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Response Essays week 2

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Information about Response Essays week 2
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Published on January 19, 2008

Author: KatieJackson

Source: authorstream.com

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Response Essays:  Response Essays ..and The Bare Necessities of Academic Writing Last Week…:  Last Week… In week 1, we explored some of the methods one can use to analyze and interpret reading material. While this is all well and good, eventually we are going to have to DO something with the reading material. In a great number of your classes, you will be asked to write something in response to what you have read. AHHHH!!! I actually have to WRITE???:  AHHHH!!! I actually have to WRITE??? Before Panic Sets in….:  Before Panic Sets in…. There is a nifty chart on pages 37-38 that details the academic writing process. The first step should be quite fresh in your mind: If we break the writing process into a series of logical, manageable steps, it won’t be so scary. Here’s where to start: Active Reading Pre-Reading Close Reading Post-Reading Planning Formulating a thesis Organizing Drafting Reworking Revising Editing Method:  Method Many of you already have a method that you use to go about writing in an academic setting. Others are just starting to 'feel out' their method. Still others rebel against a 'systemic approach.' Well… I’d love to tell you that academic writing is simply putting a pen to paper and spewing whatever random thoughts appear in your head, but this would be doing you a gross disservice. Good writing requires a great deal of planning. Very famous, best selling authors (JK Rowling, Stephen King and Janet Evanovich, just to name a few) have written extensively on the importance of planning. If you don’t trust me on this, you should at least trust them!! …More to come on planning. But first, we need something about which to write. What Am I Writing?:  What Am I Writing? What is a Response Essay Anyway? Response Essays:  Response Essays These essays ask you to formulate a personal reaction to a piece of assigned reading. They do not ask your overall opinion of a piece (i.e., 'It was bad.'), but rather the questions that arise from the reading, the places in the reading that are vague or confusing, consequences of the things the author suggests, and whether you agree or disagree with what the author says and why. Note the second to the last sentence on page 40: 'The assignment requires you to react in order to learn more about the issues raised in the sources, not just to get your licks in.' While grammatically dreadful (never end a sentence with a preposition), this is a good point to remember – you aren’t being asked to rip the author to shreds, but rather to LEARN something more than the original piece tells you through critical thinking and the writing process. What a Response Essay Assignment Prompt Looks Like::  What a Response Essay Assignment Prompt Looks Like: -Write a response to the article in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine entitled 'How to get everything you want.' -In Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey asserts that Mutual Funds are the best places to put your money for retirement purposes. Explore his justifications. And the book’s example: -Write a brief essay in response to one of the reserve essays on immigration. Active Reading for a Response Essay:  Active Reading for a Response Essay Pre-Reading:  Pre-Reading Formulate some goals for what you’re reading. As you will be writing a response essay, it might be wise to read the assignment BEFORE you read the article. Briefly, the assignment asks you to 'Explore Botstein’s article and answer the questions: 1. What points in the article are valid? 2. What are the weaknesses (flaws) in the article? 3. What would be the consequences of Botstein’s suggestions? Your essay should be no less than 500 words, and should follow the conventions of MLA format and Scholarly Writing' Close Reading:  Close Reading Make notes on post-its or in the margins about things that would be of interest in your Response Essay Highlight particularly interesting statements – they will make great citations in your paper Post-Reading:  Post-Reading Summarize what you have read in order to get it straight in your mind. A couple of sentences will do. Summarize the notes you took during close reading. This may reveal your thesis statement. Planning a Response Paper:  Planning a Response Paper Formulating the Thesis Statement:  Formulating the Thesis Statement The Thesis Statement is a sentence in which you clearly state the point(s) of your paper. For example, for the paper you are writing this week, your thesis might be something like: 'Although high school has become a long standing tradition in American education, this article gives clear evidence that it should be abolished.' However, I do expect you to write your own thesis rather than copying mine. Organizing Your Draft:  Organizing Your Draft Ok, there are many ways you could go about organizing your paper (which you will find listed in section 2 of your reference guide), however, outlining is the most logical method in this case. So, what might an outline look like for the thesis I devised? Slide16:  Working Thesis: Although high school has become a long standing tradition in American education, this article gives clear evidence that it should be abolished. Introduction Strong Points of the Article Weak Points of the Article (and perhaps how to overcome them) Consequences (good and bad) of Abolishing High School Conclusion This outline is rather simplistic, but it does the job. You can clearly see how my draft is going to be organized. First I will write an introduction, a paragraph or two on each of the topics, then a conclusion. **The Thesis Statement belongs in your Intro!!! Drafting:  Drafting Uh Oh… Now I Have to Write…:  Uh Oh… Now I Have to Write… Yes, I am afraid the time has come to write. But, you have a plan!! You have nifty notes from your close reading, an outline of how you are going to organize them, and a thesis statement that tells you (and your audience) your point. Let the words flow! HOLD YOUR HORSES!!! You have to know how to format your paper!!! How to Format Your Paper:  How to Format Your Paper We are going to use the conventions of MLA (Modern Language Association) format. There are all sorts of details that go into MLA formatting, so let’s just briefly discuss the basics to get you started. You will find in depth information in the sources listed under 'MLA Format Resources' under 'Course Tools.' Very Basics:  Very Basics 1 inch margins – this means: top, bottom, left and right. Last name and page number as a running header aligned to the right (see the samples under 'course tools.') Double spaced throughout In the top left-hand corner of the paper, list your full name, your teacher’s name (i.e., 'professor' whoever, always use the title 'professor' rather than Ms., Mrs. Or Mr. unless you know your instructor to be a Dr.) the class and the date – each on a separate line Title is centered just above the first line of your introduction – it is not bold, and it is not underlined. Example MLA 1st Page:  Example MLA 1st Page Your name Instructor’s Name Course Name Date – IN THIS FORMAT ONLY Your last name + Page # Title of your paper – Note that it is not bold, and it is not underlined – it’s just centered. Remember that EVERYTHING is double spaced! Citations Within Your Paper:  Citations Within Your Paper This is fairly simple. You write your quote, then you put the author’s name, and the page number where the quote can be found, in parenthesis following the quote: 'The national outpouring after the Littleton school shootings…' (Botstein 472). notice that punctuation comes AFTER the citation. **If you paraphrase, you STILL have to give credit. Leave off the quotation marks and just use the (Botstein 472) following your paraphrased sentence (but before the punctuation). Long Quotes:  Long Quotes If a quote is four or more lines long, it must be indented an entire inch in order to 'set it off' from the rest of your paper. See the example below: Works Cited:  Works Cited This is the final page of the paper in which you list your references. You will at least have one reference for your response essay – and that will be the High School article. The words 'Works Cited' are centered List references in alphabetical order Use the 'hanging indent' option for each. This means the first line of each reference goes all the way across the page, and all other lines are indented by one tab. In general, book citations are listed like: AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName. Name of Book. CityWherePublished: Publisher, Year. But! For an article in an anthology (as the high school article is), it would be: AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName. 'Title of Article.' Name of Book. Ed. EditorsFirstName EditorsLastName. CityWherePublished: Publisher, year. PageNumbers. ***Citation information is listed in depth by reference in your Reference Guide. Example Works Cited:  Example Works Cited GO FOR IT!!!:  GO FOR IT!!! Ok, you should have all of the tools you need to write your response essay about the High School article. It is perfectly ok if your paper is very 'rough' – we will be learning revision techniques in next week’s lesson. Please participate in the discussion questions before starting your essay – they may help you to see the article with new clarity.

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