Quick View: The Writing Process
prewriting - deciding on the subject, considering the needs of the reader, gathering information
planning - choosing preliminary thesis and organization
drafting - writing a first draft to develop the main ideas and discover new ones
revising - making changes in the thesis, structure, content, paragraphing, and sentences
finishing - proofreading for grammar, mechanics, and spelling errors and preparing the final copy
Listing these writing activities one by one may imply that writers complete them in chronological order, but the process generally is not so clearly segmented. After you have begun to draft a paper, for example, you may decide that you need more information and return to prewriting. You may need to do more planning after you finish a draft. It is through this recursive process that experienced writers move from a topic to a finished product.
Quick View: The Research-Writing Process
1. Analyze the assignment.
2. Plan a reseach strategy.
3. Do the research.
4. Take good notes and keep good records.
5. Choose a preliminary thesis and outline.
6. Write the first draft
7. Use your sources effectively.
8. Revisit your reseach as necessary.
9. Revise and edit systematically.
10. Document your sources correctly.
Quick View: Research Resources
Library resources: general and specialized reference works; books; journals (scholarly, trade, and popular); newspapers; government and corporate documents; microforms; and special collections that may include primary sources, such as diaries, letters, other rare documents, videos, and maps.
Internet resources: search engines, subject trees, Web sites, reference works (dictionaries, encyclopedias), tutorials, electronic texts, corporate and government documents, news articles, news groups, listservs, multi-user domains (MUDs) and multi-user domains object-oriented (MOOs), and e-mail.
Field research resources: personal observations, interviews, laboratory work, opinion surveys, and discussion groups
Quick View: Questioning Your Web Sources
Ask these five questions about your Web sources:
* What kind of information is on this page?
* What is the source of the information on this page?
* How well done is the design of this page?
* How current is the information on this page?
* How verifiable is the information on this page
Quick View: MLA Style (http://www.mla.org)
(See Chapter 3, MLA DOCUMENTATION STYLE, pages 54-72) For Paraphrases and Short Quotations:
Enclose short quotations (under five lines of prose or under four lines of poetry) in double quotation marks in your paragraphs. Separate lines of poetry with slashes (/). Cite the author's last names either in your text or in parentheses with the page number (or line numbers of poetry) after the quotation marks and before the period: (Quarles 19). For Longer Quotations:
Double-space longer quotations (over four lines of prose or over three lines of poetry or verse plays) and block-indent them one inch from the left margin, without quotation marks. Each line of poetry should appear on a new line. If the author's name is not given in the text, cite it in parentheses with the page number (or line numbers of poetry) one space after the final punctuation mark.
Coady, Lynn. Play the Monster Blind. Toronto: Doubleday, 2000. Essay or Article within a Book:
Faludi, Susan. "The Backlash against Feminism." Connections: A Multicultural Reader for Writers. Ed. Judith Stanford. 2nd ed. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 1997. 391-403. Periodical Article:
Suen, Wilma. "Alls Fair in Love and Work." BC Business Feb. 2006: 29. Newspaper Article:
Decloet, Derek. "Taking Stock: The Haughty Times Are Ending for Income Trusts and Thats Good for Investors." Globe and Mail [Toronto] 11 Apr. 2005: B17. Electronic Source:
Brown, Janelle. "The New, Improved Steve Jobs." Salon.com 11 Oct. 2000. 11 Dec. 2000 http://www.salon.com/tech/books/2000/10/11/deutschman/index.html
Quick View: APA Style (http://www.apa.org/journals/faq.html)
(See Chapter 4, APA DOCUMENTATION STYLE, pages 73-88) For Paraphrases:
Cite the author's last name either in the sentence or with the publication date in parentheses after the first reference to the material. Place a comma between the name and the date: (Carlson, 2001). For Short Quotations (Less Than Forty Words):
Enclose short quotations in double quotation marks in the text: do not indent them separately. If the author's name is mentioned in the text, place the publication date in parentheses immediately after the quotation marks. If the author's name is not mentioned in the text, include it with the date and the page number in the parentheses: (Harrelson, 2000, p. 32). For Longer Quotations (More Than Forty Words):
Double-space long quotations and block-indent them five spaces from the left margin, without quotation marks. Place the page reference in parentheses after the final period, along with the author's name and the date if they did not appear in the text.
Taras, D. (2003). How Canadians Communicate. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. Essay or Article within a Book:
Perruccio, A. V., Bradley, E. M., & Guan, J. (2004). Burden of disease. In E. M. Bradley & R. H. Glazier (Eds.), Arthritis and related conditions in Ontario: ICES research atlas (pp. 15-39). Toronto: Institute for Clinical Evaluation Sciences. Periodical Article:
Watt, C. (2005, April 4). A short history of height. Macleans, 4445. Newspaper article:
Sydney Olympics cost $3.5 billion. (2000, October 12). Sydney Morning Herald, p. A4. Electronic Source:
Crispell, D. (1996, July). Empty nests are getting fuller. The Numbers News. Retrieved July 17, 2000, from the World Wide Web: http://www.demographics.com/publications/fc/96_nn/9607_nn/9607NN11.htm
Quick View: Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) Footnotes or Endnotes (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq.html) Printed Sources:
Information documented within the text is signaled with a superscript at the end of the cited material, corresponding to a numbered list of sources at the end of the text (endnotes) or to a numbered reference at the bottom of the page (footnotes). Mussolini and Hitler were "natural bedfellows" because they opposed communism and thought alike about socialism.
