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Exercise: Read over something you’ve written with an eye for the devices you’ve used to connect the parts. Underline all the transitions, pointing terms, key terms, and repetition. Do you see any patterns? Do you rely on certain devices more than others? Are there any passages that are hard to follow-and if so, can you make them easier to read by trying any of the other devices discussed in this chapter?

I chose to look at a research paper I wrote in 11th grade. It is a long paper so I have chosen to only show some parts here:

On a larger scale, Ma Joad is not only committed to her family, but to all the suffering migrant families. McKay, in “Social Change, The Redefinition of Family, and Mother Hood”, supports this thought by saying, “…Steinbeck reinforces the idea that the situation is not the dilemma of an isolated family, but of an entire group of people of a particular class” (63).

*I used the phrase “On a larger scale” to act as a transition. “committed to her family” is a key phrase in my paper that was examining the relationships in John Steinbeck’s writing. “This” was a pointer word by referring back to how Ma Joad is committed not only to her family but all others as well. When I used “This” it might have been unclear as to what I was referring back to, I could have clarified by re-stating Ma Joad commitments.

When finding a job is so difficult the migrant men only care about looking out for themselves and are not interested in adding the “burden” of a companion. However, Steinbeck conveys that these men would be better off and happier if they committed to one another.

* Here I used “However” as a transition and a contrasting word. I wanted to add an opposing idea following the first sentence. “Committed to one another” is again a key term/phrase to relate back to the thesis of my paper.

** Overall, when I read back over this paper I noticed that I use a good amount of transition words between sentences but not between paragraphs. Some of the paragraphs linked into each other well but others seemed like a harsh jump from one topic to another. My paper would have been better written if I had used better transitions in places like that. In addition, I quoted a lot of sources and then would refer back to them with pointer words like “this” or “that”. Most of the time it was easy to tell what I was referring back to, but in some cases it was a bit confusing which idea I was linking back to. To fix this problem I should have restated the ideas that I was referring back to in order to clear things up.

I don’t feel that I relied on any devices more than others. There was a lot of repetition in my paper but I think it was necessary. The repetition came into play when I was using my key terms to refer back to the main idea or thesis of the paper.

June 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

*Julie Charlip uses the following phrases to introduce quotes or the thoughts of others:

“Marx and Engels wrote:…”

“…, I once asked a sociology professor what he thought about the reported shrinking of the middle class. Oh, it’s not the middle class that’s disappearing, he said,…”

*Charlip uses the following phrases to distinguish her views from others:

(following the quote by Marx and Engels) “If only that were true, things might be more simple.” – Charlip just stated that her view is different than that of Marx and Engels and then she goes on the explain why.

Later in the essay, after asking many questions and giving the view of her father and other average Americans Charlip states, “But I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.” – This statement is displaying what Charlip personally thinks and she explains her differing view.

May 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Comments in response to other students:

I agree that being overweight is a medical issue. Countless research studies have shown links between being overweight and increased risks for such health problems as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Cultural stereotypes are present against overweight individuals; however the true concern is the medical problems that can arise by being overweight. (In response to Christopher Brandt)

I agree with the pro- life view, with a few exceptions. As stated, a fetus is an unborn human. Prohibiting abortion is protecting this life that cannot yet protect itself. However, in rare instances, I do believe abortion should be legal. For instance, if the woman’s life is jeopardized by the pregnancy, I feel abortion has a just cause.  (In response to Toni-Ann Vidal)

May 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

a.   Many people will argue that pollution is not a problem for the Ohio groundwater. Our experiments suggest that there are dangerous levels of chemical X in the Ohio groundwater.

b.   Throughout the ages critics have had varying ideas as to what drives history on its course. Material forces drive history.

c. Critics of Freud will say that his proponents of psychology open questions that are too controversial. However, proponents of Freudian psychology question standard notions of “rationality.”

d.   Some critics have claimed that class discussions have equal opportunities for both females and males to speak. Male students often dominate class discussions.

e.   When it comes to the topic of the film, most people will say it is everyday struggles and triumphs. The film is about the problems of romantic relationships.

f.   The authors of the book have boldly stated that the templates offered within the book will help originality bloom. I’m afraid that templates like the ones in this book will stifle my creativity.

May 17, 2011 at 12:05 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

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May 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink