1)Plagiarism is something that has been focused on throughout each of the classes and it is important to remember to avoid because it is an act that is not only shaming to oneself but to the school as well. I appreciate the constant reminder due to the help it offers to remain cautious while using other’s works. I find that what has helped me after finding my research is to do my references first in my outline. Writing everything down in my references first also makes it easy to go back to a specific page that I may accidentally exited out of on my browser.
2)Week four has made me recognize the importance of properly citing sources into any paper I develop. I have also analyzed and readjusted most things on my paper from week three, week four has given me the opportunity to grasp the concepts of formatting a paper into APA format. The plagiarism checker has been extremely beneficial, showing me exactly what citations I needed to change. As stated in the text plagiarism can be done intentionally or unintentionally, utilizing the plagiarism checker helps any student go through possibly plagiarizing.
Common knowledge can be tricky, particularly when you get into specific disciplines in which something is common knowledge but may not be so outside a particular field of study.
Common knowledge pertains to generally- known facts like George Washington was the first U. S. president. If you make a statement about his ideology or politics, you need to cite your source because this would not be considered common knowledge. However, if you are an historian writing for an historian academic audience, you can count as common knowledge things like George Washington deciding not to run for a third term as president although he was free to do so because the Constitutional amendment limiting presidential terms had not yet been added.
In these examples, it is generally known that Washington was the first U. S. president; however, any statement about his beliefs is not common knowledge and would doubtlessly be open to debate among historians. Someone who is a scholar of history would certainly know that Washington chose not to run for a third term and could well have done so, but someone who does not study history may not know this. It is thus common knowledge that is specific to a certain discipline (history, in this example).
Common knowledge is not knowledge that one researcher obtains from reading a great deal about a topic, so you can’t count things as common knowledge simply because you read it somewhere or have studied something in-depth independently. Let me know if this is still unclear; it’s an important part of academic writing.
4)Writing in APA style takes practice and it is a style that I am still getting the hang of. Citing the works in the correct format is important to avoid potential plagiarism and give the author credit to the work that is being used. It was nice to see all of the examples that I can use in my revised rough draft and in the final draft next week. Looking forward to grasping APA style in the coming weeks.
5)An academic essay should have no fewer than five paragraphs: an introduction, at least three body paragraph, and a conclusion.
Writing the introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and the conclusion for your argument paper can seem daunting at first. Which element do you find the most challenging and why? Which element do you find the least challenging and why?
I do want to spend some time on the conclusion because a conclusion to an academic argument essay is not quite the same as a conclusion to most other essays. The object of this type of conclusion is not to simply repeat what you’ve already said (even in different words) but to synthesize what you’ve presented, to tie it together.
For some people, it is helpful to think of it as your closing argument, such as a lawyer might make at a trial. Yes, he or she repeats what has happened over the course of the trial, but the object is to show how it all ties together and makes a comprehensive case. Both the defense and the prosecution are recapping the same trial, the same evidence, but the key to the closing argument–and the conclusion of an academic essay–is how that evidence is tied together and what it shows.
Does thinking of your conclusion as your “lawyerly” closing argument help you with drafting your conclusion? Why or why not?
Writing introductions can be tricky at first, especially just getting one started. One effective strategy that I recommend to make it easier to write introductions to academic essays is the funnel approach.
Placing the thesis statement as the last sentence of your introductory paragraph gives you something to “write toward.” If you know what your thesis is and have it as the last sentence, you can write your introduction so that you lay out the general topic and then narrow toward your specific view of that topic (your original, debatable academic thesis statement). In essence, you are setting up your thesis for your reader, providing context and focus.
You would begin somewhat broadly (letting your reader know your general topic), then narrow your focus until you get to your own specific argument. This is sometimes called the “funnel approach” and works very well for most writers, but I believe especially so for those who are developing their writing skills at a college level.
Are you familiar with this approach to writing introductions? Why do you think it’s particularly well-suited to academic essays? Is this something that you will work on in your drafts? Why or why not?
8)Fantastic posts here, Class! The “funnel” intro is a great way to both draw your reader in and to lay out your exact argument.
Here’s an example of a funnel introduction:
Because they are foundational to good health, fruits and vegetables are an important aspect of the human diet. Food pyramids espoused by governments around the globe and in the American “my plate” replacement for the food pyramid emphasize the importance of eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to improve human health, aid in human development, and support the human immune system (Reeves, 2009). These positive effects are measurably less in processed fruits and vegetables, however, and it is becoming increasingly clear that mass-produced vegetables contain similar depleted levels of healthful vitamins and nutrients (Smith, 2012). With this decline in the nutritional value of produce grown and marketed by “Big Agriculture,” nutritionists and other health care professionals are increasingly recommending locally-grown organic produce for inclusion in daily diets. Human physical and even psychological health and well-being are increased when one eats only locally-grown, organic produce instead of mass-produced produce.
Class, examine and discuss how this introduction to a compare and contrast essay “funnels” from general (in bold black) to specific (in bold red, the essay’s thesis statement). Note that the three reasons for the writer’s argument are included in this thesis statement. Why is that important? How might you use this as a template for your own introductions?
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