April 2018 M T W T F S S « Feb 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
As we’re discussing argument more extensively this quarter, I thought I would post this infographic about how to have a rational discussion. Enjoy!
Continuing our series of excellent commencement speeches, here is David Foster Wallace’s address at Kenyon College entitled “This Is Water.” DFW was an acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Please take a listen to his message.
As we end this year, we’ll take a look at some famous commencement speeches. This morning, in a happy coincidence, NPR just released this app that archives the “best commencement speeches, ever.” Linked are nearly all of speeches we will listen to and discuss, plus many, many more. Check out the link for some sage advice throughout years.
The editors at The American Scholar – a website and periodical maintained by the honors organization Phi Beta Kappa – compiled a list of what they believe the ten best sentences in English. There’s a healthy mix of fiction and nonfiction on this list. You will definitely recognize some of the names from class this year. In fact, The American Scholar takes its name from an essay written our favorite Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Feel free to browse through the list. Check out the comment section as well; you will find sentences from several of the writers we discussed this year.
At the links below, you will find resources for annotated bibliographies. We will review these in class, but feel free to use these when getting ready for your author study presentations.
As I was grading essays, I decided to compile a list of comments that I found myself making:
Don’t let the evidence dominate each paragraph – don’t summarize
Remember to communicate the “so what” of your research claim. Remind your audience why your research matters!
Define sections and subsections of analysis.
Remember to start with a topic sentence and not with evidence or a question
Thesis statement at the end of the introduction should still be specific to your topic even if it is an “open” thesis
Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main claim of the paragraph.
Don’t forget to include transitions! Although you can have subsections in your essay, each with a different focus, don’t forget to provide a clear and logical transition between them
Remember to introduce quotations (and when to include a block quotation)
Try to get a mix of resources throughout the essay – don’t rely primarily on one source throughout the paper (or even in one paragraph)
Remember to evaluate sources for credibility, audience, purpose and context – look for bias