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Table of contents
  1. Chapter 3 Notes: “From Writing Summaries and Paraphrases to Writing Yourself Into Academic Conversations”
    1. Summaries, Paraphrases, and Quotations
    2. Writing a Paraphrase
    3. Writing a Summary
      1. Example: The Process of Writing a Summary
      2. Example on “History Retweets Itself” by Tom Standage
  2. Chapter 4 Notes: “From Identifying Claims to Analyzing Arguments”
    1. Navigate
    2. Identifying Types of Claims
      1. Identifying Claims of Fact
      2. Identifying Claims of Value
      3. Identifying Claims of Policy
    3. Analyzing Arguments
      1. Analyzing Reasons Used to Support a Claim
      2. Is the source recent?
      3. Is the source relevant?
      4. Is the source reliable?
      5. Is the source accurate?
    4. Identifying Concessions
    5. Identifying Counterarguments
      1. Rogerian Approach to Argument
    6. A Model for Analyzing Arguments
    7. Recognizing Logical Fallacies
  3. Chapter 5 Notes: “From Identifying Issues to Forming Questions”
    1. Identifying Issues
      1. Draw Upon Personal Experience
      2. Identify What is Open to Dispute
      3. Resist Binary Thinking
      4. Build On and Extend the Ideas of Others
      5. Read to Discover a Writer’s Frame
      6. Consider the Constraints of the Situation
    2. Formulating Issue-Based Questions
      1. An Issue-Based Question Can Help…
      2. Good Questions
      3. The Process
  4. Chapter 6 Notes: “From Formulating to Developing a Thesis”
    1. Working vs Definitive Theses
    2. Developing a Working Thesis: Four Models
      1. The Correcting Misinterpretatinos Model
      2. The Filling the Gap Model
      3. The Modifying What Others Have Said Model
      4. The Hypothesis Testing Model
    3. Establishing a Context for a Thesis
  5. Chapter 7 Notes: “Identifying Sources”
    1. Navigate
    2. Introduction
      1. Consult Experts Who Can Guide Your Research
      2. Your Writing Instructor
      3. Libraries At Your Campus or Local Library
      4. Experts in Other Fields
      5. Research Manuals, Handbooks, and Dedicated Websites
      6. Develop a Working Knowledge of Standard Sources
      7. Distinguish Between Primary and Secondary Sources
      8. Distinguish Between Popular and Scholarly Sources
      9. Steps to Identifying Sources
    3. Searching for Sources
      1. Perform a Keyword Search
      2. Try Browsing
    4. Evaluating Library Sources
      1. Examine the Table of Contents and Index
      2. Read the Introductory Sections
      3. Skim for the Argument
      4. Check the Notes and Bibliographic References
      5. Assess Accuracy and Credibility
      6. Steps to Evaluating Library Sources
    5. Evaluating Internet and Social Media Sources
      1. Evaluate the Author of the Content
      2. Evaluate the Organization That Supports the Content
      3. Evaluate the Purpose of the Content
      4. Evaluate the Information
      5. Steps to Evaluating Internet and Social Media Sources
    6. Writing an Annotated Bibliography
      1. Common Verbs in Signal Phrases
      2. Indicate Changes and Omissions in Quotations
      3. Set Off Long Quotations as Block Quotations
      4. Steps to Integrating Sources Into Your Writing
  6. Chapter 12 Notes: “From Revising to Editing”
    1. Navigate
    2. Revising Versus Editing
    3. The Peer Editing Process
    4. Working With Early Drafts
      1. Understand the Writer’s Responsibilities
      2. Understand the Reader’s Responsibilities
    5. Working with Later Drafts
      1. Understand the Writer’s Responsibilities
      2. Understand the Reader’s Responsibilities
    6. Working with Final Drafts
    7. Understand the Reader’s Responsibilities
    8. Further Peer Editing Group Suggestions
  7. Alternative Linkage

Chapter 3 Notes: “From Writing Summaries and Paraphrases to Writing Yourself Into Academic Conversations”

Summaries, Paraphrases, and Quotations

There is a distinction between paraphrasing and summarizing.

  • Paraphrasing is rewriting a chunk of text in different language. Usually the length doesn’t change that much.
  • Summarizing is significantly reducing the length of a text by identifying and conveying key ideas.

Both paraphrasing and summarizing are good pathways for inquiry. They force you to think critically about the text instead of passively accepting it.

When you read,

  • paraphrase when information is important but the specific language is not important to the discussion.
  • summarize when only the important ideas of a text are needed.
  • quote when an excerpt of text is so memorable, important, and authentic that the only way express its true value is to present it in its original language.

