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To call them to action? Some combination of these? Who are your readers? How well informed are they about the subject? Will your readers resist any of your ideas? What possible objections will you need to anticipate and counter? A proposal? An analysis of data? An essay? If the genre is not assigned, what genre is appropriate for your subject, purpose, and audience? Does the genre require a specific design format or method of organization?

Where will your information come from: Reading? Direct observation? What type of evidence suits your subject, purpose, audience, and genre? What documentation style is required: MLA?

CMS Chicago? Do you have length specifications? If not, what length seems appropriate, given your subject, purpose, audience, and genre? Is a particular format required? If so, do you have guidelines or examples to consult? Who will be reviewing your draft in progress: Your instructor? A writing tutor? Your classmates? What are your deadlines? How much time will you need for the various stages of writing, including proofreading and printing or posting the final draft? APA-1 Supporting a thesis, a Forming a working thesis, b Organizing your ideas, c Using sources to inform and support your argument, APA-3 Integrating sources, a Using quotations appropriately, b Using signal phrases to integrate sources, c Synthesizing sources, Article in a journal or magazine, Article from a database, Book, Section in a Web document, CMS-3 Integrating sources, a Using quotations appropriately, b Using signal phrases to integrate sources, Book, Article in a journal, Article from a database, Letter in a published collection, Primary source from a Web site, Two or more works by the same author in the same year, Two or more works in the same parentheses, Multiple citations to the same work in one paragraph, Web source, a.

No page numbers, b. Unknown author, c. Unknown date, An entire Web site, Multivolume work, Personal communication, Course materials, Part of a source chapter, figure , Indirect source source quoted in another source , Sacred or classical text, Single author, Two to seven authors, Eight or more authors, Organization as author, Unknown author, Author using a pseudonym pen name or screen name, Two or more works by the same author, Two or more works by the same author in the same year, Editor, Author and editor, Translator, Editor and translator, Article in a journal, a.

Print, b. Web, c. Database, Article in a magazine, Database, Article in a newspaper, a. Web, Abstract, a. Abstract of a journal article, b. Abstract of a paper, Supplemental material, Article with a title in its title, Letter to the editor, Editorial or other unsigned article, Newsletter article, Review, Published interview, Article in a reference work encyclopedia, dictionary, wiki , a. Web, Comment on an online article, Directory to APA reference list models, continued Testimony before a legislative body, Paper presented at a meeting or symposium unpublished , Poster session at a conference, Basic format for a book, a.

Web or online library , c. E-book, d. Edition other than the first, Selection in an anthology or a collection, a. Americans believe that personal choice is lost when regulations such as taxes and bans are instituted.

Regulations open up the door to excessive control and interfere with cultural and religious traditions. Counterpoint: Burdens on individual liberty are a reasonable price to pay for large social health benefits. Public opposition continues to stand in the way of food regulation to promote healthier eating. We must consider whether to allow the costly trend of rising chronic disease to continue in the name of personal choice, or whether we are willing to support the legal changes and public health policies that will reverse that trend.

C2 Drafting Strategies for drafting an introduction Choosing visuals to suit your purpose Strategies for drafting a conclusion Generally, the introduction to a piece of writing announces the main point; the body develops it, usually in several paragraphs; and the conclusion drives it home.

You can begin drafting, however, at any point. If you find it difficult to introduce a paper that you have not yet written, try drafting the body first and saving the introduction for later. Your introduction will usually be a paragraph of 50 to words in a longer paper, it may be more than one paragraph.

Perhaps the most common strategy is to open with a few sentences that engage, or hook, the reader and that establish your purpose for writing and your central idea, or thesis. See also C1c. In the following introduction, the thesis is highlighted.

The sentences leading to your thesis should hook readers by sparking their curiosity, drawing them into the world of your essay and giving them a reason to continue reading. Different writing situations call for different introductions. C2-b Draft the body. What does your thesis promise readers? What question are you trying to answer?

What problem are you trying to solve? What is your position on the topic? Keep asking these questions as you draft the body of your essay. Asking questions as you draft You may already have written an introduction that includes your working thesis. If not, as long as you have a draft thesis, you can begin developing the body and return later to the introduction. If your working thesis suggests a plan or if you have sketched a preliminary outline, try to organize your paragraphs accordingly.

Draft the body of your essay by writing at least one paragraph about each supporting point you listed in the planning stage. If you do not have a plan, pause for a few moments and sketch one see C1-d. As you draft the body, keep asking questions; keep anticipating what your readers may need to know. At times, however, you might not know what you want to say until you have written a draft. Whether or not you have a plan when you begin drafting, you can often figure out a workable order for your ideas by stopping each time you start a new paragraph to think about what your readers will need to know to follow your train of thought.

For more detailed help with drafting and developing paragraphs, see C5. As you draft, keep careful notes about sources you read and consult.

See R2-c. If you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source, include a citation, even in your draft. You will save time and avoid plagiarism if you do so. Using sources responsibly: Adding visuals as you draft As you draft, you may decide that support for your thesis could come from one or more visuals.

