Presented Monday, April 18, 2016
Last updated 5/2/2016
Visual: The webinar opens with a PowerPoint slide “Housekeeping” in the main pod. It shows the ways the webinar will work which Beth discusses. Stacked to the right are the captioning, Q&A, and files pods.
Audio: Beth: My name is Beth Nastachowski. I'm going over housekeeping notes. Before I hand it over to the presenter, a couple of notes. First, we are recording the webinar. If you need to leave or would like to come back to review the session you are welcome to do so. We have different recorded webinars in the archive. You will receive a link to the archive as the follow‑up for attending the session.
I also note there's lots of ways to interact with us today. If you were in the lobby before the webinar started, we have polls, quiz questions. We will have some at the end and have lots of chats Jes will use today.
The links in the slides are interactive. My message is to interact, engage with the session as much as possible. The more you do so, the more you engage with Jes, links, fellow classmates, the more you will be able to focus in on the session, the more you will get from the session.
Note there is a Q&A box on the right side of the screen. Myself and my colleague, Sarah, will monitor it throughout. We welcome your questions and comments. We will make sure to get you an answer as soon as we can. We will also save questions for Jes to answer aloud and as part of the big group as well.
However, do note if you do not get a question answered, if we are tight on time or if you think of questions later, feel free to write us at WritingSupport@waldenu.edu.
I'm happy to take technical issues you have. Let me know in the Q&A box. There is a help button at the top right corner, Adobe Connect's help option.
So with that, I will hand it over to Jes.
Visual: The slide changes to the title of the webinar with Jes’s information and her picture.
Audio: Jes: Thanks so much, Beth. Hi, everyone. My name is Jes Philbrook. I am a writing instructor at Walden University. I'm from Columbia, Missouri. I thank you for taking the poll questions at the beginning about your writing process and things you do when working on papers and for sharing your favorite parts of the writing process.
Visual: Slide #4 opens “Today’s Learning Objectives” which Jes reviews.
Audio: So thank you so much for that. So today our objectives are to work on the following. We're going to work on understanding that writing is a process. One of the questions in our little poll was about whether your process is circular and recursive. It is about that. What steps you go through.
We will also work on visualizing various parts of the writing process. So, looking at different steps you can go through as you are writing a paper to help you be successful. In addition, we will look at identifying tips, strategies, to use in each part of the writing process so you will have some things in your tool belt to work on your paper and try to avoid writer's block. I hope you will work together to identify areas of the process you will work to develop or improve.
So. That's what we're going to be working on today.
Visual: The layout and the slide changes. Slide #5 opens with the chat prompt “What parts of the writing process do you find challenging?” The pod with the slide is a bit smaller and a large chat pod opens at the bottom right. The Q&A and captioning pods move side-by-side to the top right corner. The files pod is not visible.
Audio: To get us started, I know earlier you wrote about your favorite parts of the writing process. Take a little time, maybe a minute or two, to write about what parts of the writing process do you find challenging. Examples could be choosing a topic, creating an outline, revising, proofreading. Whatever is hard for you. Maybe just getting started. Take a moment in the chat box. I will mute myself. Then we will reconvene.
Audio: Thank you for sharing. I see a lot of having trouble getting started. You know what? You are in the right place. A good chunk of what we will focus on today is about the prewriting process, what to do to get you to drafting. I notice choosing a right topic, outlining. Awesome, yes. Those are things we will talk about today. They are things I struggle with, too. I'm still writing my dissertation. And it still is a challenge to choose a topic and to outline. So we are in this together.
Revision, I am noticing some of that. Excellent.
Well, thank you all for sharing. I hope that today's session helps you with these areas you find a challenge. So let's move on, then, to talk a little bit about the different aspects of the writing process and what you might be working through.
Visual: The layout changes back to the previous setup and slide #6 “The Writing Process” opens. It shows a list of steps for the process from prewriting to reflecting on your writing that Jes discusses. A large green arrow points down along the left margin of the list.
Audio: So, this is an outline potentially of what the writing process looks like for writers. Usually it begins with prewriting which includes things like brainstorming and critical reading and planning and outlining. This is where people might do a mind map or might do free writing or might create an outline. It is all that stuff you do before you actually write the paper. Then typically the next step is drafting. Actually sitting down and using the critical reading notes, brainstorms, outlines to write the paper. Then sharing work and receiving feedback. That can be done a number of ways. Kind of final steps are revising based on that feedback or your own ideas. Editing, proofreading and reflecting on your writing. So while I love the outline of the steps, one of the troubles of putting it into a line like this is it does not show what the writing process is actually like.
Visual: The next slide opens “The Circular and Recursive Writing Process” which shows the same steps but in a clockwise circle. Prewriting is at the top. Each step is in a green circle and has a thick arrow that points to the next step so that the reflecting step points back to the prewriting step.
Audio: Let's go with this circle. The process is circular and recursive. Not too many people go straight from prewriting to drafting to sharing to revising to editing to reflecting. Oftentimes we are jumping back and forth. You might start with prewriting, draft, and receive feedback and realize, oh no, I'm not writing what I'm supposed to.
Visual: Thin green arrows appear pointing across the different steps as Jes discusses the recursive process of writing.
Audio: So you go back to prewriting and drafting and sharing and revising, then revising, and you realize I should add another body paragraph, then you go back to the start. So it's the circular and recursive process.
Visual: The previous slide with the writing process as a one-way list is briefly shown.
Audio: You do not have to go from one step to the other in a line like we see in this slide.
Visual: The circular and recursive writing process slide returns.
Audio: Please consider this a circle, to go back and forth from the different steps as needed.
Visual: Slide #8 “Writing Process Case Study: An Assignment” opens with a writing prompt. It reads: Choose a historical figure who lived by the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Write a 2-page essay convincing your reader of that person’s adherence to the golden rule. Use examples and credit sources.
Audio: So to frame our discussion we will use a sample assignment and will talk through to illustrate the different things we can do. Here is the sample hypothetical assignment for philosophy class. It reads: Choose a historical figure who lived by the Golden Rule.
[Referring to slide]
Write a two‑page essay convincing your reader of the adherence to the Golden Rule. This is a typical assignment we might see where you are directed to do an activity and told what to write. This person needs to write and convince, so it's an argument, the reader about the person's adherence to the Golden Rule.
Visual: Slide #9 “Brainstorming through Freewriting” opens. It shows three text boxes describing this which Jes talks through. The word “Brainstorming” is hyperlinked in the title.
Audio: Many of you talked about having trouble choosing a topic. I would like to give you strategies today for potentially choosing that topic. So brainstorming and free writing are a really great way to get started in the prewriting stage.
So with the sample assignment in mind, you can try free writing and you can do it with the next assignment you see coming up. A free write is a short, 15‑minute burst of writing on anything that comes to mind. The 15 minutes is subjective. You can write for ten, five, 20, whatever you want to do but the idea is to write about it. Don't worry about structure or grammar or proofreading, whatever you might do for a formal paper. See if you have narrowed your focus or have usable information. For example, with this sample prompt you might look back at your writing. Did you see who is an historical figure? So I would like to encourage you to try this free writing the next time you find yourself stumped, having trouble choosing a topic. Write about the different ideas you have for a topic.
Visual: Slide #10 “What it Looks Like: Freewriting” opens. It shows an example of a freewrite with arrows pointing out potential topics, questions about the assignment, and where the writing hones in on a specific topic. The example reads:
I can think of a few different historical figures who might work for this: MLK Jr., Mother Theresa, Ghandi—but I guess I don’t know that much about Ghandi’s personal life. Although is this assignment really about personal lives, or is it more about people standing up for other people and against injustice? It seems like most of my ideas have to do with civil rights and freedom: people who stood up against authority to advocate for disadvantaged people. You know who might be fun to write about: Abraham Lincoln. Because he was both an authority figure and a game changer—he really inspired change while also being in charge. I feel like that’s unique among the other historical figures who come to mind…
At the bottom of the slide are three text boxes reminding the participant to use casual language, to “talk to yourself,” and to identify the focus of the paper.
Audio: Let's look at a sample. Here's a sample using this prompt. I will read it quick. It says [Referring to slide]
I can think of a few historical figures who might work ... [reading]
Visual: Jes uses a green cursor to point out different aspects of the freewrite.
Audio: So what we can see here is this writer potentially was having trouble choosing the topic but then did free writing, got ideas for people that could be written about like Martin Luther King, like Mother Theresa, but maybe they realized they didn't know enough about them and came to the conclusion of Abraham Lincoln. This free write shows the writer is thinking about topics, honing in on specifics of topic. It is helpful for finding the focus.
You also notice it is casual language and the writer talking to him or herself in order to identify focus of a paper.
So. In the future, if you are having trouble deciding a topic, consider using free writing to help you get through it.
Visual: Slide #11 “Prewriting through Reading Critically” opens. “Prewriting” and “reading critically” are both hyperlinked. Three large textboxes are arranged side-by-side and show “Reading critically is reading and…,” “Judging a sources scholarly value:” and “Considering yoru own agenda:” The last two boxes have bullet points for clarification that Jes discusses.
Audio: Moving on, then. Another prewriting strategy is reading critically. Now, it is easy in a class when you get readings to scan your eyes over them and hope that something sticks.
What is not so easy is reading critically so you can find the important meaning of a source and what is relevant to you. So I would like to talk a little about different ways to read critically. If you would like more strategies, just so you know all of these blue‑underlined components in the slide are links to material on the website. You can always read more after today's presentation if you would like.
So critical reading is reading and judging a source's scholarly value which means asking questions, assessing the source and information provided. So really think about is the source credible, is the author writing this in the current moment, is this information backed up by data. Is the study something worth reading.
While it is important to look at the scholarly value of the source it is also important to think about your own agenda. You can be reading the most scholarly, wonderful source out there but if it doesn't have relevant information to you, it is not useful for your paper.
So you will also want to think about the source in relation to your own agenda. Do this, you can view the source with your own interest in mind and consider your assignment. As you read you will want to think about how might this source be relevant to me as I read it. We will look at a sample in a minute.
Visual: The layout and slide change. Slide#12 opens and shows a chat prompt: What note-taking strategies (if any) have you used? What has worked best for you? The chat pod opens at the bottom right of the screen and the Q&A and captioning pods move back to the top right. The files pod is not visible.