Writing a Paraphrase

A paraphrase is a restatement of information in your unique language.

  • Keep in mind key words. What are other ways to state them?
  • Swap around word order and sentence structure.

Example: James Gunn’s essay “Harry Potter as Schooldays Novel” 1

The situation and portrayal of Harry as an ordinary child with an extraordinary talent make him interesting. He elicits our sympathy at every turn. He plays a Cinderella-like role as the abused child of mean-spirited foster parents who favor other, less-worthy children, and also fits another fantasy role, that of changeling. Millions of children have nursed the notion that they cannot be the offspring of such unremarkable parents; in the Harry Potter books, the metaphor is often literal truth.

A possible paraphrase (written by me):

Gunn observes that audiences have embraced the character of a normal but prodigous child, mistreated by guardians who fail to recognize his talent, played by Harry Potter. This figure, Gunn points out, is very Cinderella-esque. This embodiment has made millions of young Harry Potter readers adamant in their potential for success, despite perhaps unimportant parents.

Why paraphrase at all?

  • Academics that write for their peers use technical jargon; paraphrasing can act as a translator.
  • Paraphrasing helps you understand the text better; it cuts to the ideas and not just the language.

Neither summaries nor paraphrases are better or worse; they are suitable for different situations.

To write a paraphrase,

  1. Determine whether a paraphrase is necessary at all.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the text.
  3. Draft the paraphrase by expressing the same ideas in your unique language style.
  4. Attach the source to protect yourself from plagiarism.

Writing a Summary

Summaries condense a large quantity of information. By reading like a writer, one can summarize better. To write a good summary requires the main points to be accurately identified.

There are four important aspcts of writing good summaries:

  1. Understand the writer’s main ideas.
  2. Identify supporting evidence the writer uses to justify the main ideas.
  3. Communicate the essence of the author’s argument given this information.
  4. Put the summary in proper context to elevate it beyond a shortened paraphrase.

Example: The Process of Writing a Summary

A (personally written) process of constructing a summary of Clive Thompson’s On the New Literacy. 2

Understand the writer’s main ideas.- Many complain about how in the technological era, kids do not know how to write; language has been dehydrated and abused through the narcism of social media and the obscene compression of language in texting.
- This is unwarranted. We are actually in the midst of a literacy revolution.
- Young people write far more than any generation before, because technology gives them more places to express themselves through language.
- Writing is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’; today’s young people know who they are writing for, which is the most important.
Identify supporting evidence.- Andrea Lunsford of Stanford University performed research and comes to these conclusions.
- Lunsford found that technology gave students many more chances to write
- Lunsford found that assessing what was necessary to appeal towards a particular audience needed to be convinced came naturally to students.
Communicate the essence of the author’s argument.Technology is not an inhibitor of literacy and language but instead a catalyst; today’s young people are given more oppurtunities to express themselves and have developed a skill of great writing - assessing the audience - that goes beyond what we may consider to be, at a surface level, ‘literacy’.
Put in context.See footnote 2 for information on the author and which fields & journals he writes in.

Example on “History Retweets Itself” by Tom Standage

View an example worththrough of the essay “History Retweets Itself” by Tom Standage here.

Chapter 4 Notes: “From Identifying Claims to Analyzing Arguments”

Andre Ye, 10/23/2020

Identifying Types of Claims

Identifying Claims of Fact

  • Claims of fact are assertions that define or classify something into a problem or condition.
  • Claims are more objective (but not pure fact), so are easier to verify.
    • Based on interpretations of evidence gathered from different sources.
    • Can also define or classify claims of fact.
  • Examples:
    • “It’s sunny in Seattle.” - a factual claim of fact and easily verified. Also not very interesting.
    • “Heavy regulations on the American automobile industry set Japanese car companies on a track for eventual success.” Argues that a problem has existed. Difficult to verify, but interesting.
    • “Images of violence in the media create a culture of violence in schools.”
  • When reading, continually evaluate evidence to determine if it is enough to persuade you in favor of an assertion.

Identifying Claims of Value

  • Claims of value express an evaluation of a problem or condition.
    • Condition good or bad? Important or unimportant?
  • Claim of value can be expressed through value words: immoral, ethical, etc.
    • Can also be conveyed through tone and attitude.

