Friday, December 02, 2011

First Impressions in Writing

I just submitted my final paper for English 101! 

The assignment was to write a 500 - 1000 word process analysis about some point of the writing process and I chose the beginning of a paper, the introduction!
In the spirit of celebration, I've decided to post the paper for all you writers or other students entering in to college English classes.

First Impressions in Writing

Introductions can be daunting. Throughout life meeting new people and keeping to social etiquette can be awkward. In the same way, writing an introduction for your paper can be daunting. It has its awkward moments and periods of writers block during rough drafts. We’re all beginners at some point; all needing encouragement and guidance to start off. So to help you start, here is some writing wisdom to assist in your introductions.
            To start off, for any piece of writing you need something to write about. To get started, know your topic. If you have an assigned prompt and are unfamiliar with the topic you’ve been given, do research to be more comfortable writing about it. Make sure you understand the topic and know how it is you’re going to present it. For example, if you paper is an argument, are you arguing for or against your topic? Or if it’s persuasive, are you persuading people to take a stand for or against it? Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re knowledgeable in your topic and aware of your approach.
            Once you have a good grasp on your topic, it’s time to develop your thesis. When writing a paper your thesis is one of the most important things you’ll be graded on. It’s the declaration of what your paper is all about, the essence of your piece of writing. As ‘The Little Seagull’ handbook puts it, the thesis is “a statement that identifies the topic and main point of a piece of writing, giving readers an idea of what the text will cover”. Take care in developing your thesis, for without it, what is your paper about?
            Now that the topic and thesis are taken care of, it’s time to cover vocabulary. Wording is important in an introduction, both on paper and in life. If you were to have the opportunity to meet the Queen of England you wouldn’t greet her with an “oh my gosh! It’s great to see you!!!” but rather a formal and polite greeting appropriate for the circumstance. In the same way, you wouldn’t greet your best friend upon seeing them for the first time in two years with a reserved, “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance Your Highness.” So when you’re writing your introduction, make sure you’re using the correct wording. It needs to be appropriate for the circumstance: meaning your audience and your topic.
Something else to keep in mind is that the wording of your introduction also needs to pique the readers’ interest. To catch their eye try making a statement your audience can relate to. For example, at the beginning of this paper the statement “Introductions can be daunting.” is something a student could empathize with. But, as the introduction continues, the parallels between introductions in life and on paper can help those with less writing experience relate to the topic as well. To engage your readers right away, try asking a question pertaining to your topic. ‘The Norton Sampler’ gives the example that “In an essay about the physical benefits of laughter, a writer might open with this question: “Is laughter really the best medicine?”
Since the introduction of your paper is the beginning, it needs to have continuation value. It’s the first impression your paper gives to the audience and should to entice them to continue reading. Make sure your introduction is apt in explaining to the reader what your paper is about, that way successfully leads into the body of your piece.
            The introduction is a crucial part of any piece of writing. The first words read are integral to how your audience will respond to the piece as a whole. As the first impression in writing is so important, we all need some encouragement and guidance when we first start off. Each of these guidelines – topic, thesis, wording, and continuation value – is important to any introduction. Follow them, add your own flare and there’s no introduction you can’t conquer. So get out there and write!

Works Cited

Cooley, Thomas. The Norton Sampler Seventh Edition: Short Stories for Composition. New York: Norton, 2010. Print.
Bullock, Richard, Francine Weinberg, The Little Seagull Handbook. New York, Norton, 2011. Print.

Need Your Help

To Write Love On Her Arms is one of the most amazing organizations ever.
It is one of my favorite organizations along with Voice of the Martyrs, Love146 and World Vision.

The Mission Statement for To Write Love On Her Arms:

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

To learn more about TWLOHA I encourage you to read their vision, the story of how they came to be and what it is they do.

Here's the reason for this post in the words of TWLOHA founder, Jamie Tworkowski:

December is here and so is the final round of voting for the American Giving Awards presented by Chase. TWLOHA is one of five charities with a chance to win $1,000,000. Your support helped us win Round 1 back in October and now we’re looking at the chance not only to win this money but to do it on national television, as the Awards will be broadcast nationwide on NBC.

Your support got us here and we need you now more than ever. Winning this money would allow us to take our message of hope and help on the road to more places and in more creative ways than ever before. Beyond that, we think the chance to speak to a national television audience is something pretty special.

You can vote once daily today [BLOG NOTE::THIS E-MAIL IS FROM DECEMBER 1ST] thru 12/8, so we’re asking for 8 votes over the next 8 days. If you want to do more, you can tweet, retweet, post on Facebook and Tumblr, even host a voting party at your school or in your community. We've created a Facebook event page if you want to join the community of people voting. There’s room to get creative. There’s room for your passion and your voice.