Audio: But first, I would like to invite you to share some of your note‑taking strategies that you have used when you have written in the past. Part of critical reading and prewriting is taking notes. Oftentimes writers have unique ways to take notes that work for them. Please take a moment and describe what note‑taking strategies, if any, you have used and what has worked best for you and I will mute myself while you write.
Audio: Thank you for sharing these different strategies.
So I am noticing patterns throughout, again. So a lot of people write down or highlight key points. And some people said they write after they read to kind of reflect on what they learned. That is an excellent idea, to take a moment to pause. Another person said they write down summaries of information and key points and then jot responses down. That is an excellent idea. I heard that called a double entry notebook before. You write on one side of the paper summaries or quotes from a source and on the other side write your response to it. So that is another great idea. Someone said they write out questions before starting to read and highlight or write notes in the margins in response to questions. That is another excellent idea. What else am I seeing? Lots of summary writing.
I like this one. It says: I write down topic sentence of an idea or concept I believe is a potential source of information in a notebook designated for class. I note references at the end of the article for further information on the topic I am interested in and look up the article later when I am free. Another excellent idea.
So thank you all so much for sharing these excellent notetaking strategies. We will look at a sample. This chat will be recorded. If you want to look back at other people's strategies you can do that when looking at the recording or archived version of the webinar.
Visual: The layout reverts back to the previous setup so that the captioning, Q&A, and files pods are stacked to the right. The chat pod is gone and the PowerPoint slide is in the main pod. Slide #13 “What it Looks Like: Note-Taking” is open and shows an excerpt from a text with student notes pointing to different parts of the text. Jes uses the green cursor to point out parts of the text as she discusses note-taking.
Audio: Moving forward. Here's a sample text about Abraham Lincoln using the hypothetical situation. Here's what a writer might include in the margins. Critical reading means think about whether the source is critical—or credible. But also thinking about how it is relevant to you. You notice a lot of notes in the margins are more about how the source is relevant to the writer. Again, the writer is trying to find ways that Abraham Lincoln demonstrates the Golden Rule. We see here—use my arrow, this shows there is no malice, revenge [reading] that definitely relates to the Golden Rule. [reading] ... not being self‑righteous. Shows slavery is evil, uses moral ... that action may lead the writer to do research and find another source talking about his actions.
So another strategy to take home with you is work on notetaking and think about different ways to take notes and read critically to help yourself prepare for writing your sources.
Visual: Slide #14 “Prewriting: Planning and Outlining” opens. It shows two stacked textboxes: “Synthesize your reading” and “Form an argument” with details about each that Jes discusses.
Audio: Moving forward, then. The third stage of the prewriting process we will talk about today is planning and outlining.
So part of planning involves synthesizing your research. That means considering what your notes say and what you can determine from your notes and how your sources might overlap or not. If any of you have written a literature review before, this is kind of what that is asking for, is thinking about what are the common themes among the things you have read. How do those overlap or not. So you are doing that synthesizing to think about sources and how they will be useful in your paper.
Next, after you have done that synthesis, you can think about your argument. So what is the argument you want to make based on your reading? What are you contributing to the scholarly conversation? One of the foundations of writing an argument is writing a thesis statement.
Visual: A large green arrow labeled “Thesis statement” points to the second textbox. Then the layout changes to show the chat prompt: What is a thesis statement? The chat pod opens in the bottom right corner, the files pod closes, and the Q&A and captioning pods are side-by-side at the top right.
Audio: Before I tell you what a thesis statement is, let's—thesis statement is, let's move to the chat pod. I want to see what you have learned in the past.
So, from what you have learned up to this point in your educational career and life as a writer, what is a thesis statement? What do you know to be the definition of a thesis statement?
Audio: So I see a lot of people saying a thesis statement is the main point of the paper. Or a problematic statement. Or a general statement of the paper. I like: Tells the reader what to expect in the upcoming study. The heart of the discussion. It's a concise, specific and arguable statement related to the topic of the paper. Oooh, I like that a lot. I think you are right there with what a thesis statement is.
[Referring to slide]
Visual: The layout stays the same, but a blue textbox appears on the slide with a definition for a thesis statement and an example. Jes reads this: A statement of the argument you will show, prove, and support for your reader in your paper. This example is shown: Abraham Lincoln demonstrated the Golden Rule throughout his life.
Audio: [reading] So it is the main idea, as many of you said. It is concise, specific, arguable, as one of you said. It is something that you are going to work to prove and support with evidence in your paper.
So one example for this kind of mock example we have been using today is Abraham Lincoln demonstrated the Golden Rule throughout his life. You know, this is a simple statement. Doesn't quite fit the concise and specific someone mentioned in the chat box. For a beginning thesis statement it works. It lets the reader know what you will work on. Once you write your paper you can always go back to make your thesis concise and specific.
So let's see how this works.
Visual: Slide #16 “Rewriting: Planning and Outlining” opens. It shows three textboxes that highlight how to develop your outline from the thesis statement. The first textbox says “Thesis statement” and points to “Argument” which points to “Outline.” To the left of the textboxes is this statement: Let your thesis statement be a road map for the argument in your paper, guiding your writing and organization. “Thesis statement” and “argument” are hyperlinked. Jes uses the green cursor as she discusses how to move from the thesis statement to the outline.
