• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Section Notes

Page history last edited by Jakey Toor 11 years ago


This is an area in which I will post tips from section regarding reading, writing, and other stuff


When reading:

1. What question is the author trying to answer

2. What is her/his answer to this question? This is the THESIS statement. Where specifically is it in the text?

3. What are some of the major points?

4. What was something you found particularly interesting?

5. What is an open ended question you could pose to the class for discussion?

6. Summarize!!! the article in a sentence or two IE if someone asks you "what was this article about?" in passing what would you say?


After Lecture:

Just as we are trying to get you to argue a SPECIFIC CLEAR thesis, our Professors are also arguing their theses. Consider every lecture as a piece (or many pieces) of evidence that prove a larger overarching thesis.

What were the main points?

-What did the Prof. repeat over and over again?

-What did the Prof. emphasize?

-What stood out to you as important?

-Summarize!!! What was this lecture about in one/two sentences? IE what is the Professor's THESIS?

-Do you agree with what the Prof. is saying? Why or why not?


Writing Ck. List:

1. Do I have an original, specific, clear, bold and arguable THESIS?

2.Does my thesis have a "SO WHAT?" Why is this essay important? Apart from it being your opinion, why should anyone else care about reading this?

3. Does my paper make perfect sense if I read only:


-The Intro (including the Thesis statement).

-The first sentence of every paragraph.

-The conclusion.

HINT HINT:This is actally the first thing I do when I grade your papers...


4. Did I provide a Roadmap of my essay for the Reader in the intro?

   - Tell me what you are going to say. SAY IT. Tell me what you said.

This means that you can actually put a little blurb in your intro telling the reader how you are going to prove your thesis. To prove lad-de-dah I will be talking about this and this and conclude with  this...) There is nothing wrong with stating your plan of action clearly and explicitly.


5. Did I really need to use this quote? Only quote when you can not say it in your own words.

6. Did I leave a quote hanging? Think of quote buddies QUOTE . Alwasy introduce a quote, always say goodbye to it.

7. GRAMMAR & SPELLING! No one will take you seriously if you have these mistakes in your writing.

8. Do I have a Sequential Argument? Does one piece of evidence build on the other? If you put your paragraphs in a different order would your paper make as much sense? The answer should be: NO.

9. Did I CITE properly??

10. Do I bring up and "ah-hah" point in my conclusion? In addition to restating your thesis and evidence do you bring up a new and interesting point or question? - Something that you learned or realized while writing the paper?

11. Do I provide a ROADMAP for my reader in the beginning of the essay?


More to come....





*Write with nouns and verbs.

*Try to use less adj. & adverbs & prep phrases.


Not so great sentence:

While the students reluctantly worked on their free writes which they didn’t really feel like writing, the TA also graded their papers at the same time, sitting in her rather uncomfortable chair.

Better sentence after condensing:

While the students reluctantly worked on their free writes, their TA sat in her chair and graded their papers.

*The wrong words bring noise in, the right words bring signal in.

*Think about your word choice.

*Get right to the point.


Addressing a Counter Early On


It is difficult to determine a fact because it is impossible to be 100% sure of anything. That is why I listen to my heart before making major decisions in my life.

Counter claim:

That’s ridiculous! Surely you should pay attention to both your heart and your head for a broader understanding of the situation. That would be the reasonable thing to do.

Reword sentence:

Because it is impossible to be 100% sure of anything we often find ourselves confused before making major decisions in our life. After listening to what both my heart and head have to say about a matter, I give more weight to my heart.


Notes from Paper #1 - 4-25-07

-You can't be to explicit! State your argument simply and clearly

-Write simple sentences about complex ideas - not complex sentences about simple ideas.

-Write your intro & Roadmap last - so you can reflect on your essay and then really tell the reader exactly where its going.

-Make sure that the first sentence of a paragraph communicates its main point. It can even state how exactly this point will help prove the thesis.

-Beware of sounding too colloquial! That means don't use words or expressions like "totally" or "kinda" etc. or lots of !!!

Don't be afraid to use "I"

Some effective language from YOUR papers :)


"digging deeper"

"delving farther..."

"going farther..."


"I have come to the conclusion..." vs. decided

"...an equilibrium between..."

"...task we must rise to..."

"trying to identify.."

"revising the definition.."

"harnessed the idea.."


"go one step further.."

"runs deeper.."

"building a bridge"

"narrowing a gap"

"embracing a challenge"

"tackling an issue"

"finding common ground"

"breaking down barriers"

"surpassing expectations"

"re-evaluating stereotypes"


Re: Grades

-I would like to emphasize that if you got anything in the B range you met all of the requirments for this essay well :)

-the curve fell at a B-/C+


“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side affect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run- in the long run, I say!-success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”

-From Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl


In other words: Write about things you care about, that you are passionate about. Try to make your specific ideas communicable and forget about the grades... they will eventually follow.





A: exceptionally specific, bold, unique thesis, sequential argument, amazing insightful analysis, great engagement with readings.

A-: specific, bold, unique thesis, great analysis, sequential argument, great engagement with readings.

B+: specific, bold thesis, sequential argument, thorough analysis but could use improvement, engaged well with readings.

B: specific thesis, good analysis, good engagement with readings.

B-: specific thesis, some good engagement with readings, some good analysis but inconsistent throughout paper.

C+: specific thesis but not strong enough, analysis strayed from thesis, some engagement with readings.

C: thesis is there but not specific or clear enough, thesis may sound like a HS argument, analysis not structured, inadequate engagement with readings.

C-: fluff thesis, no structure, confusing, difficult to follow.

D+: fluff thesis or non-existent thesis, writing looks like stream of consciousness, paper looks like it’s in the exploratory stage.







Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.