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Breaking News from SSS: Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes Corrected Today! An English/Reading Mini-workshop Student Support Services Troy University (Main.

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Presentation on theme: "Breaking News from SSS: Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes Corrected Today! An English/Reading Mini-workshop Student Support Services Troy University (Main."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Breaking News from SSS: Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes Corrected Today! An English/Reading Mini-workshop Student Support Services Troy University (Main Campus) SSS

3 Workshop Objectives To teach students to identify and correct common writing flaws. To help students write more clearly. To give students writing practice. To help improve students’ writing confidence.

4 First, don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Do your best!

5 Determine to see a Mistake as... An opportunity to improve. A a challenge to overcome. A reason to seek help or information

6 Mistakes... That writers commonly make... can be corrected if you... Stop telling yourself you can’t write or that you’re a bad writer and... Start noticing the mistakes and Start working to correct them.

7 Writing Mistake #1 Avoiding controversy Corrections: Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and present it as your thesis. Discuss what you have read and observed. Don’t present facts as thesis statements. Facts make okay topic sentences or supports, but not okay thesis statements. Thesis = opinion. Don’t be afraid to include counterarguments to an argument. Acknowledge your opponents’ views and then present your opposing views.

8 Writing Mistake #2 Failing to present evidence of assertions. Corrections: Use evidence that supports your opinion. Use facts, statistics, and quotes from credible researchers or sources.

9 Writing Mistake #3 Hiding the thesis at end or middle of essay Corrections: Revise introduction to include a clearly stated thesis. Restate thesis in conclusion. Blueprint your thesis statement and use each blueprinted point as a topic sentence.

10 Writing Mistake #4 Failing to revise thesis statement Corrections: Revise your thesis statement if your opinion changes or shifts as you do your research. Your thesis statement needs to be a strong, clear expression of your opinion.

11 Writing Mistake #5 Problems unifying Paragraphs Corrections: Give enough information to make a real paragraph. (A Topic Sentence with supporting statements and details help build a paragraph) Go into detail. Don’t just make a broad statement and then go on to another subject. (How would you feel if... ) Use transition words to link ideas and improve readability.

12 Writing Mistake # 6 Relying too much on sources (Not enough discussion) Corrections: Let the reading audience know what is in your soul and spirit. Don’t just fixate on what others think, speak or write. Sound your voice. Appeal to your audience’s... (A) intellects [logic – logos], (B) moral values [ethics – ethos] and (C) hearts [human passions – pathos].

13 Writing Mistake # 7 Failing to Synthesize (Combine) Corrections: Don’t just put in a lot of source material without discussing all of the materials and showing that they work together to form your whole theory or assertion. (A) Cite a critic and document the source; (B) give the source information; and then (C) show how it relates to your topic.

14 Writing Mistake #8 Awkwardly wording sentences Word (syntax) order and language problems Corrections: Read sentences aloud to hear if they make sense to you. Use language that your audience understands. Respect readers. Practice using Standard American English (SAE) when you speak and let your oral speech influence your writing. Refer to a Grammar Handbook or dictionary often. Review basic grammar rules a few times a year.

15 Breaking News Bulletin... Every college writer should invest in a College Dictionary and A Pocket Style Manual. SSS

16 Writing Mistake #9 Fragmenting sentences Correction: Remember: Complete Subject + Complete Predicate Complete Sentence Fragments do not express complete thoughts and often frustrate readers.

17 Writing Mistake #10 Failing to Pace Oneself (Work smart and hard.) Corrections: As soon as you receive the assignment, start working on it so that you will have time to do at least two proofreads and one revision before submitting it. Set some personal writing objectives. Question yourself: What do I want to accomplish and how hard am I willing to work to meet my objectives? Begin doing a bibliographic search as soon as you know your assignment. This will help you refine your topic. Put in for interlibrary loans early.

18 Procrastination – A Common Problem

19 Writing Mistake #10 (corrections continued) Warning: Don’t procrastinate; do not delay the writing process. Once the assignment is made, post the due date in several locations – Examples: car dashboard; bathroom mirror; cereal box. -- Create a timeline to help you stay on schedule. (A) Arrange appointments with interviewees that you may use as sources; (B) Write down due dates for the paper proposal, outline, and first draft; (C) write down due date for annotated bibliography, if one is required; (D) write down paper due date.

20 Breaking News Tip 2 Every college student should invest in a day planner. SSS

21 Writing Mistake #11 Misunderstanding the terms “revise” and “proofread” Corrections: Do not falsely assume that revising means changing a few words or adding some punctuation marks. Revise for logic errors or errors that reduce the quality of your writing; proofread for physical errors or errors that reduce the readability of your writing.

22 Writing Mistake #12 Misunderstanding the Assignment Corrections: As soon as you receive the assignment, start asking questions. Seek clarification. Ask what documentation and style format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) you are to follow. Find out how your assignment will be evaluated: Ask about the grading rubric

23 Writing Mistake #13 Wrongly Submitting the assignment Corrections: If the assignment is to be submitted in phases, then make sure you follow submission timeline. If the assignment is supposed to be submitted on blackboard or via , find out. Ask for clarity if you do not know how to electronically submit your assignments. Find out if you are to submit source material along with the final draft.

24 Review List – Thirteen Basic Writing Mistakes 1.Avoiding controversy 2.Failing to present evidence of assertions 3.Hiding the thesis at end or middle of essay 4.Failing to revise thesis statement as needed 5.Problems unifying paragraphs 6.Relying too much on sources 7.Failing to Synthesize (unify information) 8.Awkwardly wording sentences (syntax and word choice) 9.Fragmenting sentences 10.Failing to Pace Oneself (Time management) 11.Misunderstanding the terms “revise” and “proofread” 12. Misunderstanding the Assignment 13.Wrongly Submitting the assignment

25 Practice Exercise Please complete the Workshop Practice Exercise. Once you have completed the Exercise, Print your name on it, date it, and then return it to SSS staff member. Thank you. Please complete the Workshop Evaluation Form in order to receive your workshop credit. Thank you.

26 Conclusion SSS hopes this presentation has given you some useful information concerning the task of choosing a subject about which to write. Please complete a Seminar Evaluation form before you leave and stop by SSS to complete an online Academic Seminar Summary so that we may document your participation. Also, please feel free to suggest any other topics that you would like to see presented. Phone: Thank you, and have a great learning experience here at Troy University.

27 The End SSS

28 Presentation developed by: Rebecca C. Money, English/Reading Specialist Student Support Services; Eldridge Hall, Room 24; Troy University; Troy, AL Phone: ; PPT dev: 2007/01-04 Troy University Troy, Alabama Student Support Services Buffie Edwards, Coordinator Eldridge Hall, Room 24; Troy University; Troy, AL Phone: ;


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