The Writing Process Packet

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1 Name: Period: Ms. Kawalek, English 11 The Writing Process Packet Keep this packet for the rest of the school year. PLEASE DO NOT LOSE IT! You must complete all prewriting and editing steps prior to submitting every writing assignment. Before beginning any writing assignment, make sure you have a flash drive so you can save your work. Do not rely solely on the school s network. You should also save your work to the school s H-Drive (located under My Computer) so that you have it saved in two places. Lost work does not excuse you from meeting assignment deadlines. STEP ONE: Decode the prompt. Identify the topic, audience, and key words using the prompt. Complete the TAK method. T = A word or phrase that simply states the TOPIC the prompt is asking you to write about A = Who is your AUDIENCE? Who will be reading what you write? K = KEY WORDS in the prompt that tell you exactly what to include in your essay STEP TWO: Create the question. Using the topic and key words from the TAK method, restate the prompt in the form of a single question. Begin the question with who, what, where, when, why, or how. STEP THREE: Write your thesis. The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay and previews your supporting points. Thesis statements must: Answer the prompt s question (from step 2). Use key words from the prompt. Write in the third person. (Eliminate first person -- I you we our... Substitute with words such as one, they, many, etc.) Serve as an umbrella which can be used for the entire essay.

2 STEP FOUR: RESEARCH You must find sources that will support your thesis. You can use articles from the internet, books from the library, or articles from a newspaper or magazine. They must be credible sources, which means they should all: Have an author or corporate author that has authority to speak about your primary source or primary topic Be current (published within the last five years) if the information you need is in a field that is constantly changing (i.e. medical information, technology, science, etc.) Support your argument STEP FIVE: Brainstorm map. A brainstorm map is a visual way to sort through the ideas in your head and organize your thoughts. You will need to research BEFORE doing this step. 1) Write your thesis in the center bubble. 2) Make a branch for each main point you will make in your essay. There should be one branch for every paragraph you will have. These are your topic sentence bubbles. 3) Write a phrase in each topic sentence bubble that clearly states one main point. 4) Choose one main point to start with and come up with at least 3 secondary ideas. 5) Do this for each of the topic sentence bubbles. 6) Look at the secondary idea bubbles for one paragraph. Come up with supporting details for each of the secondary ideas. These are your supporting detail bubbles. THESIS 2

3 STEP SIX: Make an outline. Take the ideas you wrote down on your brainstorm map and put them in the order they will appear in your essay. 1) Write the thesis at the top of the page. 2) Look at your brainstorm map. Choose one topic sentence bubble and write a complete topic sentence next to the first Roman numeral. 3) Indent the next line and make a capital letter for every secondary idea bubble you have branching off of that topic sentence bubble. Copy the phrases for your secondary ideas into the outline. 4) Indent twice underneath each capital letter and make a number for every supporting detail bubble you have branching off of your secondary idea bubbles. Copy the phrases for your supporting details into the outline. 5) Look at your topic sentence and the phrases you have for your secondary ideas and supporting details. Why is this information important to your essay? Answer that question in the form of a conclusion sentence. REMEMBER! Conclusion sentences use declarative language and strong word choice to clearly reassert the perspective the author favors or the main point of the paragraph. Do not restate the topic sentence. 6) Repeat steps 2-5 for every topic sentence bubble on your map. *If you used sources to gather information for your brainstorming map, write the intext citation (author or article name and page number) on the line next to the idea you took from that source in your outline. 3

4 STEP SEVEN: Write a rough draft. BEFORE TYPING ANYTHING, FORMAT YOUR PAPER USING MLA GUIDELINES. Set the margins to 1 inch. Go to Page Setup > Spacing > After. Change the 10pt. to 0pt. In the same location, also set your line spacing to double. Set the font to 12pt. Times New Roman. Put your last name and the page number in Microsoft s header flush right (double click at the top of the page). Type the MLA header on the first page only. (Your name, teacher s name, class, date) Center your title on the first line. Type your thesis statement. It will be the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. Start with the first Roman numeral on your outline. Your main point should already be written in the form of a topic sentence. Make sure to indent every time you begin a new paragraph. Follow your outline. Write a sentence about your first secondary idea and then a sentence for each of your supporting details. YOU MUST USE A TRANSITION WORD OR SIGNAL PHRASE BEFORE EACH OF YOUR SECONDARY IDEAS. Repeat until you have addressed all of the ideas on your outline under the first Roman numeral. Then, copy your conclusion sentence at the end of the paragraph. Continue until you have a paragraph for every Roman numeral on your outline. 4