      Current use of social media favors affinity over engagement, expression over debate, silence over disagreement, dogmatism over compromise, and—toward opponents—disdain over respect. -Radcliffe

  • Examples
    • “The increase in homelessness is a deplorable situation that contradicts the whole idea of democracy.”
    • “The media are biased, which means we cannot count on newspapers or television news for the truth.”

Identifying Claims of Policy

  • Claims of policy say that a condition should exist - a solution to a problem.
    • Oftened signaled by ‘should’ and ‘must’.
  • Not all writers make claims of policy explicitly.
  • Examples
    • “Taxing the use of fossil fuels will end the energy crisis.” Is a policy prescription to solve a problem.
    • “We should reform the welfare system to ensure that people who receive support from the government also work.”

Analyzing Arguments

  • Analyzing an argument involves identifying the writer’s main and minor claims by examining:
    1. the reasons and evidence to support each claim
    2. concessions
    3. attempts to handle counterarguments
    4. presence of logical fallacies

Analyzing Reasons Used to Support a Claim

  • Stating a claim vs. supporting a claim: different.
    • Has the writer proposed good reasons for their position?

Is the source recent?

  • Readers will expect you to cite recent evidence
    • Published within 5 years of when you are writing.
  • Old research can also be valuable.

Is the source relevant?

  • Anecdotal evidence may alert to a possible topic and help connect with readers. - Need to prove the relevance of that experience.
    • Is it pertinent?
    • Is it typical of a large situation or condition?
  • If you’re not comparing things in depth, your *argument will be flawed.

Is the source reliable?

  • Need to evaluate whether data you use is reliable.
    • Some researchers present findings based on a small sample of people.
  • Look for authoritative sources and expert testimony.

Is the source accurate?

  • Do a little digging and find who else has made a similar claim.
  • Accuracy of statistics can be difficult to verify.
    • Make sure stats sources are authoritative and reliable.
      • Government and major research universities are usually safe.
    • Make sure whoever is interpreting statistical info is not distorting it.

Identifying Concessions

  • A concession is an acknowledgement that readers may not agree with every point the writer makes.
  • Example concession signalling:
    • “It is true that…”
    • X and Y are true, but Z must be considered.”
    • “Some studies have convincingly shown that…”
  • Writers will usually go on to address the concession.

Identifying Counterarguments

  • A counterargument is an argument in response to an argument.
  • Anticipate reader’s objections.
  • An argument should be more conversational than confrontational.
    • Establish common ground.
    • Seek to understand opposing views.
    • Make concessions and respond to counterarguments.

Rogerian Approach to Argument

  1. Convey to readers that their different views are understood.
  2. Acknowledge conditions under which that view is valid.
  3. Assist the reader in finding common ground.
  4. Create mutually acceptable solutions on clearly defined problems.

A Model for Analyzing Arguments

  • Analyzing a claim of fact. How does the author define terms and assert claims of fact they intend to make the reader accept?
  • Using evidence to support a claim. How does the author use authority to strengthen evidence?
  • Making a concession. How does the author anticipate opposing views, acknowledge them, and find common ground?
  • Providing counterarguments. How does the author make rebuttal counterarguments against opposing arguments?

Recognizing Logical Fallacies

  • Logical fallacies are flaws in a chain of reasoning.
  • 15 logical fallacies.
    1. Erroneous Appeal to Authority.
      • An erroneous authority is an author who claims to be an authority but is not.
      • The claim may be true, but there is no reason to accept it.
    2. Ad Hominem.
      • Focuses on the person making the claim, instead of the claim itself.
      • “Of course Senator X supports oil drilling in Alaska - he’s in the pocket of oil companies!”
    3. Shifting the Issue.
      • Author draws attention away from the issue instead of offering evidence.
    4. Either/Or Fallacy.
      • Author will take two extreme positions and force the reader to make a choice.
      • “Either you support war or are against it.”
    5. Sweeping Generalizations.
      • Author attempts to draw a conclusion without providing sufficient evidence.
    6. Bandwagon.
      • Author uses support of others to justify your support.
      • “Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley have added a multicultural component to their graduation requirements. Other institutions should hence do the same.”
    7. Begging the Question.
      • Advances a circular argument that asks readers to accept a premise that is also the conclusion readers are expected to raw.
    8. False Analogy.
      • Authors persuade us that something is true by using a comparison that is not reasonable.
    9. Technical Jargon.
      • Jargon boosts up the author’s credibility artificially without saying anything.
    10. Confusing Cause and Effect.
      • Difficult to establish one factor influenced another.
    11. Appeal to Fear.
      • Appealing to irrational fears and prejudices to prevent them from thinking critically about them.
      • Linked to confusing cause and effect.
    12. Fallacy of Division.
      • Suggests what is true of a whole must always be true of its parts.
    13. Hasty Generalization.
      • Draws a conclusion about a group with a sample size too small to be representative.
    14. Straw Man Argument.
      • Makes a generalization about what a group believes without actually citing a specific writer or work.
    15. Fallacy of the Middle Ground.
      • Assumes that the middle position beteen extreme positions must be correct.
      • While it may be true, needs to be justified with evidence.

