CM 220 College Composition II UNIT 5 Seminar
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Getting Started with your Big Idea
In unit 6, you will submit a 3-5 page draft of your Big Idea. Why is beginning early, in unit 5, helpful to you as a writer? What can you do to GET STARTED? If you have trouble with Writer’s Block, how can you solve this problem?
Audience and Purpose How are audience and purpose KEY to successful writing? Who is the audience you would like to communicate to? What do you know about them and what do you need to know about them? What do you want to communicate to that audience? How can you best communicate your information to that audience?
Organizing and Developing your ideas
Establish a thesis Prewriting What types of prewriting have you heard of? Have you tried any? Have you had any success?
Why write an outline? 1.) If you figure out as you’re outlining where the research will go, you won’t have to re-read it all and try to juggle it all as you’re writing the paper. 2.) You can’t get stuck writing the paper, because you have a map to follow. 3.) You can see in advance how much material you have for the paper. 4.) #1 biggest time saver in writing a paper!
Outlining No paper should be written without an outline!
There are generally 2 types of outlines – formal and informal Formal outlines follow a strict structure and are often required to be turned in to your instructor If you are not required to turn in an outline, using an informal outline for your own benefit is often much more effective
Formal outline structure (This outline is a 5-paragraph essay, but you could add as many body paragraphs as needed) I. Introduction A. Engaging opening sentence B. Background information to review with your audience C. Thesis statement II. Topic Sentence A. Supporting details B. Supporting details Topic Sentence A. Supporting details B. Supporting details IV. Topic Sentence Conclusion A. Restatement of thesis (not directly) B. Key information to review with your audience C. Concluding statement
Example formal outline
I. Introduction A. One-third of American children are overweight or obese (Smith, 2009). B. Childhood obesity is becoming a fast-growing and serious epidemic. C. Schools should help to prevent childhood obesity by educating students on the issue, offering healthy lunches, and requiring physical education classes. II. Health education classes need to be mandatory to help prevent obesity. A. Children need to understand the importance of a healthy weight B. Due to school budget cuts, school nutritionists are rare (Max, 2008). Healthy school lunches set the right example for the rest of a child’s diet. A. To save money, schools have traditionally offered foods low in nutritional value (Smith, 2009). B. High-calorie treats like soda and chips should not be available. Physical education classes may be the only time child get exercise. A. Video games and computers encourage children to be sedentary. Physical education is one way to combat that. B. One-fourth of U.S. schools have cut physical education in the last three years in order to focus on math and science (Miller, 2009). Conclusion A. Schools need to make big changes to address the childhood obesity epidemic. B. Extra spending is worth it to keep children from facing complications like heart disease and diabetes.
Formal outlining, continued…
Sometimes, the intro and conclusion are not included in the outline, but the thesis statement would still be given at the top Unless your instructor approves using phrases or fragments, use full sentences in an outline, as in a paper If you use research in the outline, cite as you would in a paper
Informal outlining So what if you don’t need to turn in an outline for your instructor? Informal/scratch outlines are the way to go! Too many people think that formal outlining is the only way to outline – not so! Informal outlining CANNOT be a waste of time. It only takes a second to jot down rough ideas, and you have to come up with those ideas either way!
Plan out enough material for a paper with an informal outline
Say you need a 4-page paper About 3 paragraphs per page Minus intro and conclusion (since they are overviews) Equals 10 paragraphs you need to have sub-topics for Number the outline up to 10, and come up with a topic for each
Example informal outline (Normally, you’d just handwrite this on scratch paper – it doesn’t matter what it looks like, and you’re not committed to it!) Thesis – Schools can prevent obesity with education, lunches, gym class 1) Education -- Health class -- Nutrition knowledge 2) Lunches -- No soda, junk food -- Saving money with “mystery meat” 3) Phys Ed -- Outside of school, kids play video games, TV, etc. -- Too much focus on “traditional” classes – math, science, etc.
Last word on informal outlines
You’re just jotting down ideas – no need to be perfect, so long as you can understand what you wrote If you can’t generate enough material, stop here; don’t try to jump into writing the paper. You can change topics, do more brainstorming, do more research, etc. Without an outline, students often have many structural problems with a paper – lack of paragraph structure, organizational problems, and sometimes no focus in general!
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