5 STEP EIGHT: Write an introduction paragraph. Once you have completed the body of your essay, go back and think about your topic. At the top of your paper, your thesis statement already tells the reader exactly what you will be discussing in the rest of your essay. How can you introduce your topic? Begin by trying one of the following techniques: Explain a general concept or define a word that is relevant to your topic. Use a fact that broadly relates to your topic. Quote someone who has said something profound about your topic. Think of the introduction paragraph as a way to grab your reader s attention. You want to ease them into the focus of your essay by talking about general information related your topic before your thesis statement. STEP NINE: Write a conclusion paragraph. Do not, in any case, simply restate your thesis statement in your final paragraph, as that would be redundant. Having read your essay, your audience should understand your main ideas well. Your conclusion should reflect what your audience has learned and why it is important that they understand your message. Your conclusion paragraph should answer at least one of the following questions: Why are my main points significant? How are my main points relevant to the overall position I chose? Why is it important my audience understands my message? 5

6 STEP TEN: Create a works cited page for any sources you referenced. Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your word document. Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page. Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by hitting tab once to create a hanging indent. For every entry, you must determine the medium of publication. Most entries will likely be listed as Print or Web sources, but other possibilities may include Film, CD- ROM, or DVD. Use italics for book and magazine titles. Use quotation marks for articles and poems. Alphabetize all entries by author s last name or the first word of the source s title (ONLY if no author is given). Format for an entry that has an author: Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication. Format for an entry that does not have an author: "Article Title." Name of Website. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (i.e. sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access. See an MLA handbook or visit https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl for help with formatting sources that do not have the information needed above. 6

7 STEP ELEVEN: Edit your essay. You will read through your essay TWICE. 1. The first time, you will correct all mechanical errors using the following checklist: I have followed the specific directions given in the prompt about what to include. There are no spelling errors in my essay. I maintained consistent verb tense through my essay. I have included 8-10 quality sentences in each paragraph. All of my sentences are complete. They each include a noun and a verb. I do not have any fused sentences or comma splices (two independent sentences incorrectly joined with a comma). I have a topic sentence for each paragraph that directly relates to the prompt. I used transitions to introduce my secondary ideas and supporting details. I have a conclusion sentence for each paragraph that does not repeat information already stated. I have an introduction paragraph that provides general information about my topic and ends with my thesis statement. I have a conclusion paragraph that does not simply repeat information previously stated. 2. The second time, you will check all of your MLA formatting using the following checklist: I used 12 pt. Times New Roman font. The margins are 1 inch on all sides. I went to Page Setup > Spacing > After and changed the 10pt to 0pt. If you did not do this at the beginning, you will need to highlight your entire essay and then make the change. My essay is double spaced. 7

8 Second edit continued My last name and the page number are in Microsoft s header flush right. The MLA header is on the first page only (Your name, teacher s name, class name, date). The title is centered on the first line after the MLA header and is uniform in style with the rest of the text. The first line of each paragraph is indented by pressing the tab key one time. My in-text citations follow the MLA Mini Guide s instructions on the following page. My Works Cited page is the last page of my essay and includes all of the sources used in my writing. Then submit a CLEAN, EDITED, FINAL copy. CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE WRITING PROCESS. 8

9 What is a citation? What does citing a source mean? A citation is an idea taken from a source. It means giving an author or article credit for a citation you use from a source. In-text citations can be written in TWO ways. 1. Direct quote: copy an idea word for word from a source Must use quotation marks 2. Paraphrase: summarize an idea from a source in your own words An in-text citation must include 3 parts. You still must give the author CREDIT for his or her IDEA 1. The name of the author and source if both are available 2. The page number 3. The idea you are borrowing from the author or article HERE ARE IN-TEXT CITATION TEMPLATES: If you want to use a direct quote (meaning the exact wording from the book, article, play, etc.): Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263). According to Wordsworth, Romantic poetry is described as having a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). If you want to paraphrase an idea (meaning to state the author s idea in your own words without using quotation marks): Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263). 9

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