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Centre de Ressources Linguistiques ANALYTICAL WRITING ASSESSMENT.

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Presentation on theme: "Centre de Ressources Linguistiques ANALYTICAL WRITING ASSESSMENT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques ANALYTICAL WRITING ASSESSMENT

2 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques How to Write a GOOD Essay? Content Cogency Clarity Coherency Correctness

3 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Content Don’t try to be too unique. Avoid clichés & tired old expressions. No plaquage prépa! Write your own thoughts directly and honestly.

4 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Cogency Definitions –“The power to compel or constrain” –“Appealing to the mind or reason” Write what you know or think you know.

5 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Cogency Don’t try & anticipate what the corrector might want to hear. Use a tone of voice and style that are your own: –No over sophistication –No irony or rhetoric…

6 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Clarity Avoid vague terms Avoid generalizations (e.g., all Portuguese men are short and like football) Choose better terms than good, bad, big, small, etc.

7 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Coherency All thoughts related / connected Show the relationships through linking words Please do not drive your language into the ground with them though!

8 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Correctness Proof read your text. Refer to the list of common mistakes, and… …think about a personal method of how to correct them.

9 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Process Read the topic—2 minutes. Plan your text—3 minutes. Write your essay—20 minutes. Proofread and edit—5 minutes.

10 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Essay Writing in English Introduction, 1 paragraph with thesis statement Body, 3 paragraphs: –Each begins with its own thesis statement –Illustrated by examples or facts, should you know them

11 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Essay Writing in English Conclusion, 1 paragraph with restatement of thesis statement REFORMULATED Quotations are unnecessary Avoid these-antithèse-synthèse (too French)

12 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Thesis statement A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or globalization; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the economic trend that others might dispute. is usually a single sentence at the end of your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

13 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Thesis statements: five step strength test 1. Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question.

14 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques 2. Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like "good" or "successful," see if you could be more specific: Why is something "good"; What makes something "successful"?

15 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques 3. Does my thesis pass the 'So What?' test? If a reader's first response is, "So what?" then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.

16 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques 4. Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.

17 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques 5. Does my thesis pass the how or why test? If a reader's first response is how? or why? your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

18 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Weak thesis statement Subject: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. Thesis statement: The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were the same and some different.

19 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. You will expand on this new information in the body of the essay, but it is important that the reader know where you are heading. A reader of this weak thesis might think, "What reasons? How are they the same? How are they different?" Ask yourself these same questions and begin to compare Northern and Southern attitudes ("The South believed slavery was right, and the North thought slavery was wrong"). Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation-why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? You look again at the evidence and you decide the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld their way of life.

20 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Strong Thesis statement While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions.

21 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Now you have a working thesis! Included in this working thesis is a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason. As you write the essay, you will probably begin to characterize these differences more precisely and your working thesis may seem vague. Maybe you decide that both sides fought for moral reasons, they just saw morality in different contexts. You end up revising the working thesis into a final thesis that really captures the argument in your paper: While both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, Northerners focused on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their own rights to property and self- government.

22 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Compare this to the original weak thesis. This final thesis presents a way of interpreting evidence that illuminates the significance of the question. Keep in mind that this is one of many possible interpretations of the Civil War-it is not the one and only right answer to the question. There isn't a right answer; there are only strong and weak thesis statements and strong and weak uses of evidence.

23 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Automotive manufacturers purposely causing death for research and development. It's not a sentence, hence not a statement. And it leaves out most of what will be in the essay. It expresses a topic, but not the point the writer wants to make. Is it defensible? Can the writer support with good evidence that auto manufacturers are purposely causing people to die? If that were provable, wouldn't they be in court? "For research and development" is very unclear. Mainly, we can't tell much about it until it's a sentence.

24 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Witchcraft is considered a cult by some and a religion by others, what is it really? This is a question, not a statement. Is this about thinking or knowing? Maybe, but it's hard to tell because it's so general. What's the difference between a cult and a religion? If the writer has a very clear meaning for both, the terms might work. But it has to be a very clear idea. Why is this important? Another question that you can ask of your thesis, not mentioned in the handbook, is "so what?" Try to bring to the surface why you believe your topic is important. We can't tell from this why the writer thinks this is important. Once we know that, we might be able to suggest more specific ways of revising.

25 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques The lifestyle of a teenager in the Middle Ages was very different from the lifestyle of most modern American teenagers. So what? Why should a reader continue? In what ways are the lifestyles of the youngsters different?

26 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques I hope to show that affirmative action is a good thing for society. Who is I? A good thing?  too vague, weak language How? In which circumstances? Society?  all societies on earth? Which society?

27 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Introduction Can begin with a quotation (if correctly cited), sensational facts or surprising information, anecdote (only if there is an explicit link with the subject) Gradually zoom in on the specific subject End with the thesis statement

28 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Body At least three paragraphs Each paragraph must begin with one of the main ideas or arguments. Each paragraph must include several supporting points. Each supporting point must be explained and classified in several sentences.

29 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Body: order of arguments A common and efficient way of organizing your arguments is the following: 1) strongest argument 2) weakest argument 3) second strongest argument

30 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Conclusion: DONT’S DO NOT recopy the thesis statement. DO NOT make a summary of the points you have evoked in the preceding paragraphs. DO NOT introduce new ideas. (i.e. oh, by the way, I forgot to say…)

31 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Conclusion: DO’s Remind the reader of the thesis statement by reformulating it. Try to be subtle. CLOSE the topic with 3-4 strong sentences. Suggestions, consequences, provocative question, related quotation, call to action, warning, or universalization (comparison to other situations)

32 Centre de Ressources Linguistiques Sample Topic There is a growing body of people who feel that affirmative action should be ended because it encourages reverse discrimination, exacerbates racial tensions, and throws doubt on the worth of any achievement by a member of a minority. However, there is also a large body of people who believe that the best way for white America to make reparations for slavery and other forms of discrimination against minorities is not only to continue, but to expand affirmative action programs. Which position do you find more compelling? Explain your position using reasons and/or examples drawn from your personal experiences, observations or readings.

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