Chapter 5 Notes: “From Identifying Issues to Forming Questions”

Identifying Issues

  • How to identify a particular issue.
  • Issues do not simply exist in the world in a clean formation.
  • Writers must construct issues from situations.

Draw Upon Personal Experience

  • Personal experiences influence how we read, what we pay attention to, and what inferences we draw.
  • Use personal experience to argue a point.
    • Don’t just tell a story.
    • Strengthen your argument with the story.
  • Puts a human touch on your essay.

Identify What is Open to Dispute

  • Think of an issue as a fundamental tension between 2 or more conflicting points of view.
  • Teach readers about conditions in your own writing.
    • Widens lens of the problem.

Resist Binary Thinking

  • Tease out complexities that may be immediately apparent.
    • Resist either/or fallacy.
  • A real issue may combine multiple arguments, or maybe one solution alone cannot fix the issue.

Build On and Extend the Ideas of Others

  • Academic writing challenges but also builds and extends ideas.
  • Connect a personal response to a larger one about democracy, fairness, and education.
  • Refine the sense of what is at issue, then shape the argument.

Read to Discover a Writer’s Frame

  • One can build upon and extend the ideas of others by discovering a writer’s frame.
    • This is the perspective through which the writer presents the argument.
  • Writers that use framing strategies call to attention conversations that set up arguments.
    • Often quoting specific theories or ideas from authors.

Consider the Constraints of the Situation

  • Understand the contexts in which it is raised and debated.
  • Consider the audience.
    • What are the potential readers involved in the dialogue, and what do they know and need to know?
  • What form does the response take?
    • Editorial? Letter?
  • Situation can function as a major constraint from ethical standpoint.

Formulating Issue-Based Questions

  • When you identify an issue, you need to understand it in the context of its situation.
    • An issue does not exist apart from what people value.
  • The situation and the issue should be both relevant and timely.
    • These will make the task of connecting to your audience much easier when you write about the issue.
  • Think about why the issue matters to you and why it might matter to others.
    • Be prepared to make the issue relevant.

An Issue-Based Question Can Help…

  • Clarify what you know about the issue.
  • Guide your inquiry with a clear focus.
  • Organize your inquiry around a specific issue.
  • Develop an argument by asking How, Why, Should.
  • Consider who your argument is.
  • Determine resources you have to answer a qeustion.

Good Questions

  • A good question develops from an issue.
    • A fundamental tension that is identified in the conversation

The Process

  1. Refine your topic.
    • The topic is the subject you want to write about.
    • Homelessness, tests, violence. - A specific topic needs to be refined into an issue before it can be effectively explored.
  2. Explain your interest in the topic.
    • Look at facts and interesting ideas.
  3. Identify an issue.
    • Find a place of disagreement.
  4. Formulate your topic as a question.
    • Redirect your topic as a question that points towards an argument.
  5. Acknowledge your audience.

Chapter 6 Notes: “From Formulating to Developing a Thesis”

  • Academic writing explores complex issues and questions.
  • Readers expect academic writers to be clear, specific, and logical.
  • The logical stand is the thesis.
    • An assertion writers make at the beginning of their essay.
    • A thesis encompasses all information writers use to further their arguments.
  • Thesis runs through every paragraph, holding the paragraphs together, like a shish kebab.
    • Should reflect awareness from the conversation and convey a fresh perspective.

Working vs Definitive Theses

  • Question serves as a tool for inquiry that will help formulate a working thesis.
    • First attempt at an assertion.
  • Valuable in earlys tages; allows you to read selectively.
  • Never accept your working thesis as your final position.
    • Continue testing your assertion as you read and write.
    • A definitive thesis will come when we are satisfied that the issue has been examined from multiple perspectives.

Developing a Working Thesis: Four Models

The Correcting Misinterpretatinos Model

  • Used to correct writers whose arguments have misconstrued one or more important aspects of an issue.
  • Takes the form of a factual claim: although x, y.
    Although scholars have addressed curriculum to explain low achievement in schools, they have failed to fully appreciate the impact of limited resources to fund up-to-date textbooks, quality teachers, and computers. Therefore, reform in schools must focus on economic need as well as curriculum.