Audio: So when you are planning and outlining and write a thesis statement as we just did, you can use that thesis statement as a road map for the argument in your paper. That argument will guide your writing in organization. So you, say, write your thesis statement that Lincoln demonstrated the Golden Rule throughout his life and that forms your argument. Then you base your outline based on that argument. And this example, your outline would be the different reasons that, or different ways that Abraham Lincoln demonstrated the Golden Rule. Remember that. Thesis statement leads to argument which leads to the outline.
Visual: Slide #17 “Prewriting: Planning and Outlining” opens. “Outlining” is hyperlinked. This slide shows a chart labeled Prewriting: Build off the argument to “map out” a paper. The top row of the chart gives details about a mind map and the bottom row gives details about outlining. Jes discusses all of this.
Audio: So looking at this in action there are different ways to write your outline. You can build off the argument to map out your paper.
So one method is a mind map. I will show you a sample in the next slide. The mind map connects ideas and provides a visual of ideas on the paper to help you move from brainstorm to first draft. Those who find it troubling or difficult to draft your paper might find having a mind map or outline helps you get from initial brainstorming to writing of the paper. Another method is traditional outline establishing order and gives a bird's eye view of progression, helps plan where sources will be placed.
Visual: Slide #18 “What it Looks Like: Mind Map” opens. It shows a organization tree with the thesis at the top and short phrases for details of the argument branching down from it.
Audio: This is a mind map using the sample. We have our main idea up here. I might ask how did he demonstrate that. One reason is through his speeches and writing. Another is through his actions. So beyond that, what actions demonstrated this? Actions like the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, and counterargument showing the opposite of what was being done.
Here then we have speeches and writing. What kinds of speech? How about where he talked about where he talked about people as being equal. So a way to take the initial thing you have, thesis statement, and break it into pieces that can be used to make paragraphs.
Visual: Slide #19 “What it Looks Like: Basic Outline” opens. It shows an example of an outline for the mock paper on Abraham Lincoln. The main headings of the outline are: Introduction to topic/Thesis, Lincoln’s speeches showed his belief in treating others fairly, Lincoln’s actions toward freeing the slaves also showed his devotion to the Golden Rule, and Conclusion. Each heading has subheadings about what the author will include in the body of the paper for that section. Jes uses the green cursor as she discusses the outline.
Audio: So an outline, then, looks like this. I admit I like mind maps a lot. I tend to write more a basic outline. These are helpful for me because when you write these you often find sentences you put in the outline can become topic sentences or beginnings of body paragraphs. First you have your introduction to the topic and thesis. Then this would be your first body paragraph where you focus, for example, on the first reason the thesis is true, so the speeches.
Here's sub points to the speech at Peoria, note to include some quotes. This is the second body paragraph or a section looking at actions toward freeing slaves, showing his devotion to the Golden Rule, looking at abolishment. Finally, including a point for the conclusion mostly as a reminder to write one.
So this is what a basic outline looks like. So as we think about different ways to outline and prepare, I would like to encourage you to think about these mind maps and basic outlines as you are in the planning and outlining stage.
Visual: Slide #20 “Drafting: Writing the Rough Draft” opens. “Drafting” is hyperlinked in the title. The slide introduces the MEAL plan for writing paragraphs which Jes discusses. “MEAL plan” is hyperlinked. The last two bullet points are: Craft an introduction which includes your thesis and write a conclusion. “Introduction” and “conclusion” are hyperlinked.
Audio: Once you have your outline the next exciting step is drafting, where you write the rough draft. I'm including the MEAL plan because I think it can be helpful for students who maybe get stuck writing body paragraphs. You used to have a lot of trouble writing clear body paragraphs. The MEAL plan has been helpful for remembering. I will go through it in the next slide.
Things you want to draft are your body paragraphs but also an introduction and a conclusion.
I put the introduction here, after all of this with the MEAL plan, because sometimes it can be a challenge to write your introduction until you actually know what it is you are writing about in the paper. Some find it easier to write the introduction later.
Visual: Slide #21 “Drafting: Writing the Rough Draft” opens and shows a detailed breakdown of the MEAL plan that Jes discusses. She uses the green cursor to direct participants’ attention as she talks.
Audio: What is the MEAL plan. It stands for main idea, right here. Meaning this is the topic sentence. The sentence showing the transition from the previous paragraph [reading]
Then you go to evidence.
[Referring to slide]
This includes often citations. If you write a paper requiring citations or to bring in sources, evidence is often cited.
A is analysis of evidence.
[Referring to slide]
The L is leadout, or conclusion. Where you wrap up the idea and conclude a paragraph.
So in a way it is kind of like your paragraph is a sandwich. The top piece of bread is your own idea. The meat of it is evidence and analysis of the evidence. The bottom piece of bread is leadout or conclusion. You create a nicely framed paragraph providing information for the reader. You can include framing and evidence in your outline.
