Monthly Archives: March 2010

Your Writing Process is ON!


Here are some questions people have asked about Writing Process

1-What are the steps in the writing process?

2-How do I write a good paragraph if I don’t know what I’m talking about?

3-How do you organize a story?

4-We are writing our own folk tales, but I’m not sure how to do it. Can you help?

5-How should I start my research project once I have my topic?

 6-How can I write an autobiography or an autobiographical narrative?

1-What are the steps in the writing process? The writing process has five steps. Step one is prewriting, which consists of brainstorming an idea, and making an outline or diagram of what you will write. Step two is drafting, in which you use your prewriting notes to write a first version of your essay or story. Step three is revision, where you review your first draft, think about what you need to add and what you need to remove. Step four is editing, or proofreading to make sure you used correct punctuation and grammar. Finally, step five is publishing. You rewrite your draft with the corrections, and share your writing with others. So sharpen your pencil and start writing!

2-How do I write a good paragraph if I don’t know what I’m talking about? That’s a good question. If you don’t know what you’re trying to say, you’re not going to write a very good paragraph. It’s important to do some brainstorming and prewriting to organize your thoughts and figure out the main ideas you want to get across to your reader. If you skip this step, you’ll find it’s much more difficult to write a solid paragraph.

3-How do you organize a story? The standard format for organizing a story involves introducing the setting and characters first. Plot development makes up the bulk of the story. The easiest way to develop your plot is to establish some sort of conflict that prevents the main character (or characters) from reaching a goal. It doesn’t have to be a literal conflict between two people; it can pit several people against nature, or technology, or even their inner selves. Conflict allows you to move the story forward, as the characters must struggle against something in order to reach a resolution. The resolution is reached at the climax of the story, which is usually followed by the conclusion.

Fairy tales provide good examples of this story structure. Take the story of Red Riding Hood. At the beginning, we’re introduced to the main characters. Red Riding Hood has a goal: to deliver food to her grandmother’s house. In order to do this, she comes into conflict with the Big Bad Wolf. The conflict intensifies—first the wolf delays the little girl on her journey, then he eats the grandmother, and finally eats Red herself. Resolution comes when the hunter shows up and rescues them, and then the story concludes with a warning not to talk to strangers or hang around in forests.

4-We are writing our own folk tales, but I’m not sure how to do it. Can you help? The best way to start is to read some folktales, and pay attention to the elements they have in common. Is there usually they a hero or heroine? Do these stories teach lessons? If so, what kinds of lessons? Ask these kinds of questions as you brainstorm about your own folk tale. Choose some of the elements that you like, and you have a basic outline for your story! Now all you need are characters, a setting, and a theme. For that, you’ll have to use your imagination!

5-How should I start my research project once I have my topic? It would be hard for me to tell you how to do your assignment, because different research papers have different directions! Once you have your research topic chosen, I would suggest asking your teacher how to go about finding information. Different teachers have unique requirements about the resources that you may use. The next thing to do is head over to your school or local library and check out the books and periodicals. The library is always the first place that I go to when I need to do a project. Using the card catalog system or the library computers you can find lots of great resources on your topic. Periodicals are also a great way to find information about different topics. If you are allowed to use the Internet, you may also want to ask a parent or teacher to help you conduct an web search using different keywords from your thesis statement.

6-How can I write an autobiography or an autobiographical narrative? An autobiography is a personal history. It’s a true account of real events that happened to the author. I can’t tell you exactly what to write, because I don’t know the details of your life! But I can suggest that you get out a piece of paper and jot down some experiences you’ve had that you think are really unique or interesting. Is there anything that really sticks out in your mind as an important or life-changing event? If so, you probably want to include that.

If you have to write about a specific event, I would suggest trying free writing. Just sit down in a quiet and comfortable place and jot down everything you can remember about that event. When you are done, read through it and try to remember if you left anything out or if you could add anything to make it better. Take out parts that you don’t like, or that aren’t necessary to the overall outcome of the story. Next, you are ready to type it up! Then, read through it and ask a parent or someone else to read through it too. They can give you feedback and help you catch any mistakes. Then, you’re done! If you have to write about your whole life, you probably aren’t going to have as much detail (or it would end up being as long as a book!). Try interviewing a parent or family member so that they can tell you about the major milestones that you may not remember from your earliest years. Then, continue on your own, adding events and memories that you feel have shaped who you are and what you think about the world!
Here are some questions people have asked about Essays.
 1-Why is a five-paragraph essay like a hamburger?

 2- How do you write an essay with argument and counterargument?

3-What are rhetorical strategies?

4-What should the first paragraph of an essay contain?

