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February 24, 2009

A Little Troble With Warrants

I enjoyed reading TCR's section on warrants. I know that most people were able to grasp the information given but, I had to reread it. It seemed very logical and make sense but, I was having a hard time thinking of something and making my own warrants. Though this section on warrants would help me greatly in my writing, I think I might have a hard time identifying my warrents or making them from something I have read. In our discussion, it became a little clearer and after rereading the chapter and I know is very useful. I know it is a way to suppport my claim. I just think that it takes me a little longer than most to state the warrant. I thought about in our lecture how we came with the warrant "burning buildings smoke," from "Wow, there's a lot of smoke coming from that building, it must be on fire." I get that we have to find what links the reason and claim. I just can't come up with a warrant right away. Though it seems easy, I am having a bit of troble. It think because it is very easy, I am missing it. I am confident that this section will help me write future paper and I think with practice I will get better at identifying warrants.

February 17, 2009

Look Before You Leap

Reading more of TCR makes me wonder why in high school I never was taught more about these types of necessary writing skills in order to have a good paper. As a senior in college I feel as if I should have been using these skills a long time ago rather than now. This is a great book that I know I'll be referring to in the future if my career path ever leads me into writing of any kind. Before this book, I had never heard of using warrants in a paper, let alone anything else important it seems. Granted, I know now people use warrants in everyday conversations, but I never knew there was a definition for it. The examples of everyday warrants like, "Look before you leap," helps me understand a little more clearly what point they are trying to get across to their readers.

How to use warrants and determining whether or not they are necessary when making a claim is still hazy to me, but I feel as if once I start writing papers it will slowly become clearer as time passes. It makes me feel better knowing that the authors state they too have trouble understanding warrants sometimes even though they are experienced writers.

Using Warrants

I enjoyed reading this section on warrants. Most of the time, I try to show how my evidence supports my claims. Still, this section is a valuable reminder that an acceptable warrant for one person might be unacceptable for another. The chapter’s many recommendations, including how to create and validate warrants, contain a lot of useful information.
I’m not always comfortable with material that tells me how to write. Sometimes I think that reading about writing will make my arguments too restricted or formulaic. I like the TCR approach, though. It’s intuitive and interesting. As I read the various cases and examples, I can recognize how I use warrants in my writing. I also see ways to improve. As the text said, using warrants well is a matter of ethos. I’d like to make sure that my claims are supported in ways that will satisfy my audience.

Just Jump Out Of The Plane And I Will Meet You On The Ground

I was introduced to warrants last semester in my WRIT1301 course, and I have been able to write very effective essays ever since. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I attended college that I found out about them. In high school, I always wrote papers about motocross or my pets, and my feedback from the teacher was usually, “Great Job!” or “Excellent!” It just felt odd that none of them actually spent the time to critique my work and what I could do to improve my skills. By learning about warrants, I have come to realize that I always assumed the reader knew what I was talking about. For example, I wrote a narrative essay about one of my motocross races and described what I did and how, but I never stated why something happened and for what purpose. Now, I spend extra time looking at my paper and trying to find ways to explain every detail, like how a skydiver would tell you every procedure before jumping out of the plane. By taking this course, I can further enrich my skills to create a very clear, effective, and informational research paper.

February 16, 2009

A thought on Warrants

I found the section on Warrants in TCR to be really helpful. I was not sure the purpose of a warrant initially, but I now realize that they are probably the most important part of an argument. How can you make an argument if your reasons are not relevant?! Anticipating your reader's objections is key to creating a sound theory that is threaded throughout your essay. What do others think are the best ways to anticipate readers' objections?

February 9, 2009

Techniques for Structuring a Paper

Information from the next two readings of the Craft of Research I found useful because it was a good refresher. I actually would recommend reading ahead for those of you who are planning on rewriting or editing your paper. It was useful in terms of reminding me the of rule concerning empty words or words that serve no purpose in a sentences. I definitely need to get a list of words to avoid using them in my papers especially since I don’t write on a daily basis to keep them embedded in my mind. Overtime, I somehow became absent minded of them all. Also, I found the section concerning paper structures and brainstorming methods interesting. In the past , I used regular outlines with the titles and subtitling of subjects. However, overtime I lost patience with using this technique. It wasn’t a helpful technique for me at all. Now, I brain storm as I work on the paper but it takes me a long time to just even get through the paper. It took me two full days to write our previous paper. The book mentioned a technique called a story board. I somewhat heard of it few years back but I never used the technique. It was a technique that was not used in my classes or by many of my peers. So I knew very little of it. It looks straight forward after reading details about it but complex in regards to doing research with it simultaneously. I was wondering, has anyone used this technique before and did you find it useful? If not what other techniques do you suggest? I was thinking about possibly trying the storyboard technique for my next paper but if you are against it for certain reasons I would like to know why you refrain from using it.

February 4, 2009

Hopeful

After reading the first chapter in, "The Craft of Research" I felt I was well informed of what I was doing wrong. I know I am like a lot of people who cannot put what they are thinking into writing. At times, I know what I am thinking makes sence, seems very logical, and has meaning. But, when I write it, I know I have gone through extremes of writing the facts. I have a hard time with bringing interest. I am hopeful about grasping my readers attention more in my papers. Sometimes, I write to just tell somebody something new and interesting because I enjoy it. I didn't consider writing to grasp a particular audience. I guess, it shows when I talk to some of my friends. They will tell me something they think is cool and they really enjoy it. Some of the things they saw loses my interest and my mind satrts to wonder. I know it sounds bad but, I really try hard to pay attention to what they are interested. One example is politics. I find hardly anything interesting about it. I guess that is why I married my husband because he has that interest and keeps me informed when I am lost in a conversation. I do the same to my friends. I will talk about a subject and they will ask me a question that is so off what I was talking about. I don't get offended, I just understand that they weren't interested. That's is just time for me to stop talking about what I like and get deeper in what they like. I agree that reading is a conversation between the author/s and I. There were many books I read that gave me a mental picture. And, of couse, there were books that ended up like my lost conversations with my friends. So, I am excited that I will be able to have an interesting conversation with my audience, in my writing. Now the step is to doing it and practicing.