Visual: Slide #22 “What it Looks Like: The Rough Draft” opens. It shows an example of a paragraph from the mock paper. The example reads: Abraham Lincoln demonstrated the Golden Rule in his speeches as president. These quotes from one of his speeches demonstrates his belief in equality: “The proposition that each man should do precisely as he pleases with all which is exclusively his own, lies at the foundation of the sense of justice there is in me,” and “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master” (as cited in Johnson, 2007, p. 45). These speeches show that Lincoln believed that people should be treated the way he wanted to be treated: If he wanted to be free and not be a slave, then nobody else should have to be enslaved. Jes uses the green cursor as she discusses how the paragraph follows the MEAL plan.
Audio: So here's how this might look. I will talk through different parts of the MEAL plan. This is the topic. [reading]
Here is our first piece of evidence. [reading] ... his belief in equality: The proposition each man should do precisely as he pleases with all which is his own ... there is in me.
And: As I would not be a slave so I would not be a master. That is evidence.
The analysis [reading]
And here the evidence is merged with—or analysis is merged with the leadout. We end with [reading] ... then nobody else should be enslaved.
A start, getting the rough draft out there.
Before I move on, I want to check in quick with Beth and Sarah to see, are there questions about this prewriting or drafting stage of the writing process before I move on to ways to revise?
Audio: Beth: Hi, can you hear me?
Audio: Jes: Yes, I can.
Audio: Beth: So one student had a question about the introduction specifically. So when you are crafting that outline, thinking about your introduction specifically, how much of the information should be general to the prompt and how much should be very specific in terms of what you your—what your draft is about?
Audio: Jes: That is an excellent question and a good reason for putting off introduction writing to the end when you know what information you provided in the paper.
So I like to, when writing an introduction, think about my instructor or the person who will be reading and grading it. But also thinking of someone not in class who would not necessarily have background information an instructor would. For me it's my grandma. I always think about her. I try to present the right amount of background information so there is something helpful for the instructor but also something helpful for a lay reader not in class and doesn't have context. So it's a balance.
So it's a tough question. I would say try and provide some background information relevant to the prompt but mostly provide background information useful to the topic. For example, with this paper you might consider an introduction that talks a little about the Golden Rule and how different people embody it in different ways and Lincoln embodied it in a certain way. Then you would have a thesis statement. It depends on the paper, how much is asked, but try to find a balance. Information for someone in the course but also for someone outside of it. So you are kind of on that line.
Do you have anything to add, Sarah?
Audio: Sarah: No, I think that is really helpful. I like your idea, writing to your grandma. I think of a college educated individual who might not have information on my particular topic or field of study, which I guess would be my grandma too. So maybe that would work for most of us.
I do have a couple other questions about citation specifically. So how often should one use direct quotations in a paper and is it okay to end a paragraph with a citation. So that citation might be paraphrased information or it might come after a direct quotation. Or should the end of the paragraph be your own words or ideas.
Audio: Jes: Those are excellent questions. We will start first with how much to quote in a paper. Generally, in APA it is recommended writers paraphrase more than quote. When you quote, the tone of the language changes. You can see it in the sample. The tone of the writer's voice is different than the tone of Lincoln's voice. When you are bringing in different writers who are scholarly and academic, you know, citing, potentially quoting many throughout your paper, it can make it feel less a paper and more a collage.
In general it is best to paraphrase to use your own language to get at the heart of the idea. However, there are moments where quotation is really necessary. Like in this instance. If you are writing a paper about a speech or about someone's language use, then quoting is necessary because that is evidence. What is important here is how Lincoln said these things and what exactly he said. So in this instance, quotation is extremely necessary whereas if you are generally writing a paper about, say, the best methods for a new nursing practice you might not need to quote authors much because what is important is ideas over language.
Visual: Slide #21 opens again as Jes discusses the Lead out part of the MEAL plan and then goes back to Slide #22.
Audio: In response to the other question about what to end a paragraph with? I will go back to this. So it is best to end a paragraph with analysis and your own leadout or own wrap‑up of ideas. Often when I am doing a paper review in the Writing Center, if I notice students are frequently ending a paragraph on a citation I make a note and suggest adding some analysis of that evidence and a conclusion to the paragraph would be useful to the reader to engage with the material and understand what is useful.
So, although it is not, you know, a 100% absolute necessary APA rule, it is a good idea to end paragraphs with some analysis and a leadout in your own words so you are ensuring you're not just presenting evidence and leaving it for the reader. That you are helping the reader to digest it and show what is valuable there.
Were there other questions, Sarah, or do you have anything to add?
Audio: Sarah: No, I think that covers it. Thanks so much.
Audio: Jes: Excellent, thank you too, and thanks everyone for the questions. Keep them coming. Sarah and Beth are happy to respond.
Visual: The layout and slide change. The slide now shows the poll question: When I write a paper, I typically… (choose all that apply). The files pod is not visible. The Q&A and captioning pods are side-by-side at the top right and the poll responses are in a pod at the bottom right. Jes reads the response choices.
Audio: We'll get into now the second phase of writing. Getting feedback, revising, editing proofreading phase. We have a poll. There we go. Here's our poll.
So when you are writing a paper, what do you typically do? Do you revise and submit your first draft to the instructor? Proofread, revise the paper on your own without feedback? Rely on past feedback from an instructor? Submit a paper to the Writing Center for feedback or share with a classmate, friend or family member?
