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Welcome to ENG1101


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Writing an Essay for the Final Exam

The number one thing I want to emphasize in relation to writing an in-class essay for an exam is the importance of planning and drafting.  You should ABSOLUTELY have a sense of what you are going to write about before you start writing.  Make sure that you have a thesis statement and a rough outline.  It is always a good idea to have drafted the topic sentences for each of your paragraphs before you start writing.  Very much related to this issue is the issue of TIME MANAGEMENT.  Work backwards.  How much time do you have for the in-class essay?  How much time do you need for editing and proofreading?  For drafting?  Use the rest of your time for reading, re-reading  planning!  I strongly recommend dedicating AT LEAST 20-35 minutes to reading and planning. You will then have 30-45 minutes for writing the essay, and 10 minutes for editing and proofreading.

I’m sorry that we did not have more time to discuss the essay itself.  Here are a few pointers:  Begin the introduction with a brief summary of the article.  The next one to two sentences will establish a connection between the article and your topic.  The last sentence will be your THESIS STATEMENT.  Make sure to start each body paragraph with a TOPIC SENTENCE that relates to your thesis statement.  Make sure your body paragraphs are focused and well developed.  If possible, try to connect each body paragraph to some part of the article you’ve read.  The conclusion is the least important part of this essay.  It should be quite formulaic.  In the conclusion, reflect on your argument and how it relates to the article you have read.


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Summary Writing

Do not include your opinion

Show you understand the article as a whole

Include key points (restate the purpose of each body paragraph; reconstruct what the author is arguing)

Restate the author’s thesis in your own words

Use some quoted language

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Sample MLA Bibliographic Guidelines by Genre/Medium

Sample MLA Bibliographic Guidelines by Genre/Medium

For those of you who have questions about how to format your bibliographic citations, feel free to use this “cheat sheet.”  For those who are interested in reading more about MLA bibliographic format, please see the Purdue OWL:

MLA Bibliographic Citations by Genre

Professor Rodgers, 2011


Article in a Magazine

Cite by listing the article’s author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month. The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Medium of publication.

Poniewozik, James. “TV Makes a Too-Close Call.” Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71. Print.

Buchman, Dana. “A Special Education.” Good Housekeeping Mar. 2006: 143-48. Print.

Article in a Newspaper

Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition following the date (e.g., 17 May 1987, late ed.).

Brubaker, Bill. “New Health Center Targets County’s Uninsured Patients.” Washington Post 24 May 2007: LZ01. Print.

Krugman, Andrew. “Fear of Eating.” New York Times 21 May 2007 late ed.: A1. Print.

If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name and state in brackets after the title of the newspaper.

Behre, Robert. “Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats.” Post and Courier [Charleston, SC] 29 Apr. 2007: A11. Print.

Trembacki, Paul. “Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team.” Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN] 5 Dec. 2000: 20. Print.

An Article in a Web Magazine

Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the Web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, medium of publication, and the date of access. Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if not publishing date is given.

Bernstein, Mark. “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites. A List Apart Mag., 16 Aug. 2002. Web. 4 May 2009.

An Article in a Scholarly Journal

For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication.

Wheelis, Mark. “Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 6.6 (2000): 595-600. Web. 8 Feb. 2009.

A Film

List films (in theaters or not yet on DVD or video) by their title. Include the name of the director, the film studio or distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list performer names after the director’s name. Use the abbreviation perf. to head the list. List film as the medium of publication. To cite a DVD or other video recording, see “Recorded Films and Movies” below.

The Usual Suspects. Dir. Bryan Singer. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, and Benecio del Toro. Polygram, 1995. Film.

A Book

The author’s name or a book with a single author’s name appears in last name, first name format. The basic form for a book citation is:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Book with One Author

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin, 1987. Print.

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Preparing for the Midterm

To prepare for the midterm, make sure that you have written both the letter to the President of the college and your response to Stuart Brand’s essay.  Review your notes from our discussion on Wednesday, as well as the print and Web materials on argumentation that we read.  If you are interested in working more on your argumentation skills, I recommend taking a look at the following:

They Say I Say

Paradigm Overview of the Thesis/Support Essay

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“a semicolon completes a sentence, but not an idea” — Jermaine

period: ends a sentence

semicolon: 1/ see above; 2/ sometimes used in a list

commas: need to know the four major rules for comma use

comma splice: using a comma in place of a period


My dog had.
Which took place in my grandmother’s kitchen.

fused sentences:

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SWE, a bad or good choice?

I agree that Amy Tan should have written her essay in standard written english so that the readers who don’t understand her mother’s tongue can understand the huge differences between it and standard english. Her ability to use both can maybe motivate someone. I don’t think alot of people would understand the content of her the story if she told it in her mother’s tongue. This is to open our eyes, those who are not aware of this. This essay will also appeal to alot of audiences who relate to it. Writing an essay in SWE also gives the writer a huge advantage. It means he or she will be taken more seriously, or sell more perhaps.

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Summary of Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

This essay is about a Chinese-American woman who compares her dialect she grew up with, with her use of proper English. She speaks about how in her lectures she speaks Standard English but with her mother it is more of a broken down form. Her culture and how she grew up shaped how she performed in her English classes and her understanding of it. It wasn’t her best subject but still she wanted to rebel and go for it.  She decribes all the obstacles Chinese-American children go through. Also the situations she they went through opened her eyes to all the limitations her mother had and how other perceived her. Even though other people couldn’t understand her mother the way she did, she still felt like her mother was perfectly understandable. She decided to write her essays in the form of her mother’s tongue to tell the story more vivid, describing her “passion, intent, imagery and the rhythms of her speech”.

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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Summary

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan is about a Chinese American woman who is able to speak English  as well as a Chinese dialect. She writes about how few people would be able to understand her mother. Amy Tan described the way her mother talked as “limited.” Amy’s mother made her speak to professionals to say what she could not. In this essay she expresses how she wants more Chinese students were excelling in English. This is before she talks about her own writing. Last she closes the essay with a wish that people could catch the hidden substance behind her mother’s “broken English”

I agree with Amy Tan’s choice to write this essay in SWE. In the essay she speaks about the difficulties of speaking English as a traditional Chinese American. The target audience of the essay are Americans who have trouble understanding them and maybe gave up the process. This essay helps them see things from a different viewpoint.

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