Category: Academic Writing
One of the largest challenges to moving from middle-school and early high school writing to more advanced work is the challenge to write something original. This doesn’t mean you have to invent some whole new theory of life, the universe, and everything. Rather, it means you have to make your reader think.Read More
Aug 27, 2017 | Argument
You will probably receive, or have received, the following feedback at some point: “Try to narrow your thesis.”
This may seem odd; a thesis isn’t something you can squeeze and shape. Can a thesis be ‘fat’?
The comment is an attempt to explain that you have bitten off more than you can chew.”
Understanding when to accelerate and summarize vs. slow down and dig in is a key skill. Learn some basic moves to summarize well.Read More
Use this clever strategy to take a bunch of ideas and shape them into a coherent essay.Read More
Selecting a few, specific key words then using them throughout your essay will help emphasize your thesis and create flow and continuity.Read More
“The Greek philosopher Aristotle identified three fundamental strategies for persuading an audience—English teachers may call these strategies “rhetorical appeals.” Everyone who reads or writes arguments should be able to recognize these:
Logos is the appeal to logic or reason.
Ethos is the appeal based on ethics, which establishes the credibility of the author.
Pathos is the appeal to the emotions of the audience.”
“Many beginning writers, especially when trying to write argumentatively, will include only evidence that supports their thesis. This is a beginner’s mistake.
Any intelligent reader will think up competing (contradictory) evidence on their own. And even if they don’t, they will have to assume that if you ignore all opposing evidence you have either, a) not done a proper research job or are, b) willfully hiding unflattering facts.”
Aug 1, 2017 | Evidence
In any high school or college class where you’re reading texts and writing about them, your writing will be more effective if you know how to perform what teachers call a “close reading.” Similarly, if you’re writing a business report or proposal, you’ll be much more likely to reach your goals if the document reflects a close, careful reading of your primary sources.Read More
Great question: Can a single example be used as both logos and ethos? Can citing an authority...Read More
Including quotes in your writing is one of the leading indicators of an accomplished academic writer. There are rules, and they are easy to learn. Once you’ve got them down and you can sprinkle quotes throughout your writing to support your points you’ll be on your way to creating slam-dunk arguments with the ability to persuade any audience.Read More
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