Grissom's Grammar and Composition

This blog is for any student writing papers for college, for current and former students in my Communications Cluster at Lindenwood University, and my students at St. Charles Community College.

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I write for myself, for the web, and for everyone who gets me. I've been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids. And I'm directionally challenged - I get lost a lot.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Due for February 27th

Research Paper and Project Assignments

Follow the instructions in the handout for turning in your Research Paper and all previous assignments relating to the research project - See Assignment #10.

Skills Assessment Test
Review for the test on Research Writing

Literature Book Readings listed for this week.

Review Subjects for Research Writing Skills Test

Finding a Research Topic
If you were assigned another research paper, what steps would you take to find a topic to write about?

Evaluating Sources
How do you evaluate sources? What makes them good quality sources?

Three Ways to Incorporate Sources Into Your Paper
Define summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting and some guidelines for using each technique.

Formal Research Writing
Research writing is more formal than other types of writing. Explain some differences between informal essay writing and research writing.Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and QuotingYou get sources into your paper using these three methods. Define each and explain why and how use them in a research paper.

Logos, Ethos, Pathos
These are three ways to persuade an audience. Define them and give examples.Review three ways to argue.

Logical Fallacies
These are arguments with bad logic. They are often used because they fool people, but good sources won't have logical fallacies and you shouldn't use them in your own writing. Be familiar with at least 4 common fallacies.

Responding to the Other Side
You can acknowledge or refute the opposing side's arguments. How do you do this and why does it help persuade your audience?

Signal Phrases
Signal phrases introduce quotations into your paper, often by explaining what the source of evidence is or the name and qualifications of the expert you are quoting. Know how to use them and give an example.

Brackets and Ellipses
These are tools to help you handle quotations in a research paper. Ellipses allow you to leave out part of a quote, and brackets go around anything you added to a quotation to help your audience understand it. Know how and why to use [sic] also.

In-text Citations
These are citations used within your writing to show where source information came from. You either mention the source in your writing or add it in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. Give examples of in-text citations and show where the punctuation goes when using an in-text citation at the end of a sentence.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Update on Class Tomorrow

I will not be collecting research papers tomorrow. You may turn them in if you have them completed, but I am extending the official due date until next Tuesday. We will do the oral presentations and review for the next Skills Assessment Test. We will also start discussing the elements of short fiction, and may get to some Literature stories, so complete the readings listed for February 20th.

So plan on oral presentations for tomorrow, the readings in the Literature books, and a review for the Comm II test.

See you then.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Play Tonight - Outline of Journal 12 Based on Play

We will meet in the Cultural Arts Building at 7 p.m.

There is a new ticket pricing policy:

Tickets are $8.00 for students with a valid I.D. and $12.00 for all other adults.

Please note:
-Sign my attendance sheet when you arrive.
-Children under 5 are not permitted for this production.
-"Suitable attire" is required. No tuxes, I'm sure. Just casual dressy will work.
-No one will be allowed into the theater after the play starts at 7:30 p.m.
E-mail me if you have questions.

Your last journal is a review of this play. You may want to make notes so you remember details for the journal.

Just a quick review on what I'm looking for in Journal 12:
In your journal about the play, review the following like a movie reviewer.

Plot - What is the overall story and does it make sense?

Characters - Are they realistic and interesting?

Dialogue - Does the dialogue seem authentic and help explain the plot?

Staging - Does the staging add to or detract from the meaning of the play?

Theme - What is the overall message of the play? Tell me what you think of each and give examples to support your judgments.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Class Cancelled for February 13

I am cancelling class for this evening due to the weather conditions.

We will still attend the play on campus Thursday night, andI will return your first drafts at that time. I will attempt to contact everyone individually also. If possible, please send me an e-mail that says you received notice that class has been cancelled if you read the blog. Drive safely, everyone.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Extra Class Reminder - Play on Feb. 15th

*Don't forget the play we will be attending on thursday, February 15 at Lindenwood in the LUCC Building. You can call the box office for details. You may want to reserve your tickets in advance over the phone. We will meet in the lobby at 7:00 p.m. Please sign my attendance sheet when you arrive.

Researching Tip - Google News Alerts

Google has a new form that lets you sign up for Google news alerts based on key words.

Example: If you are doing a research paper on the immigrant guest worker program, you type key words like "guest worker program" and "immigration" into the google alert request, and it will send you the latest news stories containing these words from papers all over the country.

Some stories will be repeats of the same information, but you get a news flash if something happens regarding your topic. You may go back and cancel the alert when you are finished using it. It's great for researching current issues.

Top 3 Ways to Argue in a Paper

I don't know about you, but everyday arguing at my house isn't usually to convince anyone to agree with me. It is more of a take-no-prisoners-I-am-right-you-are-wrong conflict about who left the lights on downstairs. Arguments in writing, though, must be different. They seek to persuade your audience rather than win an argument.

Using the three argument methods below can help you persuade an audience to agree with you.

1) Go For Their Emotions
Many students think school writing must be as dry and factual as possible. While evidence is crucial to research writing assignments, living, breathing human stories show your audience how the issue works in real life. So get to the audience's emotions by showing stories they can care about. For example, include the experiences of home schooled students for an essay on home schooling. If you don't show how the problem affects average people, you will ignore a valuable argument tool. This is also called the Pathos Appeal.

2) Appeal to Their Logical Side
Using logic is critical to arguing. You must have solid evidence and logical arguments that back up all of your ideas. Don't use any logical fallacies and if it is a research paper argument, include plenty of reputable research like expert opinions, studies, experiments, and surveys. Style Guides like MLA have directories that show how to cite different types of sources, so every kind of source listed is fair game. The more evidence, the better. This is also called the Logos Appeal.

3) Get Them to Like You
You have a personality when you write, just like you do when you talk. If your writing sounds reasonable, your readers will listen to you. If you offend an audience, they won't agree with you. We don't want to agree with people we don't like, so avoid name calling the other side or you'll be labeled radical and untrustworthy.And consider your audience. If your paper is on recycling and you lecture your readers for being wasteful, they won't listen to you. Acknowledging arguments on the other side also contributes to your credibility, so don't ignore valid points on the other side. Acknowledge that you see their point, but explain why you still hold your view.Example: Yes, we have made strides in medicine by experimenting on animals, but now we have computer models that can simulate the way actual human cells will react, so we no longer need animals to experiment on.If the oppositions arguments aren't valid, then explain why in a reasonable tone.This method is also called the Ethos Appeal.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Due on February 6th

This week bring two copies of your first draft (Assignment 7).

Put one in a folder with your outline (Assignment 6) and turn it in to me, and keep the other to peer review with tonight.

I will review your first draft and conference with you next week. Continue working on the second draft with comments from your fellow classmates, and prepare a draft of your Works Cited for next week.