narrow down its parts until you pinpoint a specic aspect of that topic. For example, health care is a broad topic, but a proper thesis statement would focus on a specic area of that topic, such as options for individuals without health care coverage. Precision. A strong thesis statement must be precise enough to allow for a coherent argument and to remain focused on the topic. If the specic topic is options for individuals without health care coverage, then your precise thesis statement must make an exact claim about it, such as that limited options exist for those who are uninsured by their employers. You must further pinpoint what you are going to discuss regarding these limited eects, such as whom they aect and what the cause is. controlling idea The main idea that guides the content of an essay; the idea upon which a thesis statement is built. 266 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Ability to be argued. A thesis statement must present a relevant and specic argument. A factual statement often is not considered arguable. Be sure your thesis statement contains a point of view that can be supported with evidence. Ability to be demonstrated. For any claim you make in your thesis, you must be able to provide reasons and examples for your opinion. You can rely on personal observations to do this, or you can consult outside sources to demonstrate that what you assert is valid. A worthy argument is backed by examples and details. Forcefulness. A thesis statement that is forceful shows your readers that you are, in fact, making an argument. The tone is assertive and takes a stance that others might oppose. Condence. In addition to using force in your thesis statement, you must also use condence in your claim. Phrases such as I feel or I believe actually weaken readers sense of your condence, because these phrases imply that you are the only person who feels the way you do. In other words, your stance has insucient backing. Taking an authoritative stance on the matter persuades your readers to have faith in your argument and open their minds to what you have to say. Your opinion is more convincing when you use a rm attitude. In addition, audiences often disapprove of the use of rst person in formal academic writing. Avoid phrases such as I feel, I believe, In my opinion, and I think when writing your thesis. These phrases will weaken your credibility and your argument.. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, write a strong, clear thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specic, precise, demonstrable, forceful, and condent. Topics: < < < < < texting while driving legal drinking age in the U.S. steroid use among professional athletes abortion racism 1.2 Examples of Appropriate Thesis Statements Each of the following thesis statements meets several of the following requirements: < < < < < < Specicity Precision Ability to be argued Ability to be demonstrated Forcefulness Condence 1. The societal and personal struggles of Troy Maxon in the play Fences symbolize the challenges faced by black males who lived through segregation and integration in the United States. 2. Closing all U.S. borders for a period of ve years is one solution that will tackle illegal immigration. 3. William Shakespeares use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet spoils the outcome for the audience and weakens the plot. 4. Breast milk is not the best choice, because more infants develop allergies passed through the milk. 5. Compared to a traditional divorce, no-fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer settlements, and reects a more realistic view of the causes for marital breakdown. 6. Exposing children from an early age to the dangers of drug abuse is a sure method of preventing future drug addicts. 7. In todays crumbling job market, a high school diploma is not signicant enough to land a stable, lucrative job. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 267 Tip You can nd thesis statements in many places: in the news, in the opinions made by friends, coworkers or teachers, and even in songs you hear on the radio. Become aware of thesis statements in everyday life by paying attention to peoples opinions and their reasons for those opinions. Also, pay attention to your own daily observations when you are making a point or stating an opinion, as these can become material for future essays. Now that you have read about the contents of a good thesis and have seen examples, take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your thesis. Keep in mind that a weak thesis: < < < < is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay Weak example: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge. makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or uses insults against the opposing side Weak example: Ignorant heretics are responsible for all of Earths natural disasters, especially Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the earthquake in Haiti. contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end Weak example: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products. tries to cover too much information for the assignments page restrictions Weak example: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging. EXERCISE 2 Read the following thesis statements. On a separate piece of paper, identify each as weak or strong. For those that are weak, list the reasons why. Then revise the weak statements so that they conform to the requirements of a strong thesis. 1. The subject of this paper is my experience with ferrets as pets. 2. The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil. 3. Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the 19th century. 4. In this essay, I will give you lots of reasons why slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore. 5. Despite his promises during his campaign, President John F. Kennedy took few executive measures to support civil rights legislation. 6. Because many childrens toys have potential safety hazards that could lead to injury, it is clear that not all childrens toys are safe. 7. My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent, because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parents worst nightmare. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 6 at the end of this chapter. Writing at Work Often in your career, you will need to ask your boss for something through an email. Just as a thesis statement organizes an essay, it can also organize your email request. While your email will be shorter than an essay, using a thesis statement in your rst paragraph quickly lets your boss know what you are asking for, why it is necessary, and what the benets are. In short body paragraphs, you can provide the essential information needed to expand upon your request. Your boss will then have a clear understanding of your request, as well as have the opportunity to see your exceptional writing skills. 1.3 Revising Your Thesis Statement Your thesis will probably change as you write, so you will need to modify it to reect exactly what you have discussed in your essay. Remember from Chapter 8 that your thesis statement begins as a working thesis statement, an indenite statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of planning and guiding your writing. 268 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Working thesis statements often become stronger as you gather information and form new opinions and reasons for those opinions. Revision helps you strengthen your thesis so that it matches what you have expressed in the body of the paper. Tip The best way to revise your thesis statement is to ask questions about it and then examine the answers to those questions. By challenging your own ideas and forming denite reasons for those ideas, you grow closer to a more precise point of view, which you can then incorporate into your thesis statement. Ways to Revise Your Thesis You can cut down on irrelevant aspects and revise your thesis by doing the following: linking verb A verb that connects or links the subject of a sentence to a noun or adjective. 1. To reduce vagueness, pinpoint and replace all nonspecic words, such as people, everything, society, or life with more precise words. Working thesis: Young people have to work hard to succeed in life. Revised thesis: Recent college graduates must have persistence to nd and maintain a decent job in which their talents are appreciated. The revised thesis makes a more specic statement about success and what it means to work hard. The original includes too broad a range of people and does not dene exactly what success entails. By replacing those general words like people and work hard, the writer can better focus her research and gain more direction in her writing. 2. Clarify ideas that need explanation by asking yourself questions that narrow your thesis. Working thesis: The welfare system is a joke. A joke means many things to many people. Readers bring all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives to the reading process and would need clarication for a word so vague. This expression may also be too informal for the selected audience. By asking questions, the writer can devise a more precise and appropriate explanation for joke. The writer should ask himself questions similar to the 5WH. See Chapter 8 for more information on the 5WH. By incorporating the answers to these questions into a thesis statement, the writer more accurately denes his stance, which will better guide the writing of the essay. Revised thesis: The welfare system prevents members of low socioeconomic classes from gaining employment. 3. Replace any linking verbs with action verbs. Linking verbs are forms of the verb to be, a verb that simply states that a situation exists. Working thesis: Kansas City schoolteachers are not paid enough. The linking verb in this thesis statement is the word are. Linking verbs are often weak in thesis statements because they do not express action. Rather, they connect words and phrases to the second half of the sentence. Readers might wonder, Why are they not paid enough? But this statement does not compel them to ask many more questions. The writer should ask herself questions in order to replace the linking verb with an action verb, thus forming a stronger thesis statement, one that takes a more denitive stance on the issue. Who is not paying the teachers enough? What is considered enough? What is the problem? What are the results? Revised thesis: The Kansas City Council cannot aord to pay its educators, resulting in job cuts and resignations where highly qualied teachers are sorely needed. 4. Omit any general claims that are hard to support. Working thesis: Todays teenage girls are too sexualized. It is true that some young women in todays society are more sexualized than in the past, but that is not true for all girls. Many girls have strict parents, dress appropriately, and do not engage in sexual activity at the middle- and high-school level. The writer of this thesis should ask, Which teenage girls? What constitutes too sexualized? Why are they behaving that way? Where does this behavior show up? What are the repercussions? Revised thesis: Sexual images in music videos condition teenage girls to believe that a womans worth depends on her sensuality. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 269 EXERCISE 3 In the rst section of Chapter 8, you determined your purpose for writing as well as your audience. You then completed a freewriting exercise about an event you recently experienced and chose a general topic to write about. Using that general topic, you then narrowed it down by answering the 5WH, the ve questions often asked by journalists: who, what, where, when, why, and how? After you answered these questions, you chose one of the three methods of prewriting and gathered possible supporting points for your working thesis statement. Now, on a separate sheet of paper, write down your working thesis statement. Identify any weaknesses in this sentence and revise the statement to reect the elements a strong thesis statement. Make sure it is specic, precise, arguable, demonstrable, forceful, and condent. Writing at Work In your career you may have to write a project proposal that focuses on a particular problem in your company, such as reinforcing the tardiness policy. The proposal would aim to x the problem; using a thesis statement would clearly state the boundaries of the problem and the goals of the project. After writing the proposal, you may nd that the thesis needs revision to reect exactly what is expressed in the body. Using the techniques, such as clarifying your ideas, will help you revise your thesis. KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Proper essays require a thesis statement to provide a specic focus and suggest how the essay will be organized. A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself. A strong thesis is specic, precise, forceful, condent, and demonstrable. A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence. A weak thesis is simply a declaration of your topic or contains an obvious fact that cannot be argued. Depending on your topic, it may or may not be appropriate to use rst person. Revise your thesis by ensuring all words are specic, all ideas are exact, and all verbs express action. 2. WRITING YOUR BODY PARAGRAPHS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Select primary support related to your thesis 2. Recognize how to support topic sentences more eectively If your thesis gives the reader a road map to your essay, then your body paragraphs should closely follow that map. The reader should be able to predict what follows your introductory paragraph by simply reading the thesis statement. The body paragraphs present the evidence you have gathered to conrm your thesis. Before you begin to support your thesis in the body, you must nd information from a variety of sources to support and give credit to what you are trying to prove. 2.1 Select Primary Support Related to Your Thesis Without primary support, your argument is not likely to be convincing. Primary support can be described as the major points you choose to expand on your thesis. It is the most important information you select to argue for your point of view. Each point you choose will be incorporated into the topic sentence for each body paragraph you write. Your primary supporting points are further supported by supporting details within the paragraphs. primary support The main points you use to support your thesis. 270 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip Remember that a worthy argument is backed by examples. To construct a valid argument, good writers conduct lots of background research and take careful notes. They also talk to people knowledgeable about a topic in order to understand its implications before writing about it. Identify the Characteristics of Good Primary Support To fulll the requirements of good primary support, the information you choose must be: Specic. The main points you make about your thesis and the examples you use to expand on those points need to be specic. Use specic examples to provide the evidence and to build upon your general ideas. These types of examples give your reader something narrow to focus on and, if used properly, they leave little doubt about your claim. General examples, while they convey the necessary information, are not nearly as compelling or useful in writing because they are too obvious and typical. Relevant to the thesis. Primary support is considered strong when it relates directly to the thesis. Primary support should show, explain, or prove your main argument without scattering into irrelevant details. When faced with lots of information that could be used to prove your thesis, you may think you need to include it all in your body. But eective writers resist the temptation to lose focus. Choose your examples wisely by making sure they directly connect to your thesis. Detailed. Remember that your thesis, while specic, is not supposed to be very detailed. The body paragraphs are where you develop the discussion that a thorough essay requires. Using detailed support shows your readers that you have considered all the facts and chosen only the most precise details to enhance your point of view. Prewrite to Identify Primary Supporting Points for a Thesis Statement Recall that when you prewrite you essentially make a list of examples or reasons why you support your stance. Stemming from each point, you further provide details to support those reasons. After prewriting, you are then able to look back at the information and choose the most compelling pieces you will use in your body paragraphs. EXERCISE 1 Choose one of the following working thesis statements and, on a separate sheet of paper, write for at least ve minutes using one of the prewriting techniques you learned in Chapter 8: freewriting, asking questions, brainstorming, idea mapping, and searching the Internet. Unleashed dogs on city streets are a dangerous nuisance. Students cheat for many dierent reasons. Drug use among teens and young adults is a problem. The most important change that should occur at my college or university is__________. Select the Most Effective Primary Supporting Points for a Thesis Statement After you have prewritten about your working thesis statement, you may have generated a lot of information, which may be edited out later. Remember that your primary support must be relevant to your thesis. Remind yourself of your main argument and delete any ideas that do not directly relate to it. Omitting unrelated ideas ensures that you will use only the most convincing information in your body. Choose at least three of only the most compelling points. These will serve at the topic sentences for your body paragraphs. EXERCISE 2 Refer to the previous exercise and select three of your most compelling reasons to support the thesis statement. Remember that the points you choose must be specic and relevant to the thesis. The statements you choose will be your primary support points, and you will later incorporate them into the topic sentences for the body paragraphs. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS When you support your thesis, you are revealing evidence. Evidence includes anything that can help support your stance. The following are the kinds of evidence you will encounter as you conduct your research. 1. Facts. Facts are the best kind of evidence to use because they often cannot be disputed. They can support your stance by providing background information on or a solid foundation for your point of view. However, some facts may still need explanation. For example, this sentenceThe most populated state in the U.S. is California.is a pure fact, but it may require some explanation to make it relevant to your specic argument. 2. Judgments. Judgments are conclusions drawn from the given facts. Judgments are more credible than opinions because they are founded upon careful reasoning and examination of a topic. 271 judgment A conclusion that is inferred from the facts of a matter. testimony Quotations from people involved in a matter. It lends authenticity to an argument. 3. Testimony. Testimony consists of direct quotations from either eyewitnesses or expert witnesses. An eyewitness is someone who has direct experience with a subject; he adds authenticity to an argument based on facts. An expert witness is a person who has extensive experience with a topic. She studies the facts and provides commentary based on either facts or judgments, or both. An expert witness adds authority and credibility to an argument. 4. Personal observation. Personal observation is similar to testimony but consists of your own testimony. It reects what you know to be true because you have experiences and have formed either opinions or judgments about them. For instance, if you are one of ve children and your thesis states that being part of a large family is benecial to a childs social development, you would use your own experience to support your thesis. Writing at Work In any job where you devise a plan, you will need to support the steps you lay out. This is an area in which you would incorporate primary support into your writing. Choosing only the most specic and relevant information to expand upon the steps will ensure that your plan appears well thought out and precise. scholarly journals Tip You can consult a vast pool of resources to gather support for your stance. Citing relevant information from reliable sources ensures that your reader will take you seriously and consider your assertions. Use any of the following for your essay: newspapers or news organization websites, magazines, encyclopedias, and/or scholarly journals, which are periodicals that address topics in a specialized eld. Periodicals that address topics in a specialized eld and are geared toward an audience with prior expertise in the eld. 2.2 Supporting Topic Sentences Each body paragraph contains a topic sentence that states one aspect of your thesis and then expands upon it. Like the thesis statement, each topic sentence should be specic and supported by concrete details, facts, or explanations. Each body paragraph should be composed of the following elements. Topic sentence + supporting details (examples, reasons, or arguments) As you read in Chapter 8, topic sentences indicate the location and understanding of the basic arguments of your essay. These sentences are vital to writing your body paragraphs because they always refer back to and support your thesis statement. Topic sentences are linked to the ideas you have introduced in your thesis, thus reminding readers what your essay is about. A paragraph without a clearly identied topic sentence may be unclear and scattered, just like an essay without a thesis statement. Tip Unless your teacher instructs otherwise, you should include at least three body paragraphs in your essay. A ve-paragraph essay, including the introduction and conclusion, is commonly the standard for exams and essay assignments. Consider the following the thesis statement: topic sentence The sentence in a paragraph that controls the point of the paragraph. It is most often located at the beginning of a paragraph, and makes the structure of a text and the writers basic argument easy to locate and comprehend. 272 WRITING FOR SUCCESS The following topic sentence is a primary support point for the thesis. The topic sentence states exactly what the controlling idea of the paragraph is. Later, you will see the writer immediately provide support for the sentence. EXERCISE 3 In Exercise 2, you chose three of your most convincing reasons to support the thesis statement you selected from the list. Take each point and incorporate it into a topic sentence for each body paragraph. Supporting point 1:__________ Topic sentence:__________ Supporting point 2:__________ Topic sentence:__________ Supporting point 3:__________ Topic sentence:__________ Draft Supporting Detail Sentences for Each Primary Support Sentence After deciding which primary support points you will use as your topic sentences, you must add details to clarify and demonstrate each of those points. These supporting details provide examples, facts or evidence that support the topic sentence. The writer drafts possible supporting detail sentences for each primary support sentence based on the thesis statement: CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS The following paragraph contains supporting detail sentences for the primary support sentence (the topic sentence), which is underlined. 273 274 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 4 Using the three topic sentences you composed for the thesis statement in Exercise 1, draft at least three supporting details for each point. Thesis statement:__________ Primary supporting point 1:__________ Supporting details:__________ Primary supporting point 2:__________ Supporting details:__________ Primary supporting point 3:__________ Supporting details:__________ Tip You have the option of writing your topic sentences in one of three ways: You can state it at the beginning of the body paragraph, in the middle of the paragraph, or at the end of the paragraph. An implied topic sentence occurs when the topic sentence does not appear at all. An implied topic sentence lets readers form the main idea for themselves. For beginning writers, however, it is best to not use implied topic sentences because it makes it harder to focus your writing. Your instructor may also want you to clearly identify your thesis. For more information on the placement of thesis statements and implied thesis statements, see Chapter 8. Tip Print out the rst draft of your essay and use a highlighter to mark your topic sentences in the body. Make sure they are clearly stated and accurately present your paragraph, as well as accurately reect your thesis. If your topic sentence contains information that does not exist in the rest of the paragraph, rewrite it to more accurately match the rest of the paragraph. KEY < < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Your body paragraphs should closely follow the path set forth by your thesis statement. Strong body paragraphs contain evidence that supports your thesis. Primary support is composed of the most important points you use to support your thesis. Strong primary support is specic, detailed, and relevant to the thesis. Prewriting helps you to determine your most compelling primary support. Evidence includes facts, judgments, testimony, and personal observation. Reliable sources may include newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books, encyclopedias, and rsthand testimony. Topic sentences present one point of your thesis statement while the information in the rest of the paragraph supports that point. A body paragraph is composed of a topic sentence plus supporting details. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 275 3. ORGANIZATION TECHNIQUES LEARNING 1. 2. 3. 4. OBJECTIVES Identify organization techniques that help writers and readers stay focused Assess the use of chronological order in organizing an essay Recognize the use of order of importance in organizing an essay Determine how to use spatial order to organize an essay correctly The method of organization you choose for your essay is just as important as its content. Without a clear organizational pattern, your reader could become confused and lose interest. The way you structure your essay helps your readers draw connections between the body and the thesis, and also keeps you focused as you plan and write the essay. Choosing your organizational pattern before you outline ensures that each body paragraph works to support and develop your thesis. This section covers three ways to organize body paragraphs: < < < Chronological order Order of importance Spatial order When you begin to draft your essay, your ideas may seem to ow from your mind in a seemingly random manner. Your readers, who bring to the table dierent backgrounds, viewpoints, and ideas, need you to clearly organize these ideas in order to help process and accept them. A solid organizational pattern gives your ideas a path that you can follow as you develop your draft. Knowing how you will organize your paragraphs allows you to better express and analyze your thoughts. Planning the structure of your essay before you choose supporting evidence helps you conduct more eective and targeted research. 3.1 Chronological Order In Chapter 8, you learned that the chronological arrangement is used: < < < < To explain the history of an event or a topic To tell a story or relate an experience To explain how to do or to make something To explain the steps in a process Chronological order is mostly used in expository writing, which is a form of writing that narrates, describes, informs, or explains a process. When you use chronological order, you arrange the events in the order they actually happened, or will happen if you are giving instructions. This method requires you to use words such as, rst, second, then, after that, later, and nally. These transition words guide you and your reader through the steps you take to expand your thesis. For example, if you are writing an essay about the history of the airline industry, you would begin with its conception and detail the essential timeline events up until present day. You would follow a chain of events using words such as rst, then, next, and so on. Writing at Work At some point in your career you may have to le a complaint with your human resources department. Using chronological order is a useful tool in describing the events that led up to your ling the grievance. You would logically lay out the events in the order they occurred using the key transition words. The more logical your complaint, the more likely you will be well received and helped. chronological order A method of organization that arranges ideas according to time. expository writing Writing that conveys facts or descriptions. 276 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 Choose an accomplishment you have achieved in your life. The achievement could be in sports, schooling, or extracurricular activities. On your own sheet of paper, use chronological order to list the steps you took to reach your goal. Try to be as specic as possible with the steps you took. Pay attention to transition words to focus your writing. Keep in mind that chronological order is most appropriate for: < < < Essays containing heavy research Essays with the aim of listing, explaining, or narrating Essays that analyze literary works such as poems, plays, or books Tip When using chronological order, your introduction should indicate what information you will cover and in what order, and should also establish the relevance of the information. Your body paragraphs should then provide clear divisions or steps in chronology. You can divide your paragraphs by time (such as decades, wars, or other historical events) or in the order of the event or work you are examining, such as a line-by-line explication of a poem. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, practice using chronological order by writing a paragraph that describes a process you are familiar with and can do well. Assume that your reader is unfamiliar with the procedure. Remember to use the chronological key words such as rst, second, then, and nally. 3.2 Order of Importance order of importance A method of organization that arranges ideas according to their signicance. Recall from Chapter 8 that order of importance is best used for: < < < Persuading and convincing Ranking items by their importance, benet, or signicance Illustrating a situation, problem, or solution Most essays move from the least to the most important point, and the paragraphs are arranged in an eort to build the essays strength. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to begin with your most important supporting point, such as in an essay that contains a thesis that is highly debatable. When writing a persuasive essay, it is best to begin with the most important point because it immediately captivates your readers and compels them to continue reading. For example, if you were supporting your thesis that homework is detrimental to the education of high school students, you would want to present your most convincing argument rst, and then move on to the less important points for your case. Some key transitional words you should use with this method of organization are most importantly, almost as importantly, just as importantly, and nally. Writing at Work During your career, you may be required to work on a team that devises a strategy for a specic goal of your company, such as increasing prots. When planning your strategy you should organize your steps in order of importance. This demonstrates the ability to prioritize and plan. Using the order of importance technique also shows that you can create a resolution with logical steps for accomplishing a common goal. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 277 EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph that discusses a passion of yours. Your passion could be music, a hobby, lmmaking, etc. Your paragraph should be built upon the reasons why you feel so strongly. Practice the order of importance organizational method by briey discussing your reasons in the order of least to greatest importance. Write at least 10 sentences. 3.3 Spatial Order As stated in Chapter 8, spatial order is best used for: < < < Helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it Evoking a scene using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound) Writing a descriptive essay Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a bedroom. As the writer, you create a picture for your reader, and their perspective is the viewpoint from which you describe what is around you. The view must move in an orderly, logical progression, giving the reader clear directional signals to follow from place to place. The key to using this method is to choose a specic starting point, and then guide the reader to follow your line of thought as it moves in an orderly trajectory from your starting point. Pay attention to the following students description of her bedroom and how she guides the reader through the viewing process, image by image. The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together. Possible transition words to include when using spatial order: < < < < < < < Just to the left Behind Between On the left/right Across from A little further down To the south spatial order A method of organization that arranges ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. 278 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < < A few yards away Turning left EXERCISE 4 On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph using spatial order that describes your commute to work, school, or another location you visit often. Write at least 10 sentences in your paragraph. KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS The way you organize your body paragraphs ensures you and your readers stay focused on, and draw connections to, your thesis statement. A strong organizational pattern allows you to articulate, analyze, and clarify your thoughts. Planning the organizational structure for your essay before you begin to search for supporting evidence helps you conduct more eective and directed research. Chronological order is most commonly used in expository writing. It is useful for explaining the history of your subject, for telling a story, or for explaining a process. Order of importance is most appropriate in a persuasion paper, as well as for essays in which you rank things, people, or events by their signicance. Spatial order describes things as they are arranged in space and is best for helping readers to visualize something as you want them to see it; it creates a dominant impression. 4. INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION PARAGRAPHS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize the importance of strong introductory and concluding paragraphs 2. Determine engaging introductory paragraphs with immediate impact 3. Identify eective conclusions for essays Picture your introduction as a storefront window: You have a certain amount of space to attract your customers (readers) to your goods (subject) and bring them inside your store (discussion). Once you have enticed them with something intriguing, you then point them in a specic direction and try to make the sale (convince them to accept your thesis). Your introduction is an invitation to your readers to rst consider what you have to say, and then follow your train of thought as you expand upon your thesis statement. First impressions are crucial and can leave lasting eects in your readers mind, which is why the introduction is so important to your essay. If your introductory paragraph is dull or disjointed, your reader probably will not have much interest in continuing with the essay. tone The writers attitude toward the subject and audience. An introduction serves the following purposes: 1. To establish your voice and tone, or your attitude toward the subject 2. To introduce the general topic of the essay 3. To state your thesis to be supported in the body paragraphs CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 279 4.1 Methods of Attracting Interest in Your Introductory Paragraph Your introduction should begin with an engaging statement devised to provoke your readers interest. In the next few sentences, you introduce them to your topic by stating general facts or ideas about the subject. As you move deeper into your introduction, you gradually narrow the focus, moving closer to your thesis. Moving smoothly and logically from introductory remarks to your thesis statement can be described using a funnel technique, as illustrated in the diagram below: funnel technique A writing device that begins with a broad statement and then gradually moves toward the heart of the matter. FIGURE 9.1 Funnel Technique EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, generate and record three broad general statements about the topic for which you formed a thesis in Section 1. Immediately capturing your readers interest increases the chances of having them read what you are about to discuss. You can create interest and curiosity for your essay in a number of ways. Try to get your readers personally involved by doing any of the following: Appealing to their emotions Using logic < Beginning with a provocative question or opinion, one that provokes or stimulates the reader < Opening with a startling statistic or surprising fact < Raising a question or series of questions < Presenting an explanation or rationalization for your essay < Opening with a relevant quotation or incident < personal anecdote < A brief narrative that details something the writer has experienced. 280 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < Opening with a striking, written image < Including a personal anecdote, or a brief narrative detailing something you have experienced diction Word choice. Tip Remember that your diction, or word choice, while always important, is most crucial in your introductory paragraph. Boring diction could extinguish any desire a person might have to read through your discussion. Choose words that create written images or express action. For more information on word choice, see Chapter 4. In Chapter 8, you followed Mariah as she moved through the writing process. In this chapter, Mariah writes her introduction and conclusion to the same essay. Mariah incorporates some of the introductory elements into her introductory paragraph, which she previously outlined in Chapter 8. Her thesis statement is underlined. Tip If you have trouble coming up with a provocative statement for your opening, it is a good idea to use a relevant, attention-grabbing quote about your topic. Writing at Work In your job eld, you may be required to write a speech for an event, such as an awards banquet or a dedication ceremony. The introduction to a speech is similar to an essay, because you have a limited amount of space to attract your audiences attention. Using the same techniques, such as a provocative quote or an interesting statistic, is an eective way to engage your listeners. Using the funnel approach also introduces your audience to your topic and then presents your main idea in a logical manner. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 281 EXERCISE 2 Reread each sentence in Mariahs introductory paragraph. For each sentence, indicate which techniques she used to attract her readers interest. (1)Play Atari on a General Electric brand television set? (2) Maybe watch Dynasty? (3) Or read old newspaper articles on microche at the library? (4) Twenty-ve years ago, the average college student did not have many options when it came to entertainment in the form of technology. (5) Fast forward to the 21st century, and the digital age has revolutionized the way people entertain themselves. (6) In todays rapidly evolving world of digital technology, consumers are bombarded with endless options for how they do most everythingfrom buying and reading books to taking and developing photographs. (7) In a society that is obsessed with digital means of entertainment, it is easy for the average person to become baed. (8) Everyone wants the newest and best digital technology, but the choices are many and the specications are often confusing. Sentences 1, 2, and 3: raising a question or series of questions. Sentence 4: opening with a startling statistic or surprising fact. Sentence 5: using logic. Sentence 6: opening with a striking written image. Sentence 7: appealing to audience emotions. Sentence 8: presenting an explanation or rationalization for the essay. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 6 at the end of this chapter. 4.2 Writing a Conclusion It is not unusual to want to rush when you approach your conclusion, and even experienced writers may fade. But what good writers remember is that it is vital to put just as much attention into the conclusion as in the rest of the essay. After all, a hasty ending can undermine an otherwise strong essay. A conclusion that does not correspond to the rest of your essay, has loose ends, or is unorganized can unsettle your readers and raise doubts about the entire essay. However, if you have worked hard to write the introduction and body, your conclusion can often be the most logical part to compose. The Anatomy of a Strong Conclusion Keep in mind that the ideas in your conclusion must conform to the rest of your essay. To tie these components together, restate your thesis at the beginning or end of your conclusion. This helps you assemble, in an orderly fashion, all the information you have explained in the body. Repeating your thesis reminds your readers of the major arguments you have been trying to prove and also indicates that your essay is drawing to a close. A strong conclusion also reviews your main points and emphasizes the importance of the topic. The construction of the conclusion is similar to the introduction, in which you make general introductory statements and then present your thesis. The dierence is that, in the conclusion, you rst paraphrase, or state in dierent words your thesis, and then follow up with general concluding remarks. These sentences should progressively broaden the focus of your thesis and maneuver your readers out of the essay. Many writers like to end their essays with a nal emphatic, or forceful, statement. This strong closing statement will cause your readers to continue thinking about the implications of your essay; it will make your conclusion, and thus your essay, more memorable. Another powerful technique is to challenge your readers to make a change in either thought or action. Challenging your readers to see the subject through new eyes is a powerful way to ease you and your readers out of the essay. Read the following example of an emphatic statement in a conclusion: Because unleashed dogs impede trac, pester bicyclists and pedestrians, and wreck lawns and gardens, they endanger not only our neighbors but our denition of neighborhood. Keep our American neighborhood ideals intact by urging your community and law enforcement to enforce the leash laws. Tip When closing your essay, do not expressly state that you are drawing to a close. Relying on statements such as In conclusion, It is clear that, As you can see, or In summation is unnecessary and can be considered trite. paraphrase To restate ideas or information from sources using ones own words and sentence structures. 282 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip It is wise to avoid doing any of the following in your conclusion. < < < < Introducing new material Contradicting your thesis Changing your thesis Using apologies or disclaimers Introducing new material in your conclusion has an unsettling eect on your reader. When you raise new points, you make your reader want more information, which you could not possibly provide in the limited space of your nal paragraph. Contradicting or changing your thesis statement causes your readers to think that you do not actually have a conviction about your topic. After all, you have spent several paragraphs adhering to a singular point of view. When you change sides or open up your point of view in the conclusion, your reader becomes less inclined to believe your original argument. By apologizing for your opinion or stating that you know it is tough to digest, you are in fact admitting that even you know what you have discussed is irrelevant or unconvincing. You do not want your readers to feel this way. Eective writers stand by their thesis statement and do not stray from it. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of a paper, complete the following: < < < < Restate your thesis from Exercise 1 of Section 1 Make some general concluding remarks Then compose a nal emphatic statement Finally, incorporate what you have written into a strong conclusion paragraph for your essay. Mariah incorporates some of these pointers into her conclusion. She has paraphrased her thesis statement in the rst sentence. Tip Make sure your essay is balanced by not having an excessively long or short introduction or conclusion. Check that they match each other in length as closely as possible and try to mirror the formula you used in each. Parallelism, using the same grammatical structure to express equal ideas in a sentence, strengthens the message of your essay. CHAPTER 9 WRITING ESSAYS 283 Writing at Work On the job you will sometimes give oral presentations based on research you have conducted. A concluding statement to an oral report contains the same elements as a written conclusion. You should wrap up your presentation by restating the purpose of the presentation, reviewing its main points and emphasizing the importance of the material you presented. A strong conclusion will leave a lasting impression on your audience. KEY < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS A strong opening captures your readers interest and introduces them to your topic before you present your thesis statement. An introduction should restate your thesis, review your main points, and emphasize the importance of the topic. The funnel technique to writing the introduction begins with generalities and gradually narrows your focus until you present your thesis. A good introduction engages peoples emotions or logic; questions or explains the subject; or provides a striking image or quotation. Carefully chosen diction in both the introduction and conclusion prevents any confusing or boring ideas. A conclusion that does not connect to the rest of the essay can diminish the eect of your paper. The conclusion should remain true to your thesis statement. It is best to avoid changing your tone or your main idea, or introducing any new material. Closing with a nal emphatic statement provides closure for your readers and makes your essay more memorable. 5. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. On a separate sheet of paper, choose an example of a proper thesis statement from this chapter (one that interests you) and form three supporting points for that statement. After you have selected your three reasons, write a topic sentence for each body paragraph. Make sure that your topic sentences can be backed up with examples and details. II. Choose one of the topics from Exercise 1 in Section 1 of this chapter and form a thesis statement based on your perspective on the topic, as well as your reasons. On a separate sheet of a paper, write an introduction for an essay based on the thesis statement using the techniques for introductory paragraphs that you learned in this chapter. III. Open a magazine and read a lengthy article. See if you can pinpoint the thesis statement as well as the topic sentence for each paragraph and its supporting details. 6. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: 1. Weak: It only declares the subject or a description of the subject; Ferrets make better pets than the average dog and cat because ferrets are low maintenance, easy to train, and entertaining. 2. Strong 3. Weak: It contains an obvious, indisputable fact and leads to a dead end; Edgar Allan Poe, a 19th century poet who lived in Baltimore, was the best of his time because of his poems mysterious and macabre themes. 4. Weak: It contains unnecessary language (in this essay and I will give you lots) and tries to cover too much information; Slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore because their legalization will increase crime and poverty. 5. Strong 6. Strong 7. Weak; It contains the phrase I believe; My experience with young children has taught me that disciplinary parenting is most eective. 