You can select more than one if you like. I will give you a moment to click to get a feel for what is it we all do when we are trying to get feedback from others.
Looks like the majority rely on—others proofread and revise on their own without feedback from others. That is a wonderful strategy to use especially in a crunch without time to get feedback. Some submit to the Writing Center, that is wonderful to hear. Others share with a classmate, friend or family member.
If I were to take the survey I would check every one of the boxes. It really depends on the paper I write. If I write something small, sometimes I just write and submit it. Maybe it's not the best idea. With some low‑stakes things it is often necessary. For higher‑stake things, I like to submit to someone, whether a friend, classmate, my husband, to get feedback.
Thank you for sharing that. We will look at some strategies for self‑revising and getting feedback from others now.
Visual: The layout reverts back to the previous setup and slide #24 “Sharing Your Work” opens. This slide has a large circle in the center with four smaller circles around the perimeter. The center circle reads: Grow as a writer by sharing your work with others. Jes discusses the outer circles.
Audio: Moving forward. Let's look at ways you can share—different ways you can share your work. You can form a peer writing group. A lot of people do it. They might find neighbors or classmates who might be willing to email each other every day to let them know how writing is going, exchange papers. I know it is probably hard to envision because here at Walden there's a good chance you never have met your peers face‑to‑face. But if you have access to your peers via Blackboard, there are ways to communicate and make that connection. It doesn't have to be another Walden student. It could be someone in the community would cowrite with you. You might consider partnering with classmate. I had a friend we worked with. I found it helpful. You could ask a coworker or friend or family member to give you feedback. Back in the day when I taught English, a lot of students said their moms would proofread, give feedback. You could ask your mom or might be a child or grandparent or friend to read over your paper.
Visual: The previous circles disappear and the last circle from the bottom of the previous graphic “Make a Writing Center paper review appointment” fills the slide. This is now hyperlinked. A textbox opens to the left of the circle with details about paper review appointments that Jes discusses.
Audio: But another option if none of these seem right is you can make a Writing Center paper review appointment. Let me tell you about an appointment. Click the link to get to the page with an overview. In general, you submit a discussion post or course paper or some kind of writing you are doing for a class to our MyPASS system. All these details are at the link. An instructor like me or Sarah gets your paper, reads it, gives feedback, and sends it back within two days. You can submit past writing or writing coming up. We will give you feedback to help you not only revise the paper but also be a stronger writer for the future. We often give you suggestions to help on the next paper or draft too.
So, I hope you will keep this in mind and consider making a paper review appointment. We are happy to help and support you through the writing process.
Visual: Slide #25 “Revising: Writing the Final Draft” opens. “Revising” is hyperlinked. The slide shows two textboxes with details about revising. The top textbox reads: Revising using others’ feedback: Try not to get overwhelmed. Make a revision plan. This points to the bottom textbox which Jes discusses in detail.
Audio: With this idea of sharing work in mind, let's transition to revising. If you revise using other people's feedback sometimes it can be overwhelming. I'll be honest about that. Sometimes you get a lot of feedback and it is not really clear where to start. So the first step is to try not to get overwhelmed. Then after reading through the feedback you have been provided, make a revision plan. Ultimately this is your paper and you get to decide what you want to do with it and how you want to revise. When you are making a plan, I encourage you to start with big stuff. By that I mean, you know, did the reviewer mention gaps in ideas or confuse organization or missing conclusion. Those are big things that will change the paper a lot. Once you feel the paper is in a good place, argument is set, organization is set, use of sources is set, then look at the sentence level things like grammar, transitions, sentence structure, punctuation and minor APA concerns.
But remember, even when getting feedback, it is up to you to decide what to do to revise.
Visual: The next slide opens to show how to revise on your own. The top textbox reads: Revising on your own: Don’t be afraid to make changes. Jes discusses the main points in the textbox: Determine overall readability. Check organization of paragraphs. Read aloud for flow. Edit and proofread
Audio: If you don't have time for feedback, which happens, my guess is a lot of you work full‑time jobs, there isn't always time to get feedback, if you revise on your own do not be afraid to make changes. You are a good critical reader and can read critically just as a peer can. As you read through, ask yourself questions like does it make sense. Does it address the assignment? Do my paragraphs follow the MEAL plan? Is my argument clear? Is there a logical thread? Repetitive wording or sentence structure? Take time to edit and proofread. Even if you cannot get feedback from someone, it is possible to do revisions on your own.
Visual: Slide #27 “What it Looks Like: Editing and Proofreading” opens. “Proofreading” is hyperlinked. The slide shows a checklist for proofreading with these main points: Read the paper aloud. Run Grammarly. Scan the document for possible misspellings. Check formatting. Match the sources. Submit. A textbox reminds participants to download the proofreading bookmark from the files pod or to create their own. Jes reviews all of this.
Audio: Once they are complete you can work on editing and proofreading. Going to the files pod, bottom right corner of today's presentation. This is a snapshot of the bookmark giving ideas for proofreading like reading the paper out loud to mark areas that sound choppy or disjointed. You can work to revise the sentences. Use Grammarly. It is free and an option. You can scan—sorry, you can scan the document for possible misspellings and determine if you need to make any adjustments. And then check the formatting. Match sources to make sure ones cited match. And submit and breathe a sigh of relief.
