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A few notes before beginning work this week:

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After reviewing your summaries from last week, I see that you are still thinking of this project as merely classwork and not research. Your summaries did not include a clear identification of the author or title of the source in the first sentence, so I had no idea what you were summarizing. If you are not always thinking about your audience, you will not write well. If you think of this as merely classwork and not work that will be read by others, you will not write well. If you do not believe in the value of your research or writing, you will not write well. You must write with a clear understanding of your purpose and audience and provide your reader with all the information necessary. Particularly when it comes to using sources, whether you’re paraphrasing, quoting, or summarizing, you must introduce the source and provide some context for the use of that material. If you are paraphrasing or quoting, you must give your audience a clear indication of what you expect them to understand about the quoted or paraphrased material before they read it. Do not assume your audience will understand something the same way you understand it. If, for instance, you are quoting an author’s statement that you believe casts doubt on an opposing viewpoint, make note of that as you introduce the quote. Something like this: “As Jason Smith argues, challenging the long-accepted view of the issue, “_____________________.” Your audience knows beforehand that what they are about to read “challenges the long-accepted view of the issue.” You are preparing your audience to understand exactly how you want them to understand!

Review the following sections in the “Composing a Research Project” chapter of our electronic textbook before continuing with your draft:

“Applying Your Research”

“Writing Your Draft”

Documenting Source Material

“Revising Your Draft”

By Friday, upload a full draft of your research paper to the discussion board. This should include another revision of your introductory paragraph, enough body paragraphs to develop your argument, as well as a conclusion.

By Sunday night, provide comments and suggestions to two classmates. Remember, focus only on organization, argument, and evidence. Do not comment on grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Start with the positive, and identify any elements of the essay that could use improvement. As always: kindness, compassion, positive suggestions…

Watch for commentary and suggestions on your introduction drafts in the next few days.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes,

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