284 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Section 4 Exercise 2 Answers: Sentences 1, 2, and 3: raising a question or series of questions. Sentence 4: opening with a startling statistic or surprising fact. Sentence 5: using logic. Sentence 6: opening with a striking written image. Sentence 7: appealing to audience emotions. Sentence 8: presenting an explanation or rationalization for the essay. CHAPTER 10 Rhetorical Modes 1. NARRATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of narrative writing 2. Recognize how to write a narrative essay Rhetorical modes simply mean the ways in which we can eectively communicate through language. This chapter covers nine common rhetorical modes. As you read about these nine modes, keep in mind that the rhetorical mode a writer chooses depends on his or her purpose for writing. Sometimes writers incorporate a variety of modes in one essay. In covering the nine rhetorical modes, this chapter also emphasizes these as a set of tools that will allow you greater exibility and eectiveness in communicating with your audience and expressing your ideas. rhetorical modes The ways in which we eectively communicate through language. 1.1 The Purpose of Narrative Writing Narration means the art of storytelling, and the purpose of narrative writing is to tell stories. Any time you tell a story to a friend or family member about an event or incident in your day, you engage in a form of narration. In addition, a narrative can be factual or ctional. A factual story is one that is based on, and tries to be faithful to, actual events as they unfolded in real life. A ctional story is a made-up, or imagined, story; the writer of a ctional story can create characters and events as he or she sees t. However, the big distinction between factual and ctional narratives is based on a writers purpose. The writers of factual stories try to recount events as they actually happened, but writers of ctional stories depart from real people and events, because the writers intents are not to retell a real-life event. Biographies and memoirs are examples of factual stories, whereas novels and short stories are examples of ctional stories. Tip Because the line between fact and ction often blurs, it is helpful to understand what your purpose is from the beginning. Is it important for you to recount history exactly? Or does your interest lie in reshaping the world in your own imagehow you would like to see it or how you imagine it could be? Your answers will go a long way in shaping the stories you tell. Ultimately, whether the story is fact or ction, narrative writing tries to relay a series of events in an emotionally engaging way. You want your audience to be moved by your story, which could mean through laughter, sympathy, fear, anger, and so on. The more clearly you tell your story, the more emotionally engaged your audience will be. narrative writing The art of telling stories. factual story A story based onand that tries to be faithful toevents as they happened in real life. ctional story A made-up, or imagined, story. 286 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, start brainstorming ideas for a narrative. First, decide whether you want to write a factual or ctional story. Then, freewrite for ve minutes. Be sure to use all ve minutes, and keep writing the entire time. Do not stop and think about what to write. Some topics to consider as you get going: Childhood School Adventure Work Family Friends Vacation Love Nature Space 1.2 The Structure of a Narrative Essay chronological order A method of organization that arranges ideas according to time. plot summary A paragraph or outline that describes only the main events that drive the story forward. Major narrative events are most often conveyed in chronological order, the order in which events unfold, from rst to last. Stories typically have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and these events are typically organized by time. A plot summary can help you create a chronological, structural outline for your narrative essay. Rather than describing all events in intricate detail, a plot summary describes only the main events that drive the story forward. The more specic details about the plot, characters, conict, and theme can be developed as you draft the narrative. The summary may take the shape of bulleted points or a brief paragraph. Certain transitional words and phrases help keep the reader oriented in the sequencing of a story. Some of these phrases are listed in Table 10.1. For more information about chronological order, see Chapter 8 and Chapter 9. TABLE 10.1 Time Transition Words and Phrases After/Afterward Meanwhile Still As soon as Next Then At last Now Until Before Since When/Whenever Currently Soon While During Finally First, second, third Eventually Later Read the following example sentences from the narrative essay in Chapter 15: < < < < Full of anxiety, I rst set out to read Camus essay several times to make sure I really knew what was it was about. I did my best to take careful notes. Yet, even after I took all these notes and knew the essay inside and out, I still did not know the right answer. Next, when I sat down to write, the words just did not come to me. Then, a week or two later, came judgment day. The professor gave our papers back to us with grades and comments Each sentence, taken from dierent paragraphs of the essay, contains a vital transition word. These words show the chronological order of the narrative. Other basic components of a narrative are: CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 287 plot: the events as they unfold in sequence < characters: the people who inhabit the story and move it forward. Typically, there are minor < characters and main characters. The minor characters generally play supporting roles to the main character, or the protagonist < conict: the primary problem or obstacle that unfolds in the plot that the protagonist must solve or overcome by the end of the narrative. The way in which the protagonist resolves the conict of the plot results in the theme of the narrative. < theme: the ultimate message the narrative is trying to express; it can be either explicit or implicit. Read the following excerpt from the narrative essay My College Education in Chapter 15: plot The events as they unfold in sequence. characters The people who inhabit the story and move it forward. protagonist The main character of a narrative. conict I entered college intending to earn a degree in engineering. I always liked the way mathematics had right and wrong answers. I understood the logic and was very good at it. So, when I received my rst philosophy assignment that asked me to write my interpretation of the Camus essay, I was instantly confused. What is the right way to do this assignment, I wondered? I was nervous about writing an incorrect interpretation and did not want to get my rst assignment wrong. Even more troubling was that the professor refused to give us any guidelines on what he was looking for; he gave us total freedom. He simply said, I want to see what you come up with. The primary problem or obstacle that unfolds in the plot that the protagonist must resolve. theme The ultimate message a narrative is trying to express; it can be either explicit or implicit. This paragraph introduces all the basic components of the narrative. Readers learn that the plot will follow the speakers conict: completing a challenging and open-ended philosophy assignment. The characters are the speaker and the professor. Readers can also predict themes based on early introductions of plot, conict, and characters. For example, this essays theme may focus on gaining knowledge through independent research and inquiry. To read the entire narrative essay, see Chapter 15, Section 2. Writing at Work When interviewing candidates for jobs, employers often ask about conicts or problems a potential employee has had to overcome. They are asking for a compelling personal narrative. To prepare for this question in a job interview, write out a scenario in the narrative mode structure. This will allow you to troubleshoot rough spots, as well as better understand your own personal history. Both processes will make your story better and your self-presentation better as well. EXERCISE 2 Take your freewriting exercise from the last section and start crafting it chronologically into a rough plot summary. To read more about summary, see Chapter 6. Be sure to use the time transition words and phrases listed in Table 10.1 to sequence the events. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 11 at the end of this chapter. 288 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 1.3 Writing a Narrative Essay When writing a narrative essay, start by asking yourself if you want to write a factual or ctional story. Then freewrite about topics that are of general interest to you. For more information about freewriting, see Chapter 8. Once you have a plot summary, you can further develop the major events of the story that will comprise your plot. Typically these events will be revealed chronologically and climax at a central conict that must be resolved by the end of the story. The use of strong details is crucial as you describe the events and characters in your narrative. You want the reader to emotionally engage with the world that you create in writing. Read the following example from the narrative essay in Chapter 15. As you read each sentence, note the use of strong details. I remember feeling simultaneously afraid and eager to get the paper back in my hands. The simultaneous feelings of fear and anxiety evoke strong emotions. The speaker balances these abstract details with the concrete details of the paper and his hands. Both descriptions connect the reader to the speakers world. Tip To create strong details, keep the human senses in mind. You want your reader to be immersed in the world that you create, so focus on details related to sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch as you describe people, places, and events in your narrative. As always, it is important to start with a strong introduction to hook your reader into wanting to read more. Try opening the essay with an event that is interesting to introduce the story and get it going. Strong example: The rst class I went to in college was philosophy, and it changed my life forever. Weak example: I entered college intending to earn a degree in engineering. Strong example: I could not know that on the rst day of college, I would nd my true calling in life. Weak example: My philosophy class interested me. Strong example: On my rst day of philosophy class, I gripped my pencil in hand and began writing notes for the most important assignment of my life. Weak example: The rst paper in philosophy class was about Albert Camus. Each strong example introduces the story in a way that creates curiosity in the minds of the readers. How did this class change the speakers life? The profound question ushers readers into an interesting story and urges them to keep reading. If these strong examples interest you, you can read the whole narrative essay in Chapter 15. Finally, your conclusion should help resolve the central conict of the story, as well as impress upon your reader the ultimate theme of the piece. See Chapter 15 to read a sample narrative essay. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, add two or three paragraphs to the plot summary you started in the last section. Describe in detail the main character and the setting of the rst scene. Try to use all ve of your senses in your descriptions. Narration Essay Structural Components < < < < < Engaging introduction The beginning, middle, and end of a story Chronological order organizing method Body paragraphs that include plot, characters, conict, and themes Time transition words and phrases CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 289 KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Narration is the art of storytelling. Narratives can be either factual or ctional. In either case, narratives should emotionally engage the reader. Most narratives are composed of major events sequenced in chronological order. Time transition words and phrases are used to orient the reader in the sequence of a narrative. The four basic components to all narratives are plot, character, conict, and theme. The use of sensory details is crucial to emotionally engaging the reader. A strong introduction is important to hook the reader. A strong conclusion should add resolution to the conict and evoke the narratives theme. 2. ILLUSTRATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of the illustration essay 2. Recognize how to write an illustration essay 2.1 The Purpose of Illustration in Writing To illustrate means to show or demonstrate something clearly. An eective illustration essay clearly demonstrates and supports a point through the use of evidence. As you learned in Chapter 9, the controlling idea of an essay is called a thesis. A writer can use dierent types of evidence to support his or her thesis. Scientic studies, experts in a particular eld, statistics, historical events, current events, analogies, and personal anecdotes are all ways a writer can illustrate a thesis. Ultimately, you want the evidence to help the reader see your point, as one would see a good illustration in a magazine or on a website. The stronger your evidence is, the more clearly your reader will consider your point. Read the following thesis from the illustration essay Letter to the City in Chapter 15: The intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street is dangerous and demands immediate consideration for the installation of a controlling mechanism. This thesis eectively articulates the controlling idea of the essay while also suggesting the types of evidence the writer will use to support his or her thesis. The writers rst point expresses the danger of the intersection. To support this point, the writer will likely rely on statistics, experts, and personal anecdotes. To read how the writer eectively uses these types of evidence, see Chapter 15, Section 3. Using evidence eectively can be challenging, however. The evidence you choose will usually depend on your subject and who your reader is (your audience). When writing an illustration essay, try keep in mind the following: Use evidence that is appropriate to your topic as well as appropriate for your audience. Assess how much evidence you need to adequately explain your point depending on the complexity of the subject and the knowledge of your audience regarding that subject. < < For example, if you were writing about new communication software and your audience was a group of English major undergrads, you might want to use an analogy or a personal story to illustrate how the software worked. You might also choose to add a few more pieces of evidence to make sure the audience understands your point. However, if you were writing about the same subject and your audience was information technology (IT) specialists, you would likely use more technical evidence, because they would be familiar with the subject. Keeping in mind your subject in relation to your audience will increase your chances of eectively illustrating your point. illustration essay An essay that clearly demonstrates and supports a point through the use of evidence. thesis A sentence that presents the controlling idea of an essay. A thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states the writers point of view 290 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip You never want to insult your readers intelligence by overexplaining concepts the audience members may already be familiar with, but it may be necessary to clearly articulate your point. When in doubt, add the extra example to illustrate your idea. EXERCISE 1 On a separate piece of paper, form a thesis based on each of the three topics listed below. Then list the types of evidence that would best explain your point for each of the two audiences. 1. Topic: Combat and mental health Audience: family members of veterans, doctors 2. Topic: Video games and teen violence Audience: parents, children 3. Topic: Architecture and earthquakes Audience: engineers, local townspeople 2.2 The Structure of an Illustration Essay order of importance A method of organization that arranges ideas according to their signicance The controlling idea, or thesis, belongs at the beginning of the essay. Evidence is then presented in the essays body paragraphs to support the thesis. You can start supporting your main point with your strongest evidence rst, or you can start with evidence of lesser importance and have the essay build to increasingly stronger evidence. You learned about this type of organizationorder of importancein Chapter 8 and Chapter 9. The time transition words listed in Table 10.1 are also helpful in ordering the presentation of evidence. Words like rst, second, third, currently, next, and nally all help orient the reader and sequence evidence clearly. Because an illustration essay uses so many examples, it is also helpful to have a list of words and phrases to present each piece of evidence. Table 10.2 provides a list of phrases for illustration. TABLE 10.2 Phrases of Illustration Case in point In this case For example One example/Another example For instance Specically In particular To illustrate The writer of the illustration essay Letter to the City in Chapter 15 relies on the phrase for example in the following sentence: For example, when I try to cross Central Avenue as a pedestrian, I frequently wait over 10 minutes for the cars to clear, and even then I must rush to the median. Tip Vary the phrases of illustration you use. Do not rely on just one. Variety in choice of words and phrasing is critical when trying to keep readers engaged in your writing and your ideas. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 291 Writing at Work While in the workplace, keep the phrases of illustration in mind. Whether you are writing out directives that colleagues will have to follow or requesting a new product or service from another company, making a conscious eort to incorporate a phrase of illustration will force you to provide examples of what you mean. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, form a thesis based on one of the following topics. Then support that thesis with three pieces of evidence. Make sure you use a dierent phrase of illustration to introduce each piece of evidence you choose. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Cooking Baseball Work hours Exercise Trac 2.3 Writing an Illustration Essay First, decide on a topic you feel interested in writing about. Then create an interesting introduction to engage the reader. The main point, or thesis, should be stated at the end of the introduction. Gather evidence that is appropriate to both your subject and your audience. You can order the evidence in terms of importance, either from least important to most important or from most important to least important. Be sure to fully explain all of your examples using strong, clear supporting details. See Chapter 15, Section 3 to read the entire sample illustration essay. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, write a ve-paragraph illustration essay. You can choose one of the topics from exercise 1 or 2, or you can choose your own. Illustration Essay Structural Components < < < < < < Introduction and thesis Strong evidence Order of importance organizing method Phrases of illustration Time transition words Compelling conclusion KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS An illustration essay clearly explains a main point using evidence. When choosing evidence, always gauge whether the evidence is appropriate for the subject as well as the audience. Organize the evidence in terms of importance, either from least important to most important or from most important to least important. Use time transitions to order evidence. Use phrases of illustration to call out examples. 292 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 3. DESCRIPTION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of the description essay 2. Recognize how to write a description essay 3.1 The Purpose of Description in Writing sensory details Descriptions that appeal to our senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Writers use description in writing to make sure their audience is fully immersed in the words on the page. This requires a concerted eort by the writer to describe his or her world through the use of sensory details. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, sensory details are descriptions that appeal to our senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Your descriptions should try to focus on the ve senses because we rely on these senses to experience the world. The use of sensory details, then, provides you the greatest possibility of relating to your audience and thus engaging them in your writing, making descriptive writing important not only during your education but also during everyday situations. Tip Avoid empty descriptors if possible. Empty descriptors are adjectives that can mean dierent things to dierent people. Good, beautiful, terric, and nice are examples. The use of such words in descriptions can lead to misreads and confusion. A good day, for instance, can mean far dierent things depending on ones age, personality, or tastes. Writing at Work Whether you are presenting a new product or service to a client, training new employees, or brainstorming ideas with colleagues, the use of clear, evocative detail is crucial. Make an eort to use details that express your thoughts in ways that will register with others. Sharp, concise details are always impressive. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, describe the following ve items in a short paragraph. Use at least three of the ve senses for each. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Night Beach City Dinner Stranger 3.2 The Structure of a Description Essay description essays Essays that typically describe a person, a place, or an object using sensory details. Description essays typically describe a person, place, or object using sensory details. The structure of a descriptive essay is more exible than in some of the other rhetorical modes. The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writers overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 293 The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. Depending on what the writer describes, the organization could move from top to bottom, or left to right, or near to far, warm to cold, frightening to inviting, etc. For example, if the subject were a clients kitchen in the midst of being renovated, you might start at one side of the room and move slowly across to the other end, describing appliances, cabinetry, etc. Or you might choose to start with older remnants of the kitchen and progress to the new installations. Maybe start with the oor and move up toward the ceiling. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, write a short paragraph for three of the following ve items. Use spatial order to organize the paragraph. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Train station Your oce Your car Coee shop Lobby of a movie theater 3.3 Writing a Description Essay Choosing a subject is the rst step in writing a description essay. Once you have chosen the person, place, or object you want to describe, you then have to gure out your overall impression, which will serve as the thesis of your essay. Even if your instructor has chosen your subject, you must reect on the subject to articulate your overall impression in the thesis. The remainder of your essay is spent describing your subject in a way that best expresses your thesis. Remember, you should have a strong sense of how you will organize your essay. Choose a strategy and stick to it. Every part of your essay should be lled with vivid sensory details. The more you can appeal to your readers senses, the more they will be engaged in your essay. Read the following example sentences from the description essay Americas Pastime in Chapter 15. Note the use of the senses in each sentence. Sound: First, the entrance turnstiles click and clank, and then a hallway of noise bombards me. Smell: The smell of hot dogs carries through the park, down every aisle, and inside every concourse. Touch: The [hot dogs] are always as unhealthy as possible, dripping in grease, while the buns are soft and always too small for the dog. Taste: I quickly eat my juicy hot dog and wash it down with what is left of my soda pop. Sight: While singing the song, putting my arms around friends and family with me, I watch all of the players taking the eld. It is wonderful to see the overwhelming amount of players on one team from around the world: Japan, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, and Venezuela. See Chapter 15 to read the entire description essay. EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, choose one of the topics that you started in Exercise 2 and try to expand it into a ve-paragraph essay. Expanding on ideas in greater detail can be dicult. Sometimes it is helpful to look closely at each of the sentences in a summary paragraph. Those sentences can often serve as topic sentences to larger paragraphs. Description Essay Structural Components < < < Overall impression of the subject Spatial order organizing method Vivid sensory details spatial order A method of organization that arranges ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. 294 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Description essays should describe something vividly to the reader using strong sensory details. Sensory details appeal to the ve human senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. A description essay should start with the writers main impression of a person, a place, or an object. Use spatial order to organize your descriptive writing. 4. CLASSIFICATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of the classication essay 2. Recognize how to write a classication essay 4.1 The Purpose of Classification in Writing classication To break a subject down into smaller, more manageable, more specic parts. The purpose of classication is to break broad subjects down into smaller, more manageable, and more specic parts. We classify things in our daily lives all the time, often without even thinking about it. Cell phones, for example, have now become part of a broad category. They can be classied as feature phones, media phones, and smartphones. Smaller categories, and the way in which these categories are created, help us make sense of the world. Keep both of these elements in mind when writing a classication essay. Tip Choose topics you know well when writing classication essays. The more you know about a topic, the more you can break it down into smaller, more interesting parts. Adding interest and insight will enhance your classication essays. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, break the following categories down into smaller classications. 1. 2. 3. 4. The United States Colleges and universities Beverages Fashion 4.2 The Structure of a Classification Essay The classication essay opens with an introductory paragraph that introduces the broader topic. The thesis should then explain how that topic is divided into subgroups and why. Take the following introductory paragraph, for example: When people think of New York, they often think of only New York City. But New York is actually a diverse state with a full range of activities to do, sights to see, and cultures to explore. In order to better understand the diversity of New York state, it is helpful to break it down into ve separate regions: Long Island, New York City, Western New York, Central New York, and Northern New York. The underlined thesis explains not only the category and subcategory but also the rationale for breaking it into those categories. Through this classication essay, the writer hopes to show his or her readers a dierent way of considering the state. Each body paragraph of a classication essay is dedicated to fully illustrating each of the subcategories. In the example above, then, each region of New York would have its own paragraph. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 295 The conclusion should bring all the categories and subcategories back together again to show the reader the big picture. In the example above, the conclusion might explain how the various sights and activities of each region of New York add to its diversity and complexity. Tip To avoid settling for an overly simplistic classication, make sure you break down any given topic at least three dierent ways. This will help you to think originally and perhaps even learn something entirely new about a subject. EXERCISE 2 Using your classications from Exercise 1, write a brief paragraph explaining why you chose to organize each main category in the way you did. 4.3 Writing a Classification Essay Start with an engaging opening that will adequately introduce the general topic that you will be dividing into smaller subcategories. Your thesis should come at the end of your introduction. It should include the topic, your subtopics, and the reason you are breaking the topic down in the way that you are. Thesis statements often depend on the audience and the purpose for writing. When writing to classify, a thesis typically contains three elements: Topic + Subtopics + Rationale for the subtopics Read the following thesis from the classication essay Types of Higher Education Programs in Chapter 15: With all the dierent options to consider, potential students should learn about the dierent types of colleges so they can nd a school that best ts their personality, budget, and educational goals. In this thesis, the writer clearly communicates the topic: potential students selections of college campuses and programs. The writer continues to articulate the subtopics by identifying the options students must consider: their personality, budget, and educational goals. The writer also states the reason, or rationale, for these considerations: Potential students must learn about colleges in order to make the best selection. This thesis not only introduces the points contained within the classication essay but also dictates the organization of the body paragraphs. The organizing strategy of a classication essay is dictated by the initial topic and subsequent subtopics. Each body paragraph is dedicated to fully illustrating each of the subtopics. In a way, coming up with a strong topic pays double rewards in a classication essay; not only do you have a good topic but you also have a solid organizational structure within which to write. In the classication essay Types of Higher Education Programs, for example, the writer dedicates the rst body paragraph to the topic of liberal arts, one of the college programs potential students must learn about. The paragraph then illustrates the three subtopicspersonality, budget, and goalsthat accompany a liberal arts program. As you read the following body paragraph from Types of Higher Education Programs, pay attention to the use of details and examples. 296 WRITING FOR SUCCESS One type of higher-education program for students to consider is a liberal arts college. These schools tend to be small in size and oer a range of undergraduate degrees in subjects like English, history, psychology, and education. Students may choose a liberal arts college if they want a more intimate classroom setting rather than large lecture-style classes. Students may also consider a liberal arts college if they want to gain knowledge from a variety of disciplines, rather than focusing on a single area of study. Many liberal arts schools are privately owned, and some have religious aliations. Liberal arts schools can come with a hefty price tag, and their high cost presents an obstacle for students on a tight budget; moreover, while some students might appreciate a liberal arts schools intimate atmosphere, others might encounter a lack of diversity in the student body. Still, students seeking a well-rounded education in the humanities will nd liberal arts colleges to be one option. As you compose your own classication essay, be sure you use strong details and explanations for each subcategory paragraph that help explain and support your thesis. Also be sure to give examples to illustrate your points. Finally, write a conclusion that links all the subgroups together again. The conclusion should successfully wrap up your essay by connecting it to your initial topic introduced in the introduction. See Chapter 15 to read the entire classication essay and its conclusion. EXERCISE 3 Building on exercises 1 and 2, write a ve-paragraph classication essay about one of the four original topics. Include the topic, subtopics, and rationale for your breakdown in your thesis, and make sure your essay is organized into paragraphs that each describes a subtopic. Classification Essay Structural Components < < < < < Introduction Thesis that contains the topic, subtopic, and rationale Body paragraphs that illustrate each subcategory Strong details, explanations, and examples A conclusion to connect all subcategories with the topic KEY < < < TAKEAWAYS The purpose of classication is to break a subject down into smaller, more manageable, more specic parts. Smaller subcategories help us make sense of the world, and the way in which these subcategories are created also helps us make sense of the world. A classication essay is organized by its subcategories. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 297 5. PROCESS ANALYSIS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of the process analysis essay 2. Recognize how to write a process analysis essay 5.1 The Purpose of Process Analysis in Writing The purpose of a process analysis essay is to explain: < < process analysis essay how to do something how something works In either case, the formula for a process analysis essay remains the same: The process is articulated into clear, denitive steps. Almost everything we do involves following a step-by-step process. From riding a bike as children to learning various jobs as adults, we initially needed instructions to eectively execute the task. Likewise, we have likely had to instruct others, so we know how important good directions areand how frustrating it is when they are poorly put together. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, make a bulleted list of all the steps that you feel would be required to clearly illustrate three of the ve processes below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Tying a shoelace Parallel parking Planning a successful rst date Being an eective communicator Preparing a sandwich 5.2 The Structure of a Process Analysis Essay The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the goal of the process. Read the following introduction from the process analysis essay How to Grow Tomatoes from a Seedling in Chapter 15: Growing tomatoes is a simple and rewarding task, and more people should be growing them. This essay walks readers through the main steps for growing and maintaining the patio tomatoes from a seedling. Although brief, this introduction introduces readers to the process and the goal of the process. After reading the essay, the audience should be able to start with a seedling and grow and maintain patio tomato plants. The introduction also expresses the simplicity and rewards associated with completing the process. The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows chronological order. The steps of the process are conveyed in the order in which they usually occur. Body paragraphs will be constructed based on these steps. On one hand, if a particular step is complicated and needs a lot of explaining, then it will likely take up a paragraph on its own. On the other hand, if a series of simple steps is easier to understand, then the steps can be grouped into a single paragraph. An essay that explains how to do something and/or how something works. 298 WRITING FOR SUCCESS The time transition phrases covered in the Narration and Illustration sections are also helpful in organizing process analysis essays (see Table 10.1). Words such as rst, second, third, next, and nally are helpful cues to orient reader and organize the content of essay. To follow the chronological order of How to Grow Tomatoes from a Seedling read each of the rst sentences from the essays body paragraphs. The study of these sentences shows how the writer organized the body paragraphs, and the entire essay, based on the steps in the process. Body Paragraph 1: The rst step in growing tomatoes is determining if you have the appropriate available space and sunlight to grow them. Body Paragraph 2: Next, you need to nd the right seedling. Body Paragraph 3: Once you have found the right seedlings to plant back home, you need to next nd the best way of planting them. [The very next sentence identies the writers recommendation for planting:I recommend that you plant your tomatoes in containers.] Body Paragraph 4: In addition to the container, you also need the appropriate soil mixture and draining mechanisms. Body Paragraph 5: Once you have the gravel in the bottom of the container and the soil on top, you are ready to transplant the tomato. Body Paragraph 6: Next, carve out a hole in the soil to make space for the plant. Body Paragraph 7: Once the mulch is laid, you are mostly done. The rest is all watering, waiting, and maintenance. To read the entire process analysis essay, see Chapter 15, Section 6. Tip Always have someone else read your process analysis to make sure it makes sense. Once we get too close to a subject, it is dicult to determine how clearly an idea is coming across. Having a friend or coworker read it over will serve as a good way to troubleshoot confusing spots. EXERCISE 2 Choose two of the lists you created in Exercise 1 and start writing out the processes in paragraph form. Try to construct paragraphs based on the complexity of each step. For complicated steps, dedicate an entire paragraph. If less complicated steps fall in succession, group them into a single paragraph. 5.3 Writing a Process Analysis Essay Choose a topic that is interesting, relatively complex, and can be explained in a series of steps. As with other rhetorical writing modes, choose a process that you know well so that you can more easily access ner details about each step in the process. Your thesis statement should come at the end of your introduction, and it should state the nal outcome of the process you are describing. Body paragraphs are composed of the steps in the process. Each step should be expressed using strong details and clear examples. Use time transition phrases to help organize steps in the process as well as to orient readers. The conclusion should thoroughly describe the result of the process described in the body paragraphs. See Chapter 15 to read a sample process analysis essay. Writing at Work The next time you have to explain a process to someone at work, be mindful of how clearly you articulate each step. Strong communication skills are critical for workplace satisfaction and advancement. Eective process analysis plays a critical role in developing that skill set. EXERCISE 3 Choose one of the expanded lists from Exercise 2. Construct a full process analysis essay from the work you have already done. That means adding an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, time transition phrases, body paragraphs, and a solid conclusion. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 299 Process Analysis Essay Structural Components < < < < < < Introduction and thesis Identication of process and nal outcome Body paragraphs composed of the steps in the process Strong details and clear examples Time transition words and phrases Conclusion to describe the nal result of the process KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS A process analysis essay explains how to do something and/or how something works. The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the outcome of the process. The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows a chronological sequence. Time transition phrases are particularly helpful in process analysis essays to organize steps and orient the reader. 6. DEFINITION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of the denition essay 2. Recognize how to write a denition essay 3. Explain the four basics of eective denition in writing 6.1 The Purpose of Definition in Writing The purpose of a denition essay may seem self-explanatory: The purpose of the denition essay is to simply dene something. But dening terms in writing is often more complicated than just consulting a dictionary. In fact, the way we dene terms can have far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as collective groups. Take, for example, a word like alcoholism. The way in which one denes alcoholism depends on its legal, moral, and medical contexts. Lawyers may dene alcoholism in terms of its legality; parents may dene alcoholism in terms of its morality; and doctors may dene alcoholism in terms of symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Think also of terms people have debated recently in our broader culture. How we dene words and phrases such as marriage and climate change has enormous impact on both personal and policy decisions. Think about conversations couples may have in which words like commitment, respect, or love need clarication. Dening terms within a relationship, or any other context, can at rst be dicult, but once a denition is established between two people or a group, it is easier to have productive dialogues. Denitions, then, establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse, which is why they are so important. Tip When writing denition essays, avoid terms that are too simple, that lack complexity. Think in terms of concepts, such as hero, immigration, or loyalty, rather than physical objects, such as fruit, stethoscope, or personal computer. Denitions of concepts, rather than objects, are often uid and contentious, making for a more eective denition essay. 300 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work Denitions play a critical role in all workplace environments. Take the term sexual harassment, for example. Sexual harassment is broadly dened on the federal level, but each company may have additional criteria that dene it further. Knowing how your workplace denes and treats all sexual harassment allegations is important. Think, too, about how your company denes lateness, productivity, or contributions. EXERCISE 1 On a separate sheet of paper, write about a time in your life in which the denition of a word, or the lack of a denition, caused an argument. Your term could be something as simple as the category of an all-star in sports or how to dene a good movie. Or it could be something with higher stakes and wider impact, such as a political argument. In three paragraphs, explain how the conversation began, how the argument hinged on the denition of the word or phrase, and how the incident was nally resolved. 6.2 The Structure of a Definition Essay context The circumstances, conditions, or setting in which something exists or occurs. The denition essay opens with a general discussion of the term to be dened. You then state as your thesis your denition of the term. The rest of the essay should explain the rationale for your denition. Remember that a dictionarys denition is limiting, and you should not rely strictly on the dictionary entry. Instead, consider the context in which you are using the word. Context identies the circumstances, conditions, or setting in which something exists or occurs. Often words take on dierent meanings depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the ideal leader on a battleeld setting could likely be very dierent than a leader in an elementary school. If a context is missing, the essay may be too short, or the main points could be confusing or misunderstood. The remainder of the essay should explain dierent aspects of the terms denition. For example, if you were dening a good leader in an elementary school classroom, you might dene such a leader according to personality traits: patience, consistency, and exibility. Each attribute would be explained in its own paragraph. Tip For denition essays, try to think of concepts you have a personal stake in. You are more likely to write a more engaging denition essay if you are writing about an idea that has personal value and importance. Writing at Work It is a good idea every once in a while to assess your role in the workplace. You can do this through the process of denition. Identify your role at work by dening not only the routine tasks but also those gray areas where your responsibilities might overlap with those of others. Coming up with a clear denition of roles and responsibilities can add value to your rsum and even increase productivity in the workplace. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, dene, in your own terms, each of the following items. If you can, try to establish a context for your denition. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Bravery Adulthood Consumer culture Violence Art CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 6.3 Writing a Definition Essay A denition essay must contain the following four basics: < < < < A word or phrase that requires dening A clear denition of the word or phrase Examples that illustrate and support the denition Strong details of each example To write the denition essay, you must choose a topic complex enough to be discussed at length. Choosing a word or phrase of personal relevance often leads to a more interesting and engaging essay. After you have chosen your word or phrase, start your essay with an introduction that establishes the relevancy of the term in the chosen context. Your thesis comes at the end of the introduction and should clearly state the rst two basics: the word or phrase, and your denition of the term in the specic context. Establishing a functional context from the beginning will orient readers and minimize misunderstandings. The introduction may also state how the term is not dened. For example, the denition essay Dening Good Students Means More Than Just Grades in Chapter 15 focuses on the denition of the phrase good student. The writers thesis accomplishes the rst two basics of denition writing by stating and dening the phrase: A good student pursues scholarship, actively participates in class, and maintains a positive, professional relationship with instructors and peers. In this thesis, readers understand the writer will dene good student as one who pursues scholarship, actively participates in class, and maintains a positive, professional relationship with instructors and peers. The writer also uses the introduction to communicate what the denition of good student does not include: good grades. The body paragraphs should each be dedicated to the third and fourth basics: examples and details that explain a dierent facet of your denition and illustrate your points. Read the following body paragraph from the denition essay in Chapter 15: 301 302 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Good students have a passion for learning that drives them to fully understand class material rather than just worry about what grades they receive in the course. Good students are actively engaged in scholarship, which means they enjoy reading and learning about their subject matter, not just because readings and assignments are required. Of course good students will complete their homework and all assignments, and they may even continue to perform research and learn more on the subject after the course ends. In some cases, good students will pursue a subject that interests them but might not be one of their strongest academic areas, so they will not earn the highest grades. Pushing oneself to learn and try new things can be dicult, but good students will challenge themselves rather than remain in their educational comfort level for the sake of a high grade. The pursuit of scholarship and education rather than concern over grades is the hallmark of a good student. In this paragraph, the writer elaborates on a facet of the denition by describing examples of engagements in scholarship: enjoying reading and learning, completing homework and assignments, and pursuing an interesting subject. The writer adds details to these examples as well. Lastly, your concluding paragraph should pull together all the dierent elements of your denition to reinforce your thesis. See Chapter 15, Section 7, to read the rest of the denition essay, including the rest of the body paragraphs and the conclusion. EXERCISE 3 Select one of the terms you already dened in Exercise 2. To prepare for drafting an entire denition essay, explain the four basics of your denition: < < < < Identify the term you will dene. Express a clear denition for the term. List examples that illustrate and support your denition. Add details for each example. EXERCISE 4 Create a full denition essay from one of the items you already dened in Exercise 2. Be sure to include an interesting introduction, a clear thesis, a well-explained context, distinct body paragraphs, and a conclusion that pulls everything together. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 303 Definition Essay Structural Components < < < < Introduction and thesis Clear identication of term and denition Body paragraphs that contain examples and details Conclusion to reinforce thesis and denition KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Denitions establish the way people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse. Context aects the meaning and usage of words. The thesis of a denition essay should clearly state the writers denition of the term in the specic context. Body paragraphs should explain the various facets of the denition stated in the thesis. The conclusion should pull all the elements of the denition together at the end and reinforce the thesis. 7. COMPARISON AND CONTRAST LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of comparison and contrast in writing 2. Select the most eective comparing and contrasting organizational method 3. Recognize how to write a comparison and contrast essay 7.1 The Purpose of Comparison and Contrast in Writing Comparison in writing discusses elements that are similar, while contrast in writing discusses elements that are dierent. A comparison and contrast essay, then, analyzes two subjects by either comparing them or contrasting them, or both. The key to a good comparison and contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle dierences or unexpected similarities. For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects, you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to compare and contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle dierences. For example, Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Drawing distinctions between elements in a similar category will increase the audiences understanding of that category, which is the purpose of the comparison and contrast essay. Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at rst to be unrelated. For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two apples or two oranges because they share so many of the same properties already. Rather, you might try to compare how apples and oranges are quite similar. The more divergent the two subjects initially seem, the more interesting a comparison essay will be. Writing at Work Comparing and contrasting is also an evaluative tool. To make accurate evaluations about a given topic, you must rst know the critical points of similarity and dierence. Compare and contrasting is a primary tool for many workplace assessments. You have likely compared and contrasted yourself to other colleagues. Employee advancements, pay raises, hiring, and ring are typically conducted using comparison and contrast. Comparison and contrast could be used to evaluate companies, departments, or individuals. comparison In writing, to discuss things that are similar in nature. contrast In writing, to discuss things that are dierent. comparison and contrast essay An essay that analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both. 304 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 Choose one of the three categories below. Pick two examples from each. Then come up with one similarity and three dierences between them. 1. Romantic comedies 2. Internet search engines 3. Cell phones EXERCISE 2 Choose one of the three items below. Then come up with one dierence and three similarities. 1. Department stores and big-box stores 2. Fast-food chains and ne-dining restaurants 3. Dogs and cats 7.2 The Structure of a Comparison and Contrast Essay The comparison and contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared and/or contrasted, and the reason for doing so. The thesis could lean more toward comparing, contrasting, or both. Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader. Take the thesis below as an example that leans more toward contrasting: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but, when put to the test, they are denitely worth every extra penny. Here, the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared/contrasted (organic vs. conventional vegetables), and also makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader. You may organize comparison and contrast essays by: 1. the subjects themselves, one then the other 2. by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point See Figure 10.1, which diagrams the ways to organize our organic vs. conventional vegetable thesis above. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES F IGURE 10.1 Organizing Strategies for Comparison and Contrast Essay The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience. Given that comparison and contrast essays analyze the relationship between two subjects, it is helpful to have some phrases on hand that will cue the reader to such analysis. See Table 10.3 for examples. 305 306 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 10.3 Phrases of Comparison and Contrast Comparison contrast One similarity One dierence Another similarity Another dierence Both Conversely Like In contrast Likewise Unlike Similarly While Whereas EXERCISE 3 Create an outline for each of the items you chose in exercises 1 and 2. Use the point-by-point organizing strategy for one of them, and use the subject organizing strategy for the other. 7.3 Writing a Comparison and Contrast Essay First, choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare and/or contrast, as well as state what can be learned from doing so. For example, the comparison and contrast essay in Chapter 15, Comparing and Contrasting London and Washington, D.C., presents the following thesis statement: Comparing and contrasting the two cities based on their history, culture, and residents show how dierent and similar the two are. The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or point by point. The organizing strategy you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Make sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects. The writer of Comparing and Contrasting London and Washington, D.C. organized the essay point by point. Read the rst body paragraph, which describes the dierences and similarities between London and Washingtons histories: CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 307 Both cities are rich in world and national history, though they developed on very dierent timelines. London, for example, has a history that dates back more than 2,000 years. It was part of the Roman Empire, known by the similar name, Londinium. It was one of the northernmost points of the Roman Empire, but the epicenter of the British Empire, where it held signicant global inuence from the early 16th century on through the early 20th century. Washington, D.C., on the other hand, has only formally existed since the late 18th century. Though Native Americans inhabited the land several thousand years earlier, and settlers inhabited the land as early as the 16th century, the city did not become the capital of the United States until the 1790s. From that point onward to today, however, Washington, D.C., has increasingly maintained signicant global inuence. Even though both cities have dierent histories, they have both held, and continue to hold, signicant social inuence in the economic and cultural global spheres. The writer continues analyzing the subjects in the same organized manner within the rest of the body paragraphs. After you nish analyzing your subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15, Section 8 to read the entire comparison and contrast essay. Writing at Work Many business presentations are conducted using comparison and contrast. The organizing strategiesby subject or point by pointcould also be used for organizing a presentation. Keep this in mind as a way of organizing your content the next time you or a colleague have to present something at work. EXERCISE 4 Choose one of the outlines you created in Exercise 3 and write a full comparison and contrast essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, well-dened and detailed paragraphs, and a tting conclusion that ties everything together. Comparison and Contrast Essay Structural Components < < Introduction and thesis Subject or point-by-point body paragraph structure 308 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < < Phrases of comparison and contrast Conclusion to summarize main points and reinforce thesis KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS A comparison and contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both. The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle dierences or unexpected similarities between two subjects. The thesis should clearly state the subjects that are to be compared and/or contrasted, and what is to be learned from doing so. There are two main organizing strategies for comparison and contrast essays: (1) organize by the subjects themselves, one then the other; or (2) organize by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point. Use phrases of comparison or contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed. 8. CAUSE AND EFFECT LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the purpose and structure of cause and eect in writing 2. Recognize how to write a cause and eect essay 8.1 The Purpose of Cause and Effect in Writing cause-and-eect essay An essay that tries to determine how various phenomena are related. It is often considered human nature to ask why? and how? We want to know how our child got sick so we can better prevent it from happening in the future, or why our colleague earned a pay raise because we want one as well. We want to know how much money we will save over the long term if we buy a hybrid car. These examples identify only a few of the relationships we think about in our lives, but each shows the importance of understanding cause and eect. A cause is something that produces an event or condition; an eect is what results from an event or condition. The purpose of the cause-and-eect essay is to determine how various phenomena are related in terms of origins and results. Sometimes the connection between cause and eect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very dicult. For example, the eects of a cold may be easily identiable: a sore throat, runny nose, and a cough. But determining the cause of the sickness can be far more dicult. A number of causes are possible, and, to complicate matters, these possible causes could have combined to cause the sickness. That is, more than one cause may be responsible for any given eect. Cause and eect discussions are therefore often complicated and frequently lead to debates and arguments. Tip Use the complex nature of cause and eect to your advantage. Often it is not necessary, or even possible, to nd the exact cause of an event or to name the exact eect. So, when formulating a thesis, you can claim one of a number of causes or eects to be the primary, or main, cause or eect. As soon as you claim that one cause or eect is more crucial than the others, you have developed a thesis. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 309 EXERCISE 1 Identify the causes and eects in the following thesis statements. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The growing childhood obesity epidemic is a result of technology. Much wildlife is dying because of the oil spill. The town continued programs it could no longer aord, so it went bankrupt. More young people became politically active as use of the Internet spread throughout society. While many experts believed the rise in violence was due to the poor economy, it was really due to the summer-long heat wave. EXERCISE 2 Write three cause-and-eect thesis statements of your own for each of the ve broad topics listed below. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Health and nutrition Sports Media Politics History 8.2 The Structure of a Cause-and-Effect Essay The cause-and-eect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main eect, or various causes and/or eects of a condition or event. The cause-and-eect essay can be organized in two primary ways: 1. Start with the cause(s) and then talk about the eect(s). 2. Start with the eect(s) and then talk about the causes. For example, if your essay was on childhood obesity, you could start by talking about the eect(s) of childhood obesity and then discuss the cause(s), or you could start by talking about the cause(s) of childhood obesity and then move to the eect(s). Regardless of what structure you choose, be sure to explain each element of the essay fully and completely. Explaining complex relationships requires the full use of evidence, such as scientic studies, expert testimony, statistics, and anecdotes. Because cause-and-eect essays determine how phenomena are linked, they make frequent use of certain words and phrases that denote such linkage. See Table 10.4 for examples of such terms. TABLE 10.4 Phrases of Causation As a result Hence Consequently Since Because Thus Due to Therefore The conclusion should wrap up the discussion and reinforce the thesis, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the relationship that was analyzed. Tip Be careful of resorting to empty speculation or unsubstantiated guessing. Writers are particularly prone to such trappings in cause-and-eect arguments due to the complex nature of nding links between phenomena. Be sure to have clear evidence to support the claims that you make. 310 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 3 Review the three cause-and-eect thesis statements you drafted in Exercise 2. Outline one using a causethen-eect structure. Outline another using the eect-then-cause structure. 8.3 Writing a Cause-and-Effect Essay Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause-and-eect relationship. Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis stating the main cause(s), main eect(s), or both. Read the following introduction from the cause-and-eect essay Eects of Video Game Addiction in Chapter 15: Video game addiction is a serious problem in many parts of the world today and deserves more attention. It is no secret that children and adults in many countries throughout the world, including Japan, China, and the United States, play video games every day. Most players are able to limit their usage in ways that do not interfere with their daily lives, but many others have developed an addiction to playing video games and suer detrimental eects. The writer opened the essay on video game addictions with a call for the readers attention. This statement will not only engage readers already interested in the topic but also attract readers new to the urgency of the issue. The writers thesis statement expresses the two results of video game playing: addiction and detrimental eects. Readers understand from reading this thesis that the essay focuses rst on the eects. Organize your essay by either starting with the cause-then-eect structure or the eect-then-cause structure. Within each section, you should clearly explain and support the causes and eects you discuss using a full range of evidence. If you are writing about multiple causes or multiple eects, you may choose to sequence either in terms of order of importance. In other words, order the causes from least to most important (or vice versa), or eects from least important to most important (or vice versa). Use the phrases of causation when trying to forge connections between various events or conditions. This will help organize your ideas and orient the reader. End your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15, Section 9 to read the entire cause-and-eect essay. EXERCISE 4 Choose one of the ideas you outlined in Exercise 3 and write a full cause-and-eect essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, strong evidence and examples, and a thoughtful conclusion. Cause-and-Effect Essay Structural Components < < < < < Introduction and thesis Cause-then-eect or the eect-then-cause body paragraph structure Evidence to support causes and eects Phrases of causation Conclusion to summarize main points and reinforce thesis CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 311 KEY TAKEAWAYS The purpose of the cause-and-eect essay is to determine how various phenomena are related. The thesis states what the writer sees as the main cause, main eect, or various causes and/or eects of a condition or event. The cause-and-eect essay can be organized in two primary ways: (1) start with the cause(s) and then talk about the eect(s); or (2) start with the eect(s) and then talk about the causes. Strong evidence is particularly important in the cause-and-eect essay due to the complexity of determining connections between phenomena. Phrases of causation are helpful in signaling links between various elements in the essay. < < < < < 9. PERSUASION LEARNING 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. OBJECTIVES Identify the purpose and structure of persuasion in writing Identify bias in writing Assess various rhetorical devices Distinguish between fact and opinion Write a persuasive essay 9.1 The Purpose of Persuasive Writing The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince, motivate, or move readers toward a certain point of view or opinion. The very act of trying to persuade implies more than one opinion on the subject can be argued. The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming in anger. In writing, however, an argument is very dierent. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. Written arguments often fail when they employ ranting rather than reasoning. Tip Most of us feel inclined to try to win the arguments we engage in. On some level, we all want to be right and want others to see the error of their ways. More times than not, however, arguments in which both sides try to win end up producing losers all around. The more productive approach is to persuade your audience to consider your opinion as a valid one, not simply the right one. 9.2 The Structure of a Persuasive Essay Five features make up the structure of a persuasive essay: < < < < < Introduction and thesis Opposing and qualifying ideas Strong evidence in support of claim Style and tone of language A compelling conclusion Introduction and Thesis The persuasive essay begins with an engaging introduction that introduces the general topic. The thesis typically appears somewhere in the introduction and states the writers point of view. persuasion The attempt to convince or move others to a certain point of view or opinion. argument A reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. 312 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip Avoid forming a thesis based on a negative claim. For example, The hourly minimum wage is not high enough for the average worker to live on. This is probably a true statement, but persuasive arguments should make a positive case. That is, the thesis statement should focus on how the hourly minimum wage is low or insucient. Acknowledging Opposing Ideas and Limits to Your Argument Because an argument implies diering points of view on the subject, you must acknowledge those opposing ideas. Avoiding ideas that conict with your own gives the reader the impression you may be uncertain, fearful, or unaware of opposing ideas. Thus, it is essential that you not only address counterarguments, but also do so respectfully. Try to address opposing arguments earlier rather than later in your essay. Rhetorically speaking, ordering your positive arguments last allows you to better to address ideas that conict with your own, so you can spend the rest of the essay countering those arguments. This way, you leave your reader thinking about your argument rather than someone elses. You utter the last word. Acknowledging points of view dierent from your own also has the eect of fostering more credibility between you and the audience. They know from the outset you are aware of opposing ideas and that you are not afraid to give them space. Although your opponents ideas may dier from your own, you should still acknowledge the validity of the opponents ideas. Treating your opponents ideas respectfully will lead to a more evenhanded argument. It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish. In eect, you are conceding early on that your argument is not the ultimate authority on a given topic. Such humility can go a long way toward earning credibility and trust with an audience. Audience members will know from the beginning that you are a reasonable writer, and audience members will trust your writing as a result. For example, in the following concessionary statement, the writer advocates for stricter gun control laws, but she admits it will not solve all of our problems with crime: Although tougher gun control laws are a powerful rst step in decreasing violence in our streets, such legislation cannot end these problems alone, nor are guns the only problem we face. Such a concession will be welcome by those who might be at odds with this writers argument in the rst place. To eectively persuade their readers, writers need to be modest in their goals and humble in their approach to get readers to listen to the ideas. See Table 10.5 for some useful phrases of concession. TABLE 10.5 Phrases of Concession Although Still While Though Of course Yet EXERCISE 1 Write a thesis for each of the following topics. Remember, the more specic your thesis, the better. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Foreign policy Television and advertising Stereotypes and prejudice Gender roles and the workplace Driving and cell phones CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 9.3 Bias in Writing Everyone has various biases on any number of topics. For example, you might have a bias toward wearing black instead of brightly colored clothes, or wearing jeans rather than formal wear. You might have a bias toward working at night rather than in the morning, or working by deadlines rather than getting tasks done in advance. These examples identify minor biases, of course, but they still indicate preferences and opinions. Handling bias in writing and in daily life can be a useful skill. It will allow you to articulate your own points of view while also defending yourself against unreasonable points of view. The ideal in persuasive writing is to let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and respectfully and reasonably addressing opposing ideas. The strength of a personal bias is that it can motivate you to construct a strong argument. If you are personally invested in the topic, you are more likely to care about the piece of writing. Similarly, the more you care, the more time and eort you are apt to put forth, and so the better the nal product will be. The weakness of bias is when the bias begins to take over the essaywhen, for example, you neglect opposing ideas, exaggerate your points, or repeatedly insert yourself ahead of the subject by using I too often. Being aware of all three of these pitfalls will help you to avoid them. Remember, too, that the rst-person pronoun I should be avoided in formal academic writing. The Use of I in Writing The use of I in writing is often a topic of debate, and the acceptance of its usage varies from instructor to instructor. It is dicult to predict the preferences for all your present and future instructors, but consider the eects it can have on your writing. Be mindful of the use of I in your writing, because it can make your argument sound overly biased. There are two primary reasons: 1. Excessive repetition of any word will eventually catch the readers attentionand usually not in a good way. The use of I is no dierent. 2. The insertion of I into a sentence alters not only the way a sentence might sound but also the composition of the sentence itself. I is often the subject of a sentence. If the subject of the essay is supposed to be, say, smoking, then by inserting yourself into the sentence, you are eectively displacing the subject of the essay into a secondary position. In the following example, the subject of the sentence is underlined: < < Smoking is bad. I think smoking is bad. In the rst sentence, the rightful subject, smoking, is in the subject position in the sentence. In the second sentence, the insertion of I and think replaces smoking as the subject, and so draws attention to itself and away from the topic that is supposed be discussed. Remember to keep the message (the subject) and the messenger (the writer) separate. Checklist 10.1: Developing Sound Arguments Does my essay contain < < < < < < < __An engaging introduction? __Reasonable, specic thesis able to be supported by evidence? __A varied range of evidence from credible sources? __Respectful acknowledgement and explanation of opposing ideas? __Style and tone of language appropriate for subject and audience? __Acknowledgement of the arguments limits? __A conclusion that adequately summarizes essay and reinforces thesis? 313 314 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 9.4 Distinguishing between Fact and Opinion facts Statements that can be denitely proven, that have, in a sense, an objective reality. opinions Personal views or judgments. All opinions are not created equal. An opinion in argumentation has to have legitimate backing. Facts are statements that can be proven using objective data. The statement that is a fact is absolutely valid. In other words, the statement can be pronounced as true or false. For example, 2 + 2 = 4. This expression identies a true statement, or a fact, because it can be proved with objective data. Opinions are personal views or judgments. An opinion is what an individual believes about a particular subject. However, an opinion in argumentation has to have legitimate backing; adequate evidence and credibility should support the opinion. Consider the credibility of expert opinions; experts in a given eld have the knowledge and credentials to make their opinion meaningful to a larger audience. For example, you seek the opinion of your dentist when it comes to the health of your teeth, and you seek the opinion of your mechanic when it comes to the health of your car. Both have the knowledge and credentials in those respective elds, which is why their opinions matter to you. But the authority of your dentist may be greatly diminished should he or she oer an opinion about your car, and likewise for your mechanic about your teeth. In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions. Relying on one or the other will likely lose more of your audience than it gains. Tip The word prove is frequently used in the discussion of persuasive writing. Writers may claim that one piece of evidence or another proves the argument, but proving an argument is often not possible. No evidence proves a debatable topic one way or the other; that is why the topic is debatable. Facts can be proved, but opinions can only be supported and explained. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, take three of the theses you formed in Exercise 1 and list the types of evidence you might use in support of that thesis. Using this evidence, come up with at least one counterargument to each. Then write a concession statement, expressing the limits to each of your three arguments. 9.5 Using Visual Elements to Strengthen Arguments quantitative visuals Visuals that present data graphically. The purpose of using them is to make logical appeals to the audience. qualitative visuals Visuals that appeal to the audiences emotions. Adding visual elements to a persuasive argument can often strengthen its persuasive eect. There are two main types of visual elements: quantitative visuals and qualitative visuals. Quantitative visuals present data graphically. They allow the audience to see statistics spatially. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience. For example, sometimes it is easier to understand the disparity in certain statistics if you can see how the disparity actually looks graphically. Bar graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, histograms, and line graphs are all ways of presenting quantitative data with spatial dimensions. Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audiences emotions. Photographs and pictorial images are examples of qualitative visuals. Such images often try to convey a story, and seeing an actual example can carry more power than hearing or reading about the example. For example, one image of a child suering from malnutrition will likely have more of an emotional impact than pages dedicated to describing that same condition in writing. Writing at Work When making a business presentation, you typically have limited time to get across your idea. Providing visual elements for your audience can be an eective time-saving tool. Quantitative visuals serve the same purpose as they do in persuasive writing: They should be making logical appeals by showing numerical data in a spatial design. Quantitative visuals should be pictures that appeal to your audiences emotions. You will nd that many of the rhetorical devices used in writing are the same ones used in the workplace. For more information about visuals in presentations, see Chapter 14. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 9.6 Writing a Persuasive Essay Choose a topic that you feel passionate about. If your instructor requires you to write about a specic topic, try to approach the subject from an angle that interests you. Begin your essay with an engaging introduction. Your thesis should typically appear somewhere in your introduction. Read the following introduction from the persuasive essay Universal Health Care Coverage for the U.S. in Chapter 15: The United States is the only modernized Western nation that does not oer publically funded health care to all its citizens; the costs of health care for the uninsured in the U.S. are prohibitive, and the practices of insurance companies are often more interested in prot margins than providing health care. These conditions are incompatible with U.S. ideals and standards, and it is time for the U.S. government to provide universal health care coverage for all its citizens. Like education, health care should be considered a fundamental right of all U.S. citizens, not simply a privilege for the upper middle classes. The writer begins by clearly stating the issue and the problems associated with it. The reader understands immediately the problems that the writer believes should be addressed. The writer then engages the readers interest further by making a strong statement of why the issue matters and concludes with a clear thesis dening exactly what the writer will argue for in the rest of the essay. Note how the writers thesis makes a persuasive positive case rather than a negative claim. Start the body of your essay by acknowledging and explaining points of view that may conict with your own to build credibility and trust with your audience. Also state the limits of your argument. This too helps to make you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may be inclined to disagree with your view. By respectfully acknowledging opposing arguments and conceding limitations to your own view, you set a measured and responsible tone for the essay. Notice how the writer acknowledges the opposing argument in the following concessionary statement: While providing health care for all U.S. citizens would cost a lot of money for every taxpaying citizen, citizens need to examine exactly how much money it would cost, and more importantly, how much money is too much when it comes to opening up health care for all. Make your own appeals in support of your thesis by using sound, credible evidence. Use a balance of facts and opinions from a wide range of sources, such as scientic studies, expert testimony, statistics, and personal anecdotes. Each piece of evidence should be fully explained and clearly stated. Make sure your style and tone are appropriate for your subject and audience. Tailor your language and word choice in relation to these two factors, while still being true to your own voice. Finally, write a conclusion that eectively summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15, Section 10 to read the entire sample persuasive essay. 315 316 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 3 Choose one of the topics you have been working on throughout this section. Use the thesis, evidence, opposing argument, and concessionary statement as the basis for writing a full persuasive essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, clear explanations of all the evidence you present, and a strong conclusion. As you are writing, be aware of your personal bias and provide sound evidence for your argument while reasonably addressing opposing ideas. Use the rhetorical devices that best help you persuade the reader, and be careful to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions. Persuasive Essay Structural Components < < < < < Introduction and thesis Opposing and qualifying ideas Strong evidence in support of claim Style and tone of language A compelling conclusion KEY < < < < < < < < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince or move readers towards a certain point of view, or opinion. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue, in writing, is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. A thesis that expresses the opinion of the writer in more specic terms is better than one that is vague. It is essential to not only address counterarguments but also do so respectfully. It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish through a concession statement. To persuade a skeptical audience, you will need to use a wide range of evidence. Scientic studies, opinions from experts, historical precedent, statistics, personal anecdotes, and current events are all types of evidence you might use in explaining your point. Make sure your word choice and writing style is appropriate for both your subject and your audience. Let your reader know your bias, but do not let that bias blind you to the primary components of good argumentation: sound, thoughtful evidence and respectfully and reasonably addressing opposing ideas. You should be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can make your argument sound more biased than it needs to. Facts are statements that can be proven using objective data. Opinions are personal views or judgments that cannot be proven. In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions. Quantitative visuals present data graphically. The purpose of using quantitative visuals is to make logical appeals to the audience. Qualitative visuals present images that appeal to the audiences emotions. CHAPTER 10 RHETORICAL MODES 317 10. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. The thesis statement is a fundamental element of writing regardless of what rhetorical mode you are writing in. Try to formulate one more thesis for each of the modes discussed in this chapter. II. Which rhetorical mode seems most aligned with who you are as a person? That is, which mode seems most useful to you? Explain why in a paragraph. III. Over the next week, look closely at the texts and articles you read. Document in a journal exactly what type of rhetorical mode is being used. Sometimes it might be for an entire article, but sometimes you might see dierent modes within one article. The more you can detect various ways of communicating ideas, the easier it will be to do yourself. 11. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 2 Answers: < < < < < < First, we drove to Thanksgiving to see my family at my grandmothers house; I was thinking of everyone I would see (especially Grandma) and of fond memories of the past. When I get there, everything seems so familiar. The same. My cousin Jodie is there with her husband, Frank, and their two kids. Kayla is there solo. Mom and Dad, my sisters and brothers. Grandpa watching football. Then, I see Grandma walk out to greet me and she seems o. Not there. She walks more slowly, almost seems like she is limping. She does not seem quite as happy to see me. And I am really bothered and upset by this. After we sit down for dinner, we hear a crash in the kitchen. Grandma dropped the gravy bowl, and some of it splattered on her apron and clothes. She was embarrassed. Later, when we were sitting in the parlor, I asked my sister if anything was wrong with Grandma, and she got annoyed with me. Like it was a stupid question. Shes getting old, she said. The next day, when I hugged her to leave, I wondered if I would ever see her again. If it was age or something else. I wondered why I could not ask her. I got in my car and drove o, feeling more and more ashamed that I did not ask. 318 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 11 Writing from Research 1. THE PURPOSE OF RESEARCH WRITING: ASKING QUESTIONS AND SHARING THE ANSWERS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify reasons for researching writing projects 2. Outline the steps of the research writing process Why was the Great Wall of China built? What have scientists learned about the possibility of life on Mars? What roles did women play in the American Revolution? How does the human brain create, store, and retrieve memories? Who invented the game of football, and how has it changed over the years? You may know the answers to these questions o the top of your head. If you are like most people, however, you dig for answers to tough questions like these by searching the Internet, visiting the library, or asking others for information. To put it simply, you perform research. Whether you are a scientist, an artist, a paralegal, or a parent, you probably perform research in your everyday life. When your boss, your instructor, or a family member asks you a question that you do not know the answer to, you locate relevant information, analyze your ndings, and share your results. Locating, analyzing, and sharing information are key steps in the research process, and in this chapter, you will learn more about each step. By developing your research writing skills, you will prepare yourself to answer any question, no matter how challenging. 1.1 Why Research? When you perform research, you are essentially trying to solve a mysteryyou want to know how something works, or why something happened. In other words, you want to answer a question that you (and other people) have about the world. This is one of the most basic reasons for performing research. But the research process does not end when you have solved your mystery. Imagine what would happen if a detective collected enough evidence to solve a criminal case but never shared her solution with the authorities. Presenting what you have learned from research is arguably as important as performing the research itself. Research results can be presented in a variety of ways, but one of the most popularand eectivepresentation forms is the research paper. A research paper presents an original thesis about a topic and develops that thesis with information gathered from a variety of sources. If you are curious about the possibility of life on Mars, for example, you might choose to research the topic. What will you do, though, when your research is complete? You will need a way to put your thoughts together in a logical, coherent manner. You may want to use the facts you have learned to create a narrative or support an argument. And you may want to show the results of your research to your friends, your teachers, or even the editors of magazines and journals. Writing a research paper is an ideal way to organize thoughts, craft narratives or make arguments based on research, and share your newfound knowledge with the world. EXERCISE 1 Write a paragraph about a time when you used research in your everyday life. Did you look for the cheapest way to travel from Houston to Denver? Did you search for a way to remove gum from the bottom of your shoe? In your paragraph, explain what you wanted to research, how you performed the research, and what you learned as a result. research paper A composition that presents an original thesis about a topic and develops that thesis with information gathered from a variety of sources. 320 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Research Writing and the Academic Paper No matter what eld of study you are interested in, you will most likely be asked to write a research paper during your academic career. For example, a student in an art history course might write a research paper about an artists work. Or a student in a psychology course might write a research paper about current ndings in childhood development. Having to write a research paper may feel intimidating at rst. After all, researching and writing a long paper requires a lot of time, eort, and organization. However, writing a research paper can also be a great opportunity to explore a topic that is particularly interesting to you. The research process allows you to gain expertise on a topic of your choice, and the writing process helps you remember what you have learned and understand it on a deeper level. Research Writing at Work Knowing how to write a good research paper is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your career. Whether you are developing a new product, studying the best way to perform a procedure, or learning about challenges and opportunities in your eld of employment, you will use research techniques to guide your exploration. You may even need to create a written report of your ndings. And because eective communication is essential to any company, employers seek to hire people who can write clearly and professionally. Writing at Work Take a few minutes to think about each of the following careers. How might each of these professionals use researching and research writing skills on the job? < < < < Medical laboratory technician Small-business owner Information technology professional Freelance magazine writer A medical laboratory technician or information technology professional might do research to learn about the latest technological developments in either of these elds. A small-business owner might conduct research to learn about the latest trends in his or her industry. A freelance magazine writer may need to research a given topic to write an informed, up-to-date article about it. EXERCISE 2 Think about the job of your dreams. How might you use your research writing skills to perform that job? Create a list of ways in which strong researching, organizing, writing, and critical thinking skills could help you succeed at your dream job. How might these skills help you obtain that job? 1.2 Steps of the Research Writing Process How does a research paper grow from a folder of brainstormed notes to a polished nal draft? No two projects are identical, but most projects follow a series of six basic steps. These are the steps in the research writing process: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Choosing a topic Planning and scheduling Conducting research Organizing research and the writers ideas Drafting your paper Revising and editing your paper Each of these steps will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter. For now, though, we will take a brief look at what each step involves. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 321 Step 1: Choosing a Topic As you may recall from Chapter 8, to narrow the focus of your topic, you may try freewriting exercises, such as brainstorming. You may also need to ask a specic research question.a broad, open-ended question that will guide your researchas well as propose a possible answer, or a working thesis. You may use your research question and your working thesis to create a research proposal. In a research proposal, you present your main research question, any related sub-questions you plan to explore, and your working thesis. Step 2: Planning and Scheduling Before you start researching your topic, take time to plan your researching and writing schedule. Research projects can take days, weeks, or even months to complete. Creating a schedule is a good way to ensure you do not end up being overwhelmed by all the work you have to do as the deadline approaches. During this step of the process, it is also a good idea to plan the resources and organizational tools you will use to keep yourself on track throughout the project. Flowcharts, calendars, and checklists can all help you stick to your schedule. See Section 2 for an example of a research schedule. Step 3: Conducting Research When going about your research, you will likely use a variety of sourcesanything from books and periodicals to streaming or recorded video presentations, video recordings, and in-person interviews. Your sources will include both primary sources and secondary sources. Primary sources provide rsthand information or raw data. For example, surveys, in-person interviews, and historical documents are primary sources. Secondary sources, such as biographies, literary reviews, or magazine articles, include some analysis or interpretation of the information presented. As you conduct research, you will take detailed, careful notes about your discoveries. You will also evaluate the reliability of each source you nd. Step 4: Organizing Research and the Writers Ideas When your research is complete, you will organize your ndings and decide which sources you will cite in your paper. You will also have an opportunity to evaluate the evidence you have collected and determine whether it supports your thesis. You may decide to adjust your thesis or conduct additional research to ensure your thesis is well supported. Tip research question A broad, open-ended question that a writer uses to guide the research process. In the research paper, the writer attempts to answer the question thoughtfully working thesis The rst thesis statement a writer uses while outlining an assignment. A working thesis statement may change during the writing process. research proposal A brief document that includes a writers main research question, related sub-questions, working thesis, and plan for gathering information. primary sources Research sources that provide raw information or data without commentary or interpretation, such as surveys, interviews, and historical documents. secondary sources Research sources that provide information and include some analysis or interpretation of the information. Scholarly journals and magazine articles are usually used as secondary sources. Remember, your working thesis is not set in stone. You can and should change your working thesis throughout the research writing process if the evidence you nd does not support your original thesis. Never try to force evidence to t your argument. For example, your working thesis is Mars cannot support life. Yet, a week into researching your topic, you nd an article in the New York Times detailing new ndings of bacteria under the Martian surface. Instead of trying to argue that bacteria arent life forms, you might instead alter your thesis to Mars cannot support complex life. Step 5: Drafting your Paper Now you are ready to combine your research ndings with your critical analysis of the results in a rough draft of your paper. You will incorporate source materials into your paper and discuss each source thoughtfully in relation to your thesis. When you cite your reference sources, it is important to pay close attention to standard conventions for citing sources in order to avoid plagiarism, the practice of using someone elses words without acknowledging their source. Later in this chapter you will learn how to incorporate sources in your paper and avoid some of the most common pitfalls. Step 6: Revising and Editing your Paper In the nal step of the research writing process, you will revise and polish your paper. You might reorganize your papers structure or revise for unity and cohesion, ensuring that each element ows into the next logically and naturally. You will also make sure your paper uses an appropriate and consistent tone. Once you feel condent in the strength of your writing, you will edit your paper for proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and formatting. When you complete this nal step, you plagiarism The practice of using someone elses words or ideas without acknowledging the source. 322 WRITING FOR SUCCESS will have transformed a simple idea or question into a thoroughly researched and well-written paper you canand shouldbe proud of! EXERCISE 3 Review the steps of the research writing process. Then answer the questions below on your own sheet of paper. 1. In which step(s) of the research writing process are you allowed to change your thesis? 2. In Step 2, what types of information should you include in your project schedule? 