Visuals can convey information concisely and powerfully. Graphs and tables, for example, can simplify complex numerical information. Images � including photographs and diagrams � often express ideas vividly. Keep in mind that if you download a visual or use published information to create your own visual, you must credit your source. Also be sure to choose visuals to supplement your writing, not to substitute for it. While drafting, consider how a visual supports your purpose and how your audience might respond to the visual.

For example, in writing about the shift from print to online news, student writer Sam Jacobs used a screen shot of a link embedded in a news article to illustrate a point see A4-h. The chart below describes eight types of visuals and their purposes.

If you create a chart or graph using information from your research, you must cite the source of the information even though the visual is your own. If you download a photograph from the Web, you must credit the person or organization that created it, just as you would cite any other source that you use in a college paper see MLA-2, APA-2, or CMS-2, depending on the documentation style you are required to use. Using sources responsibly: Choosing visuals to suit your purpose Pie chart Pie charts compare a part or parts to the whole.

Segments of the pie represent percentages of the whole and always total percent. Bar graph or line graph Bar graphs highlight trends over a period of time or compare numerical data. Line graphs display the same data as bar graphs; the data are graphed as points, and the points are connected with lines. Infographic An infographic presents data in a visually engaging form. The data are usually numerical, as in bar graphs or line graphs, but they are represented by a graphic element rather than bars or lines.

Table Tables display numbers and words in columns and rows. They can be used to organize complicated numerical information into an easily understood format. Photograph Photographs vividly depict people, scenes, or objects discussed in a text. Diagram Diagrams, useful in scientific and technical writing, concisely illustrate processes, structures, or interactions.

Flowchart Flowcharts show structures the hierarchy of employees at a company, for example or steps in a process and their relation to one another. See also S3-e for another example. Map Maps illustrate distances, historical information, or demographics and often use symbols for geographic features and points of interest. C2-c Draft a conclusion. Your conclusion should drive your main point home and, perhaps, give readers something more to consider. As news reports of women training for and taking part in combat operations become commonplace, reports of women becoming CEOs, police chiefs, and even president of the United States will cease to surprise us.

Or perhaps we have already reached this point. Whatever concluding strategy you choose, keep in mind that an effective conclusion is decisive and unapologetic.

Avoid introducing completely new ideas at the end of an essay. And because the conclusion is so closely tied to the rest of the essay, be prepared to rewrite it as you revise your draft. Global matters � thesis, purpose, organization, content, and overall strategy � generally receive attention first because global revisions involve bigger changes, including rewrites of paragraphs or whole sections of a paper.

Editing, on the other hand � improvements in sentence structure, word choice, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics � usually comes later. See C3-b for advice on keeping an editing log. Writing multiple drafts allows you to write in stages and strengthen your paper through both revising and editing. When you ask readers for their comments, revision becomes a social experience, connecting you with the suggestions and insights of readers who help you shape your work in progress.

C3-b Use peer review: Revise with comments. Peer review gives you the benefit of real readers and an opportunity to see your draft through their eyes. When peers � classmates and fellow students � read your work, they offer feedback, pointing out where they are intrigued or confused. They offer their insights and suggestions, answer your questions, and help you strengthen your draft.

Tell reviewers your specific concerns so they can provide focused feedback. Your readers are responding to your essay, not to you. Instead, consider why your reader is confused, and figure out how to clarify your point. Taking feedback seriously will make you a stronger writer. As you begin revising, you may find yourself sorting through suggestions from many people, including instructors, tutors, and peer reviewers.

Sometimes these readers will agree, but often their advice will differ. Your reviewers will probably make more suggestions than you can use, so be strategic.

That list can serve as a starting point each time you revise a paper to help you learn about your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. See more on improving your writing with editing logs. Peer review allows you to read the work of your classmates and to learn from one another.

When you propose a strategy for focusing an introduction or for anticipating a counterargument, you not only help your classmate but also benefit from the process of thinking strategically about revision. As a peer reviewer, your work is to engage with a writer as a reader. The following excerpt from an online peer review session shows a peer reviewer offering constructive comments. Think of yourself as asking questions and proposing possibilities, not dictating solutions.

Help the writer identify the strengths and limitations of a draft. Focus on the big picture � purpose, thesis, organization, and content � before sentence structure, word choice, and grammar.

As a reader, you can help the writer see whether he or she is expressing points clearly. Point to specific places in a draft and show your classmate how, why, and where a draft is effective or confusing.

Strategies for revising Are the sentences leading to your thesis specific enough to engage readers and communicate your purpose? Do these sentences lead logically to your thesis? See C2-a. See the chart in C2-a. Reread your introduction and ask questions. Strategies for revising Read more to learn about the debates surrounding the topic. Understand the various sides of your issue so you can anticipate and counter objections to your argument. See R1-a and R1-b.

