Thinking On The Page: A College Student's Guide to Effective Writing

Thinking On The Page: A College Student's Guide to Effective Writing

Martha Schulman, Gwen Hyman

Language: English

Pages: 328

ISBN: 159963869X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Thinking On The Page: A College Student's Guide to Effective Writing

Martha Schulman, Gwen Hyman

Language: English

Pages: 328

ISBN: 159963869X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Take Charge of Your Writing--and Dazzle Your Instructors!

It can be a challenge to achieve writing excellence, but it doesn't have to be mysterious, and it's definitely not impossible. To present powerful ideas effectively in your college essays, you need to break away from rigid rules and structures and start thinking on the page.

With this book, you'll learn how to actively engage with a text, analyze it, draw informed conclusions, and then make solid claims about what you have observed. Thinking on the Page will also help you:

  • Think critically about what you're reading and draw questions and ideas directly from the text
  • Approach your essay as a story rather than a formula
  • Work through your ideas by graphing, listing, charting, and drawing
  • Incorporate relevant outside research
  • Edit your final essay and polish it to perfection

Whether you're in college or high school, you need to communicate your ideas effectively through writing. Thinking on the Page provides innovative tools tailored to the way you learn and write, enabling you to produce thoughtful, analytical, and meaningful work, both in school and beyond.

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name doesn’t come up, you’re probably not spelling it right.) Be sure to check place names and titles of texts as well—and make triple-sure you’re spelling your professor’s name correctly! Getting Titles Right In high school, you probably referred to your teachers as “Mr.” or “Ms.” In college, most professors are referred to as Professor (or Doctor). In some cases, your professor may encourage you to call him or her by first name; in other cases, your professor may not yet have a Ph.D. and may

the text, its syntax, tone, the multiple meanings words can have—lets you play the text with authority. Authoritative ideas about a text are those that are both consistent with the facts of the baseline reading (you can’t make up a whole new version of the text or overlook elements that are clearly there) and based on a close reading of the language of the text. This kind of close reading means thinking not just about what is said but also about how it is said. In other words, your task is to

this project that he can bear anything? Very weird. This is the second time he’s mentioned worms (dead are “food for the worm” earlier). Obviously worms eat dead bodies, but he’s in there messing around with those bodies, almost like he’s trying to inherit their wonders, that is, the wonder of life. Does that make Victor almost like a worm? Labeling your idea threads might seem pretty straightforward, but it’s actually an important step. Giving each topic a heading or name will help you see how

As we’ve said before, freewriting involves sitting down with your notebook or computer (or a big piece of paper or a whiteboard or whatever you’re comfortable with) and writing as freely and continuously as possible. Try this process. Go back to your idea thread to remind yourself what you wanted to explore. Choose one question to begin. Don’t feel you have to begin with your first passage. Start with the phenomenon and question you have the most to say about. Ignore the rules of formal

taken out your opening claim. But even though you already know what you want to conclude, that doesn’t mean you can just paste that phrase onto the end of your paper. You’ll want to check to make sure that, now that you’ve reached the end of your claim draft, the conclusion follows from everything you’ve said. And you’ll need to make sure it reads well, which may mean rewriting it a bit. As an example, take a look at the overall claim, the opening claim, and the concluding paragraph of the

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