3. What might happen if you eliminated Step 4 from the research writing process? For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 7 at the end of this chapter. KEY < < TAKEAWAYS People undertake research projects throughout their academic and professional careers to answer specic questions, share their ndings with others, increase their understanding of challenging topics, and strengthen their researching, writing, and analytical skills. The research writing process generally comprises six steps: choosing a topic, scheduling and planning, conducting research, organizing research and the writers ideas, drafting a paper, and revising and editing the paper. 2. DEVELOPING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the steps in developing a research proposal 2. Choose a topic and formulate a research question and working thesis 3. Develop a research proposal working thesis The rst, preliminary thesis statement a writer uses while outlining an assignment. A working thesis statement may change during the writing process. research proposal A brief document that includes a writers main research question, related sub-questions, working thesis, and plan for gathering information. Writing a good research paper takes time, thought, and eort. Although this assignment is challenging, it is manageable. Focusing on one step at a time will help you develop a thoughtful, informative, wellsupported research paper. Your rst step is to choose a topic and develop research questions, a working thesis, and a written research proposal. Set aside some time for this part of the process. Exploring ideas carefully will help you build a solid foundation for your paper. 2.1 Choosing a Topic When you choose a topic for a research paper, you are making a major commitment. Your choice will help determine whether you enjoy the lengthy process of research and writingand whether your nal paper fullls the assignment requirements. If you choose hastily, you may later nd it dicult to work with your topic. By taking your time and choosing carefully, you can ensure that this assignment is not only challenging, but also rewarding. Writers understand the importance of choosing a topic that fullls the assignment requirements and ts the assignments purpose and audience. For more information about purpose and audience, see Chapter 6. Choosing a topic that interests you is also crucial. Your instructor may provide a list of suggested topics or ask you to develop a topic on your own. In either case, try to identify topics that genuinely interest you. After identifying potential topic ideas, you need to evaluate your ideas and choose one topic to pursue. Will you be able to nd enough information about the topic? Can you develop a paper about this topic that presents and supports your original ideas? Is the topic too broad or too narrow for the scope of the assignmentand if so, can you modify it so it is more manageable? These are questions you will ask yourself during this preliminary phase of the research process. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 323 Identifying Potential Topics Sometimes, your instructor may provide a list of suggested topics. If so, you may benet from identifying several possibilities before committing to one idea. It is important to know how to narrow down your ideas into a concise, manageable thesis. You may also use the list as a starting point to help you identify additional, related topics. Discussing your ideas with your instructor will help ensure you choose a manageable topic that ts the requirements of the assignment. In this chapter, you will follow a writer named Jorge, who is studying health care administration, as he prepares a research paper. You will also plan, research, and draft your own research paper. Look at Jorges example below. He was assigned to write a research paper on Health and the Media for an introductory course in health care. Although a general topic was selected for the students, Jorge had to decide which specic issues interested him. He brainstormed a list of possibilities. Tip If you are writing a research paper for a specialized course, look back through your notes and course activities. Identify reading assignments and class discussions that especially engaged you. Doing so can help you identify topics to pursue. EXERCISE 1 Set a timer for ve minutes. Use brainstorming or idea mapping to create a list of topics you would be interested in researching for a paper on the inuence of the Internet on social networking. Do you closely follow the media coverage of a particular website, such as Twitter? Would you like to learn more about a certain industry, such as online dating? What social networking sites do you and your friends use? List as many ideas related to this topic as you can. Narrowing Your Topic Once you have a list of potential topics, you will need to choose one as the focus of your essay. You will also need to narrow your topic. Most writers nd that the topics they listed during brainstorming are fairly broadtoo broad for the scope of the assignment. Working with an overly broad topic, such as sexual education programs or popularized diets, can be frustrating and overwhelming. Each topic has so many dierent facets that it would be impossible to cover them all in a college research paper. However, more specic choices, such as the pros and cons of sexual education in kids television 324 narrowing your focus The process of identifying a specic angle from which to approach a broad topic in order to limit it and make it more manageable. WRITING FOR SUCCESS programs or the physical eects of the South Beach Diet, are specic enough to tackle without being too narrow to sustain an entire research paper. A good research paper provides focused, in-depth information and analysis. If your topic is too broad, you will nd it dicult to do more than skim the surface when you research it and write about it. Narrowing your focus is essential to make sure your topic is manageable. To narrow your focus, explore your topic in writing, conduct preliminary research, and discuss it with others. Exploring Your Topic in Writing How am I supposed to narrow my topic when I havent even begun researching yet? In fact, you may already know more than you realize. Review your list and identify your top two or three topics. Set aside some time to explore each one in turn through freewriting. Simply taking the time to zero in on your topic may yield fresh angles. Jorge knew he was especially interested in the topic of diet fads, but that it was much too broad for his assignment. He used freewriting to explore his thoughts and narrow his topic. For more information about freewriting, see Chapter 8. Read Jorges ideas below. Conducting Preliminary Research preliminary research Research conducted early in the process of writing a paper, for the purpose of exploring a topic and narrowing the focus. Another way writers may focus a topic is to conduct preliminary research. Exploratory reading, like freewriting (from Chapter 8), can help you identify interesting angles. Surng the Web and browsing through newspaper and magazine articles are good ways to start. Discussing your topic with others can also inspire you. Talk about your ideas with your classmates, your friends, or your instructor. Find out what people are saying about your topic on blogs and online discussion groups. Jorges freewriting exercise helped him realize that the assigned topic of health and the media intersected with a few of his interests: diet, nutrition, and obesity. Preliminary online research and discussions with his classmates strengthened his impression that many people are confused or misled by media coverage of these subjects. Jorge decided to focus his paper on a topic that had garnered a great deal of media attentionlowcarbohydrate diets. He wanted to nd out whether low-carbohydrate diets are truly as eective as their proponents claimed. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 325 Writing at Work At work, you may sometimes need to research a topic quickly to nd general information. This information can be useful in understanding trends in a given industry or generating competition. For example, a company may research a competitors prices and use the information when pricing its own product. You may nd it useful to skim a variety of reliable sources and take notes on your ndings. Tip The reliability of online sources varies greatly. In this exploratory phase of your research, you do not need to evaluate your sources as closely as you will later. However, use common sense as you rene your paper topic. If you read a fascinating blog comment that gives you a new idea for your paper, be sure to check out other, more reliable sources as well to make sure the idea is worth pursuing. EXERCISE 2 Review the list of topics you created in Exercise 1 and identify two or three topics you would like to explore further. For each of these topics, spend 510 minutes writing about the topic without stopping. Then review your writing to identify possible areas of focus. Set aside time to conduct preliminary research about your potential topics. Then choose a topic to pursue for your research paper. 2.2 A Plan for Research Your preliminary thinking and research have helped you choose a focused, manageable topic for your research paper. To work with your topic successfully, you will need to determine what exactly you want to learn about it and, later, what you want to say about it. Before you begin in-depth research, you will further dene your focus by developing a research question, a working thesis, and a research proposal. Formulating a Research Question In forming a research question, you are setting a goal for your research. Your main research question should be substantial enough to form the guiding principle of your paper, but focused enough to guide you. A strong research question requires you not only to nd information but also to put together dierent pieces of information, interpret and analyze them, and gure out what you think. As you consider potential research questions, ask yourself whether they would be too hard or too easy to answer. To determine your research question, review the freewriting you completed earlier. Skim through books, articles, and websites and list the questions you have. (You may wish to use the 5WH strategy to help you formulate questions. See Chapter 8 for more information about 5WH.) Include simple factual questions as well as more complex questions that would require analysis and interpretation. Determine your main questionthe primary focus of your paperas well as several sub-questions that will need to research to answer your main question. Here are the research questions Jorge will use to focus his research. Notice that his main research question has no obvious, straightforward answer. Jorge will need to research his sub-questions, which address narrower topics, to answer his main question. research question A broad, open-ended question that a writer uses to guide the research process. In the research paper, the writer attempts to answer the question thoughtfully. 326 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 3 Using the topic you selected in Exercise 2, write your main research question and at least four to ve subquestions. Check that your main research question is appropriately complex for your assignment. Constructing a Working Thesis A working thesis concisely states a writers initial answer to the main research question. It does not merely state a fact or a present a subjective opinion. Instead, it expresses a debatable idea or claim you hope to prove through additional research. Your working thesis is called a working thesis for a reasonit is subject to change. As you learn more about your topic, you may change your thinking in light of your research ndings. Let your working thesis serve as a guide to your research, but do not be afraid to modify it based on what you learn. Jorge began his research with a strong point of view based on his preliminary thinking and research. Read his working thesis statement, which presents the point he will try to prove. Notice how it states Jorges tentative answer to his research question. Tip One way to determine your working thesis is to consider how you would complete sentences like I believe or My opinion is . However, keep in mind that academic writing generally does not use rst-person pronouns. These statements are useful starting points, but formal research papers use an objective voice. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 327 EXERCISE 4 Write a working thesis statement that presents your preliminary answer to the research question you wrote in Exercise 3. Check that your working thesis statement presents an idea or claim that could be supported or refuted by evidence from research. Creating a Research Proposal A research proposal is a brief documentno more than one typed pagethat summarizes the preliminary work you have completed. Your purpose in writing it is to formalize your plan for research and present it to your instructor for feedback. In your research proposal, you will present your main research question, related sub-questions, and working thesis. You will also briey discuss the value of researching this topic and indicate how you plan to gather information. When Jorge began drafting his research proposal, he realized he had already created most of the pieces he needed. However, he knew he also had to explain how his research would be relevant to other future health care professionals. In addition, he wanted to form a general plan for doing the research and identifying potentially useful sources. Read Jorges research proposal below. 328 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work Before you begin a new project at work, you may have to develop a project summary document that states the purpose of the project, explains why it would be a wise use of company resources, and briey outlines the steps involved in completing the project. This type of document is similar to a research proposal. Both documents dene and limit a project, explain its value, and discuss how you plan to proceed and what resources you will use. 2.3 Writing Your Own Research Proposal Now you may write your own research proposal, if you have not done so already. Follow the guidelines provided in this lesson. KEY < < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS Developing a research proposal involves several preliminary steps: identifying potential ideas, choosing ideas to explore further, choosing and narrowing a topic, formulating a research question, and developing a working thesis. A good topic for a research paper interests the writer and fullls the requirements of the assignment. Dening and narrowing a topic helps writers conduct focused, in-depth research. Writers conduct preliminary research to identify possible topics and research questions and to develop a working thesis. A good research question interests readers, is neither too broad nor too narrow, and has no obvious Register to View Answergood working thesis expresses a debatable idea or claim that can be supported with evidence from research. Writers create a research proposal to present their topic, main research question and sub-questions, and working thesis to an instructor or manager for approval or feedback. 3. MANAGING YOUR RESEARCH PROJECT LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify reasons for outlining the scope and sequence of a research project 2. Recognize the steps of the research writing process 3. Develop a plan for managing time and resources to complete the research project on time 4. Identify organizational tools and strategies to use in managing the project The prewriting you have completed so far has helped you begin to plan the content of your research paper: your topic, major research questions, and preliminary thesis. It is equally important to plan the process of researching and writing the paper. Although some types of writing assignments can be completed quickly, developing a good research paper is a complex process that takes time. Breaking it into manageable steps is crucial. Review the steps outlined at the beginning of this chapter. These are the steps in the research writing process: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Choosing a topic Scheduling and planning Conducting research Organizing research Drafting your paper Revising and editing your paper CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH You have already completed Step 1. In this lesson, you will complete Step 2. The remaining steps fall under two broad categoriesthe research phase of the project (steps 3 and 4) and the writing phase (steps 5 and 6). Both phases present challenges. Understanding the tasks involved and allowing enough time to complete each task will help you complete your research paper on time, with a minimal amount of stress. 3.1 Planning Your Project Each step of a research project requires time and attention. Careful planning helps ensure that you will keep your project running smoothly and produce your best work. Set up a project schedule that shows when you will complete each step. Think about how you will complete each step and what project resources you will use. Resources may include anything from library databases and word-processing software to interview subjects and writing tutors. To develop your schedule, use a calendar to work backward from the date your nal draft is due. As a general rule, plan to divide half of the available time on the research phase of the project and half on the writing phase. For example, if you have a month to work, plan for two weeks for each phase. If you have a full semester, plan to begin research early and start writing by the middle of the term. You might think that no one really works that far aheadbut try it. You will probably be pleased with the quality of your work and with the reduction in your stress level. As you plan, break down major steps into smaller tasks if necessary. For example, Step 3, conducting research, involves locating potential sources, evaluating their usefulness and reliability, reading, and taking notes. Dening these smaller tasks makes the project more manageable by giving you concrete goals to achieve. Jorge had six weeks to complete his research project. Working backward from a due date of May 2, he mapped out a schedule for completing his research by early April so that he would have ample time to write. Jorge chose to write his schedule in his weekly planner to help keep on track. Review Jorges schedule below. Key target dates are shaded below. Note that Jorge planned times to use available resources by visiting the library and writing center and by conferencing with his instructor. TABLE 11.1 March 20May 7 329 research phase The rst phase of a research project, in which the writer gathers and organizes information. A good rule of thumb is to allot about half of the available time for research. writing phase The second phase of a research project, in which the writer drafts, revises, and edits the paper. Plan to spend about half of the time available on this phase. (You may spend additional time if your instructor reviews your rough draft and provides feedback.) project schedule A document outlining the tasks involved in each step of the research project, with a target date for completing each step. project resources The documents, tools, or people a writer relies on to complete a research project. Examples of project resources include library databases, personal computers, style guidebooks, and tutors. 330 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 1. Working backward from the date your nal draft is due, create a project schedule. You may choose to write a sequential list of tasks or record tasks on a calendar. 2. Check your schedule to be sure you have broken each step into smaller tasks and assigned a target completion date to each key task. 3. Review your target dates to make sure they are realistic. Always allow a little more time than you think you will actually need. Tip Plan your schedule realistically and consider other commitments that may sometimes take precedence. A business trip or family visit may mean you are unable to work on the research project for a few days. Make the most of the time you have available. Plan for unexpected interruptions, but keep in mind that a short time away from the project may help you come back to it with renewed enthusiasm. Another strategy many writers nd helpful is to nish each days work at a point when the next task is a fairly easy one. That makes it easy to start again. Writing at Work When you create a project schedule at work, you set target dates for completing certain tasks and identify the resources you plan to use on the project. It is important to build in some exibility. Materials may not be received on time because of a shipping delay. An employee on your team may be called away to work on a higher-priority project. Essential equipment may malfunction. Always plan for the unexpected. 3.2 Staying Organized Although setting up a schedule is easy, sticking to one is challenging. Even if you are the rare person who never procrastinates, unforeseen events may interfere with your ability to complete tasks on time. A self-imposed deadline may slip your mind despite your best intentions. Organizational toolscalendars, checklists, note cards, software, and so forthcan help you stay on track. Throughout your project, organize both your time and your resources systematically. Review your schedule frequently and check your progress. It helps to post your schedule in a place where you will see it every day. Both personal and workplace email systems usually include a calendar feature where you can record tasks, arrange to receive daily reminders, and check o completed tasks. Electronic devices such as smartphones have similar features. Organize project documents in a binder or electronic folder, and label project documents and folders clearly. Use note cards or an electronic document to record bibliographical information for each research source you plan to use in your paper. Tracking this information throughout the research process can save you hours of time when you create your References page. EXERCISE 2 Revisit the schedule you created in Exercise 1. Transfer it into a format that will help you stay on track from day to day. You may wish to input it into your smartphone, write it in a weekly planner, post it by your desk, or have your email account send you daily reminders. Consider setting up a buddy system with a classmate that will help you both stay on track. Tip Some people enjoy using the most up-to-date technology to help them stay organized. Other people prefer simple methods, such as crossing o items on a checklist. The key to staying organized is nding a system you like enough to use daily. The particulars are not important, as long as you are consistent. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 331 3.3 Anticipating Challenges Do these scenarios sound familiar? You have identied a book that would be a great resource for your project, but it is currently checked out of the library. You planned to interview a subject matter expert on your topic, but she calls to reschedule the meeting. You have begun writing your draft but now you realize you need to modify your thesis and conduct additional research. Or, you have nally completed your draftand your computer crashes. Days of hard work disappear in an instant. These troubling situations are all too common. No matter how carefully you plan your schedule, you may encounter some glitch or setback. Managing your project eectively means anticipating potential problems, taking steps to minimize them, and allowing enough wiggle room in your schedule to handle any setbacks. You can manage some potential problems by building ample time into your schedule. For example, a book that is checked out of your local library might be available through an interlibrary loan, which usually takes a few days for the library sta to process. Alternatively, you might locate another, equally useful source. If you have allowed enough time for research, a brief delay will not be a major setback. You can manage other potential problems by staying organized and maintaining a take-charge attitude. Take a minute each day to save a backup copy of your work on a portable hard drive. Maintain detailed note cards and source cards as you conduct researchdoing so will make the process of citing sources in your draft innitely easier. If you run into diculties with your research or writing, ask your instructor for help or make an appointment with a writing tutor. EXERCISE 3 Identify ve potential problems you might encounter in the process of researching and writing your paper. Write them on a separate sheet of paper. For each problem, write at least one strategy for solving the problem or minimizing its eect on your project. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 7 at the end of this chapter. Writing at Work In the workplace, documents prepared at the beginning of a project often include a detailed plan for risk management. When you manage a project, it makes sense to anticipate and prepare for potential setbacks. For example, to roll out a new project, a software development company must strive to complete tasks on a schedule to meet the new product release date. The project manager may need to adjust the project plan if one or more tasks fall behind schedule. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS To complete a research project successfully, a writer must carefully manage each phase of the process and break major steps into smaller tasks. Writers can plan a research project by setting up a schedule based on the deadline and by identifying useful project resources. Writers stay focused by using organizational tools that suit their needs. Anticipating and planning for potential setbacks can help writers avoid those setbacks or minimize their eect on the project schedule. 332 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 4. GATHERING INFORMATION THROUGH RESEARCH LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Distinguish between primary and secondary sources 2. Identify strategies for locating relevant print and electronic resources eciently 3. Identify instances when it is appropriate to use human sources, such as interviews or eyewitness testimony 4. Identify criteria for evaluating research resources 5. Determine why many electronic resources are not reliable Now that you have planned your research project, you are ready to begin your research. This phase can be both exciting and challenging. As you read this section of Chapter 11, you will learn ways to locate sources eciently, which in turn will leave you with enough time to read sources, take notes, and think about how to use the information. Of course, the technological advances of the past few decadesparticularly the rise of online mediamean that as a 21st century student, you have countless sources of information available at your ngertips. How can you tell whether or not a source is reliable? This section will discuss strategies for evaluating sources critically so that you can be a media-savvy researcher. Your objective for this section is to locate and evaluate the resources you will use for your paper and begin taking notes. Begin gathering print and electronic resources as you read, aim to have at least eight or 10 sources identied by the time you nish the chapter, and begin taking notes. 4.1 Locating Useful Resources When you chose a paper topic and determined your research questions, you probably conducted a little preliminary research to stimulate your thinking. Your research proposal included some general ideas for how to go about your researchfor instance, interviewing an expert in the eld or analyzing the content of popular magazines. You may even have identied a few potential sources. Now it is time to conduct a more focused, systematic search for informative primary and secondary sources. Primary and Secondary Sources Writers classify research resources in two categories: primary sources and secondary sources. Primary sources are rsthand sources of information or data. For example, if you were writing a paper about the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, the text of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights would be a primary source. Other primary sources include: research articles < literary texts < historical documents such as diaries or letters < autobiographies or other personal accounts < Secondary sources discuss, interpret, analyze, consolidate, or otherwise rework information from primary sources. In researching a paper about the First Amendment, you might read articles about legal cases involving First Amendment rights or editorials commenting on the First Amendment. These sources would be considered secondary sources because they are one step removed from the primary source of information. Examples of secondary sources include: magazine articles biographical books < literary and scientic reviews < television documentaries < < You may be wondering whether you must use both primary and secondary sources for your paper. It depends on your topic and purpose. Think about which sources are most likely to provide the information that will answer your research questions. If you are writing a research paper about reality TV shows, you will need to use some of those reality shows as a primary source, but secondary sources such as a reviewers critique are also important. If you are writing about the health eects of nicotine, CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH you will probably want to read the published results of scientic studies, but secondary sources, such as magazine articles discussing the outcome of a recent study, may also be helpful. Once you have thought about what kinds of sources are most likely to help you answer your research questions, you may begin your search for print and electronic resources. The challenge here is to conduct your search eciently. Writers use strategies to help them nd the most relevant and reliable sources while steering clear of sources that will not be useful. Finding Print Resources Print resources include a vast array of documents and publications. Regardless of your topic, you will consult some print resources as part of your research. (You will use electronic sources as well, but it is not wise to limit yourself to electronic sources only. Some potentially useful sources may be available only in print form.) Table 11.2 lists dierent types of print resources available at public and university libraries. 333 334 WRITING FOR SUCCESS T ABLE 11.2 Library Print Resources Resource Type Description Reference works Reference works provide a summary of information about a particular topic. Almanacs, encyclopedias, atlases, medical reference books, and scientic abstracts are examples of reference works. Frequently, reference books may not be checked out of a library. Note that reference works are many steps removed from original primary sources and are often brief, so these should be used only as a starting point when you gather information. Nonction books Nonction books provide in-depth coverage of a topic. Trade books, biographies, and how-to guides are usually written for a general audience. Scholarly books and scientic studies are usually written for an audience with specialized knowledge of a topic. Example(s) < < < < Periodicals and news sources These sources are published at regular intervalsdaily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Newspapers, magazines, and academic journals are examples. Some periodicals provide articles on subjects of general interest, while others are more specialized. < < < Government Federal, state, and local government agencies publish information on a publications variety of topics. Government publications include reports, legislation, court documents, public records, statistics, studies, guides, programs, and forms. Business and nonprot publications Businesses and nonprot organizations produce publications designed to market a product, provide background about the organization, provide information on topics connected to the organization, or promote a cause. These publications include reports, newsletters, advertisements, manuals, brochures, and other print documents. < < < < The World Almanac: 2010 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association The Low-Carb Solution: A Slimmer You in 30 Days Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins: Exploring the Relationship Between Macronutrient Ratios and Health Outcomes The New York Times PC Magazine The Journal of the American Medical Association The 2000 Census Data Report The Business Relocation Package published by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce A companys instruction manual explaining how to use a specic software program A news release published by the Sierra Club Some of these resources are also widely available in electronic format. In addition to the resources noted in the chart, library holdings may include primary texts such as historical documents, letters, and diaries. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 335 Writing at Work Businesses, government organizations, and nonprot organizations produce published materials that range from brief advertisements and brochures to lengthy, detailed reports. In many cases, producing these publications requires research. A corporations annual report may include research about economic or industry trends. A charity organization may use information from research in materials sent to potential donors. Regardless of the industry you work in, you may be asked to assist in developing materials for publication. Often, incorporating research in these documents can make them more eective in informing or persuading readers. Tip As you gather information, strive for a balance of accessible, easy-to-read sources and specialized, challenging sources. Relying solely on lightweight books and articles written for a general audience will drastically limit the range of useful, substantial information. On the other hand, restricting oneself to dense, scholarly works could make the process of research extremely time-consuming and frustrating. EXERCISE 1 Make a list of ve types of print resources you could use to nd information about your research topic. Include at least one primary source. Be as specic as possible. If you have a particular resource or type of resource in mind, describe it. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 7 at the end of this chapter. Tip Knowing the right keywords can make all the dierence in conducting a successful search. If you have trouble nding sources on a topic, consult a librarian to see whether you need to modify your search terms. EXERCISE 2 Visit the Library of Congresss website at http://id.loc.gov/authorities/ and conduct searches on a few terms related to your topic. 1. Review your search results and identify six to eight additional terms you might use when you conduct your research. 2. Print out your search results or use your computers Print Screen feature to save your results to your research folder. 336 periodical index A regularly updated print publication that indexes the articles published in selected newspapers, magazines, and journals and provides publication information. periodical database A regularly updated online database that indexes the articles published in selected newspapers, magazines, and journals and provides publication information. Databases may focus on general news publications or on specic subject areas. Usually databases provide summary information about an article; often they allow users to access the full text of an article. WRITING FOR SUCCESS Using Periodicals Indexes and Databases Library catalogs can help you locate book-length sources, as well as some types of nonprint holdings, such as CDs, DVDs, and audio books. To locate shorter sources, such as magazine and journal articles, you will need to use a periodical index or an online periodical database. These tools index the articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, and journals. Like catalogs, they provide publication information about an article and often allow users to access a summary or even the full text of the article. Print indexes may be available in the periodicals section of your library. Increasingly, libraries use online databases that users can access through the library website. A single library may provide access to multiple periodical databases. These can range from general news databases, such as ProQuest, to more specialized ones. Table 11.3 describes some commonly used indexes and databases. TABLE 11.3 Commonly Used Indexes and Databases Magazines that address topics relevant to a particular industry. scholarly (or academic) journals Periodicals that address topics in a specialized eld and are geared toward an audience with prior expertise in the eld. Format Contents New York Times Index print a guide to articles published in the New York Times ProQuest online a database that archives content from newspapers, magazines, and dissertations PsychLit, PsycINFO online databases that archive content from journals in psychology and psychiatry Business Source Complete online a database that archives business-related content from magazines and journals MedLine, PubMed online databases that archive articles in medicine and health EBSCO trade magazines Resource online a general database that provides access to articles on a wide variety of topics Reading Popular and Scholarly Periodicals When you search for periodicals, be sure to distinguish among dierent types. Mass-market publications, such as newspapers and popular magazines, dier from scholarly publications in their accessibility, audience, and purpose. Newspapers and magazines are written for a broader audience than scholarly journals. Their content is usually accessible and easy to read. (Trade magazines that target readers within a particular industry may presume the reader has background knowledge, but these publications are still fairly reader-friendly.) Their purpose is to inform and, often, to entertain or persuade readers as well. Scholarly or academic journals are written for a much smaller and more expert audience. The creators of these publications assume most of their readers are already familiar with the main topic of the journal. The target audience is also highly educated. Informing is the primary purpose of a scholarly journal. While a journal article may advance an agenda or advocate a position, the content will still be presented in an objective style and formal tone. Entertaining readers with breezy comments and splashy graphics is not a high priority. Because of these dierences, scholarly journals are more challenging to read. That doesnt mean you should avoid them. On the contrary, they can provide in-depth information unavailable elsewhere. Because their content is carefully reviewed by knowledgeable professionals before publication, the content is far more reliable than much of the information available in popular media. Seek out academic journals along with other resources. Just be prepared to spend a little more time processing the information. Writing at Work Periodicals databases are not just for students writing research papers. They also provide a valuable service to workers in various elds. The owner of a small business might use a database such as Business Source Premiere to nd articles on management, nance, or trends within a particular industry. Health care professionals might consult databases such as MedLine to research a particular disease or medication. Regardless of what career path you plan to pursue, periodicals databases can be useful tools for researching specic topics and identifying periodicals that will help you keep up with the latest news in your industry. Consulting a Reference Librarian Sifting through library stacks and database search results to nd the information you need can be like trying to nd a needle in a haystack! If you are not sure how you should begin your search, or if it is yielding too many or too few results, you are not alone. Many students nd this process challenging, although it does get easier with experience. One way to learn better search strategies is to consult a reference librarian. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 337 Reference librarians are intimately familiar with the systems libraries use to organize and classify information. They can help you locate a particular book in the library stacks, steer you toward useful reference works, and provide tips on how to use databases and other electronic research tools. Take the time to see what resources you can nd on your own, but if you encounter diculties, ask for help. Many university librarians hold virtual oce hours and are available for chatting. EXERCISE 4 Visit your librarys website or consult with a reference librarian to determine what periodicals indexes or databases would be useful for your research. Depending on your topic, you may rely on a general news index, a specialized index for a particular subject area, or both. Search the catalog for your topic and related keywords. Print out or bookmark your search results. 1. Identify at least one to two relevant periodicals, indexes, or databases. 2. Conduct a keyword search to nd potentially relevant articles on your topic. 3. Save your search results. If the index you are using provides article summaries, read these to determine how useful the articles are likely to be. 4. Identify at least three to ve articles to review more closely. If the full article is available online, set aside time to read it. If not, plan to visit our library within the next few days to locate the articles you need. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 7 at the end of this chapter. Boolean operators Tip One way to rene your keyword search is to use Boolean operators. These operators allow you to combine keywords, nd variations on a word, and otherwise expand or limit your results. Here are some of the ways you can use Boolean operators: < < < < < Combine keywords with and or + to limit results to citations that include both keywordsfor example, diet + nutrition. Combine keywords with not or to search for the rst word without the second. This can help you eliminate irrelevant results based on words that are similar to your search term. For example, searching on obesity not childhood locates materials on obesity but excludes materials on childhood obesity. Enclose a phrase in quotation marks to search for an exact phrase, such as morbid obesity. Use parentheses to direct the order of operations in a search string. For example, since Type II diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes, you could search (Type II or adult-onset) and diabetes to limit your search results to articles on this form of the disease. Use a wild card symbol such as #, ?, or $ after a word to search for variations on a term. For instance, you might type diabet# to search for information on diabetes and diabetics. The specic symbol used varies with dierent databases. Finding and Using Electronic Resources With the expansion of technology and media over the past few decades, a wealth of information is available to you in electronic format. Some types of resources, such as a television documentary, may only be available electronically. Other resourcesfor instance, many newspapers and magazinesmay be available in both print and electronic form. Some of the electronic sources you might consult are as follows: online databases CD-ROMs < popular Web search engines < Websites maintained by businesses, universities, nonprot organizations, or government agencies < newspapers, magazines, and journals published on the Web < e-books < audio books < industry blogs < < Words or symbolssuch as and, not, , or +that allow researchers to expand or limit search results on the Web or in a database. 338 WRITING FOR SUCCESS radio and television programs and other audio and video recordings < online discussion groups < The techniques you use to locate print resources can also help you nd electronic resources eciently. Libraries usually include CD-ROMs, audiobooks, and audio and video recordings among their holdings. You can locate these materials in the catalog using a keyword search. The same Boolean operators used to rene database searches can help you lter your results in popular search engines. Using Internet Search Engines Efficiently When faced with the challenge of writing a research paper, some students rely on popular search engines as their rst source of information. Typing a keyword or phrase into a search engine instantly pulls up links to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of related websiteswhat could be easier? Unfortunately, despite its apparent convenience, this research strategy has drawbacks: Results do not always appear in order of reliability. The rst few hits that appear in search results may include sites whose content is not always reliable, such as online encyclopedias that can be edited by any user. Because websites are created by third parties, the search engine cannot tell you which sites have accurate information. < Results may be too numerous for you to use. The amount of information available on the Web is far greater than the amount of information housed within a particular library or database. Realistically, if your Web search pulls up thousands of hits, you will not be able to visit every siteand the most useful sites may be buried deep within your search results. < Search engines are not connected the results of the search. Search engines simply nd websites that people frequent often and list the results in order of popularity. The search engine, then, is not connected to any of the results. When you cite a source you found through a search engine, you do not need to cite the search engine. Only cite the source. < A general Web search can provide a helpful overview of a topic and may pull up genuinely useful resources. To get the most out of a search engine, however, use strategies to make your search more ecient. Use multiple keywords and Boolean operators to limit your results. Click on the Advanced Search link on the homepage to nd additional options for streamlining your search. Depending on the specic search engine you use, the following options may be available: Limit results to websites that have been updated within a particular time frame. < Limit results by language or country. < Limit results to scholarly works available online. < Limit results by le type. < Limit results to a particular domain type, such as .edu (school and university sites) or .gov (government sites). This is a quick way to lter out commercial sites, which can often lead to more objective results. < Use the bookmarks or favorites feature of your Web browser to save and organize sites that look promising. Using Other Information Sources: Interviews With so many print and electronic media readily available, it is easy to overlook another valuable information resource: other people. Consider whether you could use a person or group as a primary source. For instance, you might interview a professor who has expertise in a particular subject, a worker within a particular industry, or a representative from a political organization. Interviews can be a great way to get rsthand information. To get the most out of an interview, you will need to plan ahead. Contact your subject early in the research process and explain your purpose for requesting an interview. Prepare detailed questions. Open-ended questions, rather than questions with simple yes or no answers, are more likely to lead to an in-depth discussion. Schedule a time to meet and be sure to obtain your subjects permission to record the interview. Take careful notes and be ready to ask follow-up questions based on what you learn. Tip If scheduling an in-person meeting is dicult, consider arranging a telephone or email interview. Recognize that any of these formats takes time and eort. Be prompt and courteous, avoid going over the allotted interview time, and be exible if your subject needs to reschedule. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 339 4.2 Evaluating Research Resources As you gather sources, you will need to examine them with a critical eye. Smart researchers continually ask themselves two questions: Is this source relevant to my purpose? and Is this source reliable? The rst question will help you avoid wasting valuable time reading sources that stray too far from your specic topic and research questions. The second question will help you nd accurate, trustworthy sources. Determining Whether a Source is Relevant At this point in your research process, you may have identied dozens of potential sources. It is easy for writers to get so caught up in checking out books and printing out articles that they forget to ask themselves how they will use these resources in their research. Now is a good time to get a little ruthless. Reading and making notes take time and energy, so focus on the most relevant sources. To weed through your stack of books and articles, skim their contents. Read quickly with your research questions and subtopics in mind. Table 11.4 explains how to skim to get a quick sense of what topics are covered. If a book or article is not especially relevant, put it aside. You can always come back to it later if you need to. TABLE 11.4 Tips for Skimming Books and Articles Tips for Skimming Books 1. Read the dust jacket and table of contents for a broad overview of the topics covered. 