The list is there to help you. Editing and proofreading is something you can ask someone to help you with. It is perfectly fine to ask a peer or family member to read through your paper to give you ideas as they read the paper.
Visual: Slide #28 “What it Looks Like: Revising the Final Draft” opens. It shows three paragraphs of the mock assignment. Jes uses the green cursor to draw attention as she discusses this.
Audio: Those who had questions about introductions, we have a sample here. I will read the first and second paragraph to illustrate.
So this is the introduction: The Golden Rule is an ethical guide to treat others fairly and equally (“Golden Rule,” 2011). In history, there are many people who embodied this principle; however, President Abraham Lincoln lived by the Golden Rule most notably. In this paper, I will describe the beliefs and actions that contributed to Lincoln’s ethical stance.
So we have an introduction that is short and sweet. Gives background on the rule. Background information on the idea that many people embodied the principle. And provides a thesis statement.
For this kind of paper it is only one to two pages, I believe. A short introduction like this is entirely appropriate.
We have a first body paragraph adhering to the MEAL plan. This is the topic sentence: Lincoln was an effective wordsmith who used speeches and writing to deliver his belief in equality.
Here's the first piece of evidence: In one such speech, Lincoln said…. Then a second piece of evidence—sorry, analysis: In this way, Lincoln spoke….
Then the writer presents a second piece of evidence, perfectly fine: He went on to write…
Then here's a piece of analysis: Therefore, Lincoln believed….
Then the leadout is this: Because he would not want….
So revised text looks like this. It has a clear introduction with background and a thesis statement. MEAL plan paragraphs with clear topic sentences, evidence, proper citation, editing, proofreading, a leadout, and continues until the paper is complete with a conclusion.
Visual: Slide #29 “Reflecting on Your Writing” opens. “Reflecting” is hyperlinked. The slide has two questions for reflection: What did you do effectively? What would you like to improve? A large textbox in the center reads: Establish goals for your writing in your courses and program.
Audio: So. The last step of the writing process we are sharing with you today is reflecting on your writing.
So it can probably be pretty easy at Walden when writing a discussion post and a paper potentially each week for each class to not take this time to pause and reflect.
However, if you do take this time to reflect, you might find your writing improves more over time. In this reflecting moment you want to think beyond the one paper. What did you do effectively, what to improve. Then you establish goals for writing in courses and program.
Visual: The center textbox disappears and five horizontal textboxes appear in its place. These textboxes are superimposed on a large arrow pointing right. Jes reads these sample goals.
Audio: Sample goals might be as follows: Managing time wisely, the foundation to do this writing process, researching, reading sources critically, organizing information and creating outlines, Sharing your work with others. Revising, editing, proofreading. Consider setting goals for yourself and reflecting on what you did effectively. What would you like to improve? You may want to wait until getting instructor’s feedback.
Visual: Slide #30 “What it Looks Like: Reflecting on Your Writing” opens. It shows two sticky notes with lists. One is labeled “Things I did well:” and the other is “Things to work on:” Below that is an excerpt from a journal about writing progress with a date and assignment. At the bottom of the slide is a sample calendar with time marked off for specific writing tasks.
Audio: Here's what it might look like. If reflecting on writing, use sticky notes. I have a bunch all around my computer to give me ideas for things to do differently. Things I did well. Clear introduction and argument. Grammar. Eliminating comma splices, yay. Use the MEAL plan. Things to work on. Library research, more formal tone, be more creative as a classmate to give feedback.
Another idea is to keep a journal. I love this idea. You could—could have a notebook next to the computer where at the end of the week reflect on how it went. This reads: This week I did a great job starting early, giving me more time to [reading] ... when I was doing the writing of the paper ... I hope this could avoid getting stuck and save me even more time. We see a lot of reflecting of things that went well, things that we need to work on. It probably did not take more than five minutes to reflect but can help set goals for future weeks. Another option is make a calendar. It says finish research, create outline. That is the prewriting stage. Wednesday it says spend time writing. That is the drafting stage. Friday it says paper due Sunday. Have it ready to revise. That is probably more revising and proofreading done over the weekend before submitted on Sunday.
Visual: Slide #31 “The Process Begins Again” opens. This slide shows the circular and recursive writing graphic from earlier in the webinar. As Jes discusses this, arrows labeled “It’s circular!” “It’s recursive!” and “It’s not linear!” point to the graphic.
Audio: And then once you have taken time to reflect, the process begins again either with the same paper as you continue to revise or with future assignments. Remember, I put the circle. It is circular, recursive, not linear. This process, it's okay to go back and forth. But it is important to remember to take time to do that. The key to doing that is starting early. So that idea of having a calendar where you start the drafting on a Tuesday and work your way through until due on Sunday could be helpful for embodying the writing process.
Before moving to the next page, I want to pause for a second to see if we have further questions, Sarah?
Audio: Sarah: Excuse me. Jes touched on it a bit, but a lot of questions in the Q&A box centered on the issue. I hope you could talk more about it. That is, effective time management. What would you say to the student who says, you know, revision sounds great but I just frankly don't have the time for revision.
Audio: Jes: That is an excellent question/query. Beth, can you post the outlining the outline blog post in the chat box for people? I think it would be a good place to start.
