Writing Effective Essays

Writing Effective Essays-46
The summary and the response are encouraged in the lower schools where matters of comprehension (can the student literally read the text?

The summary and the response are encouraged in the lower schools where matters of comprehension (can the student literally read the text?

Response is actually quite similar to summary in that a response paper merely depicts the reactions of the author and does not engage in self-examination, empirical testing of the opinions against the text, or a logical interpretation of the text in which it is reconstructed and recomposed. This is a failing in that self-reflexivity is a fundamental skill that belongs to critical thinking.

Self-reflexivity asks not what is being said or thought, but why is such and such being said and thought?

What "constants" can we derive from what we are analysing? In an argument the author has come to some analytical conclusion that he or she will argue or prove in the course of the essay.

For this conclusion to be valid, it has to be based on conceptual, analytical thinking, not rhetorical grand standing or opinion mongering.

(This is the transition from precritical to critical.) While walking, doing dishes, or something like that, try to imagine how the first paragraph of a paper on your topic might read.

Start dictating sentence one, go on to sentence two, etc. Later, when you actually write your paper, you will already have a backlog of thoughts and patterns in your subconscious to draw from.

Analysis is not possible in the absence of conceptualization.

Key is the transition from writing about what something looks like to writing about what something really is. Always strive to define the terms, the order, and the relations you observe. This is an advanced sort of skill that applies to logicians, I suppose, but it should be on our minds, in any case.

An argument paper only works to the extent that the points are logically being developed in a progressive manner.

To write an argument paper, you’ll need a notebook for writing down all the ideas you have about the question that the instructor has asked you to write about.

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