Axia College Material
Fundamentals of Writing, Part One
What to Do Before You Start Writing
Writing—just reading the word might make you cringe. There are many possible reasons of why students do not like to write. Writing instructors usually hear My grammar is horrible, I had a writing teacher who marked up all my papers in red, or I cannot think of anything.
Maybe you have similar reasons for not wanting to write; maybe you are excited to write, but do not know where to start. If you break the writing process into segments, it may not overwhelm you. This may ease your anxieties and inspire you to enjoy writing.
Before you pick up a pen or start typing, stop and plan. Ask ...view middle of the document...
|Compare and contrast |Explain similarities and differences between subjects. |
|Define |Specify the meaning of a term or idea. |
|Describe |Detail the events or characteristics that occurred and the |
| |results. |
|Discuss |Examine the main points regarding a topic. |
|Evaluate |Judge a subject’s qualities. |
|Interpret |Explain the meaning of a concept or consequences of an action. |
|Report |Present available information on a subject. |
|Summarize |State main points in a text, argument, or other work. |
Determine Your Purpose
After you know the expectations, you may determine your purpose. Everything has a purpose. If you share a funny story with a friend, your purpose is to entertain. If you write a business proposal, your purpose is to persuade your manager to approve it. If a family member wonders why you are attending Axia, explain that your purpose is to get a college education.
If you are having trouble thinking of a purpose, try writing a brief purpose statement. Suppose you want to write a paper on rural development. Your purpose statement might look similar to the following:
My purpose is to write an argumentative paper on the effects of rural development. I intend to argue my points with evidence to persuade rural and urban residents to think twice about the costs of development.
Your purpose statement will help you identify your audience and determine what research you need for your essay. After you become a more experienced writer, you may formulate the purpose in your mind, instead of on paper.
Know Your Audience
Next, determine your audience. You must know exactly for whom you are writing, why the reader will read your writing, and what the reader needs or expects from you. Writing is meant as a form of communication—information you want to share with others about a particular subject. Is the writing for your friends, your boss, or your peers and instructor? Pinpoint your audience, their characteristics, and what you need to provide for them in your writing.
Consider the following questions about your audience:
• What do my readers already know about the topic?
• What do my readers want or need to know about the topic?
• What level of...