Metacommentary Essay Outline

Presentation on theme: "Avoiding Plagiarism; Writing Effective Metacommentary, Introduction of the Research Paper."— Presentation transcript:

1 Avoiding Plagiarism; Writing Effective Metacommentary, Introduction of the Research Paper

2 Quickwrite Come up with a clear thesis statement that answers this question, and then begin to answer it in the form of a freewrite. What do you think are the most common reasons that some students plagiarize (cheat, steal others’ words or ideas) on their written assignments? What do you think should be done in order to address these reasons and prevent plagiarism from occurring?

3 Chapter 10 of They Say / I Say What is metacommentary? Why do authors sometimes feel the need to include it in their writing? In your research paper, you might need to explain to your readers how to read your points in order to avoid confusion or misunderstanding.

4 Chapter 10 of They Say / I Say P. 129 of TSIS says, “metacommentary is a way of commenting on your claims and telling others how—and how not—to think about them.” Add an additional paragraph to your quickwrite in which you include one or more examples of metacommentary that tells your reader how to think about your points. – Are there any potential misunderstandings that you can clarify? (p. 135) – Can you introduce and then provide a specific example of your point? (p. 136) – Can you anticipate some objections to your point and answer them? (p. 136) – Can you tie all of your small points together to make one general point? (p. 137)

5 Three Basic Rules for Avoiding Plagiarism: 1.Make sure all word-for-word quotes have quote marks showing where they begin and end. Also, make sure to make the difference between your ideas and your sources’ ideas clear when paraphrasing or summarizing. 2.Identify where each quote OR paraphrased idea came from in the body of your paper using in- text citations. 3.Make sure that each source you quote or paraphrase in your paper is correctly listed on your Works Cited page.

6 To Cite, or Not to Cite You do not have to cite facts that are undisputed common knowledge. – Ex: The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863. – Ex: Water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. – Ex: Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. However, once you start needing to use ideas about these common, everyday facts that you found in your sources, you must cite the source of the idea. When in doubt, cite! And if you have time, ask!

7 Some Myths about Plagiarism Myth 1: As long as I have a source on my works cited page, I don’t have to mention it in the body of my paper. WRONG! Any time you use ideas or words from a source, you must include an in-text citation. Myth 2: As long as I change one or two words in a quote, I don’t have to put quote marks around it or do a citation. WRONG! Changing one or two words in a quote and replacing them with synonyms is STILL PLAGIARISM if you keep the original ideas and/or sentence structure. Myth 3: As long as I paraphrase correctly, using my own words and sentence structure to express an idea, I don’t need an in- text citation. WRONG! Even if you use your own words, if the idea originally came from somewhere else, you must cite it.

8 Myths about Plagiarism Myth 4: I don’t need to cite exact words, ideas or information I find on the internet. WRONG! Treat your internet sources with the same respect you have for your print or online database sources. Myth 5: It is appropriate to use an old essay from a friend, buy an essay, or have someone help me write an essay using his or her wording instead of mine. WRONG! All of these are called collusion, and they are all plagiarism. Myth 6: I won’t get caught if I plagiarize. WRONG! Plagiarism is quite obvious to most professors, and many of them use plagiarism detecting software.

9 Resources to Help you Avoid Plagiarism P. 451-456 of Rules for Writers for avoiding plagiarism. P. 458-459 for a directory of MLA citation information. P. 479-523 for MLA references. P. 523-532 for example research paper. Example research paper from the Purdue OWL Online plagiarism tutorial and quizzes from Simon Fraser University Online plagiarism tutorial and quizzes from Simon Fraser University Plagiarism Self Test from Western Carolina University University of Southern Mississippi’s Plagiarism Tutorial

10 How to Use TurnItIn to Check for Plagiarism After you have uploaded your essay to turnitin, you will have the ability to check YOURSELF for any plagiarism. Your originality score should be less than 30%. This means that no more than 30% of your essay should be identified as word for word from a source, even if sources are quoted correctly. Any portions of your essay that turnitin highlights should be enclosed in quotes and given a correct MLA parenthetical citation.

11 What Happens if TurnItIn Finds Plagiarism? If you have time before the due date, you can fix the problem and upload a new, corrected file that will replace the old one. This means that it would be a good idea to give yourself time to correct any errors before the due date. If you discover accidental plagiarism after the due date, I will give you the opportunity to revise.

12 What about intentional plagiarism? Intentional plagiarism is cheating that is not the result of an accident, a lack of knowledge, or a citation error. For example, uploading an entire essay you bought or copied from a website is not an accident. What happens if turnitin identifies intentional plagiarism? – Hope you’ve given yourself enough time to take it down and upload something you actually wrote before the due date. – Because if I catch you, I will fail you on the assignment with no hope of revision so fast it’ll make your head spin.

13 Rhetorical Situation for Research Papers Every piece of writing has a “rhetorical situation.” This is the set of circumstances under which the piece of writing is produced, and it affects the choices a writer makes. What is the “rhetorical situation” of piece of writing that is classified as “research”? – What is its purpose? – What is its audience? – What is its tone/stance? – What is its medium?

14 The Purpose of Our Research Paper Make a CLAIM about some area of pop culture and defend that claim using reputable sources and your own analysis of the issue. How do I discover and defend a claim? – ASK a research question that invites further discussion. – READ a variety of sources about your question. – DECIDE, based on your research, where you stand on your question, and put that stance into a thesis/claim. – DEFEND your decision (your thesis) in your paper.