TWLOHA started small and we’ve seen amazing doors open as we’ve continued to journey together. That’s what it’s all about.

To see our big idea (how we would spend the money) and to cast your first vote, go here.

On behalf of the entire TWLOHA team, thank you for supporting us and thank you for caring about other people.

Let's win this thing together.

So to all my readers, please vote :-) and thank you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

weekly playlist

Here are some of my music addictions for this week...songs I've kept on repeat.

a new song from one of my favorite bands - Switchfoot

Kelly Clarkson...honestly, not an artist I've ever listened to a lot. in fact, the only song of hers besides this one I can name is 'Breakaway' from The Princess Diaries II

I'm something of a Gleek. I don't necessarily agree with everything on the show but I inexplicably enjoy it. This, is definitely my favorite Glee mash-up if not my favorite Glee performance.

Demi Lovato may not have the best voice in the world. And yeah, she was a Disney girl. Yes, she was in rehab for a while; but not for drugs. I happen to love this song, and the story behind it.

such a great beat. love switchfoot!

this song...oh this song! I love it so much! it's beautiful. after I heard it the first time, it was the only song I listened to for almost three days.

reading: the power of six by pittacus lore - the replacement by brenna yovanoff - there you'll find me by jenny b. jones

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 things that make life all the sweeter because they exist

  1. Christmas Time it's something that I look forward to. Sure there are still sad times just like any other time of the year, but all around, I love Christmas time. The smell and feel of winter all around me. The sound of Christmas music. (I have some seriously awesome Christmas fact I posted about it last year!)

  2. bucket list I started my bucket list the other day. Crazy things I want to do before I die (no I don't have a terminal illness - as far as I know - I just wanted to make one). There's some pretty wacky things on that list, but I have absolutely enjoyed creating it. I'm considering posting it in fact.

  3. music just in general. I love the stuff. Every morning I wake up with music playing in my head. Usually when I read something it will make me think of a song which is perfect for it (maybe I should be a book-soundtrack creator. do they have those?). And of course, when someone says something, always makes me think of a song with those words in it.
    (When my friend Savanah's little sister Mercy was born this spring, she called me from the hospital to say it was a girl and that they were thinking of naming her Mercy. Automatically had Justice & Mercy by Flyleaf playing in my head. Yep.)

  4. getting things in the mail whether it's ordering things online (which is how I shop) or receiving something from a friend (even better!) I love getting things in the mail. Says something about me doesn't it. And yes, I do also like to watch the washing machine through the little window/door. haha

  5. electricity seriously. kind of a self-explanatory one there. when the power goes's craziness.

  6. wifi an off-shoot of electricity, I know, but still. So reliant on it. For school, contact with the outside world. All that good stuff. when the wifi goes's more than just craziness.

  7. encouragement a few words. a facebook post. a bible verse. a tweet. a smile. something going right. a butterfly. encouragement can come from so many different places, but is all the more uplifting, all the more inspiring when it just pops up out of seemingly nowhere.

  8.  imagination (needs no explanation)

  9. MEAD composition books love them. to death. always carrying one around in my bag. they're low cost, affordable so I never have to worry about filling it up with weird things, not writing on a page, doodling all over them. definitely my chosen writing keeper. other than my computer.

  10. Flyleaf favorite band. favorite tunes. great testimonies behind the band, in the band members. just amazing. totally inspires me, keeps me going. LOVE. In fact, meeting Lacey Mosley - Sturm (lead singer of Flyleaf) is on my bucket list. So is seeing them in concert with my best friend Lauren. this is Flyleaf

reading: the power of six by pittacus lore -- listening: christmas song by flyleaf -- loving: youversion ipod bible app

P.S. the about and favorites pages have been changed and updated!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Harry Potter

my books
I have something to say.
Something many people find controversial. Something that will probably cause more than one of you to stop following my blog.

It's about Harry Potter.
I've read Harry Potter, I love the books, the movies, and have grown up with the story.

Do I look at Harry Potter as evil? Not anymore than anything else.

In this recent article the exorcist for the Catholic church said that "Harry Potter and yoga are evil."

Well, I don't have an opinion on yoga as I haven't done any research into the matter but I do have an opinion about what he's said of Harry Potter.

His premise is that "In Harry Potter the devil acts in a crafty and covert manner" and “Practising yoga is satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter".

You know what? Satan can use the Bible just as much as Harry Potter to make people do evil things. What I'm saying is that Satan can use Harry Potter, but only as much as the next thing. In fact, Satan has worked through the bible to make people do evil things; slavery, the crusades, polygamy...shall I go on?

Did I mention this is coming from a man whose "favorite film is the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist." and PROMOTES HORROR MOVIES such as "The Rite, a film about exorcism starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a Jesuit priest."

It seems pretty stupid to me, saying that satan can work through Harry Potter as if it's the worst and only outlet.

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