Be open-minded. See A4-f. Strategies for revising Reread your topic sentence to understand the focus of the paragraph. See C5-a. Ask questions. Does the paragraph contain claims that need support? Have you provided evidence � specific examples, vivid details and illustrations, statistics and facts � to help readers understand your ideas and find them persuasive? See A4-e. Interpret your evidence. You will need to show readers how evidence supports your claims.

See A1-d and MLA3c. Strategies for revising Have you properly acknowledged all contributions � words, ideas, facts, or visuals � that you use as evidence? Have you given credit to the sources you quote, summarize, or paraphrase? Have you made it clear to readers how to locate each source if they want to consult it? Revise by including an in-text citation for any words, ideas, facts, or visuals that you use as evidence � and by including quotation marks around any language borrowed word-forword from a source.

Reread your sentence and ask questions. Here are the questions Nguyen gave her peer reviewers before they read her draft. Here are three questions I have about my draft: Is my focus clear? Is there anything that confuses you? What specifically should I cut or add to strengthen my draft? Her classmates offered her valuable suggestions about adding a photograph of her Hanoi neighborhood and clarifying her main idea.

Revise introduction to set the scene more dramatically. Delete extra material about the old man. See if there is a possible idea in the various contrasts. The surprise was finding writing in silence, not in the noisy exchange of voices in my neighborhood. C3-e Approach global revision in cycles. Revision is more effective when you approach it in cycles, rather than attempting to change everything all at once.

Keep in mind these four common cycles of global revision: engaging the audience, sharpening the focus, improving the organization, and strengthening the content. For a global revision checklist, see below. Engaging the audience Sometimes a rough draft needs an overhaul because it is directed at no particular audience. You can sharpen the focus of a draft by clarifying the introduction especially the thesis and by deleting any text that is off the point. Improving the organization A draft is well organized when its major divisions are logical and easy to follow.

To improve the organization of your draft, you may need to take one or more of the following actions: adding or sharpening topic sentences, moving blocks of text, and inserting headings. Strengthening the content In reviewing the content of a draft, first consider whether your argument is sound. Second, consider whether you should add or delete any text sentences or paragraphs. If your purpose is to argue a point, consider how persuasively you have supported your point to an intelligent audience.

Checklist for global revision Purpose and audience Does the draft address a question, a problem, or an issue that readers care about? Is the draft appropriate for its audience? Focus Is the thesis clear? Is it prominently placed? See C1-c. If the draft has no thesis, do you have a good reason for omitting one? Organization and paragraphing Is each paragraph unified around a main point?

Does each paragraph support and develop the thesis? Have you provided enough organizational cues for readers such as topic sentences or headings? Have you presented ideas in a logical order? Content Is the supporting material relevant and persuasive? Which ideas need further development? Have you left your readers with any unanswered questions? Are the parts proportioned sensibly? Do major ideas receive enough attention? Where might you delete redundant or irrelevant information?

Point of view Is the dominant point of view � first person I or we , second person you , or third person he, she, it, one, or they � appropriate for your purpose and audience? See S4-a. C3-f Revise and edit sentences. When you revise sentences, you focus on clarity and effectiveness; when you edit, you check for correctness. Sentences that are wordy, vague, or rambling may distract readers and make it hard for readers to focus on your purpose or grasp your ideas.

Read each sentence slowly to determine if it is as specific and clear as possible. You might find it helpful to read your work aloud and trust your ears to detect awkwardness, wordiness, or a jarring repetition. The original paragraph was too wordy, a problem that can be addressed through any number of revisions.

Some of the improvements do not involve choice and must be made in any revision. The hyphen in after-school programs is necessary; a noun must be substituted for the pronoun these in the last sentence; and the question mark in the second sentence must be changed to a period.

HOW TO Improve your writing with an editing log An important aspect of becoming a college writer is learning how to identify the grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors that you make frequently. You can use an editing log to keep a list of your common errors, anticipate error patterns, and learn the rules needed to correct the errors.

A suggested format appears below. Proofreading is a special kind of reading: a slow and methodical search for misspellings, typographical mistakes, and missing words or word endings. Such errors can be difficult to spot in your own work because you may read what you intended to write, not what is actually on the page.

To fight this tendency, try one or more of the following tips. Proofread out loud, articulating each word as it is actually written. Proofread your sentences in reverse order. Proofread hard copy pages; mistakes can be difficult to catch onscreen. Before automatically accepting their changes, consider accuracy and appropriateness. Ask a volunteer a friend, roommate, or co-worker to proofread after you.

See C3-h for a sample literacy narrative. Key features A well-told narrative shows readers what happened. Lively details present the sights, sounds, and smells of the world in which the story takes place. Dialogue and action add interest and energy. A main idea or insight about reading or writing gives a literacy narrative its significance and transforms it from a personal story to one with larger, universal interest. A well-organized narrative, like all essays, has a beginning, a middle, and an ending and is focused around a thesis or main idea.

