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The ENG-101 Writing Process
The centerpiece of the academic paper is an argument: you are arguing for what the essay you are reading is about (its theme/or themes); or what the author wants us to consider, or how it might be understood in context. There are many different arguments you can make. After you state what you believe, you must prove that your statement is correct. You do this by finding evidence in the text and laying it out for a reader to judge.
The basic form that this argument takes is called the five-paragraph essay. The five-paragraph paper has three parts. The first part – in which the argument is introduced – is called the introductory paragraph.
An introductory paragraph should be at least three to five sentences long. In it, you should introduce the text you are talking about and give a brief desсrіption: In “Once More to the Lake” E.B. White writes about returning with his son to a lake where he and his family spent summers when he was a boy. White finds the lake and its summertime rituals unchanged. The effect is a kind of timelessness, so that White experiences the week at the lake as both his son and his father.
The introduction of your text should lead you to your thesis statement, the core of your argument. The thesis statement is a sentence that sets out your point of view. The thesis statement is not a statement of fact; it is a statement someone might disagree with: The timelessness is an illusion, of course. The lake may not change, but people do: they grow up, they grow old, and they die. In the end, White’s essay about a lake that never changes is really a meditation on his own mortality.
Now you have to set about proving that statement. A five paragraph theme has three body (or supporting) paragraphs. These are the paragraphs in which you lay out your evidence. Body paragraphs should be a minimum of five sentences. Open with two to three sentences which introduce points in support of your thesis (this will be referred to as “lead-in”). o Bring in a citation (direct quote or paraphrase – I prefer a quote) that backs up your point of argument in support of your thesis statement. o Close with two to three sentences which explain how the citation backs up your point of argument in support of your thesis statement (this will be referred to as “synthesis”). Driving to the lake, White imagines what will have changed. Except for a paved road, however, he finds it remarkably like what he remembers: “But when I got back there, with my boy, and we settled into a camp near a farmhouse and into the kind of summertime I had known, I could tell that it was going to be pretty much the same as it had been before — I knew it, lying in bed the first morning, smelling the bedroom and hearing the boy sneak quietly out and go off along the shore in a boat. I began to sustain the illusion that he was I, and therefore, by simple transposition, that I was my father” (White 2). Hearing his son get up early to take out a boat, something White himself did as a boy, causes White to live in both his past and present at the same time. He is son and father, boy and man.
After your three body paragraphs you end with a concluding or paragraph, also known as the conclusion: – This paragraph should be a minimum of three to five sentences. – You want to reemphasize (not simply rewrite) your thesis statement. Make sure you stress that you have proven your argument in support of your thesis statement. – One thing you want to avoid is introducing new material in your conclusion. You have used your supporting paragraph(s) to bring evidence to the table, so your final paragraph should just wrap things up.
MLA Style In-text Parenthetical Citations: – There are two types of in-text parenthetical citations which you will be expected to utilize in your writing: direct quotes and paraphrases.
– A direct quote is the word-for-word rewrite of what someone else has either written or said and is placed in between quotation marks.
– A paraphrase is a rewrite, in your own words, of what someone else has either written or said. It is not placed in between quotation marks.
– Examples of direct quotes (using “Reading to Write” by Stephen King) and how to write them into your work:
o The author writes that, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot” (King 231).
o King writes that, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot” (231).
– Examples of paraphrases (using “Reading to Write” by Stephen King) and how to write them into your work:
o The author says that the best writers are those who are the most consistent readers and writers (King 231).
o King says that the best writers are those who are the most consistent readers and writers (231).
*********************************************************** ******************* Miscellaneous: – After referring to the author(s) of the source essay(s) by their full name (almost always done in the introduction paragraph), please refer to them only by their last name(s).
o Example: Zora Neale Hurston (author of “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”) should, after having her full name mentioned once, be referred to as Hurston, not as Zora, not as Zora Neale, not as Neale Hurston, not as Miss, Ms., or Mrs. Hurston, and not as Zora Neale Hurston.
– Avoid “crutch” words and phrases when starting new paragraphs.
o There are many “crutches” students feel they should rely upon, but you want to come to understand that you do not, in fact, need these.
Examples of “crutches”: To begin with; To start off; Firstly; Secondly; Thirdly; In conclusion; To conclude; To sum up; In today’s society; Back in the day Y
Note that the following sentences work without the “crutches.”
o In today’s society, we are bombarded by a constant flow of information, some factual, some not, via social media.
o We are bombarded by a constant flow of information, some factual, some not, via social media.
o First off, a person should educate themselves as to what are the best outlets for getting the news.
o A person should educate themselves as to what are the best outlets for getting the news. –
o The title of a short work (a short essay, a short story, a poem, a song, an episode of a television series, etc.) should be placed in between quotation marks.
o Examples: “Reading to Write”; “The Road Not Taken”; “Beat It”
o The title of a long work (a novel, a biography, a movie, the title of a television series, etc.) should be italicized (when typing) or underlined (when handwriting).
o Example (for when typing): The Lord of the Rings
o Example (for when handwriting): The Lord of the Rings
o The titles of your own work should not be, when typed or handwritten on your papers, placed in between quotation marks, italicized, underlined, or made bold.
Other important points:
Avoid the use of contractions. Cannot instead of can’t; will not instead of won’t (Of course you use quotations exactly as written)-
Avoid using “I.” Academic essays are written in the third person.
Your work should also be double-spaced, written in Times New Roman font, and set at size 12.
Number each page in the upper right corner, making sure that after your first page, each subsequent one has your last name written next to the page number.