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They Say/ I Say (authors)

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They Say/ I Say (authors)

Graff and Birkenstein

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They Say/I Say: What does "enter the conversation" mean?

To state your own ideas as a response to others; using what others say (or might say) as a launching pad or sounding board for your own views

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They Say/I Say: Why do they want you to use "I"?

  • To differentiate your views from those of others

  • To offer your views as an argument

  • It is an effective way to take a strong position

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They Say/I Say: What are the Five Reasons for why you might want to introduce source material?

  • Introduce what they say

  • Introduce standard views

  • Introduce an ongoing conversation

  • Introduce implied or assumed information

  • Make what they say what I say

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They Say/I Say: What are some tips for how to introduce source material well?

  • Summarize

  • Start with a quote or anecdote

  • Signal verbs

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They Say/I Say: What are some mistakes people make when integrating source material?

  • "Hit-and-run" quotes that aren't framed properly

  • Not using signal verbs when introducing a quote

  • Not explaining quotes enough

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They Say/I Say: What are signal verbs?

Vivid and precise verbs used to introduce quotes or summaries

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They Say/I Say: What are the three ways you can respond to sources?

  • Disagree AND EXPLAIN WHY


  • Agree and disagree SIMULTANEOUSLY

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They Say/I Say: What are the reasons for why you might disagree? (Hint: page 61-62)

  • It overlooks the real issue

  • Argument is based on questionable assumptions

  • Argument is based on faulty or incomplete evidence

  • Fails to take relevant factors into account

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They Say/ I Say: What are the three ways you can agree with a difference? (Hint: page 64)

  • Point out some unnoticed supporting evidence or line of reasoning that hasn't yet been mentioned

  • Cite a corroborating personal experience

  • Explain something that can be better understood or defined

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They Say/I Say: Why can it be good to agree and disagree simultaneously?

It helps get us beyond clear-cut, one-answer arguments and into more complex arguments

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They Say/I Say: What are the different ways to use "voice markers" to distinguish what you say from what they say?

  • Use an "I" statement

  • "Embedding" references to a text

  • Quotes

  • Parenthetical citations

  • Signal verbs/transitions

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They Say/I Say: What does it mean to "entertain" an objection?

To identify and acknowledge problems with your argument that others might want to point out

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They Say/I Say: Why is it important to plant naysayers?

  • Adds credibility

  • Answers critics questions before they can ask them

  • Not doing so makes you seem closed-minded

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They Say/I Say: What are some different ways to introduce naysayers?

  • "Inner skeptic"

  • Frame objections as questions

  • Let your naysayers speak directly (quote them)

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They Say/I Say: What are some different ways to respond to naysayers?

  • Agree with part of it while challenging the only part you dispute (yes and now)

  • Acknowledge that your argument is not infallible

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They Say/I Say: What are the two major questions most papers should answer by the end of an essay?

  • So What?

  • Who Cares?

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They Say/I Say: What are good ways to enter class discussions?

  • Frame your comments as a response to something that has already been said

  • To change the subject, indicate explicitly that you are doing so

  • Be even more explicit than when you're writing

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Agonism in the Academy (author)

Deborah Tannen

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Agonism in the Academy: What is agonism?

"Programmed contentiousness" or "ritualized/ceremonial combat" of disagree with a text or writer

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Agonism in the Academy: What are some strategies (or metaphors) for avoiding agonism?

  • "Barn raising"

  • "Knead the dough"

  • Play the "believing game"

  • Try to find places to agree/praise

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Rewriting (author)

Joseph Harris

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Rewriting: Why does Harris consider most writing as rewriting?

Because most writing requires taking things that other people have said/written and rewriting them to add to the conversation

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Rewriting: Why does Harris want you to think about an author's project, rather than thesis?

A thesis is a definitive answer while a "project" implies complexity and work

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Rewriting: What does it mean—generally—to "come to terms" with a source?

To understand and represent others work, translate their language, and make it your own

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Rewriting: What are the three things you need to do to come to terms with a source?

  • Define the project

  • Note key words and phrases

  • Assess uses and limitations

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Rewriting: What are the three things you look for when you're trying to define an author's project?

  • Aims

  • Methods

  • Materials

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Rewriting: What does it mean to "note keywords and passages?"

Cite things that allow you to notice and say something new

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Rewriting: What are some reasons for using a quotation? Or, how do quotes often work in your text or in someone else's?

  • Illustrate your view

  • Use them as flashpoints

  • Prove something/show you did your research

  • Use as a brake in paraphrase

  • Conclude with it to emphasize a point

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Rewriting: What does it mean to assess the uses and limitations of a source?

Acknowledge the moments of insight and blindness, and that there is no "right" or "wrong" answer

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Rewriting: What is positive opposition?