2. Use the index to locate more specic topics and see how thoroughly they are covered. 3. Flip through the book and look for subtitles or key terms that correspond to your research. Tips for Skimming Articles 1. Skim the introduction and conclusion for summary material. 2. Skim through subheadings and text features such as sidebars. 3. Look for keywords related to your topic. 4. Journal articles often begin with an abstract or summary of the contents. Read it to determine the articles relevance to your research. Determining Whether a Source is Reliable All information sources are not created equal. Sources can vary greatly in terms of how carefully they are researched, written, edited, and reviewed for accuracy. Common sense will help you identify obviously questionable sources, such as tabloids that feature tales of alien abductions, or personal websites with glaring typos. Sometimes, however, a sources reliabilityor lack of itis not so obvious. For more information about source reliability, see Chapter 12. To evaluate your research sources, you will use critical thinking skills consciously and deliberately. You will consider criteria such as the type of source, its intended purpose and audience, the authors (or authors) qualications, the publications reputation, any indications of bias or hidden agendas, how current the source is, and the overall quality of the writing, thinking, and design. Evaluating Types of Sources The dierent types of sources you will consult are written for dierent purposes and with dierent audiences in mind. This accounts for other dierences, such as: how thoroughly the writers cover a given topic < how carefully the writers research and document facts < how editors review the work < what biases or agendas aect the content < A journal article, written for an academic audience for the purpose of expanding scholarship in a given eld, will take an approach quite dierent from a magazine feature written to inform a general audience. Textbooks, hard news articles, and websites approach a subject from dierent angles as well. To some extent, the type of source provides clues about its overall depth and reliability. Table 11.5 ranks dierent source types. 340 WRITING FOR SUCCESS TABLE 11.5 Source Rankings High-Quality Sources These sources provide the most in-depth information. They are researched and written by subject-matter experts and are carefully reviewed. < < < < < Varied-Quality Sources These sources are often useful. However, they do not cover subjects in as much depth as the sources listed above, and they are not always rigorously researched and reviewed. Some, such as popular magazine articles or company brochures, may be written to market a product or a cause. Use them with caution. < < < Questionable Sources These sources should be avoided. They are often written primarily to attract a large readership or present the authors opinions and are not subject to careful review. < Scholarly books and articles in scholarly journals Trade books and magazines geared toward an educated general audience, such as Smithsonian magazine or Nature Government documents, such as books, reports, and Web pages Documents posted online by reputable organizations, such as universities and research institutes Textbooks and reference books, which are usually reliable but may not cover a topic in great depth News stories and feature articles (print or online) from reputable newspapers, magazines, or organizations, such as Newsweek or the Public Broadcasting Service Popular magazine articles, which may or may not be carefully researched and fact-checked Documents published by businesses and nonprot organizations Loosely regulated or unregulated media content, such as Internet discussion boards, blogs, free online encyclopedias, talk radio shows, TV news shows with obvious political biases, personal websites, and chat rooms Tip Free online encyclopedias and wikis may seem like a great source of information. They usually appear among the rst few results of a Web search. They cover thousands of topics, and many articles use an informal, straightforward writing style. Unfortunately, these sites have no control system for researching, writing, and reviewing articles. Instead, they rely on a community of users to police themselves. At best, these sites can be a starting point for nding other, more trustworthy sources. Never use them as nal sources. authors credibility The extent to which an authors writing about a topic is believable or trustworthy. Writers evaluate credibility by considering the authors professional expertise or academic qualications on the topic. reputability (for publications) A publications established reputation as a respectable, reliable source of information. Evaluating Credibility and Reputability Even when you are using a type of source that is generally reliable, you still need to evaluate the authors credibility and the publication itself on an individual basis. To determine the authors credibilitythat is, how much you can believe of what the author has to sayexamine his or her credentials. What career experience or academic study shows the author has the expertise to write about this topic? Keep in mind that expertise in one eld is no guarantee of expertise in another, unrelated area. For instance, an author may have an advanced degree in physiology, but this credential is not a valid qualication for writing about psychology. Check credentials carefully. Just as important as the authors credibility is the publications overall reputabilityits standing and reputation as a respectable, reliable source of information. A long-running newspaper, such as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, is more reputable than a college newspaper put out by inexperienced students. A website maintained and regularly updated by a well-known, respected organization is more reputable than one created by an unknown author or group. If you are using articles from scholarly journals, you can check databases that keep count of how many times each article has been cited in more recent articles. This can be a rough indication of the articles quality or, at the very least, of its inuence on other scholars. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH Checking for Biases and Hidden Agendas Whenever you consult a source, always think carefully about the authors or authors purpose in presenting the information. Few sources present facts completely objectively. In some cases, the sources content and tone are signicantly inuenced by biases or hidden agendas. Bias refers to favoritism or prejudice toward a particular person or group. For instance, an author may be biased against a certain political party and present information in a way that subtlyor not so subtlymakes that organization look bad. Bias can lead an author to present facts selectively, edit quotations to misrepresent someones words, and distort information. Hidden agendas are goals that are not immediately obvious but inuence how an author presents the facts. For instance, an article about the role of beef in a healthy diet would be questionable if it were written by a representative of the beef industryor by the president of an animal rights organization. In both cases, the author would likely have a hidden agenda. As Jorge conducted his research, he read several research studies in which scientists found signicant benets to following a low-carbohydrate diet. He also noticed something interesting. Many studies were sponsored by a foundation associated with the author of a popular series of low-carbohydrate diet books. Jorge read these studies with a critical eye, knowing that a hidden agenda might be shaping the researchers conclusions. Using Current Sources Be sure to seek out sources that are current or up to date. Depending on the topic, sources may become outdated soon after publication, or they may remain useful for years. For instance, online social networking sites have evolved rapidly over the past few years. A 2002 article about this topic will not provide current information. On the other hand, a research paper on elementary education practices might refer to classic studies published decades ago by inuential child psychologists. When using websites for research, check to see when the site was last updated. Many sites publish this information on the home page, and some, such as news sites, are usually updated daily or weekly. Numerous nonfunctioning links are a sign that a website is not regularly updated. Do not be afraid to ask your professor for suggestions if you nd that many of your most relevant sources are not especially reliableor that the most reliable sources are not relevant. Evaluating Overall Quality by Asking Questions When you evaluate a source, you will consider the criteria above as well as your overall impressions of its quality. Read carefully, and notice how well the author presents and supports his or her statements. Stay actively engageddo not simply accept an authors words as truth. Ask questions to determine each sources value. Checklist 11.1 below lists 10 questions to ask as a critical reader. Checklist 11.1: Source Evaluation _____ Is the type of source appropriate for my purpose? Is it a high-quality source or one that needs to be looked at more critically? _____ Can I establish that the author is credible and the publication is reputable? _____ Does the author support ideas with specic facts and details that are carefully documented? Is the source of the authors information clear? (When you use secondary sources, look for sources that are not too removed from primary research.) _____Does the source include any factual errors or instances of faulty logic? _____Does the author leave out any information that I would expect to see in a discussion of this topic? _____Do the authors conclusions logically follow from the evidence that is presented? Can I see how the author got from point A to point B? _____Is the writing clear, organized, and free of errors, clichs, and empty buzzwords? Is the tone objective, balanced and reasonable? (Be on the lookout for extreme, emotionally charged language.) _____ Are there any obvious biases or agendas? Based on what I know about the author(s), are there likely to be any hidden agendas? _____Are graphics informative, useful, and easy to understand? Are websites organized, easy to navigate, and free of clutter like ashing ads and unnecessary sound eects? _____Is the source contradicted by information found in other sources? (If so, it is possible that your sources are presenting similar information but taking dierent perspectives, which requires you to think carefully about which sources you nd more convincing and why. Be suspicious, however, of any source that presents facts you cannot conrm anywhere else.) 341 bias Favoritism or prejudice toward a particular person or group. Writers critically examine research sources for biases. hidden agendas Goals that are not immediately obvious but that inuence the way an author presents the facts in a piece of writing.. 342 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work The critical thinking skills you use to evaluate research sources as a student are equally valuable when you conduct research on the job. If you follow certain periodicals or websites, you have probably identied publications that consistently provide reliable information. Reading blogs and online discussion groups is a great way to identify new trends and hot topics in a particular eld, but these sources should not be used for substantial research. EXERCISE 5 Use a search engine to conduct a Web search on your topic. Refer to the tips provided earlier to help you streamline your search. Evaluate your search results critically based on the criteria you have learned. Identify and bookmark one or more websites that are reliable, reputable, and likely to be useful in your research. 4.3 Strategies for Managing Source Information As you determine which sources you will rely on most, its important to establish a system for keeping track of your sources and taking notes. There are several ways to go about it, and no one system is necessarily superior. What matters is that you keep materials in order, record bibliographical information you will need later, and take detailed, organized notes. Keeping Track of Your Sources working bibliography A preliminary list of sources that a writer maintains during the research process and later uses to develop the References page(s) in the research paper. Think ahead to a moment a few weeks from now, when youve written your research paper and are almost ready to submit it for a grade. There is just one task leftwriting a page that lists your sources. You plan to wrap this up in an hour or two and spend the rest of your evening enjoying some muchdeserved rest and relaxation. As you begin typing your list, you realize you need to include the publication information for a book you cited frequently. Unfortunately, you already returned it to the library several days ago. You dont remember the URLs for some of the websites you used or the dates you accessed theminformation that also must be included in your bibliography. Retracing your steps will take time. With a sinking feeling, you realize that preparing your bibliography will require hours of work. Needless to say, the stressful scenario above is best avoided. Taking time to organize source information now will ensure that you are not scrambling to nd it at the last minute. Throughout your research, record bibliographical information for each source as soon as you begin using it. You may use pen-and-paper methods, such as a notebook or note cards, or maintain an electronic list. (If you prefer the latter option, many oce software packages include programs for recording bibliographic information.) Table 11.6 shows the specic details you should record for commonly used source types. Use these details to develop a working bibliographya preliminary list of sources that you will later use to develop the References page(s) in your paper. You may wish to record information using the formatting system of the American Psychological Association (APA), which will save a step later on. (For more information on APA formatting, see Chapter 13.) TABLE 11.6 Details for Commonly Used Source Types Source Type Information needed book Author(s), title and subtitle, publisher, city of publication, year of publication essay or article published in a book Include all of the information you would for any other book. Additionally, record the essay or articles title and author(s), the pages on which it appears, and the name of the books editor(s). periodical Author(s), article title, publication title, date of publication, volume and issue number, and page numbers online source Author(s) (if available), article or document title, organization that sponsors the site, database name (if applicable), date of publication, date you accessed the site, and URL interview Name, method of communication, date of interview Your research may involve less common types of sources not listed on the chart above. For additional information on citing dierent sources, see Chapter 13. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 343 EXERCISE 6 Create your working bibliography using the format that is most convenient for you. List at least ve sources you plan to use. Continue to add sources to your working bibliography throughout the research process. For Answers to this Exercise, please see Section 7 at the end of this chapter. Tip To make your working bibliography even more complete, you may wish to record additional details, such as a books call number or contact information for a person you interviewed. That way, if you need to locate a source again, you have all the information you need right at your ngertips. You may also wish to assign a code number to each source to use when taking notes. Taking Notes Efficiently Good researchers stay focused and organized as they gather information from sources. Before you begin taking notes, take a moment to step back and think about your goal as a researcher: to nd information that will help you answer your research question. When you write your paper, you will present your conclusions about the topic, supported by research. That goal will determine what information you record and how you organize it. Writers sometime get caught up in taking extensive notes, so much so that they lose sight of how their notes relate to the questions and ideas they started out with. Remember that you do not need to write down every detail from your reading. Focus on nding and recording details that will help you answer your research questions. The strategies discussed below will help you take notes eciently. Use Headings to Organize Ideas Whether you use old-fashioned index cards or organize your notes using word-processing software, record just one major point from one source at a time, and use a heading to sum up what is covered. Keep all your notes in one le, digital or otherwise. Doing so will help you identify connections among dierent pieces of information. It will also help you make connections between your notes and the research questions and subtopics you identied earlier. Know When to Summarize, Paraphrase, or Quote a Source Directly Your notes will fall under three categories: summary notes, paraphrased information, and direct quotations from your sources. Eective researchers make choices about which type of notes is most appropriate for their purpose. < summary notes structure. < Summary notes sum up the main ideas in a source in a few sentences or a short paragraph. A summary is considerably shorter than the original text and captures only the major ideas. Use summary notes when you do not need to record specic details but intend to refer to broad concepts the author discusses. < Notes that sum up the main ideas in a source in a few sentences or a short paragraph. A summary is considerably shorter than the original text. Direct quotations use the exact wording used by the original source and enclose the quoted paraphrased notes Paraphrased notes restate a fact or idea from a source using your own words and sentence material in quotation marks. Copy direct quotations when an author expresses an idea in an especially lively or memorable way. However, do not rely exclusively on direct quotations in your note-taking. Most of your notes should be paraphrased from the original source. Paraphrasing as you take notes is usually a better strategy than copying direct quotations, because it forces you to think through the information in your source and understand it well enough to restate it. In short, it helps you stay engaged with the material instead of simply copying and pasting. That will help you later when you begin planning and drafting your paper. (For detailed guidelines on summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting, see Section 11.6.) Maintain Complete, Accurate Notes Regardless of the format used, any notes you take should include enough information to help you organize ideas and locate them instantly in the original text if you need to review them. Make sure your notes include the following elements: < a heading summing up the main topic covered Notes that restate a fact or idea from a source in the writers own words. direct quotations (in notes) Notes that use the exact wording found in the original source and enclose the quoted material in quotation marks. 344 WRITING FOR SUCCESS the authors name, a source code, or an abbreviated source title < the page number < the full URL of any pages buried deep in a website < Throughout the process of taking notes, be scrupulous about making sure you correctly attribute each idea to its source. Always include source information so you know exactly which ideas came from which sources. Use quotation marks to set o any words or phrases taken directly from the original text. If you add your own responses and ideas, make sure they are distinct from ideas you quoted or paraphrased. Finally, make sure your notes accurately reect the content of the original text. Make sure quoted material is copied verbatim. If you omit words from a quotation, use ellipses to show the omission, and make sure the omission does not change the authors meaning. Paraphrase ideas carefully and check your paraphrased notes against the original text to make sure that you have restated the authors ideas accurately in your own words. Use a System that Works for You There are several formats you can use to take notes. No technique is necessarily better than the otherswhat is important is to choose a format you are comfortable using. Regardless of the format you choose, use the strategies described above to make sure your notes are organized, complete, and accurate. Here are a few formats to choose from: Use index cards. This traditional format involves recording ideas by hand. It takes more time than copying and pasting into an electronic document, but that encourages you to be selective in choosing which ideas to record. Recording notes on separate cards makes it easy to organize your notes later according to major topics. Some writers color-code their cards to make them still more organized. < Use note-taking software. Word-processing and oce software packages often include dierent types of note-taking software. Although you may need to set aside some time to learn the software, this method combines the speed of typing with the same degree of organization associated with handwritten note cards. < Maintain a research notebook. Instead of using paper or electronic note cards, you may wish to keep a notebook or electronic folder, allotting a few pages (or one le) for each of your sources. This method makes it easy for you to create a separate column or section of the document where you add your responses to the ideas you encounter in your research. < Annotate your sources. This method involves printing, photocopying, or saving electronic copies of articles and taking notes in the margins, by hand or electronically. (For example, you might add comment boxes to a PDF of an article.) This method works best for experienced researchers who have already thought a great deal about the topic; otherwise, it can be dicult to organize your notes later when you begin your draft. < Choose one of the methods describe above to use for your note taking. Continue gathering sources and taking notes. In the next section, you will learn strategies for organizing and synthesizing the information you have found. KEY < < < < < < TAKEAWAYS A writers use of primary and secondary sources is determined by the topic and purpose of the research. Sources used may include print sources such as books and journals; electronic sources such as websites and articles retrieved from databases; and human sources of information such as interviews. Strategies that help writers locate sources eciently include conducting eective keyword searches, understanding how to use online catalogs and databases, using strategies to narrow Web search results, and consulting reference librarians. Writers evaluate sources based on how relevant they are to the research question and how reliable their content is. Skimming sources can help writers determine their relevance eciently. Writers evaluate a sources reliability by asking questions about the type of source (including its audience and purpose), the authors credibility, the publications reputability, the sources currency, and the overall quality of the writing, research, logic, and design in the source. In their notes, eective writers record organized, complete, accurate information. This includes bibliographic information about each source as well as summarized, paraphrased, or quoted information from the source. CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 345 5. CRITICAL THINKING AND RESEARCH APPLICATIONS LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Analyze source materials to determine how they support or refute the working thesis 2. Identify connections between source materials and eliminate redundant or irrelevant source materials 3. Identify instances when it is appropriate to use human sources, such as interviews or eyewitness testimony 4. Select information from sources to begin answering the research questions. 5. Determine an appropriate organizational structure for the research paper that uses critical analysis to connect the writers ideas and information taken from sources At this point in your project, you are preparing to move from the research phase to the writing phase. You have gathered much of the information you will use, and soon you will be ready to begin writing your draft. This section of Chapter 11 helps you transition smoothly from one phase to the next. Beginning writers sometimes attempt to transform a pile of note cards into a formal research paper without any intermediary step. This approach presents problems. The writers original question and thesis may be buried in a ood of disconnected details taken from research sources. The rst draft may present redundant or contradictory information. Worst of all, the writers ideas and voice may be lost. An eective research paper focuses on the writers ideasthe question that sparked the research process, and how the writer answers that question now, based on his or her ndings. Before beginning a draft, or even an outline, good writers pause and reect. They ask themselves questions such as the following: How has my thinking changed based on my research? What have I learned? < Was my working thesis on target? Do I need to rework my thesis based on what I have learned? < How does the information in my sources mesh with my research questions and help me answer those questions? Have any additional important questions or subtopics come up that I will need to address in my paper? < How do my sources complement each other? What ideas or facts recur in multiple sources? < Where do my sources disagree with each other, and why? < In this section, you will reect on your research and review the information you have gathered. You will gure out what you now think about your topic. You will synthesize, or put together, dierent pieces of information that help you answer your research questions. Finally, you will determine the organizational structure that works best for your paper and begin planning your outline. EXERCISE 1 Review the research questions and working thesis you developed in Section 2. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write about your topic, using your questions and thesis to guide your writing. Do this exercise without looking over your notes or sources. Base your writing on the overall impressions and concepts you have absorbed while conducting research. If additional, related questions come to mind, jot them down. 5.1 Selecting Useful Information At this point in the research process, you have gathered information from a wide variety of sources. Now it is time to think about how you will use this information as a writer. When you conduct research, you keep an open mind and seek out many promising sources. You take notes on any information that looks like it might help you answer your research questions. Often, new ideas and terms come up in your reading, and these, too, nd their way into your notes. You may have recorded facts or quotations that caught your attention even if they did not seem immediately relevant to your research question. You have probably amassed an impressively detailed collection of notes. You will not use all of your notes in your paper. synthesize To combine dierent elements in order to create something new. When writing a research paper, writers synthesize information to arrive at new ideas or conclusions. 346 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Good researchers are thorough. They look at multiple perspectives, facts, and ideas related to their topic, and they gather a great deal of information. Eective writers, however, are selective. They determine which information is most relevant and appropriate for their purpose. They include details that develop or explain their ideasand they leave out details that do not. The writer, not the pile of notes, is the controlling force. The writer shapes the content of the research paper. As you worked through Section 4, you used strategies to lter out unreliable or irrelevant sources and details. Now you will apply your critical-thinking skills to the information you recordedanalyzing it, guring out how it meshes with your ideas, and nding connections and patterns. Writing at Work When you create workplace documents based on research, selectivity is equally important. A project team may spend months conducting market surveys to prepare for rolling out a new productbut few executives have time to read the research in its entirety. Most employees want the research distilled into a few well-supported points. Focused, concise writing is highly valued in the workplace. Identify Information that Supports Your Thesis In Exercise 1, you revisited your research questions and working thesis. The process of writing informally helped you see how you might begin to pull together what you have learned from your research. Do not feel anxious, however, if you still have trouble seeing the big picture. Looking through your notes systematically will help you. Begin going through your notes. Identify those that clearly support your thesis. Mark or group these, either physically or by using the cut-and-paste function of your word-processing program. As you identify these crucial details, make sure you analyze them critically. Ask questions to focus your thinking: Is this detail from a reliable, high-quality source? Is it appropriate for me to cite this source in an academic paper? The bulk of your support for your thesis should come from reliable, reputable sources. If most of the note cards in your support pile are from less-reliable sources, you may need to do additional research or modify your thesis. < Is the link between this information and my thesis obviousor will I need to explain it to my readers? Remember that you have spent more time thinking and reading about this topic than your audience. Some connections might be obvious to both you and your readers. More often, however, you will need to provide the analysis or explanation that shows how the information supports your thesis. As you go through your notes, you may want to jot down ideas you have for making those connections clear. < What personal biases or experiences might aect the way I interpret this information? No researcher is 100 percent objective. We all have opinions and experiences that inuence our reactions to what we read and learn. Good researchers are aware of this human tendency. They keep an open mind when they read opinions or facts that contradict their beliefs. < Tip It can be tempting to ignore information that does not support your thesis or that contradicts it outright. Such information is important, however. At the very least, it gives you a sense of what has been written about the issue. More importantly, it can help you question and rene your own thinking, so that writing your research paper is a true learning process. Find Connections between Your Sources As you nd connections between your ideas and information in your sources, also look for connections among your sources. Do most sources seem to agree on a particular idea? Are some facts mentioned repeatedly in many dierent sources? What key terms or major concepts come up in most of your sources, regardless of whether the sources agree on the ner points? Identifying these connections will help you identify important ideas to discuss in your paper. Look for subtler ways your sources complement one another, too. Does one author refer to anothers book or article? How do more recent sources build upon the ideas developed in earlier sources? Be aware of any redundancies in your sources. If you have amassed solid support from a reputable source, such as a scholarly journal, there is no need to cite the same facts from an online encyclopedia article that is many steps removed from any primary research. If a given source adds nothing new to CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH your discussion, and you can cite a stronger source for the same information, go with the stronger source. Determine how you will address any contradictions found among dierent sources. For instance, if one source cites a startling fact you cannot conrm anywhere else, it is safe to dismiss the information as unreliable. However, if you nd signicant disagreements among reliable sources, you will need to review them and evaluate each source. Which source presents a sounder argument or more solid evidence? It is up to you to determine which source is the most credible and why. Finally, do not ignore any information simply because it does not support your thesis. Carefully consider how that information ts into the big picture of your research. You may decide that the source is unreliable or the information is not really relevantor you may decide it is an important point you need to bring up. What matters is that you give it careful consideration. As Jorge reviewed his research, he realized that some of the information was not useful for his purpose. His notes included several statements about the relationship between sugary soft drinks and childhood obesitya subtopic that was too far outside of the main focus of the paper. Jorge decided to cut this material. Reevaluate Your Working Thesis A careful analysis of your notes will help you reevaluate your working thesis and determine whether you need to revise it. Remember that your working thesis was your starting pointnot the end point of your research. You can and should revise it if your ideas changed based on what you read. Even if your sources generally conrmed your earlier thinking on the topic, it is still a good idea to tweak the wording of your thesis to incorporate specics you learned from research. Jorge realized that his working thesis oversimplied the issues. He still believed the media is exaggerating the benets of low-carb diets. However, his research led him to conclude that these diets do have some advantages. Read Jorges revised thesis below. 5.2 Synthesizing and Organizing Information By now your thinking on your topic is taking shape. You have a sense of what major ideas to address in your paper, what points you can easily support, and what questions or subtopics might need a little more thought. In short, you have begun the process of synthesizing informationputting the pieces together into a coherent whole. It is normal to nd this part of the process dicult. Some questions or concepts may still seem fuzzy. You may not yet know how you will tie all of your research together. Synthesizing information is a complex, demanding mental task, and even experienced researchers struggle with it at times. A little uncertainty is often a good sign! It means you are challenging yourself to work thoughtfully with your topic instead of simply going through the motions. Use Your Research Questions to Synthesize Information You have already considered how your notes t with your working thesis. Now, take your synthesis a step further. Analyze how your notes relate to your major research question and the sub-questions you identied in Section 2. Organize your notes with headings that correspond to those questions. As you proceed, you may identify some important subtopics that were not part of your original planor you may decide that some questions are not relevant to your paper. Categorize information carefully and continue to think critically about the material. Ask yourself whether the sources are reliable and the connections between ideas are clear. Remember that your ideas and conclusions will shape the paper. They are the glue that holds the rest of the content together. As you work, begin jotting down the big ideas you will use to connect the 347 348 WRITING FOR SUCCESS dots for your reader. (If you are not sure where to begin, try answering your major research question and sub-questions. Add and answer new questions as appropriate.) You might record these big ideas on sticky notes or type and highlight them within an electronic document. Jorge looked back on the list of research questions that he had written down earlier. He changed a few to match his new thesis and began a rough outline for his paper. EXERCISE 2 Review your research questions and working thesis again. This time, keep them close at hand as you review your research notes. 1. Identify information that supports your working thesis. 2. Identify details that call your thesis into question. Determine whether you need to modify your thesis. 3. Use your research questions to identify key ideas in your paper. Begin categorizing your notes according to which topics are addressed. (You may nd yourself adding important topics or deleting unimportant ones as you proceed.) 4. Write out your revised thesis and at least two or three big ideas. How is it that my ideas are supposed to shape the paper? you may be wondering. After all, shouldnt my research paper be based on research? Integrating your ideas and information from research is a complex process, and sometimes it can be dicult to separate the two. Some paragraphs in your paper will consist mostly of details from your research. That is ne, as long as you explain what those details add up to or how they are linked. You will also include sentences and transitions that show the relationship between dierent facts from your researchgrouping CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 349 related ideasor pointing out connections or contrasts. As a result, you are not simply presenting information; you are synthesizing, analyzing, and interpreting it. Plan How to Organize Your Paper The nal step to complete before beginning your draft is to choose an organizational structure. For some assignments, this may be determined by the instructors requirements. For instance, if you are asked to explore the impact of a new communications device, a cause-and-eect structure is obviously appropriate. In other cases, you will need to determine the structure yourself based on what suits your topic and purpose. For more information about structures used when writing, see Chapter 10. The purpose of Jorges paper was primarily to persuade. With that in mind, he planned the outline below. EXERCISE 3 Review the organizational structures listed above. Working with the notes you organized earlier, begin planning how to organize your paper. 1. Create an outline that includes your thesis and major subtopics and supporting points. 2. The major headings in your outline will become sections or paragraphs in your paper. Remember that your ideas should form the backbone of the paper. For each major section of your outline, write out a topic sentence stating the main point you will make in that section. 3. As you complete Step 2, you may nd that some points are too complex to explain in a sentence. Consider whether any major sections of your outline need to be broken up and jot down additional topic sentences as needed. 4. Review your notes and determine how the dierent pieces of information t into your outline as supporting points. 350 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Writing at Work The structures described in this section can also help you when you need to organize dierent types of workplace documents. For instance, medical incident reports and police reports follow a chronological structure. If your company must choose between two dierent vendors to provide a service, you might write an email to your supervisor comparing and contrasting the choices. Understanding when and how to use dierent organizational structures can help you write workplace documents eciently and eectively. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS An eective research paper focuses on presenting the writers ideas, using information from research as support. Eective writers spend time reviewing, synthesizing, and organizing their research notes before they begin drafting a research paper. It is important for writers to revisit their research questions and working thesis as they transition from the research phase to the writing phrase of a project. Usually, the working thesis will need at least minor adjustments. To organize a research paper, writers choose a structure that is appropriate for the topic and purpose. Longer papers may use more than one structure. 6. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. In this chapter, you learned strategies for generating and narrowing a topic for a research paper. Below is a list of ve general topics. Use freewriting and preliminary research to narrow three of these topics to manageable size for a ve- to seven-page research paper. Save your list of topics in a print or electronic le and add to it periodically as you identify additional areas of interest. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Illegal immigration in the United States Bias in the media The role of religion in educational systems The possibility of life in outer space Modern-day slavery around the world II. Working with one of the topics you identied above, use the research skills you learned in this chapter to locate three to ve potentially useful print and/or electronic sources of information about the topic. Create a list that includes the following: < < < one subject-specic periodicals database likely to include relevant articles on your topic two articles about your topic written for an educated general audience at least one article about your topic written for an audience with specialized knowledge III. Organize your list of resources into primary and secondary sources. What makes them such? Pick one primary source and one secondary source and write a sentence or two summarizing the information that they provide. Then answer these questions: < < What type of primary source did you choose? Who wrote it, and why? Do you think this source provides accurate information, or is it biased in some way? Where did the information in the secondary source come from? Was the author citing an initial study, piece of literature, or work of art? Where could you nd the primary source? CHAPTER 11 WRITING FROM RESEARCH 7. ANSWERS TO CHAPTER EXERCISES Section 1 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. Your working thesis can be adapted up until you begin to draft your paper. Remember, altering your thesis is better than trying to make the data t your existing argument. 2. Your project schedule should include the time it will take to both research and write your paper, as well as a few extra days in case anything goes wrong. 3. By not organizing your research, you run the risk of having a weak, unsupported thesis and a sloppy, misleading paper. Section 3 Exercise 3 Answers: 1. Problem: My computer crashes. Solution: Backup all notes, references, and writing on an external device. 2. Problem: I get sick and have to take a few days o. Solution: Build enough days into my schedule so that I have a few days of padding. 3. Problem: I lose the note cards my references were written on. Solution: Save an electronic copy of my sources. 4. Problem: A key book I need is checked out of the library. Solution: Talk with the library sta ahead of time to locate other, alternative sources. Find out if the books I need are available at my library or if they need to be specially ordered. 5. Problem: New data is released that invalidates my thesis. Solution: Be aware of ongoing studies or developments regarding my topic. Talk with my professor to see if he or she is aware of any new research that may be pertinent. Section 4 Exercise 1 Sample Answers: Jorge completed a list of possible resources for his paper on low-carb diets. They included: < < < < < articles in health magazines such as Prevention and Mens Health clinical studies in scientic journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine court documents for legal cases that involved low-carbohydrate diets newspaper articles on the pros and cons of the Atkins diet transcriptions of interviews from talk shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and Good Morning America To nd print resources eciently, rst identify the major concepts and terms you will use to conduct your searchthat is, your keywords. These, along with the research questions you identied in Lesson 11.2, will help you nd sources using any of the following methods: < < < using the librarys online catalog or card catalog using periodicals indexes and databases consulting a reference librarian You probably already have some keywords in mind based on your preliminary research and writing. Another way to identify useful keywords is to visit the Library of Congresss website at http://id.loc.gov/authorities/. This site allows you to search for a topic and see the related subject headings used by the Library of Congress, including broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms. Other libraries, in turn, use these terms to classify materials. Knowing the most-used terms will speed up your keyword search. Jorge used the Library of Congress site to identify general terms he could use to nd research resources about low-carb dieting. His search helped him identify potentially useful keywords and related topics, such as carbohydrates in human nutrition, glycemic index, and carbohydratesmetabolism. These terms helped him rene his search. Section 4 Exercise 4 Answers: Jorge worked through this exercise for his own research paper. His answers are below. 1. I can use MedLine to search for research papers on low-carb diets and check the New York Times index for newspaper articles on the topic. 2. Keywords or phrases I can search for: Robert Atkins, Arthur Agatston, South Beach, carbohydrates, fat breakdown, insulin levels, saturated fat, and ketosis. 3. I bookmarked a search for South Beach and ketosis on MedLine that looked promising. 4. Articles I found online: A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia, by Yancy et al; Eects of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat diets on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, by Nordmann et al. 351 352 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Articles I need to nd in my library: A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity, by Foster et al; Why Wait to Lose Weight? by Richard Parker in Health & Fitness magazine. Section 4 Exercise 6 Answers: Jorge created a working bibliography for his research paper. His notes are below. Books: Exercise and the Brain by Robert Cole, published in London, UK, by Ace Publishers in 2007. Keeping It Fit! by Katherine Abbas, published in Centerville, KY, by Red Hawk Inc. in 2009. Articles: Diets for Life by Dr. Declan McAster, pages 7577 in the magazine Healthy Life (volume 6, issue 3), May 2010. Websites: An article on the Mayo Clinics website, titled Fitness Basics, written by Mayo Clinic sta on March 19, 2009 (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tness/MY00396). I found the site on August 5, 2010. Interviews: I interviewed Dr. Maria Valz, Professor of Health and Gender Studies at the University of Dallas, on September 2, 2010. CHAPTER 12 Writing a Research Paper 1. CREATE A ROUGH DRAFT FOR A RESEARCH PAPER LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Apply strategies for drafting an eective introduction and conclusion 2. Identify when and how to summarize, paraphrase, and directly quote information from research sources 3. Apply guidelines for citing sources within the body of the paper and the bibliography 4. Use primary and secondary research to support ideas 5. Identify purposes for which writers use each type of research At last, you are ready to begin writing the rough draft of your research paper. Putting your thinking and research into words is exciting. It can also be challenging. In this section, you will learn strategies for handling the more challenging aspects of writing a research paper, such as integrating material from your sources, citing information correctly, and avoiding any misuse of your sources. 