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What to do


What to do This is a research essay, that means you looked up information that other people collected. You MUST give them credit for their work otherwise it is ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What to do

Essay Writing
  • What to do

Writing Steps
  1. Understand the Topic
  2. Research
  3. Note Taking
  4. Organizing Notes
  5. Organizer
  6. Write the Essay
  7. Finishing Touches

Neither man nor God is going to tell me what to
write. James T. Farrell
Step 1 Understand the Topic
  • Once you get the assignment, make sure you go
    over it carefully and fully understand what it is
    you are to do and how you will be marked.
  • Also check to see if you are banned from using
    certain resources or must use certain resources.
  • Ask your teacher about any questions you have
    BEFORE you start so you do not have to redo work.
  • Choose your topic
  • Your essay should be focused enough to be
    interesting and informative but not so focused
    that you can not find sources for it.

Being a good writer is 3 talent, 97 not being
distracted by the Internet.Anonymous
Step 2 - Research
  • Now that you have your topic settled you need to
    find some sources of information.
  • You might used some of the following
  • Books information will be reliable but may be
    out of date
  • Journals very detailed information, may be hard
    to find in high school
  • Newspapers recent information, may lack details
  • Encyclopaedias recent information, easy to
    read, will lack details good to use to get to
    know your topic NOT as a primary source check
    to see if you can use Wikipedia
  • Database very specific information, often
    restricted access try using the library portal
    to gain access
  • Web pages potential very good information but
    also risk getting biased or even completely false

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a
few things, you're doomed. Ray Bradbury
Step 3 Note Taking
  • Once you have a source that is both relevant and
    reliable it is time to take notes
  • Record the source information. This will vary
    depending on the source but is the information
    you will need to do an entry for a Reference Page
  • Write your notes, you should have several types
  • Direct quotations
  • Stats or other tables copied completely and
  • Summarized information
  • Keep in mind that there is no such thing as to
    many notes! However if you do not have enough
    notes it is very hard to write an essay. So if
    in doubt write it down!

Writing energy is like anything else. The more
you put in, the more you get out.Richard Reeves
Step 4 Organizing Notes
  • Once you have all the notes you think you need
    then it is time to organize.
  • Consider the various subtopics that your essay
    will have introduction, background, arguments
    for both sides, conclusion, etc.
  • Read over your notes and using several different
    coloured highlighters (or a letter system if you
    prefer) place your notes into the various
    subtopics by colour

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let
him be first clear in his thoughts Johann
Wolfgang von Goethe
Step 5 The Organizer
  • Now it is time to start planning your essay, some
    teachers might call this power notes, or a
    concept web. What ever it is called it is more
    detailed then an outline, think of it as a point
    form version of your essay.
  • This step can be done in a number of different
    ways only one of which will be discussed here.
    Talk to your teacher about other ways of doing an
  • It is suggested but not required that you type
    all of this on a computer.

Part 1
  • As you move through all of these parts always
    consider the reader and what this will look like
    to them when they read it.
  • Start by putting down your subtopics in a logical
  • Next consider what categories of information will
    go in this topic and in what order
  • Now it is time to add your notes. This will be
    easy as you have already decided where they are
  • Do NOT worry about order yet, particularly if you
    are typing this.
  • Do make sure to include either the source of the
    notes or something that will lead you back to the
    source. I suggest numbering each source you use
    and then just putting that number at the end of
    each note from that source.

Part 2
  • Now that all of your notes are in the proper
    subtopics put them in the order that you will use
  • Next add your thesis statement and if appropriate
    sub thesis statements
  • Then look over your essay does any section of it
    seem to be lacking in information? If so go back
    and research some more
  • Finally read over what you have and ask your
    self, does this make sense? Is there a good flow
    to this information?
  • If something in your organizer does not seem to
    fit then feel free to cut it out.