Narratives can be written in chronological order, in reverse chronological order, or with a series of flashbacks. First-person point of view I gives a narrative immediacy and authenticity. Your voice may be serious or humorous, but it should be appropriate for your main idea. Thinking ahead: Presenting or publishing You may have some flexibility in how you present or publish your literacy narrative. If you have the opportunity to submit it as a podcast, a video, or another genre, leave time in your schedule for recording or filming.

Also, in seeking feedback, ask reviewers to comment on your plans for using sounds or images. Writing your literacy narrative 1 Explore What story will you tell? Find one interesting experience to focus your narrative.

Generate ideas with questions such as these: What challenges have you confronted as a reader or a writer? Who were the people who nurtured or delayed your reading or writing development? What are your childhood memories of reading or writing? What images do you associate with learning to read or write? What is significant about the story you want to tell? What larger point do you want readers to take away from your narrative?

Experiment: What happens if you start in the middle of the story or work in reverse? Try to come up with a tentative organization, and then start to draft. Here are some questions to guide their comments: What main idea do readers take away from your story? Ask them to summarize this idea in one sentence. Is the narrative focused around the main idea? Are the details vivid?

Where might you convey your story more clearly? Would it help to add dialogue? Would visuals deepen the impact of your story? Does your introduction bring readers into the world of your story? C3-i Format the final manuscript. Use the manuscript format recommended by your instructor or for your academic discipline. C4 Preparing a portfolio; reflecting on your writing Sample reflective letter Writing guide: How to write a reflective letter At the end of the semester, your instructor may ask you to submit a portfolio, or collection, of your writing.

Reflection � the process of stepping back periodically to examine your decisions, preferences, strengths, and challenges as a writer � helps you recognize your growth as a writer and is the backbone of portfolio keeping.

When you submit your portfolio for a final evaluation or reading, you may be asked to include a reflective opening statement � a cover letter, an introduction, a preface, a memo, or an essay.

The more you have assembled, the more you have to choose from to represent your best work. TIP: C4-b Student writing: Reflective letter for a portfolio Student writer Lucy Bonilla was assigned to submit a portfolio at the end of her writing course.

She was asked to include three essays from the semester, with drafts, and to write a cover letter in which she reflected on her growth as a writer. Also see the writing guide on how to write a reflective letter. See C4-b for a sample reflective letter. Key features First-person perspective I gives a reflective statement its individuality and authenticity. You are the writer; you are introducing your work and explaining your choices.

A thoughtful tone shows you examining and learning from your experiences and evaluating your strengths and limitations as a writer. Your honest assessment of your work shows that you are a trustworthy and sincere interpreter of your progress. A focused opening statement provides readers with specific details to understand the contents and organization of your portfolio.

Acknowledgment of the assistance you received shows that you are responsible to readers and reviewers. Thinking ahead: Presenting or publishing You may have some flexibility in how you present or publish a reflective piece for your portfolio.

Some instructors require a formal essay; others may ask for a letter. Still others may invite you to submit an audio file. If you are submitting an e-portfolio, chances are that your instructor will require your reflective statement in digital form. Writing your reflective letter 1 Explore Generate ideas by brainstorming responses to questions such as these: Which piece of writing is your best entry?

What does it illustrate about you as a writer, student, or researcher? How do the selections in your portfolio illustrate your strengths or challenges? What do you learn about your development when you compare your early drafts with your final drafts? What do your drafts reveal about your revision process? Examine in detail the revisions you made to one key piece and the changes you want readers to notice. How will you use the skills and experiences from your writing course in future courses? Experiment with headings and various chronological or thematic groupings.

Ask: What have I learned � and how? Here are some questions to guide their comments: What major idea do readers take away from your reflective statement? Can they summarize this idea in one sentence?

Where in your piece do readers want more reflection and more detailed explanations? Is your reflective statement focused and organized? Have you used specific passages from drafts, feedback, or other documents from your portfolio to illustrate your reflections? Have you explained how you will apply what you learned to future writing assignments?

What added details might give readers a fuller perspective of your development and your accomplishments as a writer? C5 Writing paragraphs Common transitions A paragraph is a group of sentences that focuses on one main point or example. Aim for paragraphs that are well developed, organized, coherent, and neither too long nor too short for easy reading.

A paragraph should be unified around a main point. The main point should be clear to readers, and all sentences in the paragraph should relate to it. Stating the main point in a topic sentence As readers move into a paragraph, they need to know where they are in relation to the whole essay and what to expect in the sentences to come.

Usually the topic sentence highlighted in the following example comes first in the paragraph. In college writing, topic sentences are often necessary for advancing or clarifying the lines of an argument or reporting the research in a field.

In business writing, topic sentences along with headings are essential because readers often scan for information and summary statements. Sometimes the topic sentence is introduced by a transitional sentence linking the paragraph to earlier material, and occasionally the topic sentence is withheld until the end of the paragraph. Sticking to the point Sentences that do not support the topic sentence destroy the unity of a paragraph.