1. Harriette Flory and Samuel Jenike, The Modern World (White Plains, N.Y.: Longman, 1992). Subsequent references to the same text need only a partial citation:
2. Flory and Jenike, 381. There is a footnote or an endnote entry for every numbered reference in the text. The bibliography is in addition to the footnotes or endnotes. The footnote or endnote entry may be the same as the entry in the bibliography, or, if it is not the first, it may be somewhat shortened. If it is a shortened version, it should start with the same words as the longer version. Electronic sources:
Web documents are cited in the same way as print sources, only with the addition of the Web address and the date of access.
FOR THE BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTITLED "BIBLIOGRAPHY" The list of sources cited in the notes appears at the end of the work on a separate page. Book:
Lynn Coady, Play the Monster Blind (Toronto: Doubleday, 2000), 22. Periodical Article:
Jones, Clarence. "Memories of a Confidant." Journal of Interdisciplinary History (May 1992): 21-34. Electronic Sources:
CMS style for electronic sources is still evolving. The Frequently Asked Questions list on the CMS Web page http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq.html recommends following Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Here is Turabian's footnote form for an electronic source, followed by the corresponding Bibliography entry: Citation Number in the Text:
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment opportunities will be good for technical writers at least through the year 2006.1 Therefore students who.... Footnote or Endnote:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Writers and Editors," 1998-99 Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bibliography Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Writers and Editors," 1998-99 Occupational Outlook Handbook (Washington, D.C., 15 January 1998); available from http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos089.htm#outlook; Internet; accessed 22 June 1999
Quick View: Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation
* What is the assignment?
* What would make a good topic for this assignment?
* How can the topic be limited to make it work here?
* What is my purpose in writing about this topic?
* Who are my readers?
* What is my role as a writer in this assignment?
Quick View: Types of Argument
Fact: Exactly what is happening or has happened?
Value: Is something good or bad?
Interpretation: What does something mean?
Policy: What should be done?
Quick View: Three Ways to Convince Readers
Logos: An appeal to the reader's reason, usually based on well-structured assertions and solid evidence. Readers are moved because the facts presented "make sense" in a reasonable way.
Ethos: An appeal based on the writer's own character. Readers may be moved by a thesis or assertion because of the particular qualities of the person who makes it. Readers might believe what a writer says about how to instill teamwork, for example, because she is the coach of a national championship basketball team.
Pathos: An appeal to reader's emotions, such as fear, pity, or greed. This kind of attempt to convince can be tricky. For example, when a local politician sings the praises of "the brave pioneers who crossed the prairies and deserts to open up the West," one person may see that as a perfectly reasonable appeal to honour, but another may see it as a thoughtless forgetting of the Native Peoples and the effect the "opening up of the West" had on them
Quick View: Key Design Principles
* The document should be professional in appearance.
* The document should be consistent in the ways it uses important design elements, such as page layout, colour, and white space.
* The document should be easy for readers to use
Quick View: Guidelines for Visuals
* Are you using the right kind of visual for this situation?
* Do the text and the visual work well together?
* Have you adapted the visual both its type and amount of detail to this setting and this audience?
* Does the visual have good production qualities?
* Is each visual generously bordered by white space?
* Does each visual have an appropriate caption?
* Have you cited the source of each visual?
Quick View: Types of Web Pages
Personal: A page that represents one person (sometimes a family).
Entertainment: A page that hopes to make viewers laugh, cry, enjoy.
Informational (including news): A page that, at least on the surface, wants only to transmit information.
Advocacy: A page that openly tries to change its viewers' minds.
Commercial/Marketing/Business: A page that serves as a company's presence on the Web.
Quick View: Tips for Writing About Literature
* Be sure that each claim and example in your essay supports your thesis: the author's biography or your own response to the text is relevant only if it is directly connected to your main point.
* Watch out for "giving in" to summarizing the plot. You might want to describe the action and setting in your introduction, but then you should begin to analyze the text and prove your thesis.
* Avoid overusing direct quotations. Use them sparingly to support the points that you are making about the work.
* Use the present tense to refer to the characters and action because they are timeless: "Hamlet is the prince of Denmark."
* Put titles of books, plays, movies, journals, and other complete works, not published as part of a longer work, in italics. Use quotation marks for titles of short stories, essays, songs, and poems.
* Be careful to properly identify passages, cite sections, and introduce quotations from the text as well as from secondary sources.
Quick View: Tips for Reading About Literature
* What is the thesis of the piece? What question does it seek to answer? What problem does it seek to solve? What argument does it make?
* What are the key terms in the article? Make sure that you understand how the article's author is using these terms.
* What evidence does the author offer for the thesis? Does it constitute sufficient support?
* What parts of the literacy work does that author discuss? What points does the author make about them?
* What fallacies, if any, do you see in the piece?
* How does the author deal with opposing views?
* What are the essay's strongest and weakest points?
Quick View: Question Starters and Their Meanings
Analyze: separate a topic into its essential parts and discuss each one
Argue: state reasons, evidence, and examples for or against a point of view
Classify: arrange people, things, or concepts into groups
Compare: explain similarities
Contrast: explain differences
Define: give the meaning of, with examples and explanation
Discuss: state key characteristics
Evaluate: examine positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses
Explain: clarify by offering reasons, defining, comparing, and so on
How: discuss the means or method by which something occurred
Illustrate: give examples
Relate: discuss connections among event or concepts
Why: explain the causes of an occurrence or its purpose