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Attention grabber
  • Thesis Statement
  • Background
  • Define topic and any relevant terms or issues
  • Definition 1
  • Definition 2
  • Where do things currently stand?
  • Fact 1
  • Fact 2
  • Fact 3

  • Pro Cat
  • Sub thesis statement
  • Major argument 1
  • Fact 1
  • Fact 2
  • Fact 3
  • Major argument 2
  • Repeat above
  • Major argument 3
  • Repeat above
  • Pro Dog
  • Repeat above

  • Analysis
  • Strengths of side you oppose
  • Weaknesses of side you favour
  • Weaknesses of side you oppose
  • Strengths of side you favour
  • Conclusion
  • Restating thesis
  • Opinion on topic
  • Support for opinion 1
  • Support for opinion 2
  • Support for opinion 3

Write something to suit yourself and many people
will like it write something to suit everybody
and scarcely anyone will care for it.Jesse
Step 6 Writing the Essay
  • With your research and organizer done the
    majority of the hard work is now over. All that
    is left is turning your organizer into a properly
    formatted and well written essay.
  • The majority of your time in this step is going
    to be spent in your segues and your analysis.
  • Keep in mind that HOW you say something is often
    at least as important as WHAT you say. You can
    have the best ideas ever but if you write them
    like you were in grade 3 no one will take you

Part 1 General Notes
  • This is an essay spelling and grammar are VITAL
    make sure to check this over carefully do NOT
    just trust your word processer.
  • The following excerpt by Mark Eckman and Jerrold
    H. Zar should hopefully make this point clear
  • I have a spelling checker,It came with my PC.It
    plane lee marks four my revueMiss steaks aye can
    knot sea.
  • Eye ran this poem threw it,Your sure reel glad
    two no.Its vary polished in it's weigh.My
    checker tolled me sew.
  • A checker is a bless sing,It freeze yew lodes of
    thyme.It helps me right awl stiles two reed,And
    aides me when eye rime.
  • Each frays come posed up on my screenEye trussed
    too bee a joule.The checker pours o'er every
    wordTo cheque sum spelling rule.

Part 1 General Notes
  • This is a formal essay, that means you should be
    using proper FORMAL English! Do NOT use
  • Slang
  • Text or Web speak
  • Contractions (ex. Dont for do not, its for it
  • Use with caution abbreviations and make sure that
    you use the full form the first time you
    abbreviate. Example The Office of the Treaty
    Commissioner (OTC) says that ...
  • When using peoples names use either their full
    name or their last name do NOT use just their
    first name.

Part 1 General Notes
  • Do NOT use first person (I, we, etc.) outside of
    your conclusion!
  • Do NOT use big words or complicated sentences to
    impress the reader. This just tends to confuse
    you and cause problems. Good rule of thumb if
    you can not define the word do not use it!
  • Having said that do NOT dumb down your language.
  • Make every attempt to make your every point in
    your essay clear and to the point.
  • Whatever you do, do NOT be like Calvin!

(No Transcript)
If you start with a bang, you won't end with a
whimper. T. S. Eliot
Part 2 - Introduction
  • Do NOT just go right into your essay you need to
    get the readers attention you do not want them
    thinking Do I have to read this?
  • You could get there attention by
  • Telling a brief but interesting story related to
    the topic
  • Giving an interesting quote related to the topic
  • Using some interesting statistics related to the
  • Ask some thought provoking question(s) related to
    the topic
  • What ever you do, do NOT be cheesy or try to kiss
    up to the reader

Part 2 - Introduction
  • Next you need to work your way from what ever you
    used to get the readers attention to your thesis
    statement. This will take some time and require
    one or more transition sentences.
  • At the end of your paragraph will be your thesis
    sentence(s) it might be more than one but try
    to avoid it and do not be more than two.

Part 2a - Thesis
  • This is where you will clearly and concisely tell
    the reader what your essay is about.
  • Make sure that you are specific, one of the most
    common mistakes people make is to be to vague.
  • Avoid at all costs statements like
  • This essay will ...
  • I will be talking about ...
  • An example might be Pet owners have been
    debating for centuries which is the better pet,
    cats or dogs. Before one can reach a decision on
    which is best, one must thoroughly examine the
    strengths and weakness of both cats and dogs.

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as
you can. That is the only secret. Matthew
Part 3 - Body
  • This section of your essay contains 4 major
  • Background what is your issue and where do
    things currently stand
  • Pro Side what the people in favour of the issue
    have to say
  • Con Side what the people opposed to the issue
    have to say
  • Analysis what are the strengths and weakness of
    both sides arguments

Part 3 - Body
  • When looking at each side you must
  • Remain impartial the reader should not know
    your feelings until the end
  • Cover both sides equally well
  • Clearly state what the major arguments for both
    sides are and explain them

Part 3 - Body
  • This is obviously the major portion of your essay
    and contains all of your relevant facts.
  • It is vital that the paragraphs in your essay be
    tied together, otherwise your essay will lack
    flow and be hard to read and understand.
  • To achieve this the last sentence and first
    sentence in every paragraph should be transition
    or segue sentences tying the paragraphs together.

Part 3 - Body
  • It is also here that you will analyze the
    arguments of the two sides of your issue.
  • You should not be bringing new information into
    this paragraph(s) but instead looking at the
    strengths and weaknesses of the arguments.

Part 3 - Body
  • Some things that you might want to consider when
    analyzing both sides
  • Is the information accurate given what I know?
  • Do both sides arguments make sense?
  • Is it legal?
  • Will the public support it?
  • Does it treat people fairly?
  • How would I feel if this logic applied to me?
  • What would society be like if everyone acted like
  • Would this logic work if applied to a similar

Certainly the plagiarism, and dealing with the
fallout of it, was the most difficult thing I've
ever faced since I started writing. Nora
Part 3a In Text Citations
  • This is a research essay, that means you looked
    up information that other people collected.
  • You MUST give them credit for their work
    otherwise it is plagiarism and you get ZERO.
  • If you are not sure how to do an in text citation
    after this section please ask your teacher or go
    to one of the following sites
  • Son of Citation Machine this will format an in
    text citation for you for basic situations
  • Owl at Purdue this site will not only tell you
    how to format the citation for any situation but
    tell you when to put an in text citation

Part 3a In Text Citations
  • Use in-text citations whenever you
  • Use a direct quotation.
  • Use statistics or a specific date.
  • Restate, summarize, or paraphrase an idea,
    theory, or opinion given by another author.
  • Incorporate facts that are not common knowledge.
    A general rule of thumb is, if you can find the
    fact in at least three sources, it is common
  • If you are in doubt than use an in-text citation

Part 3a In Text Citations
  • In general terms the in text citation goes at the
    end of the sentence(s) that come from a
    particular source.
  • You may however put an in text citation at the
    end of a paragraph if ALL of the information came
    from the same source.
  • You may NOT use one in text citation for several
    paragraphs even if their information comes from
    the same source.
  • You MUST place an in text citation at the end of
    every direct quotation used.

Part 3a In Text Citations
  • Short Quotations
  • If you are directly quoting from a work, you will
    need to include the author, year of publication,
    and the page number for the reference (preceded
    by "p."). Page number is NOT required for
    electronic sources.
  • According to Jones (1998), "Students often had
    difficulty using APA style, especially when it
    was their first time" (p. 199).
  • Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty
    using APA style" (p. 199) what implications does
    this have for teachers?
  • She stated, "Students often had difficulty using
    APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not
    offer an explanation as to why.

Part 3a In Text Citations
  • Long Quotations 40 words
  • Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2
    inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same
    place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the
    entire quotation on the new margin, and indent
    the first line of any subsequent paragraph within
    the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin.
    Maintain double-spacing throughout.
  • Jones's (1998) study found the following
        Students often had difficulty using APA
    style, especially when it was their first time
    citing sources. This difficulty could be
    attributed to the fact that many students failed
    to  purchase a style manual or to ask their
    teacher for help. (p. 199)

Part 3a In Text Citations
  • Paraphrasing, Statistics, or Specific Dates
  • If you are paraphrasing an idea from another
    work, you only have to make reference to the
    author and year of publication in your in-text
    reference, but APA guidelines encourage you to
    also provide the page number (although it is not
  • According to Jones (1998), APA style is a
    difficult citation format for first-time
  • APA style is a difficult citation format for
    first-time learners (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