If the paragraph is otherwise focused, such sentences can simply be deleted or perhaps moved elsewhere. In the following paragraph describing the inadequate facilities in a high school, the information about the chemistry instructor highlighted is off the point. Sometimes the solution for a disunified paragraph is not as simple as deleting or moving material. Writers often wander into uncharted territory because they cannot think of enough evidence to support a topic sentence.

Feeling that it is too soon to break into a new paragraph, they move on to new ideas for which they have not prepared the reader. When this happens, the writer is faced with a choice: Either find more evidence to support the topic sentence or adjust the topic sentence to mesh with the evidence that is available.

C5-b Develop the main point. Though an occasional short paragraph is fine, particularly if it functions as a transition or emphasizes a point, a series of brief paragraphs suggests inadequate development. How much development is enough? For example, when health columnist Jane Brody wrote a paragraph attempting to convince readers that it is impossible to lose fat quickly, she knew that she would have to present a great deal of evidence because many dieters want to believe the opposite.

She did not write only the following. Even a moderately active person cannot lose so much weight so fast. This three-sentence paragraph is too skimpy to be convincing. But the paragraph that Brody did write contains enough evidence to convince even skeptical readers. A pound of body fat represents 3, calories. To lose 1 pound of fat, you must expend 3, more calories than you consume. In ten days, the accumulated deficit would represent nearly 3 pounds of lost body fat.

Even if you ate nothing at all for ten days and maintained your usual level of activity, your caloric deficit would add up to 25, calories.

Once he bought over a hundred comic books at a flea market, doled out to us thereafter at the tantalizing rate of two a week. When well selected, they can be a vivid and effective means of developing a point. Numerous allusions have been made to her moves when she suspected that she was in danger. When she feared the party was closely pursued, she would take it for a time on a train southward bound.

No one seeing Negroes going in this direction would for an instant suppose them to be fugitives. Once on her return she was at a railroad station. She saw some men reading a poster and she heard one of them reading it aloud.

It was a description of her, offering a reward for her capture. She took a southbound train to avert suspicion.

At another time when Harriet heard men talking about her, she pretended to read a book which she carried. One evening when I was wading in the shallows of the lake to pass a rocky outcrop, I suddenly stopped dead as I saw the sinuous black body of a snake in the water. As I stared at it an incoming wave gently deposited part of its body on one of my feet. I remained motionless, not even breathing, until the wave rolled back into the lake, drawing the snake with it.

Then I leaped out of the water as fast as I could, my heart hammering. Consider, for example, the following description of the grasshopper invasions that devastated the midwestern landscape in the late s. They came like dive bombers out of the west. They came by the millions with the rustle of their wings roaring overhead. They came in waves, like the rolls of the sea, descending with a terrifying speed, breaking now and again like a mighty surf.

They came with the force of a williwaw and they formed a huge, ominous, dark brown cloud that eclipsed the sun. They dipped and touched earth, hitting objects and people like hail-stones. But they were not hail. These were live demons. They popped, snapped, crackled, and roared. They were dark brown, an inch or longer in length, plump in the middle and tapered at the ends. They had transparent wings, slender legs, and two black eyes that flashed with a fierce intelligence.

A writer may choose this pattern either to describe how something is made or done or to explain to readers, step by step, how to do something. Begin by taking up a suitable stance, with one foot slightly in front of the other and the rod pointing down the line.

Then begin a smooth, steady draw, raising your rod hand to just above shoulder height and lifting the rod to the or position. This steady draw allows a loop of line to form between the rod top and the water. While the line is still moving, raise the rod slightly, then punch it rapidly forward and down.

The rod is now flexed and under maximum compression, and the line follows its path, bellying out slightly behind you and coming off the water close to your feet. As you power the rod down through the position, the belly of line will roll forward. Follow through smoothly so that the line unfolds and straightens above the water. To contrast is to focus only on differences. Whether a paragraph stresses similarities or differences, it may be patterned in one of two ways. The two subjects may be presented one at a time, as in the following paragraph of contrast.

So Grant and Lee were in complete contrast, representing two diametrically opposed elements in American life. Grant was the modern man emerging; beyond him, ready to come on the stage, was the great age of steel and machinery, of crowded cities and a restless, burgeoning vitality. Lee might have ridden down from the old age of chivalry, lance in hand, silken banner fluttering over his head. Each man was the perfect champion of his cause, drawing both his strengths and his weaknesses from the people he led.

The following paragraph uses the point-bypoint method to contrast speeches given by Abraham Lincoln in and Barack Obama in Two men, two speeches. The men, both lawyers, both from Illinois, were seeking the presidency, despite what seemed their crippling connection with extremists.

Each was young by modern standards for a president. Abraham Lincoln had turned fifty-one just five days before delivering his speech. Barack Obama was forty-six when he gave his.

Their political experience was mainly provincial, in the Illinois legislature for both of them, and they had received little exposure at the national level � two years in the House of Representatives for Lincoln, four years in the Senate for Obama.