The Filling the Gap Model

  • Points to what other authors have overlooked or ignored.
  • Makes a claim of value.
    If America is truly a “melting pot” of cultures, as it is often called, then why is it that stories and events seem only to be in black and white? Why is it that when history courses are taught about the period of the civil rights movement, only the memoirs of African Americans are read, like those of Melba Pattillo Beals and Ida Mae Holland? Where are the works of Maxine Hong Kingston, who tells the story of alienation and segregation in schools through the eyes of a Chinese child? African Americans were denied the right to vote, and many other citizenship rights; but Chinese Americans were denied even the opportunity to become citizens. Although it is important not to diminish the issue of discrimination against African Americans or belittle the struggles they go through, it is important to call attention to discrimination against other minority groups and their often-overlooked struggles to achieve equality.

The Modifying What Others Have Said Model

  • Assumes that mutual understanding is possible.
  • A modification is proposed to an existing idea; building a constructive conversation on work that is valued.
    Although scholars have claimed that the only sure way to reverse the cycle of homelessness in America is to provide an adequate education, we need to build on this work by providing school-to-work programs that ensure graduates have access to employment.

The Hypothesis Testing Model

  • Begins with the assumption that writers may have good reasons for supporting their arguments, but there are good reasons why somethign is or is not the case.
  • Hypotheses are simple, with a single problem and solution.

Establishing a Context for a Thesis

  • Writers need to provide context for the claim they make.
  • Establishing a background involves several steps.
    1. Establish that the topic of covnersation is current and relevant.
    2. Briefly summarize what others have said.
    3. Explain what you see is the problem, perhaps by raising questions.
    4. State your thesis, suggesting it may present something new to the readers.
  • Your readers should come away with the first part of your essay knowing why you are discussing the issue.

Chapter 7 Notes: “Identifying Sources”


  • When you visit a source repository, you usually have identified a topic or something you would like to explore.
  • Your topic, question, or working thesis will determine the nature and extent of information that is needed.
    • Your search will help refine this scope.
  • Confront the complexity of issues and avoid binary thinking.
  • A working thesis is just a place to begin.
    • Your interest in a topic or issue may shift.
  • Common search tools:
    • Internet search engines.
    • Library catalog.
    • Database.

Consult Experts Who Can Guide Your Research

  • You will want to consult with experts who can help guide your research.

Your Writing Instructor

  • Your writing instructor can help define the limits of your research.
  • Your instructor can help advise whether a topic is too broad or too narrow.

Libraries At Your Campus or Local Library

  • There is likely no better guide to resources than librarians that work there.
  • Librarians can explain the catalog system and reference system.

Experts in Other Fields

  • Idea for paper originated outside your writing course (e.g. in economics).
  • May want to discuss topics with an instructor in that course.

Research Manuals, Handbooks, and Dedicated Websites

  • Resources exist in abundance for general research and discipline-specific research.
  • Helpful in identifying a wide range of authoritative search tools and resources.

Develop a Working Knowledge of Standard Sources

  • Helps to understand what kind of sources are available and what they can help you accomplish.
  • Familiarze yourself with types of resources, which should make our converations with experts more productive.
  • Types of sources include abstracts, bibliographies, biographies, book reviews, data & statistics, dictionaries or glossaries, encyclopedias, periodicals, and a thesaurus.

Distinguish Between Primary and Secondary Sources

  • Primary source: a firsthand, eyewitness account.
  • Secondary source: an article, book, or newspaper, e.g. that is a summary of data and conclusions reported in another article.
  • Decide whether you should look for popular or scholarly books and articles.
  • Popular sources of information are written for a general audience; these can be specialized but are written such that any educated reader can understand them.
  • Scholarly sources are written for experts in a particular field.
    • Articles in scholarly journals undergo peer review (are not published until they have been careful evaluated).
  • Find popular sources to ground your argument, then use scholarly sources to advance your argument.

Steps to Identifying Sources

  1. Consult experts who can guide your research.
  2. Develop a working knowledge of standard sources.
  3. Distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
  4. Distinguish between popular and scholarly sources.

Searching for Sources

  • Once you have decided which sources you want to use (primary or secondary, popular of scholarly), you can take steps to locate that information.
  • May begin a tour of the university or local library.
  • A keyword is a topic; it defines the topic of your search.
  • A search by subject is helpful if you begin your research while you are formualting your thesis.