Terms and phrases that don't contradict each other but still exist in some real/ongoing tension

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Rewriting: What is the "moreover" approach?

Using a "moreover" phrase to indicate what a writer does and also suggest what is undone

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Rewriting: What are Harris's five ways to quote?

  • Block quotes

  • Scare quotes

  • In-text quotes

  • Epigraphs

  • Allusions

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Rewriting: Why does Harris use the metaphor of "forwarding" to talk about using sources?

Taking a previous text and pushing it forward, while also adding something for the next reader to understand

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Rewriting: What are the four ways to forward?

  • Illustration

  • Authorizing

  • Borrowing

  • Extending

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Rewriting: What does Harris think of the authorizing move?

It is simply a way to prove that you've done your homework/research

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Rewriting: What is the difference between borrowing and extending?

  • Borrowing is using a term or phrase someone else has used in order to think through your subject

  • Extending is taking a term or phrase a adjusting/spinning it to mean something slightly different in order to enhance your argument

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Rewriting: Why is illustrating slightly different from the other forwarding moves?

  • It simply paints the picture/sets the scene for your argument

  • It provides the reader with something to think ABOUT; the others provide something to think WITH

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Owl Criticism (author)

Charles Baxter

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Owl Criticism: What are the "do's" and "don'ts" of writing good reviews?


  • Assert the importance of the piece

  • Provide a formal description of it PROPERTIES

  • Include technical knowledge

  • Connect to a wider cultural context


  • Just write a plot summary

  • Write about things where the "jury is in"

  • Write about something that serves no relevant effect or purpose

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Owl Criticism: How does his list apply to writing about other kinds of texts (aside from the literary ones he describes)?

Every text should be considered and examined under a greater cultural perspective

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On Writing Well (author)

William Zinsser

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On Writing Well: Why does he think writing is work?

Thinking clearly is a conscious act that writers must force themselves to learn and do; it doesn't come naturally

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On Writing Well: What is clutter?

Unnecessary words, phrases, or information that "don't do work" or serve the greater argument

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On Writing Well: How can you cut out clutter and still sound like yourself?

Strip the text down AND THEN build it back up

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On Writing Well: Why is it important to write for yourself?

  • In order to sell and sell well, you must have a personal stake or interest in the topic you are writing about

  • You are not only selling an argument, you're selling yourself as a writer

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On Writing Well: Why do you need to write for your audience?

You need to be able to write clearly so that others understand your argument or thought

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On Writing Well: How can you write for yourself and for your audience simultaneously?

  • Focus on writing clearly and using the proper tools to construct your writing (CRAFT) Focus on what it is that YOU want to say and represent yourself

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On Writing Well: Why should you care about the words you choose?

Word choice determines how a reader will understand your argument and your attitude towards the conversation

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On Writing Well: What are some strategies you can use to help you care about words?

  • Imitate other good writers

  • Use dictionaries and be specific with synonyms

  • Be able to defend your usage

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On Writing Well: What's the difference between jargon and usage? (hint: specific object "rule" on page 44)

  • Good Usage consists of using good words that already exist to express clear thoughts

  • Jargon is fancy words that replace simpler ones used to sound like an expert

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On Writing Well: What are some strategies for achieving unity?

  • Consistent tense

  • Consistent pronouns

  • Consistent mood

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On Writing Well: What are some strategies for preparing or creating a good lead?

  • Capture immediate attention

  • Provide details on piece and why its important

  • Maintain pressure

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On Writing Well: What are some strategies for preparing or creating a good ending?

  • Circle back to main point/intro

  • Surprise the reader with something to take away or think about

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On Writing Well: What specific pieces of advice does he suggest in each section of ch. 10?

- - Verbs: use active verbs

  • Adverbs: most adverbs are unnecessary

  • Adjectives: most adjectives are unnecessary

  • Little Qualifiers: prune them out

  • Punctuation:

  1. Period

  2. Exclamation Point: avoid unless absolutely necessary

  3. Semicolon: use sparingly

  4. Dash: use to amplify/justify a part of the sentence or add a parenthetical thought

  5. Colon: brings sentence to a halt before lists

  • Mood Changers: learn to add them and help the reader follow

  • Contractions: use them occasionally to warm the mood

  • THAT and WHICH: always use "that" unless necessary

  • Concept Nouns: nouns expressing concepts instead of active verbs

  • Creeping Nouns: several nouns expressing concepts instead of active verbs

  • Overstatements: be aware of them; do not use them

  • Credibility: realize it's fragility and try to keep it

  • Dictation: often "executive" style that are redundant, sloppy, and pompous

  • Writing is Not a Contest

  • Subconscious Mind: don't allow yourself to write with it

  • Quickest Fix: don't take it

  • Paragraphs: always keep paragraphs as short as possible (length depends on type)

  • Sexism: pronouns, implications, etc

  • Rewriting: its the essence of writing well

  • Writing on a Computer: saves time and "drudgery"

  • Trust Your Material: tell the truth; its the most interesting thing to write and read

  • Go With Your Interests: if you are interested in your material, it will be exponentially more effective/interesting for readers

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Writing With Style: Thinking Well & Readability (author)

John R. Trimble

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Thinking Well: What's the difference between a novice and veteran writer?

  • Novice: an unconscious writer who writes in a vacuum and doesn't consider the reader

  • Veteran: writes for communication and is "other oriented" or socially sensitive

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Thinking Well: Why is it important to anticipate your reader's response?

  • Writing is a conversation, and a conversation is not a one way process

  • It keeps the reader from tuning out and putting it down

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Readability: What is formalism?

Formal styled writing that emphasizes a difference between talking and writing

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Readability: What is General English?

  • A middle style of writing that compromises between formal and informal writing

  • Provides easy, consciousness, freshness, and precision

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Readability: What specific pieces of advice does he suggest at the end of the chapter "Readability"?

  • view your reader as a companionable friend

  • frame thoughts concisely and interestingly to that friend

  • don't be afraid of short sentences

  • use occasional contractions

  • always use "that" unless its necessary to use "which"

  • if you mean "I," say "I"

  • use dashes to isolate statements for a purpose

  • use quotes; paraphrasing is for novices

  • use "word pictures" to aid your argument

  • minimize adjectives

  • minimize adverbs

  • use a few words as possible

  • connect and transition your sentences

  • summarize your argument in longer reports

  • when using questions to transition, answer them promptly

  • use semicolons to avoid choppiness

  • read your prose aloud

  • instead of "first, "second," use numerals in parentheses

  • know the "rules" of numbering a list

  • DON'T put a comma after starting a sentence with "and" or "but"

  • "so" and "yet" are great lead offs

  • prefer "but" or "however" for sentence starters

  • be witty, when possible

  • don't be afraid of short paragraphs; they're better

  • white space can be used/filled as a place to pause, a transition, or visual cue to change gears

  • use your title to "tease" the audience

  • rewrite things how you'd say it to a friend to avoid over-complications

  • go back and read prose of writers you love

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Internal Revision (author)

Donald Murray

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Internal Revision: What are the four stages of the "vision" process?

  • Prevision

  • Vision

  • Internal Revision

  • External Revision

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Internal Revision: What is the difference between internal and external revision?

  • Internal: is about discovery and the form and information in the argument

  • External: is about organization and editing/proofreading mechanics for the audience

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Internal Revision: What are the four issues you consider during the internal revision stage?

  • Content

  • Form & Structure

  • Language

  • Voice

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What is the main point of "The Inspired Writer vs. the Real Writer"?

  • Learning/distinguishing the difference between the idea of the perfect writer (in film, books, media), and the reality of writing

  • Realizing that writing isn't "natural" and it takes practice in order to adopt a writing style

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What are some strategies Allen offers to help you get past the myth of the Inspired Writer?

  • Learn to write by imitating good writers

  • Practice

  • Ask experts or legitimate writing peers

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What is the main point of Savini's "Looking for Trouble"?

Learning to look for issues in others' writing so that you can respond and add

  • Looking for trouble within your own writing to acknowledge where you need to improve/learn

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What are the four steps of Savini's "Looking for Trouble"?

  • Noticing

  • Articulating a Problem

  • Asking Fruitful Questions

  • Identify the Stakes

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Savini has four approaches for "articulating a problem and its details." What are they?

  • Juxtapose text from similar texts to build tension

  • Identify conflicts in your own experiences

  • Identify troubling assumptions

  • Note a gap between relevant overlooks

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What is the main point of Mike Bunn's "How to Read Like a Writer"?

Learning how to look for and learn from others' writing (their style, devices and technique) rather than reading for the content

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How is RLW (reading like a writer) different from "normal" reading?

  • Normal reading is reading for the conversation/content

  • RLW is reading to see how something was constructed so that you can construct something similar yourself

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How to Read Like a Writer: What are some questions you should ask before you start reading?

  • What is the intended purpose and audience?

  • What is the genre?

  • Was this published or student produced?

  • Will I be asked to do this kind of writing?

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How to Read Like a Writer: What are some questions to ask as you are writing?

  • What technique is being used here?

  • Is this technique effective?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using these devices?

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What is the main point of Carillo & Horning's "Effectively and Efficiently Reading the Credibility of Online Sources"?

It defines critical reading, and assesses the importance of reading for credibility and recognizing bias in sources and in themselves

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Carillo & Horning: What is lateral reading?

Leaving the source and moving to other sources across the Web to assess the source's credibility

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Carillo & Horning: What are three steps of lateral reading?