Writers can use analogies to make something abstract or unfamiliar easier to grasp or to provoke fresh thoughts about a common subject. In the following paragraph, physician Lewis Thomas draws an analogy between the behavior of ants and that of humans. Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment.

They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into wars, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves. The families of weaver ants engage in child labor, holding their larvae like shuttles to spin out the thread that sews the leaves together for their fungus gardens.

They exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television. The topic sentence in the following paragraph mentions an effect; the rest of the paragraph lists several causes. The fantastic water clarity of the Mount Gambier sinkholes results from several factors. The holes are fed from aquifers holding rainwater that fell decades � even centuries � ago, and that has been filtered through miles of limestone.

The high level of calcium that limestone adds causes the silty detritus from dead plants and animals to cling together and settle quickly to the bottom. Abundant bottom vegetation in the shallow sinkholes also helps bind the silt. And the rapid turnover of water prohibits stagnation. The following paragraph classifies species of electric fish. Scientists sort electric fishes into three categories.

The first comprises the strongly electric species like the marine electric rays or the freshwater African electric catfish and South American electric eel. Known since the dawn of history, these deliver a punch strong enough to stun a human. In recent years, biologists have focused on a second category: weakly electric fish in the South American and African rivers that use tiny voltages for communication and navigation.

The third group contains sharks, nonelectric rays, and catfish, which do not emit a field but possess sensors that enable them to detect the minute amounts of electricity that leak out of other organisms. As with classification, division should be made according to some consistent principle. The following paragraph describes the components that make up a baseball. Like the game itself, a baseball is composed of many layers. One of the delicious joys of childhood is to take apart a baseball and examine the wonders within.

You begin by removing the red cotton thread and peeling off the leather cover � which comes from the hide of a Holstein cow and has been tanned, cut, printed, and punched with holes.

Beneath the cover is a thin layer of cotton string, followed by several hundred yards of woolen yarn, which makes up the bulk of the ball. The cork is from Portugal, the rubber from southeast Asia, the covers are American, and the balls are assembled in Costa Rica. In the following paragraph, the writer defines crowdsourcing as a savvy business practice. Despite the jargony name, crowdsourcing is a very real and important business idea.

Definitions and terms vary, but the basic idea is to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks that a company would normally either perform itself or outsource to a third-party provider.

More importantly, it enables managers to expand the size of their talent pool while also gaining deeper insight into what customers really want. When sentences and paragraphs flow from one to another without bumps, gaps, or shifts, they are said to be coherent. Coherence can be improved by strengthening the ties between old information and new. Then, as they move into the body of the paragraph, they expect to encounter specific details, facts, or examples that support the topic sentence � either directly or indirectly.

If a sentence does not support the topic sentence directly, readers expect it to support another sentence in the paragraph and therefore to support the topic sentence indirectly. The following paragraph begins with a topic sentence. The highlighted sentences are direct supports, and the rest of the sentences are indirect supports. Repeating key words Repetition of key words is an important technique for gaining coherence.

To prevent repetitions from becoming dull, you can use variations of the key word hike, hiker, hiking , pronouns referring to the word gamblers In the following paragraph describing plots among indentured servants, historian Richard Hofstadter binds sentences together by repeating the key word plots and echoing it with a variety of synonyms which are highlighted.

Using parallel structures Parallel structures are frequently used within sentences to underscore the similarity of ideas see S1. They may also be used to bind together a series of sentences expressing similar information. In the following passage describing folk beliefs, anthropologist Margaret Mead presents similar information highlighted in parallel grammatical form. Maintaining consistency Coherence suffers whenever a draft shifts confusingly from one point of view to another or from one verb tense to another see S4.

In addition, coherence can suffer when new information is introduced with the subject of each sentence. Providing transitions Transitions are bridges between what has been read and what is about to be read.

Transitions help readers move from sentence to sentence; they also alert readers to more global connections of ideas � those between paragraphs or even larger blocks of text.

Frequently used transitions are included in the chart below. Skilled writers use transitional expressions with care, making sure, for example, not to use consequently when also would be more precise. They are also careful to select transitions with an appropriate tone, perhaps preferring so to thus in an informal piece, in summary to in short for a scholarly essay. In other words, the topic sentences signal global connections.

Look for opportunities to allude to the subject of a previous paragraph as summed up in its topic sentence in the topic sentence of the next one. Adler uses this strategy in the topic sentences of the following paragraphs, which appear in a passage describing the benefits of plastic packaging. You can do this by inserting transitional sentences or short paragraphs at key points in the essay.

Here, for example, is a transitional paragraph from a student research paper. It announces that the first part of the paper has come to a close and the second part is about to begin. In other words, can an ape create a sentence? Most readers feel comfortable reading paragraphs that range between one hundred and two hundred words. There are exceptions to this guideline, however. Paragraphs longer than two hundred words frequently appear in scholarly writing, where writers explore complex ideas.

