Here’s a link to my Prezi. Use the right and left arrow keys to move forward and backward, respectively. If you’re interested in how to construct a Prezi, contact me for a tutorial. They’re fun and lively! (Or, at least they’re funner and more livelier than other presentation software I know of coughPowerPointcough.)
Hopefully you’re all revising meaningfully, truly re-seeing your large-scale “global” issues such as argument clarity and synthesis and metadiscourse as well smaller-scale, “local” issues punctuation and word choice.
To help facilitate revision, here’s a short list of suggestions I hope you’ll consider:
“I believe” or “I feel” language is never appropriate for academic discourse. When you couch your arguments in “It is my belief”-type statements, you limit your ability to persuade. In essence, you’re not trying to persuade, you’re only sharing your opinion. You want your argument to be forceful and compelling, not limited by “I believe” talk.
Avoid gerunds–which are verbs that end in -ing but behave like nouns. They’re very passive. Don’t begin a sentence with “Having” or “Seeing” or “Making:” such language stunts your ability to write actively. This is something we’ll work on all semester, but I just want to put it on your grammar radar.
Keep working on synthesis. There are really two sites where synthesis can happen, so as you revise, closely examine and consider them:
1. Second quote intro: When you introduce your paragraph’s second quote, you should use a verb of attribution that expresses that quote’s relationship to the first. There are a lot of relationship-verbs out there, so use as many as your vocab allows:
provides additional proof
(and a lot more that I won’t just hand over to you.:))
2. The second site of synthesis comes after your second quote. Once both of your quotes are clearly introduced and incorporated into your paragraph, it’s time to put them to work:
Mention your sources again by name, explaining their interaction in terms of supporting your argument:
“Both Smith and Jones share a common concern about childhood obesity’s long-term effects on America’s health care system…”
“Smith’s findings, coupled with Jones’ data, provide a harrowing picture of a future generation of socially awkward twentysomethings…”
When I read your final drafts, I’ll be looking at your second quote intro and, especially, the ends of your body paragraphs and CA for clear interaction between your sources and a clear explanation of how that interaction helps uphold/”prove” your paragraph, and then how that paragraph helps uphold/”prove” your thesis.
Be direct in your language and be explicit about your synthesis.
If you feel like you’re overexplaining, you’re probably on the right track.
Email me any questions, as always.
You know I want you to respond organically, naturally to each other’s work. However, I also want you to consider the following questions as you read:
Does it get readers’ attention?
Does it provide relevant background information?
Does it define any necessary key terms?
Is the issue at hand properly contextualized, narrow, and manageable?
Does the author take a clear stand on the issue?
Does the intro contain a clear, debatable thesis statement?
Does the thesis mention (1) the issue, (2) the stance, (3) the reasons and (4) the CA?
Is there a clear, focused, helpful topic sentence and transition?
Are there at least two different sources cited?
Are the quote intros helpful, or are there annoying (Names)?
Are there helpful verbs of attribution throughout (like agrees, extends, demonstrates)?
Is the first quote clearly analyzed?
Is the second quote synthesized with the first?
Are both quotes synthesized with the paragraph/reason?
Is the paragraph/reason connected to the thesis/stance?
Does the paragraph end meaningfully?
Is there a transition at the end of the paragraph?
Is there a clear topic sentence and transitions that signals a CA paragraph?
Are there two separate sources cited?
Are there meaningful verbs of attribution?
Do those sources interact meaningfully?
Does the author refute or concede? Does s/he do so clearly?
Is the CA logical? Does it help the overall argument?
How’s the essay’s MLA looking? Correct, or lazy?
Is the essay’s title snazzy?
Is the essay’s tone academic, formal, professional, respectful?
Is the essay’s voice active and NOT passive?
Are any quotes too long (40+ words or 4+ lines)?
Maybe check out Ra Ra Riot’s cello-infused brand of pop-rock as you respond?