  • Leaving the source to factcheck

  • Leaving the source to find out more about the author

  • Leaving the source to find about more about the cite itself

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Carillo & Horning: What role does bias play (your own and others') when searching online?

You must consider source's credibility and influence on your own ideas and bias implies that information is skewed toward a personal opinion, which makes it impossible to see an issue objectively

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Carillo & Horning: What issues should we consider when looking at online images?

  • Primary sources, such as images, can be manipulated by Photoshop and other software that has become widely available

  • Disinformation circulates at a faster pace than ever before and the technologies to manipulate images and videos are moving at a similarly fast pace

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What is the main point of Kyle Stedman's "Annoying Ways People Use Sources"?

Compares bad writing to bad driving in different contexts, and insists that one either writes/drives poorly way because the don't know how to do it correctly, or they don't care

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Annoying Ways People Use Sources: What are the six annoying things writers do? What can you do to avoid them?

Armadillo Roadkill: purposefully return to each quote in your draft to see if you set the stage properly for your readers

Dating Spiderman: make sure to guide the audience to and led them away from a quotation; prepare, quote, analyze

Uncle Barry and His Encyclopedia of Useless Information: return to each quotation and decide why it's there and then massage it in accordingly

Am I in the Right Movie: reread your essay out loud, and if you stumble as you enter a quotation, there's probably something you can adjust in your lead-in sentence

I Can't Find the Stupid Link: make sure that the first word of the works cited entry is the word you use in your in-text citation

I Swear I Did My Research: write the sentences preceding the citation with specific words and phrases that will tell readers what information came from where

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What is the main point of Karen Rosenberg's "Reading Games"?

It teaches you how to effectively read and understand an academic or scholarly source

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Reading Games: What should you consider in terms of audience?

Who is the primary audience?

  • The author will assume prior knowledge

  • The reading may not specifically appeal to you

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Reading Games: What are the five parts of an article you should read before you actually read the article?

  • Title

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Section Headings

  • Conclusion

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What are the four parts of most abstracts?

  • Main problem or question

  • The approach

  • The shiny new thing they suggest in the piece

  • Why people in the field should care

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Reading Games: What is a "roadmap," where does it usually appear, and how can this help you?

  • A roadmap is a break down of how they will approach and solve the problem throughout the piece

  • It typically appears in the introduction

  • It will help you understand the structure and main idea

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Reading Games: What ideas does a conclusion often include?

  • Rephrase of the introduction

  • Limitations of the authors work

  • Asks you to continue to conversation

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Syllabus: Where is my office?

Battelle-Tompkins 245

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Syllabus: When are my office hours?

T/F 4PM - 5 PM

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Syllabus: What is the attendance policy?

  • More than 3 unexcused absences is ground for failure

  • Excused absences include religious holidays, medical events, approved athletics, etc

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Syllabus: Can you hand in your papers late?

Papers may be handed in ONE CLASS MEETING late and will lose one letter grade

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Syllabus: What do you need to do to earn an A in participation?

  • Comes to every class having prepared the text with notes and questions for discussion

  • Adds to the conversation during class discussions and brings out quality discussion from classmates

  • Diligently works to help classmates improve

  • Makes a semester-long effort to improve

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Syllabus: What are the genres of the three major essays we're writing this semester?

  • Feature Essay

  • Literature Review

  • Scholarly Essay

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Handouts: What are some tips for writing good marginal comments in a classmates' draft?

  • Use "I" statements; this way you sound friendlier, and not as bossy

  • When you write in the margins, try to explain what it was like to read an idea

  • Offer specific suggestions

  • Look for opportunities to praise as well as critique

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Library Research: What are the advantages and disadvantages of AU Search and Google Scholar?


  • AU provides credible sources

  • Easy access

  • Wide range of disciplines and genres Disadvantages:

  • GS is not comprehensive

  • Does not always provide exclusively scholarly sources

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Library Research: What are some ways to use AU Search to help you refine your research topic?

  • You can choose from different discipline-specific databases

  • You can filter through a subject guide

  • You can reach out to the 24/7 on-call library chat

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Library Research: When would you want to search using the Databases by Subject?

After narrowing down a research topic

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Library Research: What's the difference between a "Walmart database" and discipline-specific databases? What are three "Walmart" (or general) databases?

  • Walmart databases contains a wide range of general sources (i.e. JSTOR Academic Search Premier, Google Scholar)

  • Discipline-Specific databases contain a range of sources that are consistent among a single field or area of study

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Library Research: What are Boolean operators?

Database logic language that combines or excludes terms from a search (i.e. AND, OR, NOT)

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Library Research: How can you tell if a sources is scholarly or popular?

  • Scholarly sources are peer reviewed, written by/for experts in a field, contain formal citations, and take a long time to publish

  • Popular sources are reviewed by a singular editor, written for general audiences, do not contain formal citations, and have good/consistent coverage

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