February 3, 2009

A Little Worried

“The Craft of Research? is going to help me a lot this semester with constructing my papers. Not only in this class, but I am taking two other classes this semester that are very heavy on the writing. I am a little worried because I have not taken any writing classes in college other than Freshmen Composition, and that was over two years ago. I have problems getting my thoughts out on paper in a way that is clear and organized. I also have problems just coming up with good topics to write about, and making an argument that is clear. I thought the instructions on connecting with your reader will be helpful in making my research papers more interesting, and really capturing my audience. Some things I learned from this reading that I will start doing for my future papers are constructing a plan on preparing and constructing research, and making a blueprint for a first draft. This will help me a lot with organizing my thoughts, and presenting them in the best way. It will also be very useful to learn how to judge what is good, sound evidence, and what not. I like to use my old books that I have kept from previous classes because I know that they are reliable resources. They are a good resource, rather than just using the internet to find information.

What have I been doing?

What have I been doing? That's the question I began to ask myself as I began to read the first section of this book. Too often my research papers begin well and end poorly. More often than not, I end up more than slightly off topic and fail to expand effectively on my ideas (which my professors deem valid initially). The root of all my writing woes, whether they be in a research paper or otherwise, is my lack of planning in my arguments. I'm a very hasty writer; I start way too late and try to finish way too early. Writing is not my favorite past time, unfortunately for my grades. I much prefer working on my car or playing some sort of sport, like golf or hockey. And I also suffer from undiagnosed ADD, and I truly did not intend to include that in my blog post. However, that also fouls up my attempts at successful writing. Rarely if ever do I construct a plan for my writing, or even write a rough draft. I know these are big aspects of the writing process, but I don't do them anyway. In order for me to be a more successful writer, and more importantly communicator, I will need to organize my thoughts in a way that will be easy to read and appealing to my audience, and I hope that with the help of this book I can accomplish that goal.

A Failure to Connect

In seventh and eighth grade, students in my middle school were required to create an entry for the History Day program. Both years I chose to write research papers. I did a lot of research for both—I had book sources, official documents, articles, just about everything. The first year, the topic had just the right scope. But the second year, I chose a topic that was too complex. It was broad and couldn’t be condensed into a simple and clear thesis. As I wrote, the technical nature of what I was reading spilled over into my writing. I was afraid of writing the paper on a level that was too elementary. But in the end, my paper was filled with jargon, it was too hard to follow, and, ultimately, it wasn’t very successful.
Reading Chapter 2 reminds me that it’s difficult to understand and create a “role? for yourself in your writing. By reading different kinds of material, you get a sense of the style and demeanor that audiences expect. Who is your audience? How detailed should your writing be? How should your writing style vary with your purpose? If I had read more essays and articles—not just the technical sources I was using to write my paper—it would have helped me realize what was wrong with my second paper.

Regretting Poor Research

After reading the first 26 pages of “The Craft of Research?, I can’t help but feel as if I have been doing research papers incorrectly for the past 10 years of my life (give or take a year or two). I have never gone into researching and writing a paper with any sort of formulated plan or with any other audience in mind other than my professor (for whom I was expected to show off my knowledge and play to their prejudices). One really great example of the ladder would be a research paper I did for my Human Geography course freshman year of college. I came into college a die-hard conservative (I know) and here was this guy was telling me that globalization was the devil and that the lack of bus access to the suburbs was a conspiracy to keep lower class people from impeding on the rich. I thought he was crazy, but I played to my audience and accused the architecture in Minneapolis of being sexist toward working women. I regret this now. I knew my audience well, but I refused to bring anything beyond his own agenda to the table. I never considered that I may be providing “new factual knowledge? or even “entertaining? my professor or other readers with a different opinion on something like globalization. I am currently starting a new research paper for my History of Architecture course. I am now rethinking my approach to the paper: start with a plan and play to my reader. Don’t just give them a history lesson (the professor knows the history) but offer up something on a deeper level of understanding and clarity.

Crafting Research

Even though I have only gotten through the first 29 pages of this book, I am already in love. I’ve had to write a research paper before but the explanation I received on how to go about writing it wasn’t even close to the caliber of this book. My goal in this class (as cheesy as it sounds) is to learn how to write a ‘good’ research paper. There are several things just in the first couple chapters that I never though about while writing a research paper. Things such as writing as you go and not writing the entire paper only after you have deemed the research you have collected complete; writing important tidbits down so you remember them, not just reading them; and making clear lines around the role of the readers and therefore your role as a writer. Now that those ideas have been presented to me, they seem really obvious and make complete sense. One thing that I hope they get to in this book is how to select and narrow a topic. That is one of the things that I seem to have the most trouble with. However, as wonderful as this book is, I wonder why it has taken me to my second year of college to learn how to write a good research paper. Since I’m going into the science field, I believe that It’s very important but I’ve never had a good teacher for doing it.