Paragraphs shorter than one hundred words occur in business writing and on Web sites, where readers routinely skim for main ideas; in newspapers because of narrow columns; and in informal essays to quicken the pace. In an essay, the first and last paragraphs will ordinarily be the introduction and the conclusion.

These special-purpose paragraphs are likely to be shorter than paragraphs in the body of the essay. Some ideas require more development than others, however, so it is best to be flexible. If an idea stretches to a length unreasonable for a paragraph, you should divide the paragraph, even if you have presented comparable points in the essay in single paragraphs.

Paragraph breaks are not always made for strictly logical reasons. Writers use them for all of the following reasons. Readers want to see how your ideas connect, and they become irritated when you break their momentum by forcing them to pause every few sentences. Here are some reasons you might have for combining some of the paragraphs in a rough draft. A1 Reading and writing critically Guidelines for active reading How to read like a writer Guidelines for writing a summary How to draft an analytical thesis statement College writing requires you to become a critical reader � questioning and conversing with the texts you read.

When you read critically, you read with an open, curious mind to understand both what is said and why. And when you write critically, you respond to a text with thoughtful questions and insights, offering your judgment of how the parts of a text contribute to its overall effect.

Reading, like writing, is an active process that happens in steps. Rather, they require you to read and reread to grasp their main points and to comprehend layers of meaning. When you read actively, you pay attention to details you would miss if you just skimmed a text. First, you read to understand the main ideas. Then you make note of what interests, surprises, or puzzles you. Active readers preview a text, annotate it, and then converse with it.

Previewing a text Previewing � looking quickly through a text before you read � helps you understand its basic features and structures. The more you know about a text before you read it, the easier it will be to dig deeper into it.

Annotating a text Annotating helps you record your responses to a text. As you annotate, you write questions and reactions in the margins of the text or in digital comments. Conversing takes your notes to the next level. For example, student writer Emilia Sanchez noticed on a first reading that her assigned text closed with an emotional appeal to the reader.

On a second reading, she started to question whether that emotional appeal worked or whether it was really too simplistic a way to look at the topic. See A1-e. Many writers use a double-entry notebook to converse with a text and its author and to generate ideas. To create one, draw a line down the center of a notebook page or create a two-column table in a Word or Google document.

On the left side, record what the author says; include quotations, sentences, and key terms from the text. On the right side, record your observations and questions. A double-entry notebook allows you to visualize the conversation between you and the author as it develops. Put quotation marks around words you copy from the text, and keep an accurate record of page numbers for quotations. My responses Why are big-box stores bad if they create jobs or save people money? Taylor dismisses these possibilities without acknowledging their importance.

Taylor is missing something here. Are all big-box stores bad? Are all small businesses great? Taylor assumes that small businesses are always better for consumers.

Why does it need to be argued? Guidelines for active reading Preview a written text Who is the author? To persuade? To call to action? Who is the expected audience? When was the text written? Where was it published? What kind of text is it: A report? A scholarly article? A letter? Annotate a written text What surprises, puzzles, or intrigues you about the text? What question does the text attempt to answer? What type of evidence does the author provide to support the thesis? How persuasive is this evidence?

Converse with a written text What are the strengths and limitations of the text? Has the author drawn conclusions that you question? Do you have a different interpretation of the evidence? Does the text raise questions that it does not answer? Does the author consider opposing viewpoints and treat them fairly?

What has the author overlooked in presenting this thesis? HOW TO Read like a writer Reading like a writer helps you identify the techniques writers use so that you can use them, too.

To read like a writer is to pay attention to how a text is written and how it creates an effect on you. What passages do you find effective?

What words have you underlined? If you think the text is powerful or well written, commit yourself to figuring out why and how the text works. What introductory techniques, for instance, do writers use to hook readers? Why and how are these techniques effective? How do they keep readers reading?

As a reader, identify the specific techniques you appreciate so they may become part of your repertoire as a writer. Make deliberate choices to create this effect. A1-b Outline a text to identify main ideas. You are probably familiar with using an outline as a planning tool to help you organize your ideas.

An outline is a useful tool for reading, too. Outlining a text � identifying its main idea and major parts � can be an important step in your reading process. A thesis statement often appears in the introduction, usually in the first or second paragraph. Topic sentences can be found at the beginning of most body paragraphs, where they announce a shift to a new topic. See C2-a and C5-a. Here, for example, are the points Emilia Sanchez identified as she prepared to write her analysis of the text printed in A1-a.

Small businesses are better for cities and towns than big-box stores are. Small businesses offer personal service; big-box stores do not. Small businesses respond to customer concerns; big-box stores do not.

Big-box stores are successful because they cater to consumption at the expense of benefits to the community. Buying everything in one place is convenient. Shopping at small businesses may be inefficient, but it provides opportunities for socializing. Downtown shopping districts give each city or town a special identity. Reading online For many assignments, you will be asked to read online sources. It is tempting to skim online texts rather than read them carefully.

When you skim a text, you are less likely to remember what you have read and less inclined to reread to grasp layers of meaning. The following strategies will help you read critically online.

Read slowly. Instead of sweeping your eyes across the screen, slow down the pace of your reading to focus on each sentence. Avoid multitasking. Close other applications, especially messaging and social media. If you follow a link for background or the definition of a term, return to the text immediately.

Annotate electronically. Use software tools and commenting features to record your thoughts as you read online texts. Print the text. If you prefer to read and annotate printed texts, print a copy. Record information about the source so that you can find it again, if needed, and cite it properly.

A1-c Summarize to deepen your understanding. If you have sketched a brief outline of the text see A1b , refer to it as you draft your summary. Maintain a neutral tone; be objective. Keep your focus on the text. Put all or most of your summary in your own words; if you borrow a phrase or a sentence from the text, put it in quotation marks and give the page number in parentheses.

A1-d Analyze to demonstrate your critical thinking. Whereas a summary most often answers the question of what a text says, an analysis looks at how a text conveys its main idea. As you read and reread a text � previewing, annotating, and conversing � you are forming a judgment of it.

Balancing summary with analysis If you have written a summary of a text, you may find it useful to refer to the main points of the summary as you write your analysis. Your readers may or may not be familiar with the text you are analyzing, so you need to summarize the text briefly to help readers understand the basis of your analysis.

The following strategies will help you balance summary with analysis. Remember that readers are interested in your ideas about the text. Pose questions that lead to an interpretation or a judgment of the text rather than to a summary. Pay attention to your topic sentences to make sure they signal analysis.

Drafting an analytical thesis statement An effective thesis statement for analytical writing responds to a question about a text or tries to resolve a problem in the text. As you draft your thesis, your questions will help you form a judgment about the text.

Let these steps guide you as you develop an analytical thesis statement. What has the author overlooked or failed to consider? Your thesis presents your judgment of the text. Is your position clear? Is your position debatable? The answer to both questions should be yes. Why does your position matter? Consider adding a because clause to your thesis see C1-c.

Also see the writing guide on how to write an analytical essay. Your goal is to offer your judgment of the text and to persuade readers to see it through your analytical perspective. See A1-e for a sample analytical essay. Key features A careful and critical reading of a text reveals what the text says, how it works, and what it means. In an analytical essay, you pay attention to the details of the text, especially its thesis and evidence.

A thesis that offers a clear judgment of a text anchors your analysis. Your thesis might be the answer to a question you have posed about the text or the resolution of a problem you have identified in the text.

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Who will be reviewing your draft in progress: Your instructor? A writing tutor? Your classmates? What are your deadlines? How much time will you need for the various stages of writing, including proofreading and printing or posting the final draft?

APA-1 Supporting a thesis, a Forming a working thesis, b Organizing your ideas, c Using sources to inform and support your argument, APA-3 Integrating sources, a Using quotations appropriately, b Using signal phrases to integrate sources, c Synthesizing sources, Article in a journal or magazine, Article from a database, Book, Section in a Web document, CMS-3 Integrating sources, a Using quotations appropriately, b Using signal phrases to integrate sources, Book, Article in a journal, Article from a database, Letter in a published collection, Primary source from a Web site, Two or more works by the same author in the same year, Two or more works in the same parentheses, Multiple citations to the same work in one paragraph, Web source, a.

No page numbers, b. Unknown author, c. Unknown date, An entire Web site, Multivolume work, Personal communication, Course materials, Part of a source chapter, figure , Indirect source source quoted in another source , Sacred or classical text, Single author, Two to seven authors, Eight or more authors, Organization as author, Unknown author, Author using a pseudonym pen name or screen name, Two or more works by the same author, Two or more works by the same author in the same year, Editor, Author and editor, Translator, Editor and translator, Article in a journal, a.

Print, b. Web, c. Database, Article in a magazine, Database, Article in a newspaper, a. Web, Abstract, a. Abstract of a journal article, b. Abstract of a paper, Supplemental material, Article with a title in its title, Letter to the editor, Editorial or other unsigned article, Newsletter article, Review, Published interview, Article in a reference work encyclopedia, dictionary, wiki , a. Web, Comment on an online article, Directory to APA reference list models, continued Testimony before a legislative body, Paper presented at a meeting or symposium unpublished , Poster session at a conference, Basic format for a book, a.

Web or online library , c. E-book, d. Edition other than the first, Selection in an anthology or a collection, a. Entire anthology, b. Selection in an anthology, Multivolume work, a. All volumes, b. One volume, with title, Introduction, preface, foreword, or afterword, Dictionary or other reference work, Republished book, Book with a title in its title, Book in a language other than English, Dissertation, a.

Published, b. Unpublished, Conference proceedings, Government document, Report from a private organization, Legal source, Sacred or classical text, Web sites and parts of Web sites. Podcast, Video or audio on the Web, We help with superior content developed by experienced authors and shaped by faculty and student advisers. And we help with Achieve, a first-of-its-kind suite of digital tools paired with content you trust.

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