1.1 The Structure of a Research Paper Research papers generally follow the same basic structure: an introduction that presents the writers thesis, a body section that develops the thesis with supporting points and evidence, and a conclusion that revisits the thesis and provides additional insights or suggestions for further research. Your writing voice will come across most strongly in your introduction and conclusion, as you work to get (and keep) your readers interest and establish your thesis. These sections usually do not cite sources at length. They focus on the big picture, not specic details. In contrast, the body of your paper will cite sources extensively. As you present your ideas, you will support your points with details from your research. Writing Your Introduction There are several approaches to writing an introduction, each of which fullls the same goals: get readers attention, provide background information, and present the writers thesis. Many writers like to begin with one of the following catchy openers: < < < < < a surprising fact a thought-provoking question an attention-getting quote a brief anecdote that illustrates a larger concept a connection between your topic and your readers experiences The next few sentences place the opener in context by presenting background information. From there, the writer builds toward a thesistraditionally stated at the end of the introduction. Think of your thesis as a signpost that lets readers know in what direction you are headed. Jorge decided to begin his research paper by connecting his topic to readers daily experiences. Read the rst draft of his introduction below. The thesis is underlined. Note how Jorge progresses from the opener to background information to his thesis. Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets I. Introduction 354 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Over the past decade, increasing numbers of Americans have jumped on the low-carb bandwagon. Some studies estimate that approximately 40 million Americans, or about 20 percent of the population, are attempting to restrict their intake of food high in carbohydrates (Sanders & Katz, 2004; Hirsch, 2004). Proponents of low-carb diets say they are not only the most eective way to lose weight, but also yield health benets such as lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels. Meanwhile, some doctors claim that low-carb diets are overrated and caution that their long-term eects are unknown. Although following a low-carbohydrate diet can benet some people, these diets are not necessarily the best option for everyone who wants to lose weight or improve their health. EXERCISE 1 Write the introductory paragraph of your research paper. Try using one of the techniques listed above to write an engaging introduction. Be sure to include background information about the topic that leads to your thesis. Tip Writers often work out of sequence when writing a research paper. If you nd yourself struggling to write an engaging introduction, you may wish to write the body of your paper rst. Writing the body sections rst will help you clarify your main points. Writing the introduction should now be easier. You may have a better sense of how to introduce the paper after you have drafted some or all of the body. Writing Your Conclusion In your introduction, you tell readers where they are headed. In your conclusion, you recap where they have been. For this reason, some writers prefer to write their conclusions soon after they have written their introduction. However, this method may not work for all writers. Other writers prefer to write their conclusion at the end of the paper, after having written the body paragraphs. No process is absolutely right or absolutely wrong; nd the one that best suits you. No matter when you compose the conclusion, it should sum up your main ideas and revisit your thesis. The conclusion should not simply echo the introduction, or rely on bland summary statements such as In this paper, I have demonstrated that.In fact, avoid repeating your thesis verbatim from your introduction. Restate it in dierent words that reect the new perspective you gained through your research. That helps keep your ideas fresh for your readers.An eective writer might conclude a paper by asking a new question the research inspired, revisiting an anecdote presented earlier, or reminding readers of how the topic relates to their lives. Writing at Work If your job involves writing or reading scientic papers, it helps to understand how professional researchers use the structure described above. A scientic paper begins with an abstract that briey summarizes the entire paper. The introduction explains the purpose of the research, briey summarizes previous research, and presents the researchers hypothesiswhat they expected to nd. The body provides details about the study: who participated in it, what the researchers measured, and what results they recorded. The conclusion presents the researchers interpretation of the datawhat they learned. 1.2 Using Source Material in Your Paper One of the challenges of writing a research paper is successfully integrating your ideas with material from your sources. Your paper must explain what youthink, or it will read like a disconnected string of facts and quotations. However, you also need to support your ideas with research, or they will seem insubstantial. How do you strike the right balance? You have already taken a step in the right direction by writing your introduction. The introduction and conclusion function like the frame around a picture. They dene and limit your topic and place your research in context. In the body of your paper, you will need to integrate ideas carefully at the paragraph level and at the sentence level. You will use topic sentences in your paragraphs to make sure readers understand the CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 355 signicance of any facts, details, or quotations you cite. You will also include sentences that transition between ideas from your research, either within a paragraph or between paragraphs. At the sentence level, you will need to think carefully about how you introduce paraphrased and quoted material. Earlier you learned about summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting when taking notes. In the next few sections, you will learn how to use these techniques in the body of your paper to weave in source material to support your ideas. Summarizing Sources When you summarizematerial froma source, you zero in on the main points and restate them concisely in your own words. This technique is appropriate when only the authors major ideas are relevant to your paper, or when you need to simplify complex information into a few key points for your readers. Be sure to review the source material as you summarize it. Identify the main idea and restate it as concisely as you canpreferably in one sentence. Depending on your purpose, you may also add another sentence or two condensing any important details or examples. Check your summary to make sure it is accurate and complete. In his draft, Jorge summarized research materials that presented scientists ndings about low-carbohydrate diets. Read a passage from a trade magazine article and Jorges summary below. summarize To concisely restate in ones own words the main ideas from a source. Assessing the Efficacy of Low-Carbohydrate Diets Adrienne Howell, Ph.D. Over the past few years, a number of clinical studies have explored whether high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are more eective for weight loss than other frequently recommended diet plans, such as diets that drastically curtail fat intake (Pritikin) or that emphasize consuming lean meats, grains, vegetables, and a moderate amount of unsaturated fats (the so-called Mediterranean diet). A 2009 study found that obese teenagers who followed a low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of 15.6 kilograms over a six-month period, whereas teenagers following a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet lost an average of 11.1 kilograms and 9.3 kilograms respectively. Two 2010 studies that measured weight loss for obese adults following these same three diet plans found similar results. Over three months, subjects on the low-carbohydrate diet plan lost anywhere from 4 to 6 kilograms more than subjects who followed other diet plans. In three recent studies, researchers compared outcomes for obese subjects who followed a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat diet, or a Mediterranean diet, and found that subjects following a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight in the same time period (Howell,2010). Tip A summary restates ideas in your own wordsbut for specialized or clinical terms, you may need to use terms that appear in the original source. For instance, Jorge used the term obese in his summary because related words such as heavy or overweight have a dierent clinical meaning. EXERCISE 2 On a separate sheet of paper, practice summarizing by writing your own one-sentence summary of the passage that Jorge summarized above. Paraphrasing Sources When you paraphrasematerial froma source, you restate the information from an entire sentence or passage in your own words, using your own original sentence structure. A paraphrase diers from a summary in that you focus on restating the ideas, not condensing them. Again, it is important to check your paraphrase against the source material to make sure it is both accurate and original. Inexperienced writers sometimes use the thesaurus method of paraphrasingthat is, they simply rewrite the source material, replacing most of the words with synonyms. This constitutes a misuse of sources. A true paraphrase restates ideas using the writers own language and style. paraphrase To restate ideas or information from sources using ones own words and sentence structures. 356 WRITING FOR SUCCESS In his draft, Jorge frequently paraphrased details from sources. At times, he needed to rewrite a sentence more than once to ensure he was paraphrasing ideas correctly. Read the passage from a web site below. Then read Jorges initial attempt at paraphrasing it, followed by the nal version of his paraphrase. Dieters nearly always get great results soon after they begin following a low-carbohydrate diet, but these results tend to taper o after the rst few months, particularly due to the fact that many dieters nd it dicult to follow a low-carbohydrate diet plan consistently. People usually see encouraging outcomes shortly after they go on a low-carbohydrate diet, but their progress slows down after a short while, especially because most discover that it is a challenge to adhere to the diet strictly (Heinz, 2009). After reviewing the sentence above, Jorge realized he was following the original source too closely. He did not want to quote the full passage verbatim, so he made another attempt at restating the idea in his own style. Because it is hard for dieters to stick to a low-carbohydrate eating plan, the initial success of these diets is short-lived (Heinz, 2009). EXERCISE 3 On a separate sheet of paper, practice paraphrasing. 1. Choose an important idea or detail from your notes. 2. Without looking at the original source, restate the idea in your own words. 3. Check your paraphrase against the original text in the source. Make sure both your language and your sentence structure are original. 4. Revise your paraphrase if necessary. Quoting Sources Directly Most of the time, you will summarize or paraphrase source material instead of quoting directly. Doing so shows that you understand your research well enough to write about it condently in your own words. However, direct quotes can be powerfulwhen used sparingly and with purpose. Quoting directly can sometimes help you make a point in a colorful way. If an authors words are especially vivid, memorable, or well-phrased, quoting them may help you hold your readers interest. Direct quotations from an interviewee or an eyewitness to an event may help you personalize an issue for readers. And when you analyze primary-source documents, such as a historical speech or a work of literature, quoting extensively is often necessary to illustrate your points. These are valid reasons to use quotations. Less experienced writers, however, sometimes overuse direct quotations in a research paper because it seems easier than paraphrasing. At best, this reduces the quotations eectiveness. At worst, it results in a paper that seems haphazardly pasted together from outside sources. Use quotations sparingly for greater impact. If you do choose to quote directly from a source, follow these guidelines: Make sure you have transcribed the original statement accurately. < Represent the authors ideas honestly. Quote enough of the original text to reect the authors point accurately. < Never use a stand-alone quotation. Always integrate the quoted material into your own sentence. < Use ellipses () if you need to omit a word or phrase. Use brackets [ ] if you need to replace a word or phrase. < CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 357 < Make sure any omissions or changed words do not alter the meaning of the original text. Omit or replace words only when absolutely necessary to shorten the text or to make it t into your sentence grammatically. < Remember to include correctly formatted citations that follow the assigned style guide. Jorge interviewed a dietician as part of his research and he decided to quote her words in his paper. Read an excerpt from the interview and Jorges use of it below. Personally, I dont really buy into all of the hype about low-carbohydrate miracle diets like Atkins and so on. Sure, for some people, they are great, but for most, any sensible eating and exercise plan would work just as well. Registered dietician Dana Kwon (2010) admits, Personally, I dont really buy into all of the hype. Sure, for some people, [low-carbohydrate diets] are great, but for most, any sensible eating and exercise plan would work just as well. Notice how Jorge smoothly integrated the quoted material by starting the sentence with an introductory phrase. His use of ellipses and brackets did not change the sources meaning. 1.3 Documenting Source Material Throughout the writing process, be scrupulous about documenting information taken from sources. The purpose of doing so is twofold: < < to give credit to other writers or researchers for their ideas to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired You will cite sources within the body of your paper and at the end of the paper in your bibliography. For this assignment, you will use the citation format used by the American Psychological Association (also known as APA style). Citing Sources in the Body of Your Paper In-text citations document your sources within the body of your paper. These include two vital pieces of information: the authors name and the year the source material was published. When quoting a print source directly, also include in the citation the page number where the quoted originally appears. The page number will follow the year in the in-text citation. Page numbers are necessary only when content has been directly quoted, not when it has been summarized or paraphrased. Within a paragraph, this information may appear as part of your introduction to the material or as a parenthetical citation at the end of a sentence. Read the examples below. (For more information about in-text citations for dierent source types, see Chapter 13.) Leibowitz (2008) found that low-carbohydrate diets often helped subjects with Type II diabetes maintain a healthy weight and control blood-sugar levels. The introduction to the source material includes the authors name followed by the year of publication in parentheses. Low-carbohydrate diets often help subjects with Type II diabetes maintain a healthy weight and control blood-sugar levels (Leibowitz, 2008). The parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence includes the authors name, a comma, and the year the source was published. The period at the end of the sentence comes after the parentheses. in-text citations Instances in which use of source material is documented in the body text of the research paper. In-text citations must have corresponding sources listed in the References page. 358 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Creating a References Page references page A list of sources used in a research paper that provides detailed bibliographical information. Each of the sources you cite in your body text will appear on a References page at the end of your paper. While in-text citations provide the most basic information about the source, your References page will include additional publication details. In general, you will include the following information: < < < < the authors last name followed by his or her rst (and sometimes middle) initial the year the source was published the source title for articles in periodicals, the full name of the periodical, along with the volume and issue number and the pages where the article appeared Additional information may be included for dierent types of sources, such as online sources. For a detailed guide to APA citations, see Chapter 13. A sample reference list is provided with the nal draft of Jorges paper later in this chapter. 1.4 Using Primary and Secondary Research As you write your draft, be mindful of how you are using primary and secondary source material to support your points. Recall that primary sources present rsthand information. Secondary sources are one step removed from primary sources. They present a writers analysis or interpretation of primary source materials. How you balance primary and secondary source material in your paper will depend on the topic and assignment. Using Primary Sources Effectively Some types of research papers must use primary sources extensively to achieve their purpose. Any paper that analyzes a primary text or presents the writers own experimental research falls in this category. Here are a few examples: < < < < < a paper for a literature course analyzing several poems by Emily Dickinson a paper for a political science course comparing televised speeches delivered by two presidential candidates a paper for a communications course discussing gender biases in television commercials a paper for a business administration course that discusses the results of a survey the writer conducted with local businesses to gather information about their work-from-home and extime policies a paper for an elementary education course that discusses the results of an experiment the writer conducted to compare the eectiveness of two dierent methods of mathematics instruction For these types of papers, primary research is the main focus. If you are writing about a text (including nonprint texts, such as a movie or a painting), it is crucial to go straight to the source, rather than relying solely on others interpretations. And of course, if you take the time to design and conduct your own eld research, such as a survey, a series of interviews, or an experiment, you will want to discuss it in detail. Using Secondary Sources Effectively For some assignments, it makes sense to rely more on secondary sources than primary sources. If you are not analyzing a text, and if it is not feasible or appropriate to conduct your own eld research, you will need to use secondary sources extensively. As much as possible, use secondary sources that are closely linked to primary research, such as a journal article presenting the results of the authors scientic study, or a book that cites interviews and case studies. These sources are more reliable and add more value to your paper than sources that are further removed from primary research. For instance, a popular magazine article on junk food addiction might be several steps removed from the original scientic study on which it is loosely based. As a result, the article may distort, sensationalize, or misinterpret the scientists ndings. Even if your paper is largely based on primary sources, you may use secondary sources to develop your ideas. For instance, an analysis of Alfred Hitchcocks lms would focus on the lms themselves as a primary source, but might also cite commentary from critics. A paper that presents an original experiment would include some discussion of similar prior research in the eld. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 359 Jorge knew he did not have the time, resources, or experience needed to conduct original experimental research for his paper. Because he was relying on secondary sources to support his ideas, he made a point of citing sources that were not far removed from primary research. Tip Some sources could be considered primary or secondary sources, depending on the writers purpose for using them. For instance, if a writers purpose is to inform readers about how the No Child Left Behind legislation has aected elementary education, a Time magazine article on the subject would be a secondary source. However, suppose the writers purpose is to analyze how the news media has portrayed the eects of the No Child Left Behind legislation. In that case, articles about the legislation in news magazines like Time, Newsweek, and US News & World Report would be primary sources. They provide rsthand examples of the media coverage the writer is analyzing. 1.5 Avoiding Plagiarism Your research paper draft presents your thinking about a topic, supported and developed by other peoples ideas and information. It is crucial always to distinguish between the twoas you conduct research, as you plan your paper, and as you write. Failure to do so can lead to plagiarism. Intentional and Accidental Plagiarism Plagiarismis the act of misrepresenting someone elses work as your own. Sometimes a writer plagiarizes work on purposefor instance, by purchasing an essay from a web site and submitting it as original course work. In other cases, a writer may commit accidental plagiarism due to carelessness, haste, or misunderstanding. To avoid unintentional plagiarism, it helps if you: < < < < understand what types of information must be cited understand what constitutes fair use of a source keep source materials and notes carefully organized follow guidelines for summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting sources. plagiarism The practice of using someone elses words or ideas without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism may be deliberate or may occur unintentionally through careless use of source material. When to Cite Anyidea or fact taken from an outside source must be cited, in both the body of your paper and the References page. The only exceptions are facts or general statements that are common knowledge. Common-knowledge facts or general statements are commonly supported by and found in multiple sources. For example, a writer would not need to cite the statement that most breads, pastas, and cereals are high in carbohydrates; this is well known and well documented. However, if a writer explained in detail the dierences among the chemical structures of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, a citation would be necessary. When in doubt, cite. Fair Use In recent years, issues related to fair use of sources have been prevalent in popular culture. Recording artists, for example, may disagree about the extent to which one has the right to sample anothers music. For academic purposes, however, the guidelines for fair use are reasonably straightforward. Writers may quote from or paraphrase material from previously published works without formally obtaining the copyright holders permission. Fair usemeans that the writer legitimately uses brief excerpts from source material to support and develop his or her own ideas. For instance, a columnist may excerpt a few sentences from a novel when writing a book review. However, quoting or paraphrasing anothers work at excessive length, to the extent that large sections of the writing are unoriginal, is not fair use. As he worked on his draft, Jorge was careful to cite his sources correctly and not to rely excessively on any one source. Occasionally, however, he caught himself quoting a source at excessive length. In those instances, he highlighted the paragraph in question so that he could go back to it later and revise. Read the example below, along with Jorges revision. fair use A legitimate use of brief quotations from source material to support and develop a writers ideas. 360 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Heinz (2009) found that subjects in the low-carbohydrate group (30% carbohydrates; 40% protein, 30% fat) had a mean weight loss of 10 kg (22 lbs) over a 4-month period. These results were noticeably better than results for subjects on a low-fat diet (45% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 20% fat) whose average weight loss was only 7 kg (15.4 lbs) in the same period. From this it can be concluded that low-carbohydrate diets obtain more rapid results. Other researchers agree that at least in the short term, patients following low-carbohydrate diets enjoy greater success than those who follow alternative plans (Johnson & Crowe, 2010). After reviewing the paragraph above, Jorge realized that he had drifted into unoriginal writing. Most of the paragraph was taken verbatim from a single article. Although Jorge had enclosed the material in quotation marks, he knew it was not an appropriate way to use the research in his paper. Low-carbohydrate diets may indeed be superior to other diet plans for short-term weight loss. In a study comparing low-carbohydrate diets and low-fat diets, Heinz (2009) found that subjects who followed a low-carbohydrate plan (30 percent of total calories) for four months lost, on average, about 3 kilograms more than subjects who followed a low-fat diet for the same time period. Heinz concluded that these plans yield quick results, an idea supported by a similar study conducted by Johnson and Crowe (2010). What remains to be seen, however, is whether this initial success can be sustained for longer periods. As Jorge revised the paragraph, he realized he did not need to quote these sources directly. Instead, he paraphrased their most important ndings. He also made sure to include a topic sentence stating the main idea of the paragraph and a concluding sentence that transitioned to the next major topic in his essay. Working with Sources Carefully Disorganization and carelessness sometimes lead to plagiarism. For instance, a writer may be unable to provide a complete, accurate citation if he didnt record bibliographical information. A writer may cut and paste a passage from a web site into her paper and later forget where the material came from. A writer who procrastinates may rush through a draft, which easily leads to sloppy paraphrasing and inaccurate quotations. Any of these actions can create the appearance of plagiarism and lead to negative consequences. Carefully organizing your time and notes is the best guard against these forms of plagiarism. Maintain a detailed working bibliography and thorough notes throughout the research process. Check original sources again to clear up any uncertainties. Allow plenty of time for writing your draft so there is no temptation to cut corners. Writing at Work Using other peoples work appropriately is just as important in the workplace as it is in school. If you need to consult outside sources to research a document you are creating, follow the general guidelines above, as well as any industry-specic citation guidelines. For more extensive use of others workfor instance, requesting permission to link to another companys web site on your own corporate web sitealways follow your employers established procedures. 1.6 Academic Integrity The concepts and strategies discussed in this section of Chapter 12 connect to a larger issueacademic integrity. You maintain your integrity as a member of an academic community by representing your work and others work honestly, and by using other peoples work only in legitimately accepted ways. It is a point of honor taken seriously in every academic discipline and career eld. Academic integrity violations have serious educational and professional consequences. Even when cheating and plagiarism go undetected, they result in a students failure to learn necessary research and writing skills. Students who are found guilty of academic integrity violations face consequences ranging from a failing grade to expulsion from the university. Employees may be red for plagiarism and do irreparable damage to their professional reputation. In short: It is never worth the risk. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER KEY < < < < < < < < 361 TAKEAWAYS An eective research paper focuses on the writers ideas. The introduction and conclusion present and revisit the writers thesis. The body of the paper develops the thesis and related points with information from research. Ideas and information taken from outside sources must be cited in the body of the paper and in the References page. Material taken from sources should be used to develop the writers ideas. Summarizing and paraphrasing are usually most eective for this purpose. A summary concisely restates the main ideas of a source in the writers own words. A paraphrase restates ideas from a source using the writers own words and sentence structures. Direct quotations should be used sparingly. Ellipses and brackets may be used to indicate words that were omitted or changed for conciseness or grammatical correctness. Always represent material from outside sources accurately. Plagiarism has serious academic and professional consequences. To avoid accidental plagiarism, keep research materials organized, understand guidelines for fair use and appropriate citation of sources, and review the paper to make sure these guidelines are followed. 2. DEVELOP A FINAL DRAFT OF A RESEARCH PAPER LEARNING 1. 2. 3. 4. OBJECTIVES Revise your paper to improve organization and cohesion Determine an appropriate style and tone for your paper Revise to ensure that your tone is consistent Edit your paper to ensure that language, citations, and formatting are correct Given all of the time and eort you have put into your research project, you will want to make sure that your nal draft represents your best work. This requires taking the time to revise and edit your paper carefully. You may feel like you need a break from your paper before you revise and edit it. That is understandablebut leave yourself with enough time to complete this important stage of the writing process. In this section, you will learn specic strategies that are useful for revising and editing a research paper: how to evaluate and improve your papers overall organization and cohesion how to maintain an appropriate style and tone < how to use checklists to identify and correct any errors in language, citations, and formatting < < 2.1 Revising Your Paper: Organization and Cohesion When writing a research paper, it is easy to become overly focused on editorial details, such as the proper format for bibliographical entries. These details do matter. However, before you begin to address them, it is important to spend some time reviewing and revising the content of the paper. Most instructors will not penalize you harshly if you leave out a comma or two on your References page. They are more focused on the overall quality of your work. 362 organization In writing, a quality in which the paper proceeds logically from the introduction to the body paragraphs to the conclusion. cohesion In writing, a quality in which the elements of a paper work together smoothly and naturally. WRITING FOR SUCCESS A good research paper is both organized and cohesive. Organizationmeans that your argument ows logically from one point to the next. Cohesionmeans that the elements of your paper work together smoothly and naturally. In a cohesive research paper, information from research is smoothly integrated with the writers ideas. Revise to Improve Organization When you revise to improve organization, you look at the ow of ideas, throughout the essay as a whole and within individual paragraphs. You check to see that your essay moves logically from the introduction to the body paragraphs to the conclusion, and that each section reinforces your thesis. Use "Revision: Organization" to help you. Revision: Organization At the essay level: _____Does my introduction proceed clearly from the opening to the thesis? _____Does each body paragraph have a clear main idea that relates to the thesis? _____Do the main ideas in the body paragraphs ow in a logical order? Is each paragraph connected to the one before it? _____Do I need to add or revise topic sentences or transitions to make the overall ow of ideas clearer? _____Does my conclusion summarize my main ideas and revisit my thesis? At the paragraph level: _____Does the topic sentence clearly state the main idea? _____Do the details in the paragraph relate to the main idea? _____Do I need to recast any sentences or add transitions to improve the ow of sentences? Jorge reread his draft paragraph by paragraph. As he read, he highlighted the main idea of each paragraph so he could see whether his ideas proceeded in a logical order.For the most part, the ow of ideas was clear. However, he did notice that one paragraph did not have a clear main idea. It interrupted the ow of the writing. During revision, Jorge added a topic sentence that clearly connected the paragraph to the one that had preceded it. He also added transitions to improve the ow of ideas from sentence to sentence. Read the following paragraphs twice, the rst time without Jorges changes, and the second time with them. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 363 EXERCISE 1 Follow the steps below to begin revising your papers overall organization. 1. Print out a hard copy of your paper. 2. Read through your paper, paragraph by paragraph. Highlight your thesis and the topic sentence of each paragraph. 3. Using the thesis and topic sentences as starting points, outline the ideas you presentedjust as you would do if you were outlining a chapter in a textbook.Do not look at the outline you created during prewriting.You may write in the margins or create a formal outline on a separate sheet of paper. 4. Next, reread your paper more slowly, looking for how ideas ow from sentence to sentence. Identify places where adding a transition or recasting a sentence would make the ideas ow more logically. 5. Review the topics on your outline. Is there a logical ow of ideas? Identify any places where you may need to reorganize ideas. 6. Begin to revise your paper to improve organization. Start with any major issues, such as needing to move an entire paragraph. Then proceed to minor revisions, such as adding a transitional phrase or tweaking a topic sentence so it connects ideas more clearly. Tip Writers choose transitions carefully to show the relationships between ideasfor instance, to make a comparison or elaborate on a point with examples. Make sure your transitions suit your purpose and avoid overusing the same ones. For an extensive list of transitions, see Lesson 8.4. Revise to Improve Cohesion When you revise to improve cohesion, you analyze how the parts of your paper work together. You look for anything that seem awkward or out of place. Revision may involve deleting unnecessary material or rewriting parts of the paper so that the out of place material ts in smoothly. In a research paper, problems with cohesion usually occur when a writer has trouble integrating source material. If facts or quotations have been awkwardly dropped into a paragraph, they distract or confuse the reader instead of working to support the writers point. Overusing paraphrased and quoted material has the same eect. Use "Revision: Cohesion" to review your essay for cohesion. 364 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Revision: Cohesion _____Does the opening of the paper clearly connect to the broader topic and thesis? Make sure entertaining quotes or anecdotes serve a purpose. _____Have I included support from research for each main point in the body of my paper? _____Have I included introductory material before any quotations? (Quotations should never stand alone in a paragraph.) _____Does paraphrased and quoted material clearly serve to develop my own points? _____Do I need to add to or revise parts of the paper to help the reader understand how certain information from sources is relevant? _____Are there any places where I have overused material from sources? _____Does my conclusion make sense based on the rest of the paper? Make sure any new questions or suggestions in the conclusion are clearly linked to earlier material. As Jorge reread his draft, he looked to see how the dierent pieces t together to prove his thesis. He realized that some of his supporting information needed to be integrated more carefully and decided to omit some details entirely.Read the paragraph below, rst without Jorges revisions, and then with them. Jorge decided that his comment about pizza and birthday cake came across as subjective and was not really necessary to make his point, so he deleted it. He also realized that the quotation at the end of the paragraph was awkward and ineective. How would his readers know who Kwon was or why her opinion should be taken seriously? Adding an introductory phrase helped Jorge integrate this quotation smoothly and establish the credibility of his source. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 365 EXERCISE 2 Follow the steps below to begin revising your paper to improve cohesion. 1. Print out a hard copy of your paper, or work with your printout from Exercise 1. 2. Read through the body paragraphs of your paper rst. Each time you come to a place that cites information from sources, ask yourself what purpose this information serves. Check that it helps you support a point and that it is clearly related to the other sentences in the paragraph. 3. Identify unnecessary information from sources that you can delete. 4. Identify places where you need to revise your writing so that readers understand the signicance of the details cited from sources. 5. Skim the body paragraphs once more, looking for any paragraphs that seem packed with citations. Review these paragraphs carefully for cohesion. 6. Review your introduction and conclusion. Make sure the information presented works with ideas in the body of the paper. 7. Begin to revise your paper to improve cohesion. Writing at Work Understanding cohesion can also benet you in the workplace, especially when you have to write and deliver a presentation. Speakers sometimes rely on cute graphics or funny quotations to hold their audiences attention. If you choose to use these elements, make sure they work well with the substantive content of your presentation. For example, if you are asked to give a nancial presentation, and the nancial report shows that your company lost money, funny illustrations would not be relevant or appropriate for the presentation. 2.2 Using a Consistent Style and Tone Once you are certain that the content of your paper fullls your purpose, you can begin revising to improve style and tone.Together, your style and tone create the voice of your paperhow you come across to your readers. Style refers to the way you use language as a writer the sentence structures you use and the word choices you make. Tone is the attitude toward your subject and audience that you convey through your words. Determining an Appropriate Style and Tone Although accepted writing styles will vary within dierent disciplines, the underlying goal is the sameto come across to your readers as a knowledgeable, authoritative guide. Writing about research is like being a tour guide who walks readers through a topic. A stuy, overly formal tour guide makes readers feel put o or intimidated. Too much informality or humor can make readers wonder whether the tour guide really knows what he or she is talking about. Extreme or emotionally charged language comes across as unbalanced. To help prevent being overly formal or informal, determine an appropriate style and tone at the beginning of the research process. Consider your topic and audience, because these can help dictate style and tone. For example, a paper on new breakthroughs in cancer research should be more formal than a paper on ways to get a good nights sleep. A good research paper comes across as straightforward, appropriately academic, and serious. It is generally best to avoid writing in the rst person, as this can make your paper seem overly subjective and opinion-based. Use "Style" on style to review your paper for other issues that aect style and tone. You can check for consistency at the end of the writing process. Checking for consistency is covered later in this section. Style _____My paper avoids excessive wordiness. _____My sentences are varied in length and structure. _____I have avoided using rst-person pronouns such as I and we. _____I have used the active voice whenever possible. style The unique way a writer uses language, which encompasses choices about sentence structure and word selection. tone In writing, the attitude a writer conveys toward the subject and the audience. 366 WRITING FOR SUCCESS _____I have dened specialized terms that might be unfamiliar to readers. _____I have used clear, straightforward language whenever possible and avoided unnecessary jargon. _____ My paper states my point of view using a balanced toneneither too wishy-washy nor too forceful. Word Choice Note that word choice is an especially important aspect of style. In addition to checking the points noted on "Style" Style, review your paper to make sure your language is precise, conveys no unintended connotations, and is free of biases. Here are some of the points to check for: < < < < < < vague or imprecise terms slang repetition of the same phrases (Smith states, Jones states) to introduce quoted and paraphrased material. (For a full list of strong verbs to use in in-text citations, see Chapter 13.) exclusive use of masculine pronouns or awkward use of he or she. use of language with negative connotations, such as haughty or ridiculous. use of outdated or oensive terms to refer to specic ethnic, racial, or religious groups. Tip Using plural nouns and pronouns or recasting a sentence can help you keep your language gender-neutral while avoiding awkwardness. Consider the examples below. < < < Gender-biased: When a writer cites a source in the body of his paper, he must list it on his References page. Awkward: When a writer cites a source in the body of his or her paper, he or she must list it on his or her References page. Improved: Writers must list any sources cited in the body of a paper on the References page. Keeping Your Style Consistent As you revise your paper, make sure your style is consistent throughout. Look for instances where a word, phrase, or sentence just does not seem to t with the rest of the writing. It is best to reread for style after you have completed your other revisions so that you are not distracted by any larger content issues. Revising strategies you can use include the following: < < < Read your paper aloud. Sometimes your ear catches inconsistencies that your eyes miss. Share your paper with another reader whom you trust to give you honest feedback. It is often dicult to evaluate ones own style objectivelyespecially in the nal phase of a challenging writing project. Another reader may be more likely to notice instances of wordiness, confusing language, or other issues that aect style and tone. Line-edit your paper slowly, sentence by sentence. You may even wish to use a sheet of paper to cover everything on the page except the paragraph you are editingthat forces you to read slowly and carefully. Mark any areas where you notice problems in style or tone, and then take time to rework those sections. On reviewing his paper, Jorge found that he had generally used an appropriately academic style and tone. However, he noticed one glaring exceptionhis rst paragraph. He realized there were places where his overly informal writing could come across as unserious or, worse, disparaging. Revising his word choice and omitting a humorous aside helped Jorge maintain a consistent tone. Read his revisions below. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 367 EXERCISE 3 Using the "Style", line-edit your paper. You may use either of the techniques described below: 1. Print out a hard copy of your paper, or work with your printout from Exercise 1. Read it through line by line. Check for issues noted on "Style", as well as any other aspects of your writing style you have previously identied as areas for improvement. Mark any areas where you notice problems in style or tone, and then take time to rework those sections. 2. If you prefer to work with an electronic document, use the menu options in your word-processing program to enlarge the text to 150 or 200 percent of the original size. Make sure the type is large enough that you can focus on only one paragraph at a time. Read through the paper line by line as described for Step 1. Highlight any areas where you notice problems in style or tone, and then take time to rework those sections. 2.3 Editing Your Paper After revising your paper to address problems in content or style, you will complete one nal editorial review. Perhaps you already have caught and corrected minor mistakes during previous revisions. Nevertheless, give your draft a nal edit to make sure it is error-free. Your nal edit should focus on two broad areas: < < errors in grammar, mechanics, usage, and spelling errors in citations and formatting For in-depth information on these two topics, see Chapter 2 and Chapter 13. Correcting Errors Given how much work you have put into your research paper, you will want to check for any errors that could distract or confuse your readers. Using a spell-checking program can be helpfulbut this should not replace a full, careful review of your document. Be sure to check for any errors that may have come up frequently for you in the past. Use "Grammar, Mechanics, Punctuation, Usage, and Spelling" to help you as you edit: Grammar, Mechanics, Punctuation, Usage, and Spelling _____My paper is free of grammatical errors, such as errors in subject-verb agreement and sentence fragments. (For additional guidance on grammar, see Chapter 2, Writing Basics.) _____My paper is free of errors in punctuation and mechanics, such as misplaced commas or incorrectly formatted source titles. (For additional guidance on punctuation and mechanics, see Chapter 3, Punctuation.) 368 WRITING FOR SUCCESS _____My paper is free of common usage errors, such as alot and alright. (For additional guidance on correct usage, see Chapter 4, Working with Words.) _____My paper is free of spelling errors. I have proofread my paper for spelling in addition to using a spellchecking program. _____I have checked my paper for any editing errors that I know I tend to make frequently. Checking Citations and Formatting When editing a research paper, it is also important to check that you have cited sources properly and formatted your document according to the specied guidelines. There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, citing sources correctly ensures that you have given proper credit to other people for ideas and information that helped you in your work. Second, using correct formatting establishes your paper as one students contribution to the work developed by and for a larger academic community. Increasingly, APA style guidelines are the standard for many academic elds. Use "Citations and Formatting" to help you check citations and formatting: Citations and Formatting _____Within the body of my paper, each fact or idea taken from an outside source is credited to the correct source. _____Each in-text citation includes the source authors name (or, where applicable, the organization name or source title) and year of publication. I have used the correct format of in-sentence and parenthetical citations. _____Each source cited in the body of my paper has a corresponding entry in the References section of my paper. _____My References section includes a heading and double-spaced, alphabetized entries. _____Each entry in my References section is indented on the second line and all subsequent lines. _____Each entry in my References section includes all of the necessary information for that source type, in the correct sequence and format. _____My paper includes a title page. _____My paper includes a running head. _____The margins of my paper are set at one inch. Text is double-spaced and set in a standard 12-point font. For detailed guidelines on APA citation and formatting, see Chapter 13. Writing at Work Following APA citation and formatting guidelines may require time and eort. However, it is good practice for learning how to follow accepted conventions in any professional eld. Many large corporations create a style manual with guidelines for editing and formatting documents produced by that corporation. Employees follow the style manual when creating internal documents and documents for publication. During the process of revising and editing, Jorge made changes in the content and style of his paper. He also gave the paper a nal review to check for overall correctness and, particularly, correct APA citations and formatting. Read the nal draft of his paper below. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 369 370 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 371 372 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 373 374 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 375 376 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 377 378 WRITING FOR SUCCESS KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS Organization in a research paper means that the argument proceeds logically from the introduction to the body to the conclusion. It ows logically from one point to the next. When revising a research paper, evaluate the organization of the paper as a whole and the organization of individual paragraphs. In a cohesive research paper, the elements of the paper work together smoothly and naturally. When revising a research paper, evaluate its cohesion. In particular, check that information from research is smoothly integrated with your ideas. An eective research paper uses a style and tone that are appropriately academic and serious. When revising a research paper, check that the style and tone are consistent throughout. Editing a research paper involves checking for errors in grammar, mechanics, punctuation, usage, spelling, citations, and formatting. CHAPTER 12 WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 379 3. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. In this chapter, you learned strategies for generating and narrowing a topic for a research paper. Brainstorm to create a list of ve general topics of personal or professional interest to you that you would like to research. Then use freewriting and preliminary research to narrow three of these topics to manageable size for a ve- to seven-page research paper. Save your list of topics in a print or electronic le and add to it periodically as you identify additional areas of interest. Use your topic list as a starting point the next time a research paper is assigned. II. Working with one of the topics you identied above, use the research skills you learned in this chapter to locate three to ve potentially useful print and/or electronic sources of information about the topic. Create a list that includes the following: < < < one subject-specic periodicals database likely to include relevant articles on your topic two articles about your topic written for an educated general audience at least one article about your topic written for an audience with specialized knowledge III. In real-life and work-related contexts, people consult a wide range of dierent information sources every day, without always making conscious judgments about whether the source is reliable and why. Identify one media source of information you use at least once a weekfor instance, a web site you visit regularly, or a newspaper or magazine to which you subscribe. Write two paragraphs explaining < < what topics you learn about by reading or viewing this source whether you consider this source reliable and why In addressing the latter point, be sure to consider details that help you evaluate the sources credibility and reputability, as well as the presence or absence of bias. IV. Dierent professional communities develop their own standards about the writing style people in that community use when creating documents to share with others. In some cases, these standards may apply to a very broad group of professionalsfor example, researchers in many dierent social sciences use APA style in academic writing. In other cases, style guidelines are specic to a particular company or organization. Find a document, such as a newsletter or brochure, that was produced by an organization to which you belong. (Make sure it is a document you have permission to share.) Review the document and answer the following questions: < < < < What are the purpose, intended audience, and message of this document? How does the writing style function to fulll the purpose, appeal to a particular audience, and convey a message? Consider elements of style, such as word choice, the use of active or passive voice, sentence length and sentence structure. (If your document includes graphics, consider their eectiveness as well.) Are there any places where the style is inconsistent? Is the writing style of this document eective for achieving the documents purpose? Why or why not? If it is not eective, explain why. 380 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 13 APA Documentation and Formatting 1. THE FORMAT OF A RESEARCH PAPER LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the major components of a research paper written using APA (American Psychological Association) style 2. Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style, the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic text. Typically science, social science, and business subject areas use APA style. If you nd that the rules of proper source documentation are dicult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list. Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a students contribution to a given academic or professional eld; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other peoples work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader nd additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic. Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind: < Work ahead whenever you can.Chapter 11 includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on. < Get it right the rst time. Apply APA guidelines as you write so you will not have much to x during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save you time later. < Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the website of the American Psychological Association at www.apa.org, or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at owl.english.purdue.edu, which regularly updates its online style guidelines. 1.1 General Formatting Guidelines This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the box below. These are the major components of an APA-style paper: 1. the title page 2. the abstract APA style The documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. This style is commonly used in the sciences, including social sciences. 382 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 3. the body, which includes the following: < < headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content in-text citations of research sources 4. the References page All of these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents. The Title Page The title page of your paper includes the following information: < < < < the title of the paper the authors name the name of the institution with which the author is aliatedin your case, your school a header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number. (If your title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.) List the rst three elements in the order given above, centered about one-third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the Headers and Footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at left and the page number in the upper right corner. Your title page should look like the example below. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 383 The Abstract The next page of your paper provides an abstract, or a brief summary of your ndings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is conciseabout 100 to 150 wordsand is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just the facts approach, and sum up your research question and your ndings in a few sentences. In Chapter 12 you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the eectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Jorges abstract is below. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail. abstract A concise (100 to 150 words) summary of research ndings that appears at the beginning of an APA-style paper. 384 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 1 Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briey introduce the topic, state your ndings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the Word Count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed 150 words according to APA guidelines. Tip Depending on your eld of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, sum up your research question and what you found out, and briey indicate how your study relates to prior research in the eld. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING Margins, Pagination, and Headings APA style requirements also address specic formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles within the body of the paper. Follow the APA guidelines below. Use these general guidelines to format the paper: 1. 2. 3. 4. Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at one inch. Use double-spaced text throughout your paper. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10 to 12 points). Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the References section. Page numbers appear ush right within your header. 5. Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use dierent types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorges paper are provided. 385 386 WRITING FOR SUCCESS EXERCISE 2 Begin formatting the nal draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following: < < < your title page the abstract you created in Exercise 1 correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 387 Headings APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writers train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use dierent heading styles to indicate dierent levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information. The heading styles used in APA formatting are listed below, in order of greatest to least importance: < Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized. < Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case. < The next level down uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the rst word, and they end in a period. < The next level down follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized. < The next level down follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced. Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 below. TABLE 13.1 Section Headings Level of Information Text Example Level 1 Heart Disease Level 2 Lifestyle Factors that Reduce Heart Disease Risk Level 3 Exercising regularly. Level 4 Aerobic exercise. Level 5 Country line-dancing. A college research paper may not use all of the heading levels shown above, but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may nd that Level 1 headings suce. Longer or more complex papers may need Level 2 headings or lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings, and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings. EXERCISE 3 Working with the document you developed in Exercise 2, begin setting up the heading structure of the nal draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two or three major section headings and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you. Because Jorge used only Level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following: Level of Information Text Example Level 1 Purported Benets of Low-Carbohydrate Diets Level 1 Research on Low-Carbohydrate Diets and Weight Loss Level 1 Other Long-Term Health Outcomes Level 1 Conclusion 1.2 Citation Guidelines In-Text Citations Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11, the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas, and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if section headings Headings used to organize information within an APA-style paper. APA style provides formatting guidelines for ve levels of section and subsection headings; however, most college research papers require only one or two heading levels. 388 WRITING FOR SUCCESS desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the References section that provides more detailed information. In-text citations must provide the name of the author(s) and the year the source was published. (In some cases, when a given source does not list an individual author or authors, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation. This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in the examples below: Epstein (2010) points out that junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive (p. 137). Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the authors name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence. Addiction researchers caution that junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive (Epstein, 2010, p. 137). Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the authors name, the year of publication, and the page number, separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence. As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive. Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase. Addiction researcher David Epsteins book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive (p. 137). Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source. Citing a book with a single author is a fairly straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author, sources with no individual author listed, sources available both in print and online, and nonprint sources such as websites and personal interviews. Section 2 and Section 3 provide more extensive guidelines for a variety of source types. Writing at Work APA is just one of several dierent styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your eld of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following: < MLA style, determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities CHAPTER 13 < < APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING Chicago style, outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well AP, or Associated Press, style, which is used by professional journalists The References Page The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the References section. In-text citations provide basic informationthe authors name, the publication date, and page number if necessarywhile the References section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired. The specic format of References entries varies slightly for dierent source types but generally includes the following information: the name of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source < the year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication < the full title of the source < for books, the city of publication < for articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears < for magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears < for sources on the Web, the URL where the source is located < The References page is double-spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the authors last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented ve spaces. Review the example below. (Section 3 provides extensive guidelines for how to format Reference entries for dierent types of sources.) 389 390 WRITING FOR SUCCESS CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 391 392 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Tip In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. That means that only the rst word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING KEY < < < < < < 393 TAKEAWAYS Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers. Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the rst time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper. APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper. APA papers use a specic headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information. In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name of the author(s) and the year of publication. In-text citations correspond to entries in the References section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source. 2. CITING AND REFERENCING TECHNIQUES LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Apply APA style formatting guidelines for citations This section covers the nitty-gritty details of in-text citations. You will learn how to format citations for dierent types of source materials, whether you are citing brief quotations, paraphrasing ideas, or quoting longer passages. You will also learn techniques you can use to introduce quoted and paraphrased material eectively. Keep this section handy as a reference to consult while writing the body of your paper. 2.1 Formatting Cited Material: The Basics As noted in previous sections of this book, in-text citations usually provide the name of the author(s) and the year the source was published. For direct quotations, the page number must also be included. Use past-tense verbs when introducing a quote: Smith found , not Smith nds. Formatting Brief Quotations For brief quotationsfewer than 40 wordsuse quotation marks to indicate where the quoted material begins and ends, and cite the name of the author(s), the year of publication, and the page number where the quotation appears in your source. Remember to include commas to separate elements within the parenthetical citation. Also, avoid redundancy: If you name the author(s) in your sentence, do not repeat the name in your parenthetical citation. Examples of dierent ways to cite direct quotations appear below. Chang (2008) emphasized that engaging in weight-bearing exercise consistently is one of the single best things women can do to maintain good health (p. 49). The authors name can be included in the body of the sentence or in the parenthetical citation. Note that when a parenthetical citation appears at the end of the sentence, it comes after the closing quotation marks and before the period. The elements within parentheses are separated by commas. Weight Training for Women (Chang, 2008) claimed that engaging in weight-bearing exercise consistently is one of the single best things women can do to maintain good health (p. 49). Weight Training for Women claimed that engaging in weight-bearing exercise consistently is one of the single best things women can do to maintain good health (Chang, 2008, p. 49). 394 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Including the title of a source is optional. In Changs 2008 text Weight Training for Women, she asserts, Engaging in weight-bearing exercise is one of the single best things women can do to maintain good health (p. 49). The authors name, the date, and the title may appear in the body of the text. Include the page number in the parenthetical citation. Also notice the use of the verb asserts to introduce the direct quotation. Engaging in weight-bearing exercise, Chang asserts, is one of the single best things women can do to maintain good health (2008, p. 49). You may begin a sentence with the direct quotation and add the authors name and a strong verb before continuing the quotation. Formatting Paraphrased and Summarized Material When you paraphrase or summarize ideas from a source, you follow the same guidelines provided above, except that you are not required to provide the page number where the ideas are located. If you are summing up the main ndings of a research article, simply providing the authors name and publication year may suce, but if you are paraphrasing a more specic idea, consider including the page number. Read the examples below. Chang (2008) pointed out that weight-bearing exercise has many potential benets for women. Here, the writer is summarizing a major idea that recurs throughout the source material. No page reference is needed. Chang (2008) found that weight-bearing exercise can help women maintain or even increase bone density through middle age and beyond, reducing the likelihood that they will develop osteoporosis in later life (p. 86). Although the writer is not directly quoting the source, this passage paraphrases a specic detail, so the writer chose to include the page number where the information is located. Tip Although APA style guidelines do not require writers to provide page numbers for material that is not directly quoted, your instructor may wish you to do so when possible. Check with your instructor about his or her preferences. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 395 Formatting Longer Quotations When you quote a longer passage from a source40 words or moreyou use a dierent format to set o the quoted material. Instead of using quotation marks, create a block quotation by startingthe quotation on a new line, indented ve spaces from the margin. Note that in this case the parenthetical citation comes after the period that ends the sentence. Here is an example: In recent years, many writers within the tness industry have emphasized the ways in which women can benet from weight-bearing exercise, such as weightlifting, karate, dancing, stair-climbing, hiking, and jogging. Chang (2008) found that engaging in weight-bearing exercise regularly signicantly reduces womens risk of developing osteoporosis. Additionally, these exercises help women maintain muscle mass and overall strength, and many common forms of weight-bearing exercise, such as brisk walking or stairclimbing, also provide noticeable cardiovascular benets. (p. 93) EXERCISE 1 Review the places in your paper where you cited, quoted, and paraphrased material from a source with a single author. Edit your citations to ensure that < < < each citation includes the authors name, the date of publication, and, where appropriate, a page reference; parenthetical citations are correctly formatted; and longer quotations use the block-quotation format. If you are quoting a passage that continues into a second paragraph, indent ve spaces again in the rst line of the second paragraph. Here is an example: In recent years, many writers within the tness industry have emphasized the ways in which women can benet from weight-bearing exercise, such as weightlifting, karate, dancing, stair-climbing, hiking, and jogging. Chang (2008) found that engaging in weight-bearing exercise regularly signicantly reduces womens risk of developing osteoporosis. Additionally, these exercises help women maintain muscle mass and overall strength, and many common forms of weight-bearing exercise, such as brisk walking or stairclimbing, also provide noticeable cardiovascular benets. It is important to note that swimming cannot be considered a weight-bearing exercise, since the water supports and cushions the swimmer. That doesnt mean swimming isnt great exercise, but it should be considered one part of an integrated tness program. (p. 93) Tip Be wary of quoting from sources at length. Remember, your ideas should drive the paper, and quotations should be used to support and enhance your points. Make sure any lengthy quotations that you include serve a clear purpose. Generally no more than 10%15% of a paper should consist of quoted material. Introducing Cited Material Effectively Including an introductory phrase in your text, such as Jackson wrote or Copeland found, often helps you integrate source material smoothly. This citation technique also helps convey that you are block quotation A long quotation (40 words or more) that uses indentation, rather than quotation marks, to indicate that the material is quoted. Block quotations are indented ve spaces from the left margin. The page reference is included in parentheses after the end punctuation for the quote. 396 WRITING FOR SUCCESS actively engaged with your source material. Unfortunately, during the process of writing your research paper, it is easy to fall into a rut and use the same few dull verbs over and over: Jones said, Smith stated, and so on. Punch up your writing by using strong verbs that help your reader understand how the source material presents ideas. There is a world of dierence between an author who suggests and one who claims, one who questions and one who criticizes. You do not need to consult your thesaurus every time you cite a source, but do think about which verbs will accurately represent the ideas and make your writing more engaging. The chart below shows some possibilities. Strong Verbs for Introducing Cited Material ask contrast measure suggest propose assess question hypothesize evaluate explain believe conclude assert insist study claim argue warn recommend nd point out compare determine sum up EXERCISE 2 Review the citations in your paper once again. This time, look for places where you introduced source material with a signal phrase in your sentence. 1. Highlight the verbs used in your signal phrases and make note of any that seem to be overused throughout the paper. 2. Identify at least three places where a stronger verb could be used. 3. Make the edits to your draft. Writing at Work It is important not to misrepresent a colleagues ideas or communications in the workplace. When writing professional or academic papers, be mindful of how the words you use to describe someone elses tone or ideas carry certain connotations. Do not say a source argues a particular point unless an argument is, in fact, presented. Use lively language, but avoid language that is emotionally charged. Doing so will ensure you have represented your colleagues words in an authentic and accurate way. 2.2 Formatting In-Text Citations for Different Source Types The sections below discuss the correct format for various types of in-text citations. Read them through quickly to get a sense of what is covered, and then refer to them again as needed. Print Sources This section covers books, articles, and other print sources with one or more authors. A Work by One Author For a print work with one author, follow the guidelines provided in Section 1. Always include the authors name and year of publication. Include a page reference whenever you quote a source directly. (See also the guidelines presented earlier in this chapter about when to include a page reference for paraphrased material.) Chang (2008) emphasized that engaging in weight-bearing exercise consistently is one of the single best things women can do to maintain good health (p. 49). CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING Chang (2008) pointed out that weight-bearing exercise has many potential benets for women. Two or More Works by the Same Author At times, your research may include multiple works by the same author. If the works were published in dierent years, a standard in-text citation will serve to distinguish them. If you are citing multiple works by the same author published in the same year, include a lowercase letter immediately after the year. Rank the sources in the order they appear in your References section: the source listed rst includes an a after the year, the source listed second includes a b, and so on. Rodriguez (2009a) criticized the nutrition-supplement industry for making unsubstantiated and sometimes misleading claims about the benets of taking supplements. Additionally, he warned that consumers frequently do not realize the potential harmful eects of some popular supplements (Rodriguez, 2009b). Tip If you have not yet created your References section, you may not be sure which source will appear rst. See Section 3 for guidelinesor assign each source a temporary code and highlight the in-text citations so you remember to double-check them later on. Works by Authors with the Same Last Name If you are citing works by dierent authors with the same last name, include each authors initials in your citation, whether you mention them in the text or in parentheses. Do so even if the publication years are dierent. J. S. Williams (2007) believes nutritional supplements can be a useful part of some diet and tness regimens. C. D. Williams, however, believes these supplements are overrated (2008). According to two leading researchers, the rate of childhood obesity exceeds the rate of adult obesity (O. Connelley, 2010; K. Connelley, 2010). Studies from both A. Wright (2007) and C.A. Wright (2008) conrm the benets of diet and exercise on weight loss. A Work by Two Authors When two authors are listed for a given work, include both authors names each time you cite the work. If you are citing their names in parentheses, use an ampersand (&) between them. (Use the word and, however, if the names appear in your sentence.) As Garrison and Gould (2010) pointed out, It is never too late to quit smoking. The health risks associated with this habit begin to decrease soon after a smoker quits (p. 101). As doctors continue to point out, It is never too late to quit smoking. The health risks associated with this habit begin to decrease soon after a smoker quits (Garrison & Gould, 2010, p. 101). 397 398 et al. An abbreviation for the Latin phrase et alia, meaning and others. This abbreviation frequently appears in citations for works with multiple authors. WRITING FOR SUCCESS A Work by Three to Five Authors If the work you are citing has three to ve authors, list all of the authors names the rst time you cite the source. In subsequent citations, use the rst authors name followed by the abbreviation et al. (Et al. is short for et alia, the Latin phrase for and others.) Henderson, Davidian, and Degler (2010) surveyed 350 smokers aged 18 to 30. One survey, conducted among 350 smokers aged 18 to 30, included a detailed questionnaire about participants motivations for smoking (Henderson, Davidian, & Degler, 2010). Note that these examples follow the same ampersand conventions as sources with two authors. Use the ampersand only when listing authors names in parentheses. As Henderson et al. (2010) found, some young people, particularly young women, use smoking as a means of appetite suppression. Disturbingly, some young women use smoking as a means of appetite suppression (Henderson et al., 2010). Note how the phrase et al. is punctuated. No period comes after et, but al. gets a period because it is an abbreviation for a longer Latin word. In parenthetical references, include a comma after et al., but not before. Remember this rule by mentally translating the citation to English: Henderson and others, 2010. A Work by Six or More Authors If the work you are citing has six or more authors, list only the rst authors name, followed by et al., in your in-text citations. Other authors names will be listed in your References section. Researchers have found that outreach work with young people has helped to reduce tobacco use in some communities (Costello et al., 2007). A Work Authored by an Organization When citing a work that has no individual author(s) but is published by an organization, use the organizations name in place of the authors name. Lengthy organization names with well-known abbreviations can be abbreviated. In your rst citation, use the full name, followed by the abbreviation in square brackets. Subsequent citations may use the abbreviation only. It is possible for a patient to have a small stroke without even realizing it (American Heart Association [AHA], 2010). Another cause for concern is that even if patients realize that they have had a stroke and need medical attention, they may not know which nearby facilities are best equipped to treat them (AHA, 2010). EXERCISE 3 1. Review the places in your paper where you cited material from a source with multiple authors or with an organization as the author. Edit your citations to ensure that each citation follows APA guidelines for the inclusion of the authors names, the use of ampersands and et al., the date of publication, and, where appropriate, a page reference. 2. Mark any additional citations within your paper that you are not sure how to format based on the guidelines provided so far. You will revisit these citations after reading the next few sections. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING A Work with No Listed Author If no author is listed and the source cannot be attributed to an organization, use the title in place of the authors name. You may use the full title in your sentence or use the rst few wordsenough to convey the key ideasin a parenthetical reference. Follow standard conventions for using italics or quotations marks with titles: < < Use italics for titles of books or reports. Use quotation marks for titles of articles or chapters. Living with Diabetes: Managing Your Health (2009) recommends regular exercise for patients with diabetes. Regular exercise can benet patients with diabetes (Living with Diabetes, 2009). A Work Cited within Another Work To cite a source that is referred to within another secondary source, name the rst source in your sentence. Then, in parentheses, use the phrase as cited in and the name of the second source author. Rosenhans study On Being Sane in Insane Places (as cited in Spitzer, 1975) found that psychiatrists diagnosed schizophrenia in people who claimed to be experiencing hallucinations and sought treatmenteven though these patients were, in fact, imposters. Two or More Works Cited in One Reference At times, you may provide more than one citation in a parenthetical reference, such as when you are discussing related works or studies with similar results. List the citations in the same order they appear in your References section and separate the citations with a semicolon. Some researchers have found serious aws in the way Rosenhans study was conducted (Dawes, 2001; Spitzer, 1975). Both of these researchers authored works that support the point being made in this sentence, so it makes sense to include both in the same citation. A Famous Text Published in Multiple Editions In some cases, you may need to cite an extremely well-known work that has been repeatedly republished or translated. Many works of literature and sacred texts, as well as some classic nonction texts, fall into this category. For these works, the original date of publication may be unavailable. If so, include the year of publication or translation for your edition. Refer to specic parts or chapters if you need to cite a specic section. Discuss with your faculty whether he or she would like you to cite page numbers in this particular instance. In New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, Freud explains that the manifest content of a dreamwhat literally takes placeis separate from its latent content, or hidden meaning (trans. 1965, lecture XXIX). Here, the student is citing a classic work of psychology, originally written in German and later translated to English. Because the book is a collection of Sigmund Freuds lectures, the student cites the lecture number rather than a page number. Citing an Introduction, Foreword, Preface, or Afterword To cite an introduction, foreword, preface, or afterward, cite the author of the material and the year, following the same format used for other print materials. 399 400 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Electronic Sources Whenever possible, cite electronic sources as you would print sources, with the author, date, and, where appropriate, a page number. For some types of electronic sourcesfor instance, many online articlesthis information is easily available. Other times, however, you will need to vary the format to reect the dierences in online media. Online Sources without Page Numbers If an online source has no page numbers but you want to refer to a specic portion of the source, try to locate other information you can use to direct your reader to the information. Some websites number paragraphs within published articles; if so, include the paragraph number in your citation. Precede the paragraph number with the abbreviation for the word paragraph and the number of the paragraph (for example, para. 4). As researchers have explained, Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into ones diet can be a challenge for residents of areas where there are few or no easily accessible supermarkets (Smith & Jones, 2006, para. 4). Even if a source does not have numbered paragraphs, it is likely to have headings that organize the content. In your citation, name the section where your cited information appears, followed by a paragraph number. The American Lung Association (2010) noted, After smoking, radon exposure is the second most common cause of lung cancer (What Causes Lung Cancer? section, para. 2). This student cited the appropriate section heading within the website and then counted to nd the specic paragraph where the cited information was located. If an online source has no listed author and no date, use the source title and the abbreviation n.d. in your parenthetical reference. It has been suggested that electromagnetic radiation from cellular telephones may pose a risk for developing certain cancers (Cellphones and Cancer, n.d.). Personal Communication For personal communications, such as interviews, letters, and email, cite the name of the person involved, clarify that the material is from a personal communication, and provide the specic date the communication took place. Note that while in-text citations correspond to entries in the References section, personal communications are an exception to this rule. They are cited only in the body text of your paper. J. H. Yardley, M.D., believes that available information on the relationship between cell phone use and cancer is inconclusive (personal communication, May 1, 2009). Writing at Work At work, you may sometimes share information resources with your colleagues by photocopying an interesting article or forwarding the URL of a useful website. Your goal in these situations and in formal research citations is the same: to provide enough information to help your professional peers locate and follow up on potentially useful information. Provide as much specic information as possible to achieve that goal, and consult with your professor as to what specic he or she may prefer. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 401 EXERCISE 4 Revisit the problem citations you identied in Exercise 3for instance, sources with no listed author or other oddities. Review the guidelines provided above and edit your citations for these sources according to APA guidelines. KEY < < < < < TAKEAWAYS In APA papers, in-text citations include the name of the author(s) and the year of publication whenever possible. Page numbers are always included when citing quotations. It is optional to include page numbers when citing paraphrased material; however, this should be done when citing a specic portion of a work. When citing online sources, provide the same information used for print sources if it is available. When a source does not provide information that usually appears in a citation, in-text citations should provide readers with alternative information that would help them locate the source material. This may include the title of the source, section headings and paragraph numbers for websites, and so forth When writing a paper, discuss with your professor what particular standards he or she would like you to follow. 3. CREATING A REFERENCES SECTION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Apply APA style and formatting guidelines for a References section This section provides detailed information about how to create the References section of your paper. You will review basic formatting guidelines and learn how to format bibliographical entries for various types of sources. This section of Chapter 13, like the previous section, is meant to be used as a reference tool while you write. 3.1 Formatting the References Section: The Basics At this stage in the writing process, you may already have begun setting up your References section. This section may consist of a single page for a brief research paper or may extend for many pages in professional journal articles. As you create this section of your paper, follow the guidelines provided below. Formatting the References Section To set up your References section, use the Insert Page Break feature of your word-processing program to begin a new page. Note that the header and margins will be the same as in the body of your paper, and pagination continues from the body of your paper. (In other words, if you set up the body of your paper correctly, the correct header and page number should appear automatically in your References section.) See additional guidelines below. Formatting Reference Entries Reference entries should include the following information: < < < < < the name of the author(s) the year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication the full title of the source for books, the city of publication for articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears 402 WRITING FOR SUCCESS < < for magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears for sources on the Web, the URL where the source is located See the examples below for how to format a book or journal article with a single author. Sample Book Entry Sample Journal Article Entry The box below provides general guidelines for formatting the References page. For the remainder of this chapter, you will learn about how to format bibliographical entries for dierent source types, including sources with multiple authors and electronic sources. hanging indentation The format used for entries in the References section in a research paper, in which the rst line is ush with the left margin, while any lines that follow are indented ve spaces. Formatting the References Section: APA General Guidelines 1. Include the heading References, centered at the top of the page. The heading should not be boldfaced, italicized, or underlined. 2. Use double-spaced type throughout the References section, as in the body of your paper. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 403 3. Use hanging indentation for each entry. The rst line should be ush with the left margin, while any lines that follow should be indented ve spaces. Note: Hanging indentation is the opposite of normal indenting rules for paragraphs. 4. List entries in alphabetical order by the authors last name. For a work with multiple authors, use the last name of the rst author listed. 5. List authors names using this format: Smith, J. C. 6. For a work with no individual author(s), use the name of the organization that published the work or, if this is unavailable, the title of the work in place of the authors name. 7. For works with multiple authors, follow these guidelines: < < < For works with up to seven authors, list the last name and initials for each author. For works with more than seven authors, list the rst six names, followed by ellipses, and then the name of the last author listed. Use an ampersand before the name of the last author listed. 8. Use title case for journal titles. Capitalize all important words in the title. 9. Use sentence case for all other titlesbooks, articles, websites, and other source titles. Capitalize the rst word of the title. Do not capitalize any other words in the title except for < < < proper nouns the rst word of a subtitle the rst word after a colon or dash 10. Use italics for book and journal titles. Do not use italics, underlining, or quotation marks for titles of shorter works, such as articles. EXERCISE 1 Set up the rst page of your References section and begin adding entries, following the APA formatting guidelines provided above. 1. If there are any simple entries that you can format completely using the guidelines above, do so at this time. 2. For entries you are unsure of how to format, type in as much information as you can, and highlight the entries so you can return to them later. 3.2 Formatting Reference Entries for Different Source Types As is the case for in-text citations, formatting reference entries becomes more complicated when you are citing a source with multiple authors, citing various types of online media, or citing sources for which you must provide additional information beyond the basics listed above. The guidelines below show how to format reference entries for these dierent situations. Print Sources: Books For book-length sources and shorter works that appear in a book, follow the guidelines below. A Book by Two or More Authors List the authors names in the order they appear on the books title page. Use an ampersand before the last authors name. Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Boston: Houghton Miin. An Edited Book with No Author List the editor or editors names in place of the authors name, followed by (Ed.) or (Eds.) in parentheses. Myers, C., & Reamer, D. (Eds.). (2009). 2009 nutrition index. San Francisco: HealthSource Inc. 404 WRITING FOR SUCCESS An Edited Book with an Author List the authors name rst, followed by the title and the editor or editors. Note that when the editor is listed after the title, you list the initials before the last name. Tip The example above shows the format used for an edited book with one authorfor instance, a collection of a famous persons letters that has been edited. This type of source is dierent from an anthology, which is a collection of articles or essays by dierent authors. For citing works in anthologies, see the guidelines below. A Translated Book Include the translators name after the title, and at the end of the citation, list the date the original work was published. Note that for the translators name you list the initials before the last name. Freud, S. (1965). New introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. (J. Strachey, Trans.). New York: W. W. Norton. (Original work published 1933) A Book that Has Been Published in Multiple Editions If you are using any edition other than the rst edition, include the edition number in parentheses after the title. A Chapter in an Edited Book List the name of the author(s) who wrote the chapter, followed by the chapter title. Then list the names of the book editor(s) and the title of the book, followed by the page numbers for the chapter and the usual information about the books publisher. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING A Work that Appears in an Anthology Follow the same process you would use to cite a book chapter, substituting the article or essay title for the chapter title. An Article in a Reference Book List the authors name if available; if no author is listed, provide the title of the entry where the authors name would normally be listed. If the book lists the name of the editor(s), include it in your citation. Indicate the volume number (if applicable) and page numbers in parentheses after the article title. Two or More Books by the Same Author List the entries in order of their publication year, beginning with the work published rst. Swedan, N. (2001). Womens sports medicine and rehabilitation. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers. Swedan, N. (2003). The active womans health and tness handbook. New York: Perigee. If two books have multiple authors, and the rst author is the same but the others are dierent, alphabetize by the second authors last name (or the third or fourth, if necessary). Carroll, D., & Aaronson, F. (2008). Managing type II diabetes. Chicago: Southwick Press. Carroll, D., & Zuckerman, N. (2008). Gestational diabetes. Chicago: Southwick Press. Books by Different Authors with the Same Last Name Alphabetize entries by the authors rst initial. 405 406 WRITING FOR SUCCESS A Book Authored by an Organization Treat the organization name as you would an authors name. For the purposes of alphabetizing, ignore words like The in the organizations name. (That is, a book published by the American Heart Association would be listed with other entries whose authors names begin with A.) American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-IV (4th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. A Book-Length Report Format technical and research reports as you would format other book-length sources. If the organization that issued the report assigned it a number, include the number in parentheses after the title. (See also the guidelines provided below for citing works produced by government agencies.) Jameson, R., & Dewey, J. (2009). Preliminary ndings from an evaluation of the presidents physical tness program in Pleasantville school district. Pleasantville, WA: Pleasantville Board of Education. A Book Authored by a Government Agency Treat these as you would a book published by a nongovernment organization, but be aware that these works may have an identication number listed. If so, include it in parentheses after the publication year. National Institute of Mental Health. (1990). Clinical training in serious mental illness (DHHS Publication No. ADM 90-1679). Washington, DC U. S. Government Printing Oces. EXERCISE 2 Revisit the References section you began to compile in Exercise 1. Use the guidelines provided above to format any entries for book-length print sources that you were unable to nalize earlier. Review how Jorge formatted his book-length print sources: Atkins, R. C. (2002). Dr. Atkins diet revolution. New York: M. Evans and Company. Agatson, A. (2003). The South Beach diet. New York: St. Martins Grin. Print Sources: Periodicals An Article in a Scholarly Journal Include the following information: < < < < < < < the author or authors names the publication year the article title (in sentence case, without quotation marks or italics) the journal title (in title case and in italics) the volume number (in italics) the issue number (in parentheses) the page number(s) where the article appears CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING DeMarco, R. F. (2010). Palliative care and African American women living with HIV. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(5),14. An Article in a Journal Paginated by Volume In these types of journals, page numbers for one volume continue across all of the issues in that volume. For instance, the winter issue may begin with page 1, and in the spring issue that follows, the page numbers pick up where the previous issue left o. (If you have ever wondered why a print journal did not begin on page 1, or wondered why the page numbers of a journal extend into four digits, this is why.) Omit the issue number from your reference entry. Wagner, J. (2009). Rethinking school lunches: A review of recent literature. American School Nurses Journal, 47, 11231127. An Abstract of a Scholarly Article At times you may need to cite an abstract of a published articlethe summary that appears at the beginning of the article. If you are citing the abstract only, and it was published separately from the article, provide the publication information for the article < information about where the abstract was published (for instance, another journal or a collection of abstracts). < A Journal Article with Two to Seven Authors List all of the authors names in the order they appear in the article. Use an ampersand before the last name listed. Barker, E. T., & Bornstein, M. H. (2010). Global self-esteem, appearance satisfaction, and self-reported dieting in early adolescence. Journal of Early Adolescence, 30(2), 205224. Tremblay, M. S., Shields, M., Laviolette, M, Craig, C. L., Janssen, I., & Gorber, S. C. (2010). Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 20072009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Reports, 21(1), 720. 407 408 WRITING FOR SUCCESS A Journal Article with More than Seven Authors List the rst six authors names, followed by a comma, an ellipsis, and the name of the last author listed. The article in the example below has 16 listed authors; the reference entry lists the rst six authors and the 16th, omitting the seventh through the 15th. Writing at Work The idea of an eight-page article with 16 authors may seem strange to youespecially if you are in the midst of writing a 10-page research paper on your own. More often than not, articles in scholarly journals list multiple authors. Sometimes, the authors actually did collaborate on writing and editing the published article. In other instances, some of the authors listed may have contributed to the research in some way while being only minimally involved in the process of writing the article. Whenever you collaborate with colleagues to produce a written product, follow your professions conventions for giving everyone proper credit for their contribution. A Magazine Article After the publication year, list the issue date. Otherwise, treat these as you would journal articles. List the volume and issue number if both are available. A Newspaper Article Treat these as you would magazine and journal articles, with one important dierence: precede the page number(s) with the abbreviation p. (for a single-page article) or pp. (for a multipage article). For articles whose pagination is not continuous, list all of the pages included in the article. For example, an article that begins on page A1 and continues on page A4 would have the page reference A1, A4. An article that begins on page A1 and continues on pages A4 and A5 would have the page reference A1, A4A5. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 409 A Letter to the Editor After the title, indicate in brackets that the work is a letter to the editor. Jones, J. (2009, January 31.) Food police in our schools [Letter to the editor]. Rockwood Gazette, p. A8. A Review After the title, indicate in brackets that the work is a review and state the name of the work being reviewed. (Note that even if the title of the review is the same as the title of the book being reviewed, as in the example below, you should treat it as an article title. Do not italicize it.) EXERCISE 2 Revisit the References section you began to compile in Exercise 1. Use the guidelines provided above to format any entries for periodicals and other shorter print sources that you were unable to nalize earlier. Electronic Sources Citing Articles from Online Periodicals: URLs and DOIs Whenever you cite online sources, it is important to provide the most up-to-date information available to help readers locate the source. In some cases, this means providing an articles URL, or Web address. (The letters URL stand for Uniform Resource Locator.) Always provide the most complete URL possible. Provide a link to the specic article used, rather than a link to the publications home page. As you know, however, Web addresses are not always stable. If a website is updated or reorganized, the article you accessed in April may move to a dierent location in May. The URL you provided may become a dead link. For this reason, many online periodicals, especially scholarly publications, now rely on DOIs rather than URLs to keep track of articles. A DOI is a Digital Object Identieran identication code provided for some online documents, typically articles in scholarly journals. Like a URL, its purpose is to help readers locate an article. However, a DOI is more stable than a URL, so it makes sense to include it in your reference entry if possible. Follow these guidelines: If you are citing an online article with a DOI, list the DOI at the end of the reference entry. < If the article appears in print as well as online, you do not need to provide the URL. However, include the words Electronic version after the title in brackets. < In other respects, treat the article as you would a print article. Include the volume number and issue number if available. (Note, however, that this may not be the case for some online periodicals). < An Article from an Online Periodical with a DOI List the DOI if one is provided. There is no need to include the URL if you have listed the DOI. Bell, J. R. (2006). Low-carb beats low-fat diet for early losses but not long term. OBGYN News, 41(12), 32. doi:10.1016/S0029-7437(06)71905-X An Article from an Online Periodical with No DOI List the URL. Include the volume and issue number for the periodical if this information is available. (For some online periodicals, it may not be.) URL A Uniform Resource Locator, or Web address. Writers may provide URLs to help readers locate information that was accessed online. Guidelines for whether to provide a deep link within a site or a general link to the home page or index vary depending on the type of online source. DOI A Digital Object Identier, an identication code provided for some online documents, typically articles in scholarly journals. DOIs are more stable than URLs, so they should be included in Reference entries when available. 410 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Note that if the article appears in a print version of the publication, you do not need to list the URL, but do indicate that you accessed the electronic version. Robbins, K. (2010, March/April). Natures bounty: A heady feast [Electronic version]. Psychology Today, 43(2), 58. A Newspaper Article Provide the URL of the article. McNeil, D. G. (2010, May 3). Maternal health: A new study challenges benets of vitamin A for women and babies. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/health/04glob.html?ref=health An Article Accessed through a Database Cite these articles as you would normally cite a print article. Provide database information only if the article is dicult to locate. Tip APA style does not require writers to provide the item number or accession number for articles retrieved from databases. You may choose to do so if the article is dicult to locate or the database is an obscure one. Check with your professor to see if this is something he or she would like you to include. An Abstract of an Article Format these as you would an article citation, but add the word Abstract in brackets after the title. Bradley, U., Spence, M., Courtney, C. H., McKinley, M. C., Ennis, C. N., McCance, D. R. & Hunter, S. J. (2009). Low-fat versus low-carbohydrate weight reduction diets: Eects on weight loss, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk: A randomized control trial [Abstract]. Diabetes, 58(12), 27412748. http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2009/08/23/db09-0098.abstract A Nonperiodical Web Document The ways you cite dierent nonperiodical Web documents may vary slightly from source to source, depending on the information that is available. In your citation, include as much of the following information as you can: < < < < the name of the author(s), whether an individual or organization the date of publication (Use n.d. if no date is available.) the title of the document the address from which you retrieved the document If the document consists of more than one Web page within the site, link to the home or entry page for the document. American Heart Association. (2010). Heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest warning signs. Retrieved from http://www.americanheart.org/ presenter.jhtml?identier=3053 CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 411 An Entry from an Online Encyclopedia or Dictionary Because these sources often do not include authors names, you may list the title of the entry at the beginning of the citation. Provide the URL for the home page or index, rather than providing a deep link to the specic entry. Addiction. (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster http://www.merriam-webster.com/ Online. Retrieved from Data Sets If you cite raw data compiled by an organization, such as statistical data, provide the URL where you retrieved the information. Provide the name of the organization that sponsors the site. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2009). Nationwide evaluation of X-ray trends: NEXT surveys performed [Data le]. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationSafety/ NationwideEvaluationofX-RayTrendsNEXT/ucm116508.htm Graphic Data When citing graphic datasuch as maps, pie charts, bar graphs, and so oninclude the name of the organization that compiled the information, along with the publication date. Briey describe the contents in brackets. Provide the URL where you retrieved the information. (If the graphic is associated with a specic project or document, list it after your bracketed description of the contents.) U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2009). [Pie charts showing the percentage breakdown of the FDAs budget for scal year 2005]. 2005 FDA budget summary. Retrieved from mhttp://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/ BudgetReports/2005FDABudgetSummary/ucm117231.htm An Online Interview (Audio File or Transcript) List the interviewer, interviewee, and date. After the title, include bracketed text describing the interview as an Interview transcript or Interview audio le, depending on the format in which you accessed the interview. List the name of the website and the URL where you retrieved the information. Use the format below. Davies, D. (Interviewer) & Pollan, M. (Interviewee). (2008). Michael Pollan oers president food for thought [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from National Public Radio website: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/ transcript.php?storyId=100755362 An Electronic Book Electronic books may include books available as text les online or audiobooks. If an electronic book is easily available in print, cite it as you would a print source. If it is unavailable in print (or extremely dicult to nd), use the format below. (Use the words Available from in your citation if the book must be purchased or is not available directly.) Chisholm, L. (n.d.). Celtic tales. Retrieved from http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/ BookReader?bookid=chicelt_00150014&twoPage=false&route=text&size=0&fullscreen=false&pnum1=1&lang=En An Online Book Chapter, or a Chapters or Section of a Web Document These are treated similarly to their print counterparts, with the addition of retrieval information. Include the chapter or section number in parentheses after the book title. Hart, A. M. (1895). RestorativesCoee, cocoa, chocolate. In Diet in sickness and in health (VI). Retrieved from http://www.archive.org/details/ dietinsicknessin00hartrich A Dissertation or Thesis from a Database Provide the author, date of publication, title, and retrieval information. If the work is numbered within the database, include the number in parentheses at the end of the citation. 412 WRITING FOR SUCCESS Computer Software For commonly used oce software and programming languages, it is not necessary to provide a citation. Cite software only when you are using a specialized program, such as the nutrition tracking software in the example below. If you download software from a website, provide the version and the year if available. Internet Brands Inc. (2009). FitDay PC (Version 2) [Software]. Available from http://www.tday.com/Pc/PcHome.html?gcid=14 A Post on a Blog or Video Blog Citation guidelines for these sources are similar to those used for discussion forum postings. Briey describe the type of source in brackets after the title. Writing at Work Because the content may not be carefully reviewed for accuracy, discussion forums and blogs should not be relied upon as a major source of information. However, it may be appropriate to cite these sources for some types of research. You may also participate in discussion forums or comment on blogs that address topics of personal or professional interest. Always keep in mind that when you post, you are making your thoughts publicand in many cases, available through search engines. Make sure any posts that can easily be associated with your name are appropriately professional, because they could be viewed by a potential employer. A Television or Radio Broadcast Include the name of the producer or executive producer; the date, title, and type of broadcast; and the associated company and location. West, Ty. (Executive Producer). (2009, September 24). PBS special report: health care reform [Television broadcast]. New York and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service. A Television or Radio Series or Episode Include the producer and the type of series if you are citing an entire television or radio series. CHAPTER 13 APA DOCUMENTATION AND FORMATTING 413 Couture, D., Nabors, S., Pinkard, S., Robertson, N., & Smith, J. (Producers). (1979). The Diane Rehm show [Radio series]. Washington, DC: National Public Radio. To cite a specic episode of a radio or television series, list the name of the writer or writers (if available), the date the episode aired, its title, and the type of series, along with general information about the series. Bernanke, J., & Wade, C. (2010, January 10). Hummingbirds: Magic in the air [Television series episode]. In Kaufman, F. (Executive Producer), Nature.New York: WNET. A Motion Picture Name the director or producer (or both), year of release, title, country of origin, and studio. Spurlock, M. (Director/Producer), Morley, J. (Executive Producer), & Winters. H. M. (Executive Producer). (2004). Super size me. United States:Kathbur Pictures in association with Studio on Hudson. A Recording Name the primary contributors and list their role. Include the recording medium in brackets after the title. Then list the location and the label. Smith, L. W. (Speaker). (1999). Meditation and relaxation [CD]. New York: Earth, Wind, & Sky Productions. Szkely, I. (Pianist), Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Performers), & Nmeth, G. (Conductor). (1988). Chopin piano concertos no. 1 & 2 [CD]. Hong Kong: Naxos. A Podcast Provide as much information as possible about the writer, director, and/or producer, the date the podcast aired, its title, any organization or series with which it is associated, and where you retrieved the podcast. Kelsey, A. R. (Writer), Garcia, J. (Director), & Kim, S. C. (Producer). (2010, May 7). Lies food labels tell us. Savvy Consumer Podcasts. Podcast retrieved from http://www.savvyconsumer.org/podcasts/050710 EXERCISE 3 Revisit the References section you began to compile in Exercise 1. 1. Use the APA guidelines provided above to format any entries for electronic sources that you were unable to nalize earlier. 2. If your sources include a form of media not covered in the APA guidelines here, consult with a writing tutor or review a print or online reference book. You may wish to visit the website of the American Psychological Association at www.apa.org, or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at owl.english.purdue.edu, which regularly updates its online style guidelines. 3. Give your paper a nal edit to check the References section. KEY < TAKEAWAYS In APA papers, entries in the References section include as much of the following information as possible: < < < < print sources: Provide author(s), date of publication, title, publisher, page numbers (for shorter works), editors (if applicable), and periodical title (if applicable). online sources (text-based): Provide author(s), date of publication, title, publisher or sponsoring organization, and DOI or URL (if applicable). electronic sources (non-text-based): Provide details about the creator(s) of the work, title, associated company or series, and date the work was produced or broadcast. The specic details provided will vary depending on the medium and the information that is available. electronic sources (text-based): If an electronic source is also widely available in print form, it is sometimes unnecessary to provide details about how to access the electronic version. Check the guidelines for the specic source type. 414 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 4. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES EXERCISES I. In this chapter, you learned strategies for using APA-style documentation and formatting in a research paper. Locate a source that uses APA style, such as an article in a professional journal in the sciences or social sciences. Identify the key components of an APA paper in your example: the abstract, section heads, in-text citations, and references list. II. Check one of your assignments for correct APA formatting and citations. (You may wish to conduct this activity in two sessions: one to edit the body of the paper and one to edit the References section.) Check for the following: < < < < < < < All components of an APA paper are included. The title page and body of the paper are correctly formatted. Section heads are used eectively to organize content. In-text citations are complete and correctly formatted. Sources cited within the paper match the sources listed in the References section. The References section uses correct formatting and lists entries in alphabetical order. Entries in the References section are correctly formatted. III. As electronic media continually change, guidelines for citing electronic sources are continually updated. Identify three new or emerging forms of electronic media not listed in this textfor instance, virtual communities such as Second Life or social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace. Answer the following questions: < < < Under what circumstances would this media be a useful source of information for a research paper? How might students be using these sources to conduct research ve or 10 years from now? What information would a student need to provide if citing this source? Why? Develop brief guidelines for how to cite the emerging media source types you identied. Sample Student Reference List References Brent, D. A., Poling, K. D., Goldstein, T. R. (2010). Treating depressed and suicidal adolescents: A clinicians guide. New York: Guilford Press. Dewan, S. (2007, September 17). Using crayons to exorcise Katrina. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/17/arts/design/17ther.html Freud, S. (1955). Beyond the pleasure principle. In The Complete Works of Sigmund Freud. (Vol. XVII. P 366). London: Hogarth. Henley, D. (2007). Naming the enemy: An art therapy intervention for children with bipolar and co-morbid disorders. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 24(3),104110. Hutson, M. (2008). Art therapy: The healing arts. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200705/art-therapy-the-healing-arts Isis, P. D., Bus, J., Siegel, C. A., Ventura, Y. (2010). Empowering students through creativity: Art therapy in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 27(2), 5661. Johnson, D. (1987). The role of the creative arts therapies in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological trauma. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 14, 713. Malchiodi, C. (2006). Art therapy sourcebook. New York: McGraw-Hill. Markel, R. (Producer). (2010). Im an artist [Motion picture]. United States: Red Pepper Films. Kelley, S.J. (1984). The use of art therapy with sexually abused children. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health, 22(12), 1228. Pifalo, T. (2008). Why art therapy? Darkness to light: Confronting child abuse with courage. Retrieved from http://www.darkness2light.org/KnowAbout/articles_art_therapy.asp Rubin, J. A. (2005). Child art therapy (25th ed.). New York: Wiley. Schimek, J. (1975). A critical re-examination of Freuds concept of unconscious mental representation. International Review of Psychoanalysis, 2, 171187. Strauss, M. B. (1999). No talk therapy for children and adolescents. New York: Norton. Thompson, T. (2008). Freedom from meltdowns: Dr. Thompsons solutions for children with autism. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. CHAPTER 14 Creating Presentations Sharing Your Ideas 1. ORGANIZING A VISUAL PRESENTATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify key ideas and details to create a concise, engaging presentation 2. Identify the steps involved in planning a comprehensive presentation Up until now, you have interacted with your audience of readers indirectly, on the page. You have tried to anticipate their reactions and questions, as all good writers do. Anticipating the audiences needs can be tough, especially when you are sitting alone in front of your computer. When you give a presentation, you connect directly with your audience. For most people, making a presentation is both exciting and stressful. The excitement comes from engaging in a two-way interaction about your ideas. The stress comes from the pressure of presenting your ideas without having a delete button to undo mistakes. This chapter covers how to plan and deliver an eective, engaging presentation. By planning carefully, applying some time-honored presentation strategies, and practicing, you can make sure that your presentation comes across as condent, knowledgeable, and interestingand that your audience actually learns from it. The specic tasks involved in creating a presentation may vary slightly depending on your purpose and your assignment. However, the general steps are listed below. These are the steps you will follow to create a presentation based on your ideas: 1. Determine your purpose and identify the key ideas to present. 2. Organize your ideas in an outline. 3. Identify opportunities to incorporate visual and/or audio media, and create or locate these media aids. 4. Rehearse your presentation in advance. 5. Deliver your presentation to your audience. 1.1 Getting Started: Identifying and Organizing Key Ideas To deliver a successful presentation, you need to develop content suitable for an eective presentation. Your ideas make up your presentation, but to deliver them eectively, you will need to identify key ideas and organize them carefully. Read the following considerations, which will help you to rst identify and then organize key ideas: < < < Be concise. You will include the most important ideas and leave out others. Some concepts may need to be simplied. Employ more than one medium of expression. You should incorporate other media, such as charts, graphs, photographs, video or audio recordings, or websites. Prepare for a face-to-face presentation. If you must deliver a face-to-face presentation, it is important to project yourself as a serious and well-informed speaker. You will often speak extemporaneously, or in a rehearsed but not memorized manner, which allows for exibility given the context or audience. You will need to know your points and keep your audience engaged. 416 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 1.2 Determine Your Purpose As with a writing assignment, determining the purpose of your presentation early on is crucial. You want to inform your readers about the topic, but think about what else you hope to achieve. Are you presenting information intended to move your audience to adopt certain beliefs or take action on a particular issue? If so, you are speaking not only to inform but also to persuade your listeners. Do you want your audience to come away from your presentation knowing how to do something they that they did not know before? In that case, you are not only informing them but also explaining or teaching a process. objective The mission or purpose that states what students should know or be able to do after they complete a lesson. Writing at Work Schoolteachers are trained to structure lessons around one or more lesson objectives Usually, the objective, the mission or purpose, states what students should know or be able to do after they complete the lesson. For example, an objective might state that Students will understand the specic freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment or Students will be able to add two three-digit numbers correctly. As a manager, mentor, or supervisor, you may sometimes be required to teach or train other employees as part of your job. Determining the desired outcome of a training session will help you plan eectively. Identify your teaching objectives. What, specically, you want your audience to know (for instance, details of a new workplace policy) or be able to do (for instance, use a new software program)? Plan your teaching or training session to meet your objectives. 1.3 Identify Key Ideas To plan your presentation, think in terms of three or four key points you want to get across. In a paper, you have the space to develop ideas at length and delve into complex details. In a presentation, however, you must convey your ideas more concisely. One strategy you might try is to create an outline. What is your main idea? Would your main idea work well as key points for a brief presentation? How would you condense topics that might be too lengthy, or should you eliminate topics that may be too complicated to address in your presentation? EXERCISE 1 1. Revisit your presentation assignment or think of a topic for your presentation. On your own sheet of notebook paper, write a list of at least three to ve key ideas. Keep the following questions in mind when listing your key ideas: < < < What is your purpose? Who is your audience? How will you engage your audience? 2. On the same paper identify the steps you must complete before you begin creating your presentation. 1.4 Use an Outline to Organize Ideas After you determine which ideas are most appropriate for your presentation, you will create an outline of those ideas. Your presentation, like a written assignment, should include an introduction, body, and conclusion. These components serve much the same purpose as they do in a written assignment: < < < The introduction engages the audiences attention, introduces the topic, and sets the tone for what is to come. The body develops your point of view with supporting ideas, details, and examples presented in a logical order. The conclusion restates your point of view, sums up your main points, and leaves your audience with something to think about. The outline below was developed by Jorge, who wrote the research paper featured in Chapter 11. Jorge relied heavily on this outline to plan his presentation, but he made some adjustments to it to suit the new format. CHAPTER 14 CREATING PRESENTATIONS 1.5 Planning Your Introduction In Chapter 12 you learned techniques for writing an interesting introduction, such as beginning with a surprising fact or statistic; a thought-provoking question or quotation; or a brief anecdote that illustrates a larger concept or connects your topic to your audiences experiences. You can use these techniques eectively in presentations as well. You might also consider actively engaging your audience by having members respond to questions or complete a brief activity related to your topic. For example, you may have your audience respond to a survey or tell about an experience related to your topic. Incorporating media can also be an eective way to get your audiences attention. Visual images such as a photograph or a cartoon can invoke an immediate emotional response. A graph or chart can highlight startling ndings in research data or statistical information. Brief video or audio clips that clearly reinforce your message and do not distract or overwhelm your audience can provide a sense of immediacy when you plan to discuss an event or a current issue. A slide show using presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote allows you to integrate many of these dierent media sources into one presentation. Tip With the accessibility provided by the Internet, you can nd interesting and appropriate audio and video with little diculty. However, a clip alone will not sustain the presentation. To keep the audience interested and engaged, you must frame the beginning and end of the clip with your own words. Jorge completed the introduction part of his outline by listing the key points he would use to open his presentation. He also planned to show various Web links early on to illustrate the popularity of the low-carbohydrate diet trend. 417 418 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 1.6 Planning the Body of Your Presentation The next step is to work with the key ideas you identied earlier. Determine the order in which you want to present these ideas and esh them out with important details. Chapter 10 lists several organizational structures you might work with, such as chronological order, comparison-contrast structure, or cause-and-eect structure. How much detail you include depends on the time allotted for your presentation. Your instructor will most likely give you a specic time limit or a specic slide limit, such as eight to 10 slides. If the time limit is very brief (two to three minutes, for instance), you will need to focus on communicating your point of view, main supporting points, and only the most relevant details. Three minutes can feel like an eternity when you are speaking before a group, but the time will pass very quickly. It is important to use it well. If you have more time to work with10 minutes or half an houryou will be able to discuss your topic in greater detail. A longer time frame also means you must devote more thought to how you will hold your audiences interest. If your presentation will last longer than ve minutes, introduce some variety so the audience is not bored. . Incorporate multimedia, invite the audience to complete an activity, or set aside time for a question-and-answer session. Jorge was required to limit his presentation to ve to seven minutes. In his outline, he made a note about where he would need to condense some complicated material to stay within his time limit. He also decided to focus only on cholesterol and heart disease in his discussion of long-term health outcomes. The research on other issues was inconclusive, so Jorge decided to omit this material. Jorges notes on his outline show the revisions he has made to his presentation. CHAPTER 14 CREATING PRESENTATIONS 419 Tip You are responsible for using your presentation time eectively to inform your audience. You show respect for your audience by following the expected time limit. However, that does not mean you must ll all of that time with talk if you are giving a face-to-face presentation. Involving your audience can take some of the pressure o of you while also keeping them engaged. Have them respond to a few brief questions to get them thinking. Display a relevant photograph, document, or object and ask your classmates to comment. In some presentations, if time allows, you may choose to have your classmates complete an individual or group activity. 1.7 Planning Your Conclusion The conclusion should briey sum up your main idea and leave your audience with something to think about. As in a written paper, you are essentially revisiting your thesis. Depending on your topic, you may also ask the audience to reconsider their thinking about an issue, to take action, or to think about a related issue. If you presented an attention-getting fact or anecdote in your introduction, consider revisiting it in your conclusion. Just as you have learned about an essays conclusion, do not add new content to the presentations conclusion. No matter how you choose to structure your conclusion, make sure it is well planned so that you are not tempted to wrap up your presentation too quickly. Inexperienced speakers, in a face-to-face presentation, sometimes rush through the end of a presentation to avoid exceeding the allotted time or to end the stressful experience of presenting in public. Unfortunately, a hurried conclusion makes the presentation as a whole less memorable. Tip Time management is the key to delivering an eective presentation whether it is face to face or in PowerPoint. As you develop your outline, think about the amount of time you will devote to each section. For instance, in a ve-minute face-to-face presentation, you might plan to spend one minute on the introduction, three minutes on the body, and one minute on the conclusion. Later, when you rehearse, you can time yourself to determine whether you need to adjust your content or delivery. In a PowerPoint presentation, it is important that your presentation is visually stimulating, avoids information overload by limiting text per slide, uses speaker notes eectively, and uses a font that is visible on the background (For example, avoid white letters on a light background or black letters on a dark background). EXERCISE 2 Work with the list you created in Exercise 1 to develop a more complete outline for your presentation. Make sure your outline includes the following: < < < < an introduction that uses strategies to capture your audiences attention a body that summarizes your main points and supporting details a conclusion that helps you end on a memorable note brief notes about how much time you plan to spend on each part of the presentation (You may adjust the timing later as needed.) 1.8 Identifying Opportunities to Incorporate Visual and Audio Media You may already have some ideas for how to incorporate visual and audio media in your presentation. If not, review your outline and begin thinking about where to include media. Presenting information in a variety of formats will help you keep your audiences interest. 1.9 Use Presentation Software Delivering your presentation as a slide show is one way to use media to your advantage. As you speak, you use a computer and an attached projector to display a slide show of text and graphics that 420 WRITING FOR SUCCESS complement the speech. Your audience will follow your ideas more easily, because you are communicating with them through more than one sense. The audience hears your words and also sees the corresponding visuals. A listener who momentarily loses track of what you are saying can rely on the slide to cue his or her memory. To set up your presentation, you will need to work with the content of your outline to develop individual slides. Each slide should focus on just a few bullet points (or a similar amount of content presented in a graphic). Remember that your audience must be able to read the slides easily, whether the members sit in the front or the back of the room. Avoid overcrowding them with too much text. Using presentation software allows you to incorporate graphics, sounds, and even web links directly into your slides. You can also work with available styles, color schemes, and fonts to give your presentation a polished, consistent appearance. Dierent slide templates make it easy to organize information to suit your purpose. Be sure your font is visible to you audience. Avoid using small font or colored font that is not visible against your background. 1.10 Incorporate Visual Media Even if you do not use a slide show to complement your presentation, you can include visual media to support and enhance your content. Visual media is divided into two major categories: images and informational graphics. Image-based media, such as photographs or videos, often have little or no accompanying text. Often these media are more powerful than words in getting a message across. Within the past decade, the images associated with major news stories, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the Abu Ghraib prison abuses of 20042006, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, have powerfully aected viewers emotions and drawn their attention to these news stories. Even if your presentation addresses a less dramatic subject, you can still use images to draw your audience in. Consider how photographs, illustrations, or videos might help your audience connect with a particular person or place or bring a historical event to life. Use visual images to support descriptions of natural or human-made phenomena. What ideas are best explained primarily through images? In addition, consider how you might incorporate informational graphics in your presentation. Informational graphics include diagrams, tables, pie charts, bar and line graphs, and owcharts. Informational graphics usually include some text and often work well to present numerical information. Consider using them if you are presenting statistics, comparing facts or data about several dierent groups, describing changes over time, or presenting a process. 1.11 Incorporate Audio Media Although audio media are not as versatile as visual media, you may wish to use them if they work well with your particular topic. If your presentation discusses trends in pop music or analyzes political speeches, playing an audio clip is an obvious and eective choice. Clips from historical speeches, radio talk shows, and interviews can also be used, but extended clips may be ineective with modern CHAPTER 14 CREATING PRESENTATIONS 421 audiences. Always assess your audiences demographics and expectations before selecting and including audio media. EXERCISE 3 Review the outline you created in Exercise 2. Complete the following steps: 1. Identify at least 23 places in your presentation where you might incorporate visual or audio media. Brainstorm ideas for what media would be eective and create a list of ideas. (In Section 2, you will explore dierent media options in greater depth. For now, focus on coming up with a few general ideas.) 2. Determine whether you will use presentation software to deliver your presentation as a slide show. If you plan to do so, begin using your outline to draft your slides. 1.12 Planning Ahead: Annotating Your Presentation When you make a presentation, you are giving a performance of sorts. It may not be as dramatic as a play or a movie, but it requires smooth coordination of several elementsyour words, your gestures, and any media you include. One way to ensure that the performance goes smoothly is to annotate your presentation ahead of time. To annotate means to add comments or notes to a document. You can use this technique to plan out how the dierent parts of your presentation will ow together. For instance, if you are working with slides, add notes to your outline indicating when you will show each slide. If you have other visual or audio media to include, make a note of that, too. Be as detailed as necessary. Jotting Start video at 3:14 can spare you the awkwardness of searching for the right clip during your presentation. Writing at Work In the workplace, employees are often asked to deliver presentations or conduct a meeting using standard oce presentation software. If you are using presentation software, you can annotate your presentation easily as you create your slides. Use the Notes feature at the bottom of the page to add notes for each slide. As you deliver your presentation, your notes will be visible to you, but not to your audience. In a face-to-face presentation make sure your nal annotated outline is easy to read. It will serve to cue you during your presentation, so it does not need to look polished, as long as it is clear to you. Doublespace the text. Use a larger-than-normal font size (14 or 16 points) if that will make it easier for you to read. Boldface or italics will set o text that should be emphasized or delivered with greater emotion. Write out main points, as well as your opening and closing remarks, in complete sentences, along with any material you want to quote verbatim. Use shorter phrases for supporting details. Using your annotate To add comments or notes to a document. 422 WRITING FOR SUCCESS speaker notes eectively will help you deliver an eective presentation. Highlighting, all-caps, or dierent colored fonts will help you easily distinguish notes from the text of your speech. Below is Jorges annotated outline. Tip Some students prefer to write out the full text of their face-to-face presentation. This can be a useful strategy when you are practicing your delivery. However, keep in mind that reading your text aloud, word for word, will not help you capture and hold your audiences attention. Write out and read your speech if that helps you rehearse. After a few practice sessions, when you are more comfortable with your material, switch to working from an outline. That will help you sound more natural when you speak to an audience. In a slide-show presentation, remember to have your slides in logical sequential order. Annotating your presentation before submitting it to your audience or your instructor will help you check for order and logical transitions. Too much text or data may confuse your audience; strive for clarity and avoid unnecessary details. Let the pictures or graphics tell the story, but do not overload your slide show with visuals. Be sure your font is visible. Look for consistency in the time limit of your presentation to gauge your level of preparedness. CHAPTER 14 CREATING PRESENTATIONS 423 EXERCISE 4 Begin to annotate your outline. (You will probably add more notes as you proceed, but including some annotations now will help you begin pulling your ideas together.) Mark up your outline with the following information: 1. Write notes in brackets to any sections where you denitely plan to incorporate visual or audio media. 2. If you are presenting a slide show, add notes in brackets indicating which slides go with each section of your outline. 3. Identify and set o any text that should be emphasized. KEY < < < < TAKEAWAYS An eective presentation presents ideas more concisely than a written document and uses media to explain ideas and hold the audiences interest. Like an essay, a presentation should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Good writers structure their presentations on the thesis, or point of view, main ideas, and key supporting details and create a presentation outline to organize their ideas. Annotating a presentation outline is a useful way to coordinate dierent parts of the presentation and manage time eectively. 2. INCORPORATING EFFECTIVE VISUALS INTO A PRESENTATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Recognize the characteristics of eective visual aids 2. Analyze dierent types of visual aids and appropriate ways to use them 3. Determine how to create original visual aids and how to locate visual aids created by others Good communication is a multisensory experience. Children rst learning how to read often gravitate toward books with engaging pictures. As adults, we graduate to denser books without pictures, yet we still visualize ideas to help us understand the text. Advertisers favor visual mediatelevision, magazines, and billboardsbecause they are the best way to hook an audience. Websites rely on color, graphics, icons, and a clear system of visual organization to engage Internet surfers. Bringing visuals into a presentation adds color, literally and guratively. There is an art to doing it well. This section covers how to use dierent kinds of visual aids eectively. 424 WRITING FOR SUCCESS 2.1 Using Visual Aids: The Basics Good writers make conscious choices. They understand their purpose and audience. Every decision they make on the page, from organizing an essay to choosing a word with just the right connotations, is made with their purpose and audience in mind. The same principle applies to visual communication. As a presenter, you choose: < < < < < when to show images or video for maximum impact which images will best produce the eect you want when to present information using a table, chart, or other graphic how much text to include in slides or informational graphics how to organize graphics so they present information clearly Your goal is to use visual media to support and enhance your presentation. At the same time, you must make sure these media do not distract your audience or interfere with getting your point across. Your ideas, not your visuals, should be the focus. As you develop the visual side of your presentation, you will follow a process much like the process you follow when you write. You will brainstorm ideas, form an organizational plan, develop drafts, and then rene and edit your work. The following sections provide guidelines to help you make good decisions throughout the process. What Makes Visual Aids Effective? To help you get a sense of what makes visual media work, think about what does not work. Try to recall occasions when you have witnessed the following visual media failures: < < < < < websites crammed with so many images, ashing phrases, and clashing colors that they are almost unreadable assembly instructions with illustrations or diagrams that are impossible to follow photographs that are obviously (and badly) altered with photo-editing software attention-getting typos or other errors in signs, advertisements, or headlines tables, charts, or graphs with tiny, dense text or missing labels In each case, the problem is that the media creator did not think carefully enough about the purpose and audience. The purpose of images, color, or ashing text on a website is to attract attention. Overusing these elements defeats the purpose because the viewer may come overwhelmed or distracted. Tables, charts, and graphs are intended to simplify complex information, but without clear labels and legible text, they will confuse the audience. In contrast, eective visual elements are chosen or created with the purpose and audience in mind. Although a photo shoot for a magazine article might result in dozens of images, editors choose those few that work best with the article. Web designers and video game creators have an audience test their products before they are nalized, to ensure that people will understand how to use them. Understanding the function of dierent visual aids will help you use them with purpose. Types of Visual Aids Visual aids fall into two main categories: images and informational graphics. Images include photographs, illustrations and clip art, and video footage. Informational graphics include tables, charts, bar graphs, and line graphs. These visual aids serve two purposes: to add emotional impact to your presentation and to organize information more clearly. With that in mind, read to nd out how specic types of visual aids achieve those purposes. Photographs A striking photograph can capture your audiences attention far more successfully than words can. Consider including photographs at the beginning or end of your presentation to emphasize your main ideas, or to accompany a particularly important point in the body of your presentation. Remember that, as with other types of graphics, less is often more. Two or three well-chosen photographs are more eective than a dozen mediocre ones. When you choose photographs, ask yourself these questions: < What purpose does this image serve? Will it surprise the audience? Will it provoke a strong emotional response? Does it support an important point? CHAPTER 14 CREATING PRESENTATIONS 425 < Will this photograph be more eective if shown by itself with a caption, or does it need additional text? < Will the audience understand what is happening in the photograph? Is the meaning immediately evident, or does the photo need some context? < Would editing the image make it more eective? Consider using image-editing software to crop the photo, lighten or darken it, or make other cosmetic changes. (Do not go overboard, though. A slightly imperfect but authentic image is preferable to one that has obviously been altered.) To illustrate the sense of helplessness people felt in the midst of t