Content of article
– Create the Anchor
Now that you have an idea of what’s needed, go ahead and write one or two sentences combining steps 1 and 2:
In this paper, I will demonstrate my understanding of a linguistic concept I learned this semester and how it relates to my field of study. I will demonstrate this knowledge by staying organized, using relevant research, and sticking to my thesis statement.
Yes, it seems a bit silly. But now you have an anchor. If you get stuck while writing, pull out this sentence and see where you’ve gone astray, or where you go to get back on track.
It’s clear here that people’s abilities to communicate define their cultural importance. This idea is loosely connected to another idea the author is writing toward—that those unique cultural differences are often the culprit for communication breakdown.
The author sees that the relationship is one of contrasts, so they try to name the contrast to create a connection in the transition—the green text is the merging of contrasts:
Using a really simple, but subtle writing skill, this author used word choice to make deeper connections between the sentences. See the color coded portions:
The phrases “existing in the world” and “shared paradigm” mean almost the same thing. As do the phrases “mutual conventions” and “cultural overlap.” The author is essentially re-saying what was just previously stated, but in a more specific way or with different vocabulary. Not how the ideas from each paragraph come together in the transition.
Be specific about how you spend the time
Take a few moments to review the assignment and rubric with a pen and highlighter, making notes and underlining key elements the prof wants to see.
Once you know what the prof wants, you can write a one sentence reference that you can refer to whenever you feel like you’re going off course.
Make a list of three strengths and weaknesses you have as a writer. Be mindful of the pitfalls and confident about your high points.
All this should take you no more than 10 or 15 minutes. It may seem counter-intuitive, but using time to get organized saves you time later, and makes the writing process so much simpler. So, here it is, step-by-step:
It’s clear from the highlighting and underlining that the prof wants an argumentative paper that’s well-organized and thoughtful. Note that there is nothing about originality in this rubric.
The prof isn’t asking you to reinvent the wheel or come up with something that will change the field of Linguistics forever—they’re simply asking you to take some important ideas from your linguistics class and apply them to something that you like.
It’s also clear that this prof wants you to synthesize the research in the field of linguistics, not conduct new research.
This goes back to the originality idea—demonstrate you’ve been listening and can apply the concepts of the class to the practices and concepts in another field of study or personal interest.
It will be tough, but don’t let friends or activities derail your schedule. Set the plan and execute, execute, execute—this is the only way to achieve the results you want.
When making the schedule, set completion goals so that the time isn’t open-ended. If your time is nebulous, you will be more likely to drop the ball. You’ve got a date with a chair and life-long learning.
You’re not writing in a vacuum—you have academic support at your fingertips, as well as friends who are in the same boat. Make an appointment with the writing center to get a semi-professional set of eyes, and had that paper to a friend for quick notes.
In a paper, it’s easy to use simple transition words—therefore, consequently, etc. There is nothing wrong with a transition word here and there, but they are very easy to overuse. Most blogs, like this one, this one, and this one make using transition words an important part of this process.
And it is, sort of, but we’re teaching you how to do this better than average, remember?
You’re trying to ace this paper, which means you have to do a little extra and move past the things that all students can do into things that exceptional students do.
The elegant transition based on nuanced vocabulary is an exceptional student move. Check it against the rubric: readability/unity, logical/seamless transitions, demonstration of knowledge through word choice, vocab, and logical thought—you got it! Bam!
Commit to the process
Keep in mind that one of the crucial ingredients of successful writing is time. You need time to think, research, and create. If you fail to acknowledge this, you will write a crumby paper every time.
1. Creating the Topic Overview
The first step to creating a successful thesis statement is generating a concise overview of the topic at hand. In this case, technology and the ESL classroom is the topic upon which the paper is based.
Begin by making a list of why you think your paper topic is relevant. In this case, we could say that…
– technology use inside and outside the classroom has increased in the past decade.
– students use their phones in class, which is a distraction to learning.
– social media interaction is now just as important to most students as face-to-face interaction.
– students are often taken from the expansive digital world outside of the classroom and are bored in a classroom with walls.
– student learning is increasingly social and communal in nature, as opposed to being delivered by an expert.
Now, let’s take those ideas and try to make them into one sentence:
Teachers who refuse to use technology in the classroom are not engaging their students and are disregarding their students’ natural ways of learning and their social needs.
Sounds pretty good, eh? Yep! Now, let’s punch up that language a bit, so we can sound a bit smarter:
Teachers who do not embrace technology in their classes risk losing students to academic boredom, not to mention that they will be perceived by their students as tedious and irrelevant. This is because technology and sociability aren’t extracurricular—students’ lives are increasingly technology oriented and social in nature in ways that weren’t around years ago.
Oh! Even better! But there are still some simple things we can do to punch up the language, like use Word’s synonyms function by right-clicking:
Be careful as you do this—sometimes the tool can be a bit off since it can’t improvise well for word forms. But go through word by word and tighten, change, and you’ll get this:
That sounds great, doesn’t it? With adding then subtracting, expanding then consolidating, moving from the general to the specific, you can craft an overview to be used in the thesis. Also, note the use of old tricks, like opposing vocabulary (extracurricular v. intercurricular) which heighten the rhetoric.
So, check the rubric—did we hit any goals? Yep! See Development, Language and vocabulary, and Sentence structure!
We’re so close to being done with the thesis! All we need now is to connect the two sentences together with some kind of sentence, transitional phrase, or conjunction. In this case (as with almost everything in writing, actually) keep it simple:
Some of you are saying “Hey! Wait a sec! You can’t begin a sentence with because!” In fact, you can. You’ve been lied to if that’s what you think.
Many teachers tell students this because it prevents them from writing incomplete thoughts, or writing sloppily, but it’s totally street legal and, in this case, quite stylish as a prepositional phrase. So use it with abandon, so long as you complete the sentence!
Now, check the rubric again!—clarity of the argument, arguable thesis, and well-organized ideas! Check and check and check! You’re killing it.
You have a thesis!
There are two types of this paper usual for the educational institutions: analytical and argumentative, and students have to realize the difference between them. After this, they can start drafting their best work.
The structure of these two papers might be the same, but the purpose and the content will be different. It might be easy to understand that the analytical type of research paper is about observing and analyzing the issue while an argumentative essay’s purpose is to debate by adding valuable arguments. It’s not that simple when it comes to the process of writing every page.
Both types of this task have the same mission; and in the case of students, the primary goal is to improve their knowledge of the studied subject. If we talk about professionals and scientists, the mission is to explore specific research question which matters for the community. The rest of the goals include the next points.
- Gaining technical skills
- Improving research skills
- Enriching English language vocabulary
- Strengthening writing skills
- Expanding the number of topics to cover
- Improving time management and organization through setting deadlines
- Stimulating learning process
- Motivating diligence
- Developing Patience
These points prove the critical role of research paper assignment for students and scientists.
1. Determine the Relationship
Let’s say you have this paragraph to open the first section of your Linguistics paper:
You need to get from that really broad idea to a much simpler idea: that people from different cultures have trouble communicating, or—as it’s written in the paper, this:
See how jarring the logical jump is from the broad statement to the specific assertion? Take a look at the two statements together, as they are color coded—red being broad, blue being specific: