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Lesson #22 - Writing Papers, Part 2
In the first lesson on Writing, you learned how to get ideas and how to get started writing. In this lesson, your will learn more about organizing, revising, and completing a good paper.Q: What should you think about as you write?
First, think of your audience. For some papers this will be your teachers. At other times, you will be told to write as though your audience was certain people such as parents, political leaders, and fellow students. Especially in creative writing, you should indicate in your papers that you are writing to a particular audience and think of that audience while you write.
Second, consider the type of assignment you have been given. Generally, teachers assign four types of writing: expository, persuasive, descriptive, and narrative. Each requires a different approach.
Expository writing explains what something is or how something works. You should approach expository writing with an informative tone.
Persuasive writing expresses an opinion or defends a position or interpretation. The purpose is to convince a reader of your point of view. This kind of writing should be reasonable and use a convincing tone.
Descriptive writing relates an impression, mood, or creates a picture for the reader. It should rely on appeals to the senses and emotions. Readers should be able to use their imaginations to "see" the description in their own minds.
Narrative writing presents a series of events and can be used to tell a story and relate actions. Language should be clear and graphic to relay actions, moods, and reactions of characters.Q: What should you do with your first draft?
Even excellent writers do not do their best writing on the first drafts. Good writers use their first drafts to figure out how to improve what they write. So, you should carefully read your first drafts to decide how to change them. Consider the following as you look to make changes:
Q: Should you do different things for each draft?
Yes, writers usually focus their revisions on separate issues. However, at all times, in all drafts, it is important to look for ways to improve what you have written. So, while the focus may shift, the purpose of revising is to write more effectively.
First Draft: The purpose of a first draft is to generate ideas, decide upon content, choose an audience, style, and type of writing. These choices can change, but you must make them agree with the assignments given by your teachers. If you are unsure, then ask.
Second Draft: In the second draft, focus on clarity, organization, and expression. Try to improve the order in which topics and supporting material are presented. Also, try to find more effective ways to express ideas. There are many ways to state any idea, so try several alternatives for your main points.
As you can see, revising includes more than correcting for spelling and punctuation. Revising is really an attitude that you can take action to make your writing better. It is usually a good idea to have someone else read this draft to make sure you are writing clearly and in a well organized way.
Third Draft: In the third draft, focus on considering changes that were suggested, increasing clarity, and correcting writing errors such as punctuation and spelling. You may also want to refer to the main idea words list presented in Lesson 5 (Chart 5.1). These are good for listening and writing. Use them to make your main points clear.Q: What should you do to Test, the last part of Systematic Study?
To Test, you should proofread your papers. Think of how your teachers would grade them. You may want to ask someone else to read your papers again. This is like a last check to make sure you have written as well as you can. Here are some things to look for:
Finally, we recommend that you write on a computer. This usually improves production and editing. You should use a spell check on every draft and a grammar check, also, on the last two drafts. And, start early so you will have enough time to complete a good paper.Q: What can you do to get started?
Write using the three components of Systematic Study: Preparation, Action and Test. You can use Form 22.1 to guide you. Write anything you wish, but make sure you state audience, type of writing, and purpose. You may also want to state your main points. Form 22.1 is set up to help with this. You can use it for all your papers.
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