15 Don’t ask a question to which you think you already know the answer.

16 Audience for our Research Paper Assume a general audience of other college- level students and professors. Your audience is interested in your topic, and they know what pop culture is, but may not be familiar with your specific issue. You will need to provide appropriate context.

17 Tone and Medium of Research Paper Tone: I will expect the paper to have a clear point of view on the question you choose, but I will expect the paper to be professional and respectful of those who might disagree. (If you wouldn’t say it to the face of someone you respect but disagree with, it doesn’t belong in your research paper.) Medium: Written paper, with the option of correctly cited and captioned images throughout. Also, if you choose to do the extra credit, you may use video and internet sources in your presentation.

18 Expectations for Style: This paper should be written in an academic style. Some extra points to remember: – No text-speak (“u” for “you,” for example) – Precise, academically appropriate language – Limit use of “I” and “me” to well-chosen, relevant examples.

19 Formulating a Research Question A successful research question will: – Narrow an issue related to pop culture down to a manageable question for a 6-8 page paper. – Be specific. – Invite discussion about the answer to the question. Some poor research questions: How does science fiction affect society? (Too broad… affect it HOW? And who is “society” referring to?) What are some good science fiction movies? (“Good” is too subjective. What do you mean by “good”? And what is your purpose in ranking these movies?)

20 Research Question, cont. Improved Research questions: Has science fiction historically been able to comment on issues of racism and prejudice in a unique way? What has science fiction contributed to the conversation about these topics? What are some of the most significant real world scientific discoveries that have been inspired by science fiction films? Remember, your research proposal needs to have your research question at the top, followed by a discussion of why you chose this question and where you think you will go from here.

21 Brainstorming for the Research Paper Question Make a list of ALL of the areas of pop culture you might like to write about. Come up with some rough questions about each of these topics. (You can refine them later.) Be curious! What are connections you’ve always wondered about? What are things you’ve noticed that you’d like to explore in more detail? What are readings from our book that intrigued you? What more do you want to know about those topics?

22 Rough Research Question Turn at least one of the topics you brainstormed into a rough research question. Now, ask yourself, so what? Who cares? Where should I go next to find out what other people are saying about this topic? What might I need to find out before I am ready to enter this conversation as an informed participant? The answers to those questions are what make up the paragraphs for your research proposal.

23 Ok, I have a research question. Now what? Have your research question(s) checked by me. Continue refining them. What knowledge/experience do you bring to the topic? What are issues you know you will need to explore in order to find out what your claim is going to be?

24 What Should My Research Proposal Include? Your specific research question The Stakeholders (People who are most affected by this issue) An explanation of what is at stake in the discussion of this issue What do I need to find out before forming an opinion? Possible specific sources of information on this issue

25 What should I be doing this week and next for the research paper? Research Proposal Start finding possible sources. Keep track of where you find them. Read at least five possible sources. If they are relevant, annotate/highlight/take notes. Keep track of which ideas came from which source. Begin to notice common debates or themes in your sources. What are the big issues that show up over and over again as you research?

Definition of Body Paragraph

A body paragraph in an essay is a paragraph that comes between the introduction and the conclusion. In a five-paragraph essay, there are three body paragraphs, while in longer essays there could be five or even ten. In major research papers, there are hundreds of body paragraphs.

Components of a Body Paragraph

A body paragraph has three major components: (1) topic sentence, (2) explanation, (3) supporting details. Without any of them, the body paragraph seems to be missing something, and will not add anything to the theme and central idea of the essay.

  1. Topic Sentence
    The topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph, and states the main idea to be discussed in the paragraph. In a body paragraph, the topic sentence is always about the evidence given in the thesis statement of the essay. It could be a claim, an assertion, or a fact needing explanation. It is generally a statement or a declarative sentence.
  2. Explanation / Example
    The topic sentence is followed by an explanation and/or an example. Whatever it is, it generally starts with “in other words” or “it means;” or “for example,” “for instance,” etc. This is called “metacommentary,” or telling of the same thing in different words to explain it further, so that readers can understand.
  3. Supporting Details
    Supporting details include concrete examples, rather than explanation or metacommentary. In common essays, or five-paragraph essays, this is just a one-sentence example from everyday life. However, in the case of research essays, these are usually quotes and statistics from research studies.

Different Between an Introduction and a Body Paragraph

Although both are called paragraphs, both are very different from each other not only in terms of functions but also in terms of components. An introduction occurs in the beginning and has three major components; a hook, background information, and a thesis statement. However, a body paragraph is comprised of a topic sentence making a claim, an explanation or example of the claim, and supporting details.

Examples of Body Paragraph in Literature

Example #1:  Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (by Bertrand Russell)

“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness – that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what – at last – I have found.”

This is a paragraph from the prologue of the autobiography of Bertrand Russell. Check its first topic sentence, which explains something that is further elaborated in the following sentences.

Example #2: Politics and the English Language (by George Orwell)

“The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.”

This paragraph has a very short topic sentence. However, its explanation and further supporting details are very long.

Function of Body Paragraph

The elements of a body paragraph help to elaborate a concept, organize ideas into a single whole, and help bridge a gap in thoughts. The major task of a body paragraph is the organization of thoughts in a unified way. It also helps an author to give examples to support his claim, given in the topic sentence of that body paragraph. A good paragraph helps readers understand the main idea with examples.

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