Try Browsing

  • Browse is a headings search.
    • You an browse displays of alphabetic lists of entries, show the number of records for each entry, and indicate whether there are cross-references for each entry.

Evaluating Library Sources

  • The information we encounter will vary widely in its relevance and overall quality.
  • Information will vary in its relevance.
  • Skimming involves four steps.
    1. Examine the table of contents and index.
    2. Read the introductory sections.
    3. Skim for the argument by reading topic sentences.
    4. Check notes and bibliographic references.

Examine the Table of Contents and Index

  • Analyzing the table of contents can help reveal which topics the author focuses on, which may be valuable in your own research. The index is a recurring alphabetical list of the important and recurring concepts in a book.

Read the Introductory Sections

  • Many authors use a preface or an introduction to explain themes they focus on in the book.
  • Abstracts serve the same purpose, but are usually only 250 words long.

Skim for the Argument

  • Reading the first sentence of each paragraph can help determine the relevance of a book or an article.
  • Types of phrases and questions can help you get a sense of what the author is trying to accomplish and whether the author’s work will be of use to you.
  • If the source still seems promising, you can reflect on whether it will help you answer your research question.

Check the Notes and Bibliographic References

  • Look closely at writers’ notes and bibliographies to discern who they feel are the important voices int he field.

Assess Accuracy and Credibility

  • Find the following information for each article or book:
    • Author’s background and credentials
    • Author’s purpose
    • Audience
    • Nature of the conversation
    • How the author supports the argument
    • The accuracy of the author’s evidnece
    • The author’s biases and personal views.

Steps to Evaluating Library Sources

  1. Examine the table of contents and index. Consider the most relevant chapters and headings to your topic and the list of relevant subjects.
  2. Read the introductory sections. Get an overview of the author’s argument.
  3. Skim for the argument. Read topic sentences to determine the source’s relevance to your research. Go deeper to assess the type and quality of evidence the author uses. Note whether the author uses credible evidence to support the argument.
  4. Check the notes and bibliographic references. Identify other writers an author refers to and the titles of both books and articles. (Are the names and titles cited in many other works?)
  5. Assess the information for accuracy and credibility. Find out about the author’s educational background and relevance to the topic, issue, or question that the author addresses. Consider the types of evidence the author uses, the source of data, and whether the data can be verified.

Evaluating Internet and Social Media Sources

  • Primary sources have been changed under social media.
  • Media savvy: to be proactive.

Evaluate the Author of the Content

  • Author’s name appears on an article, video, or another piece of content: ask, who is this person?
  • Anonymus posting is a clue that a better source of information may be available.

Evaluate the Organization That Supports the Content

  • Ask questions about who sponsors or underwrites the images and texts?
    • What individual, institution, or organization is responsible for the website where you find information relevant to your research? That is, who sponsors or underwrites the site? Does the URL domain name look dubious?
    • Do other sites have links to this website, and are they reliable?
    • What is their source of authority, credentials, expertise, and experience?
    • Is the purpose of the site clear, especially the sponsors’ views and interests?
  • Internet addresses usually end with a domain name extension. .edu and .gov usually indicate credibility.

Evaluate the Purpose of the Content

  • Consider the point of view the writer or sponsor is taking.
  • What do the sponsors of the site advocate?
    • Are they trying to sell a product?

Evaluate the Information

  • Evaluate the extent to which the information is recent, accurate, and consistent with information you find in print sources and regulated websites.
  • Comes down to whether information you find stands up to criteria learned as a critical reader and writer.

Steps to Evaluating Internet and Social Media Sources

  1. Evaluate the author of the content. Is the author an expert?
  2. Evaluate the organization that supports the content. What entity funds the content and what is the extent of its credibility?
  3. Evaluate the purpose of the content. What are interests of the site, and what is it trying to do?
  4. Evaluate the information. Identify what type of information appears and the extent to which it is credible.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

  • It is important to write down the citation of each source.
  • An annotated bibliography includes key ideas and claims from each source.
  • Example: ``` Loftstrom, M., & Tyler, J. H. (2009). Finishing high school: Alternative pathways and dropout recovery. The Future of Children, 19(1), 77–103.

This article provides a good history and analysis of the present dropout problem facing our nation. Researchers examine the discrepancy in statewide high school completion requirements that have led to debates about reality of dropout rates. The authors also examine social and economic consequences of failure to complete high school and the inadequacy of a GED certificate as a replacement for a high school diploma. The researchers conclude by examining some dropout prevention programs and by calling for more research in this area. In doing so, they identify a gap that my research at an alternative high school can help to fill, especially my interviews with students currently enrolled in the program and those who have dropped out.

