Writing Skill

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Academic Writing

If you (educators and learners alike) are interested in academic writing, check out this course!

Writing clauses

There are two different kinds of clauses: dependent and independent (also called main clause). Dependent clauses may be adjective clauses (i.e., relative clauses) or adverb clauses(i.e., most subordinate clauses), and cannot stand alone. In contrast, independent clauses can stand alone. All clauses (both dependend and independent) require both a subject and a verb. If a clause does not have both a subject and a verb, it is some sort of phrase (i.e., prepositional phrase, participial phrase, gerund phrase, or infinitive phrase).

Writing Sentences

There are generally three types of sentences: simple, complex, and compound. A simple sentence contains one independent or main clause. A complex sentence contains at least one independent and one dependent clause. A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses.

Simple sentence - Tom ran home
Complex sentence - Tom ran home when he heard the thunder. (When Tom heard the thunder, he ran home.) Notice the comma is required when the dependent clause comes first in the sentence, but not when the independent clause comes first.
Compound sentence - Tom ran home and Mike did the dishes. Tom ran home, Mike did the dishes, and I took out the trash.

Writing Paragraphs

Consider the MEAL plan when developing a paragraph: (M) Main idea, (E) Evidence, (A) Analysis, and (L) Link. Typically, the first sentence of every paragraph contains the topic sentence, or the main idea of the paragraph (M). The main idea should support the thesis statement (or the main idea) of your essay. Then, provide evidence (E) or examples that support your topic sentence (or main idea). The (E) part of your MEAL plan should satify the recalling and understanding aspects of Bloom's taxonomy - knowledge and comprehension respectively. The (A) part of the MEAL plan should provide a deeper discussion of the main idea of the paragraph (topic sentence) through applying, analysing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating the main idea of the paragraph. Finally, every paragraph should end with a conclusion or a link to some other part of the essay (usually the subsequent paragraph).

Note: As an alternative to Bloom's taxonomy, the (E) and (A) parts of the meal plan may instead follow Wiggins and McTighe's (2005) six facets of understanding : (a) can explain, (b) can interprete, (c) can apply, (d) has perspective, (e) has empathy, and (f) has self-knowledge. The main idea of the paragraph will dictate to what degree these six facets of understanding are to be considered.

Writing Essays

Typically, there are seven types of essays: cause and effect, compare and contrast, definition, description, narration, persuasion, and process analysis. The common five paragraph essay contains an introduction paragraph, three supporting paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph outline. The introduction paragraph is designed the hook the reader and usually ends with a strong thesis statement that summarizes the main idea of the essay. Each supporting paragraph contains a main idea that supports the thesis statement. The concluding paragraph summarizes the main points of the essay, restating the thesis statement, and ends with some closing comments.

Writing a Thesis

Tips for writing a thesis: The process of writing - The process of writing includes invention, composition, and revision. Review the process of writing presentation. Editorial styles of writing: APA, MLA, Turabian, Chicago Citation, and AMA