So I get that feeling of not having the time to revise. And it is probably a very real feeling for many of you especially those who have families and are working and who don't have a whole lot of time in the week. There are only so many hours in a week. You know, there's only so much you can do.
But there's a good chance that, you know, if you spend, say, three hours the night before a paper is due quickly responding to a prompt and then posting it, it is probably pretty uncomfortable spending three hours sitting there, hammering out that paper. Probably doesn't feel good. Probably other things are happening in life you need to be doing but you are tied to your computer. There is a good chance you could write that same paper in the same amount of time but spread out over several days. An hour Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Breaking it into chunks might give you more time to embody more of this process. So instead of three hours binge writing, if you spend an hour drafting, an hour revising and changing, and an hour editing and proofreading, you still spend the same amount of time but time is spaced out. Chances are it will be a better quality paper because you have time to reflect on it as you go.
Sarah, do you have anything to add or have suggestions?
Audio: Sarah: Yeah, Beth and I were laughing in the chat box about binge writing. That's exactly what it is. A great term for it. Yeah, the only thing I would say is sort of you have to know your own schedule. And also, I think Jes is exactly right. You are a little uncomfortable when you were writing the three hours, turning it in, not necessarily proud of what you submit or feeling it was your best work.
Take advantage of the way the human brain works. Write for 30 minutes, 20 minutes each day. As you're at work, you are in the shower, your brain ruminates, you think about things. It just offers clarity and provides, I think, a better final product. So giving—break up the process into manageable chunks. Thinking what time you write the best, working it into your schedule is really important, instead of, as Jes aptly called it, binge writing. Yeah, I think it's a great answer.
Audio: Jes: Thanks, Sarah. Are there any other quick questions?
Audio: Sarah: I think that wrapped it up in the Q&A box. So—
Audio: Jes: Awesome, that sounds great. Thanks so much.
Visual: The layout and slide change. The slide now shows a chat prompt that Jes introduces. The files pod is unavailable and the Q&A and captioning pods are at the top right. The chat pod is below them.
Audio: All right. Let's move on to our final learning objective, then, which is what parts of the writing process would I like to develop and improve.
After discussion today where we looked at prewriting, drafting, sharing, revising, editing, proofreading and reflecting, what are parts you would like to develop and improve.
I would like to give you a minute, maybe two, to reflect in the chat box. Set your intentions maybe for the next week, maybe the next month, of what you would like to work on to bring to your writing practice.
Audio: Jes: I am so excited to see the different intentions you are setting for things you would like to develop or improve. So I'm seeing a lot about revising and proofreading. Outlining. Brainstorming. Sharing your work. What else. Setting more time.
So yeah, I feel like that question, whoever asked it at the end, thank you for asking it. Really, spacing out the writing over a course of a week can help. Like it is not fun to clean all Saturday, it's a little easier to do a little cleaning every day throughout the week, the same with writing. It's a little easier if you do a little every day.
Here, then,—I love this: I like to work on revising and submitting my paper to the Writing Center to see what feedback is different from the way I do it now with the hopes it will improve.
I'm so glad to hear that. Part is selfishness. I'm an instructor here. I love reviewing student papers, especially where students are eager to improve and hear extra insight. So I like the idea of submitting your paper to see what else you can learn from us.
I notice a lot about time management. Then, you know, different goals based on different needs. So you know, if English is someone's second language, expanding vocabulary or proofreading is really smart. So what is lovely to see here is goals are so personal and everyone has a different thing that they can add to this process.
So I hope you will keep the goals and intentions in mind over the next week.
Visual: The layout stays the same, but the slide changes to show where to go for future questions and multimedia connections with the Writing Center. It also has a hyperlink for other webinars on scholarly writing.
Audio: To wrap it up, then. I would like to ask you to take this postpoll.
Visual: The layout changes. The main pod shows a three question postpoll. The captioning and files pods are stacked in the top right corner of the screen. The Q&A and PowerPoint slide pods are side-by-side below them. The slide is the same as above.
Audio: So at the beginning we asked is your writing process circular, recursive. Do you seek feedback from others? Do you allocate time at the end of the writing process?
Now I would like you to think about will you take the time to have a circular and recursive process, will you seek feedback from others, will you allocate time at the end of your process. It is totally up to you. Clearly we hope you answer true based on the nature of the presentation, but we also know everyone has different time available and that there are different things we are capable of doing. Feel free to be honest, just share your insights on what you think about these different things.
Audio: Beth: Thank you for responding to the poll and thank you to Jes for a fantastic session. Jes, if you have last thoughts for everyone before we leave?
Audio: Jes: Yeah, sure. Well first of all, thank you everyone for participating today and sharing your different notetaking strategies and objectives you have for your future writing.
I would like to encourage you all to be kind to yourselves. Embracing the full writing process is hard, especially for working professionals like most of us are.
So, you know, just do what you can. Do what you are able to do. Remember that we are here at the Writing Center to support you and we are happy to provide paper reviews and different resources on the website to support you through your writing process.
Audio: Beth: I don't think I could have said it better. Thank you everyone. Thank you for attending. We hope to see you at another webinar coming up this month and the coming months as well. Have a great day. We hope to see you again soon.