#### Steps to Writing an Annotated Bibliography
1. **Present key ideas.** Describe what the research is about.
2. **Analyze.** Explain what the author responds to, purpose, potential gaps, and credibility.
3. **Determine relevance.** Discuss how this research may be used in your own argument.


## Chapter 8 Notes: "From Synthesis to Researched Argument"

### Navigate
- [Writing a Synthesis](#writing-a-synthesis)
  * [Steps to Writing a Synthesis](#steps-to-writing-a-synthesis)
- [Avoiding Plagiarism](#avoiding-plagiarism)
  * [Principles Governing Plagiarism](#principles-governing-plagiarism)
  * [Steps to Avoiding Plagiarism](#steps-to-avoiding-plagiarism)
- [Integrating ources into Your Writing](#integrating-ources-into-your-writing)
- [Using Quotations](#using-quotations)
  * [Using Signal Phrases to Introduce Quotation](#using-signal-phrases-to-introduce-quotation)
    + [Common Verbs in Signal Phrases](#common-verbs-in-signal-phrases)
  * [Indicate Changes and Omissions in Quotations](#indicate-changes-and-omissions-in-quotations)
  * [Set Off Long Quotations as Block Quotations](#set-off-long-quotations-as-block-quotations)
  * [Steps to Integrating Sources Into Your Writing](#steps-to-integrating-sources-into-your-writing)

### Writing a Synthesis
- To compose an effective synthesis, you must:
  1. make connections among ideas in different texts.
  2. decide what those connections mean.
  3. formulate the gist of what you've read, much like a summary.
- The gist should be a uccint statement that brings into focus *not a central idea* but relationships between the texts.
- Syntheses can be ued to fulfill a rhetorical purpose of offering a correction to what others have written, identifying a gap, etc.
- **Your role as a writer is to bring about awareness, influence readers' understanding of assumptions, and to challenge readers to think in new ways**.
- Writing a synthesis is a strategy for framing your argumnet.

#### Steps to Writing a Synthesis
1. **Make connections between and among different texts.** Annotate the texts you are working with from an eye of comparison.
2. **Decide what those connections mean and how you want readers to understand them.** Decide what similarities and differences mean to you and what they might mean to readers.
3. **Formulate the gist of what you've read.** Identify an overarching idea.

### Avoiding Plagiarism
- When sources are integrated into writing, it is essential that the sources be acknowledged.
  - Academic requires document sources to be ued appropriately.
- It is only fair to acknowledge your sources.
- Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic integrity.
- Watch out for accidental/uniintentional plagiarism; expressing the content of a passage without using original words is an 'invitation to plagiarism'.
- Your paper should sound like it was written by you.

#### Principles Governing Plagiarism
1. All written work is accepted as your work.
2. The wording of something you submit is taken to be your own.
3. Concepts and ideas given in a paper are assumed to have originated from you.
4. Online materials used for a paper also apply to these principles.
5. Writing can be corrected and revised with reference books or with a peer group, but it cannot have been revised substantially by someone else.

#### Steps to Avoiding Plagiarism
1. **Always cite the source.** Signal that you are paraphrasing, summariziing, synthesizing, or quoting your sources.
2. **Provide a full citation in the bibliography.** A full citation must be provided at the end of every paper.

### Integrating ources into Your Writing
- As a writer, you can chooe how you integrate the ideas of others into your own argument (ummary, paraphrase, or quote).
  - This is all reliant on your purpose as a writer.
- When you quote a passage, it
  1. offers evidence that legitimizes your own argument,
  2. puts a relevant idea in a new light
  3. provokes thoughts that help explain your justifications
  4. are a jumping off point for your argument.
- Although shorter quotes are usually preferred, a longer quote can sometimes serve your purpose.
- Keep two things in mind when integrating sources:
  - Identify the source of information
  - Take an active stance by explaining the significance of the information
    - Take control of your writing, and do not take evidence selectively.

### Using Quotations
- When quotations are integrated into writing, you represent the voices of others.
  - Lead the reader step-by-step.

#### Using Signal Phrases to Introduce Quotation
- A method of making shorter quotations part of sentences.
- A signal phrase - brief introducing phrase - is required.