Be yourself and think for yourself and while
your conclusions may not be infallible, they will
be nearer right than the conclusions forced upon
you.Elbert Hubbard
Part 4 - Conclusion
  • This is your opportunity to finally say what you
    believe about this topic.
  • Given everything that you have now learned about
    both sides of your issue what do you believe and
    more importantly WHY.
  • You need to be thorough, convincing and fit with
    the analysis you have just done.
  • This needs to be much more than just a summary of
    the issue. It is YOUR interpretation of the
    issue after looking at both sides and examining
    MANY sources.

When you take stuff from one writer, it's
plagiarism. But when you take it from many
writers, it's research. William Mizner
Part 5 Reference Page
  • You will list any books / sources that you cited
    in your essay
  • You will list any books / sources that were
    significant in your research but not cited
  • You will NOT list books / sources just to flesh
    out your reference page

Part 5 Reference Page
  • This will be done in APA style
  • It is recommended but not required that you use
    the web resource Son of Citation Machine at
    http//citationmachine.net/ to help you create
    your reference page
  • Click on APA Style
  • Choose from the sources that are listed on the
  • Fill in the blanks and click submit
  • Copy and paste to your reference page
  • If you are not using Son of Citation Machine then
    it is strongly recommended you use Owl at Purdue
    APA style guide to assist you

Part 5 Reference Page
  • The title is References centered at the top of
    the page but done in normal font with no bolding
    or underlining
  • Your entries must be in alphabetical order
  • Entries should be double spaced
  • Entries should be done in a hanging indent style
    much like this bullet
  • Entries should NOT be bulleted OR numbered
  • Entries should NOT be divided into groups based
    on type or any other way

I never really know the title of a book until
it's finished. Mary Wesley
Part 6 Title Page
  • A title page will contain the following
  • Title of your essay centred and in top 1/3 of
    paper done in normal font with no bolding or
  • The following is centered under the title (in
    normal font and size)
  • Your name
  • Teachers name
  • Class
  • Due date
  • Running header a shortened version of your
    title and the page number. The running header
    will be done all in capitals. Also on the title
    page only it will include the phrase Running head

In a lot of formats, you can be really
experimental and see what would happen.
Marguerite Moreau
Step 7 - Finishing
  • Remember that your paper should have the
  • Title repeated on the first page of the actual
    paper, centered but not bolded or underlined
  • Level 1 headings for each of the sections EXCEPT
    for the introduction centered, bolded and in
    all upper case
  • Level 2 headings for each of your major arguments
    in both the pro and con bolded and key words
  • While it is allowed by APA do NOT include the
  • Authors notes on the title page
  • An abstract of the paper
  • Level 3 headings

Step 7 - Finishing
  • Formatting your paper, it should be
  • Typed
  • Double Spaced
  • 1 margins all around OR 1 margin top and bottom
    and 1.25 on left and right sides
  • Times New Roman or similar font
  • Size 12 font
  • Black ink on white paper

It is perfectly okay to write garbage as long
as you edit brilliantly. C. J. Cherryh
Step 7 - Finishing
  • Now that you are done your first draft you need
    to get it ready to hand in.
  • Read the essay over yourself feel free to
    repeat this step
  • Have a friend or family member read over your
    essay feel free to repeat this step also. Make
    sure that if you are asking a teacher to proof
    read your essay you allow several days. Do NOT
    ask them to proof read it the day before it is
  • Just before you print out your good copy read
    over the essay one last time
  • Do NOT be Sally!!

(No Transcript)
We can't help everyone, but everyone can help
someone. Ronald Reagan
  • The following web pages may be able to help you
    if you run into problems and can not ask your
  • How to Write an Essay http//kimberlychapman.com/e
  • Purdue OWL http//owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resou
  • Evaluating Web Pages http//www.lib.berkeley.edu/T
  • Son of Citation Machine http//citationmachine.net

The End
  • Now go forth and write.
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