Revisiting Past Work and Applying Writing Strategies
Project instructions:
ACMA01 Short Essay #3, Fall 2014
Revisiting Past Work and Applying Writing Strategies
The third short essay assignment asks you to revise and extend one of your previous
writings, by re-working one of your journal assignments (Week 2 ? Week 8) as a longer,
formal essay. In doing so, you will also practice consciously applying the writing strategies
you?ve learned so far in ACMA01. This project will allow you to revisit your preferred theme
from the past, to practice nuanced and probing interrogation of your own writing and
reasoning skills, and to reflect upon the development of your writing and your use of writing
strategies up to this point, thus identifying your current strengths and weaknesses.
To begin this assignment, you need to review the journal entries you?ve completed so far
(your responses to the ?Analysis? questions from Moving Beyond the Page), and choose one
that you would like to return to and expand into a formal essay. For instance, if you?ve found
yourself thinking about and/or discussing Henry David Thoreau?s ?Civil Disobedience? in the
weeks since you read it for this course, this would be a strong candidate for revisiting. Once
you?ve decided on an entry, review it to locate your thesis. Then, simply progress as you
would with any essay: break the thesis down into parts, expand upon and/or rework the
ideas you offered in the journal entry, collect quotations and paraphrasing from the related
essay to support your points, structure your essay around these points with strong, leading
sentences, etc.
In order to do this, it is important for you to consciously apply the writing instruction you?ve
received up to this point in ACMA01. This is where you begin to step away from writing
down words simply to get them out, and to step toward intentional and strategic use of
particular moves common to crafting high-quality, professional academic writing. As a
reminder, these moves are:
– Constructing an assertive thesis statement
– Providing strong claims and leading sentences
– Illustrating what is at stake in your analysis
– Strategically employing modes of writing and ethos, logos, pathos
– Introducing and responding to other voices, distinguishing your own voice
– Summarizing and paraphrasing
– Framing, unpacking, and formatting quotations
– Planting a naysayer
– Showing v. telling
– Using proper and consistent citation
– Developing an intriguing and informative title
Draw on tutorial exercises and the templates and guidance offered in They Say/I Say to
ensure you are utilizing these tactics correctly, and to maximize their efficacy. As you
compose your essay, interrogate the moves you are making. As you insert a quotation, for
example, ask yourself, ?Have I introduced this quotation properly? Does the reader have
sufficient information to understand this quotation and its context? How will I unpack this
quotation? What do I need to say to show the reader how and why this quotation is relevant
to the claim I?m making? Can the templates on pages 46-47 of TSIS provide useful
suggestions for how I should frame and analyze this quotation?? Similar questions can be
raised about all of the writing tools listed above.
This assignment will ideally be completed in two parts. First, for the Week 8 tutorial, you
should bring two hard copies of your chosen journal entry with you. A substantial portion of
this tutorial will be dedicated to offering peer review of each other?s work, and discussing
what it means to consciously employ particular writing moves. Students will assess the
successful and unsuccessful moves or moments in each other?s essays, highlighting areas
that need attention and areas that are particularly effective. These reviewed entries will not
be collected or marked; they are intended to provide you an outside perspective of your
writing, and are strictly for your use in completing the assignment. Note: Please do not
include any personal information on your hard copies.
The second stage of this assignment involves you incorporating the feedback offered by
your peer and using this to construct the actual essay. Pay attention not only to areas your
reviewer found problematic, but also to areas they highlighted as successful. Developing a
strong academic writing style certainly involves correcting errors and refining analysis, but
equally important is knowing what you do well, and using such skills consciously to boost
the overall effectiveness of your writing.
Length: 4 pages, approximately 1200 words, plus a separate Works Cited page. Do not use a
title page. Your essay must be typed (double-spaced) in Times New Roman, 12 point font.
Follow the formatting guidelines as outlined in MLA 7 style guide. A link to this resource and
an example of proper formatting are available on Blackboard. In constructing your Works
Cited, note that Moving Beyond the Page is an anthology, so you must consult the Purdue
OWL?s MLA 7 style guide to learn how to cite entries within a collection or anthology.


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