According to Jane Doe, “over 200% of chickens produce spinach” (495). “Over 200% of chickens,” Jane Doe write, “produce spinach” (495). Jane Doe’s studies reveal a shocking phenomenon: “Over 200% of chickens produce spinach” (495). ```

Common Verbs in Signal Phrases

claimsdemontratesimpliespoints outtates
commentsdisagreesindicatesproposestakes issue with

Indicate Changes and Omissions in Quotations

  • Use square brackets to let readers know that words are not original.
  • Use an ellipsis if any words are ommitted from the quotation.
  • The sentence must read grammatically and represent the author’s intensions.

Set Off Long Quotations as Block Quotations

  • If the quotation is longer than four lines, place it in a “block quoation” by indenting it.

Steps to Integrating Sources Into Your Writing

  1. Take an active stance. You guide where your paper is going, not your sources.
  2. Explain the source. Explain the material you quote, paraphrase, or summarize.
  3. Be fair to your sources. Do not unfairly represent the content, and show what you change with ellipses and brackets.
  4. Use signal phrases to introduce and identify the source. Use short quotations with the grammar of your own sentences.

Chapter 12 Notes: “From Revising to Editing”

Revising Versus Editing

  • Revising: making changes to a paper to reflect new thinking or conceptualizing.
  • Editing: minor chnages to what the final draft of the paper will be.
    • e.g. correcting misspellings, substituting dashes
  • Nicities of style, spelling, and punctuation are not priorities in first and second draft.
    • Develop an argument with evidence.
    • Don’t worry about editing early on.
Writing is a work in progress.Writing is an almost-finished product.
New possibilities in and beyond the text.Obvious errors and deficiencies.
New questions or goals.Draft, not new avenues of discussion.
Purpose and reader’s needs.Grammar, punctuation, spelling, style.
Further discovery.Polishing up essay.

The Peer Editing Process

The composition pyramid:

TopSituation, Issues, Thesis, Audience
MiddleOrganization, use of sources to support thesis
BottomStyle and grammar

Working With Early Drafts

Understand the Writer’s Responsibilities

  • Focus on top-level pyramid concerns.
    • Situation, issue, thesis, audience.
  • Template:
    1. What is your question?
    2. What is the issue motivating you to write?
    3. How have published writers addressed the issue you discuss?
    4. What is your working thesis?
    5. Who is your audience, and how do you want them to respond?
    6. What do you think is working well?
    7. What specific aspect of the essay are you least satisfied with?
    8. What kind of feedback do you especially want?

Understand the Reader’s Responsibilities

  • As a reader, follow along as the early draft is read.
  • Have a conversation about your reactions.
    • Don’t jump in and tell the writer what he or she should be doing.
  • Offer positive and negative remarks.
  • Template:
    1. Are the questions and issues that motivate the writer clear?
    2. Has the writer effectively described the conersation that published writers are engaged in?
    3. What is at issue?
    4. What is the writer’s thesis?
    5. Is the writer addressing the audience’s concerns effectively?
    6. What passages of the draft are most effective?
    7. What passages of the draft are least effective?

Working with Later Drafts

Understand the Writer’s Responsibilities

  • State your thesis more definitively than with an earlier draft.
  • Support your thesis with evidence.
    • Anticipate possible counterarguments.

Understand the Reader’s Responsibilities

  • Focus as a reader should be mid-level concerns.
    • Places in the writer’s text that are confusing or requie better transitions.
  • Play the role of naive reader.
    • Is something unclear?
    • Challenge the writer.

Working with Final Drafts

##z4# Understand the Writer’s Responsibilities

  • Final draft is editing, not revising.
    1. What is your unique perspective on your issue?
    2. To what extent do the words and phrases you use reflect who you believe your readers are?
    3. Does your style of citation reflect accepted conventions for academic writing?
    4. What do you think is working best?
    5. What specific aspect of the essay are you least satisfied with at this time?

Understand the Reader’s Responsibilities

  • Bottom-level of the compositional pyramide.
    • Style and grammar.
  • Details are important.
    • Is this the best word to use?
    • Could this sentence be split into two?

Further Peer Editing Group Suggestions

  • After a session, discuss:
    • Which topics were discussed?
    • What was the level of ideas directed at?
    • Who initiated talk more frequently?
  • Effective conversation:
    • Free interaction
    • Honest and spontaneous expression
    • High levels of personal involvement
    • Willingness to take responsibility.

Alternative Linkage

  1. *Gunn’s essay appears in Mapping the World of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Exploration of the Bestselling Fantasy Series of All Time, edited by Mercedes Lackey (Dallas: BenBella, 2006). 

  2. Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a regular columnist for Wired and Smithsonian. The piece on literacy appeared in Wired magazine in 2009.  2