5-How do I write an essay?

6-What is a thesis statement? Where does it belong in an essay?

7-What is the difference between a conclusion and a clincher?

8-What is a thesis?

9-What are details?

1-Why is a five-paragraph essay like a hamburger?
Some people like to compare a five paragraph essay to a hamburger! The introduction and conclusion are like the bun. They hold together the three body paragraphs, which are like the meat, cheese, and lettuce of the sandwich. It’s a helpful image to remember the structure of a five-paragraph essay!

2- How do you write an essay with argument and counterargument?
In your essay, you can introduce some possible counterarguments to your thesis statement. For example, if your thesis was that the Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLII was the greatest upset in NFL history, you might say something like, “Some people think that the Jets’ victory over the Colts in 1969 was a bigger upset.” Then you would explain why those counterarguments are wrong, and use facts to back up your argument. Counterargument makes your arguments stronger. It makes it clear that you have anticipated reasons why people might disagree with your position, and that you can explain why their concerns are wrong.

3-What are rhetorical strategies?

Rhetoric is the study of effective strategies for thinking, writing, and speaking. In order for a piece to be effective, it must be developed and organized, with a clear purpose. Many different strategies can make your writing more powerful. These include using examples, including similes or metaphors, using details, narrating a story, comparing and contrasting, analyzing cause and effect, and explaining a process. Remember that not every essay needs to use every strategy. Some of them will be appropriate for one particular essay, and some won’t.

4-What should the first paragraph of an essay contain?

The first paragraph of any essay should tell the reader what the rest of the essay is about. It contains your thesis, which is a brief statement that summarizes the main idea or argument that you’ll develop in the rest of the paper.

A thesis is usually divided into two parts. First, you state the topic that your paper is about, and then you state your argument, or the point you’re trying to make about the topic. For example, if your paper was about Super Bowl XLII, you might begin by mentioning it was played in February 2008, and that the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14. That’s your topic. Next, you’d summarize the argument you’re making about Super Bowl XLII. Your argument could be something like, “Super Bowl XLII was the greatest Super Bowl upset since the Jets beat the Colts in 1969.” Or it could be, “The Giants’ dominant defensive line, which sacked Patriots QB Tom Brady five times, was the most important factor in their victory.” Then, you’d go ahead and prove your point in the rest of the paper. The opening paragraph doesn’t need to be too long. It is really just an introduction. The rest of your paper is where you need to elaborate on your topic.

5- How do I write an essay?
For me the best way to write an essay is to first develop your thesis, or topic sentence. Your essay will give points of support for the thesis topic, so to organize your thoughts you can create note cards with information on them. These note cards can be organized by topic, and after you write them, you can arrange them into the order you think your argument should take. If you don’t want to do note cards, you can do an outline to organize your ideas. Once you have your ideas down in sections, you will want to write the essay! Each note card or point is often given in a separate paragraph. I was also taught that in each paragraph I should follow the idea of ‘PPE’ (Point, Prove, Explain). That means you make your point, support it with evidence, and then explain how your evidence supports your point!

6-What is a thesis statement? Where does it belong in an essay?

The first paragraph of any paper should include a thesis statement. The thesis statement is the most important sentence (or sentences) in any paper because it tells the reader what your paper is going to be about. The thesis statement explains the main idea of your whole paper. Imagine that you were going to write a paper about dolphins. Depending on what you were going to include in your paper, your thesis statement might look something like this:

“The unique anatomy of the dolphin allows it to live underwater even though it breathes air.”
“Dolphins are highly intelligent creatures that live in close knit groups and communicate with each other through a series of high-pitched whistles. Scientists believe that they are among the most intelligent creatures in the sea.”

7-What is the difference between a conclusion and a clincher?
A conclusion is the ending to a story, essay, or film. It wraps up the ideas that have come before and provides some closure for characters or plotlines. A “clincher” is usually described as a decisive factor that settles something conclusively.

8-What is a thesis?

A thesis is the same as a main idea. It is a statement of the author’s perspective in an essay. Just like main ideas, the thesis statement is usually found toward the beginning of the essay. For example, the topic of an essay might be cats. But the thesis might be something like, “How to care for a pet cat.”

9-What are details?

Details are examples that support the main idea of a paragraph or longer essay. A detail is often a specific piece of information that backs up a more general main idea. For example, in a paragraph where the main idea is, “Stuart likes shopping,” details could include: “Stuart spent four hours at the mall yesterday,” “Stuart spends 80 percent of his income on clothes,” and “Stuart watches the Home Shopping Network more than any other channel.”

I hope these tips could have provided the best information to begin your writing projects.

Taken from Brain