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SP 225 Lecture 3 Judging Essay Quality. Topics Quantitative Writing Goals Checklist Essay...

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SP 225 Lecture 3 Judging Essay Quality
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SP 225Lecture 3

Judging Essay Quality

Topics Quantitative Writing

Goals Checklist

Essay Structure Parts of the Essay Thesis

APA Format Writing Center

http://svsu.edu/writingcenter/studentresources/

Owl at Purdue http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

Quantitative Writing Goals

Goal 1. Thinks quantitativelyGoal 2. Implements competentlyGoal 3. Interprets and evaluates

thoughtfullyGoal 4. Communicates effectively

Goal 1. Thinks quantitatively

Outcomes:

1. States questions and issues under consideration in numerical terms.

2. Identifies appropriate quantitative or numerical evidence to address questions and issues.

3. Investigates questions by selecting appropriate quantitative or numerical methods.

Goal 2. Implements competently

Outcomes:

1. Generates, collects, or accesses appropriate data.

2. Uses quantitative methods correctly.

3. Focuses analysis appropriately on relevant data

Goal 3. Interprets and evaluates thoughtfully

Outcomes:

1. Interprets results to address questions and issues under consideration

2. Assesses the limitations of the methods employed, if appropriate to the task or assignment

Goal 4. Communicates effectively

Outcomes:

1. Presents and/or reports quantitative data appropriately

2. Uses appropriate terminology

Quantitative Writing Checklist

What do the numbers show? How representative is that? Compared to what? How is the variable defined and

measured? What's the size of the effect? Is the association really causal? Controlling for what? What's the source of the numbers?

What do the numbers show? Don't settle for weasel words like "some" or "many" when

precise numbers are available. "Many" people don't suffer from AIDS in the US-over 1 million do.

But don't just settle for any number. Consider whether a particular figure is the right number. Interrogate numbers just as you interrogate texts.

When writing introductions or conclusions to papers, consider how you might use a few well-chosen numbers to establish a context or document the importance of the phenomenon discussed. This is a powerful use of numbers even in papers that are not inherently quantitative. For example, if you are writing a paper that discusses the nature and causes of psychogenic pain, it might help to tell the reader how common (or uncommon) the disorder really is.

How representative is that?

Stories are compelling. But anecdotes can also be misleading. Ask yourself whether a case is typical, and provide evidence to your reader assessing how representative your example is. When reporting averages, consider whether there are different subgroups or notable extreme scores that would be useful to report.

Compared to what?

Is $1 million a lot of money? If it's a salary figure, it puts you in the top 1/2 of 1 percent of US tax filers. But it's only 1/4,000,000 of the US federal budget.

Numbers (especially really big or really small numbers) need context. It often helps to compare them to other better-known figures.

How is the variable defined and measured?

Are you shocked to learn that the fraction of kids with autism has increased 12-fold in the last 20 years? You might not be when you find out that the official definition of autism has been broadened twice in that time and that the increase is matched by decreases in reports of other mental disorders.

What's the size of the effect?

Sometimes research uncovers effects which, while real, are very small. You won't be surprised to find out that the researchers often fail to emphasize the small effect size. So you need to ask yourself: What is the practical significance of the effect you are citing? Would an effect this large substantially change the world or would it be almost imperceptible?

Is the association really causal?

Because A and B occur together doesn't mean A causes B. B might cause A. Or C might cause both A and B. Take care when making causal claims. And press yourself to think of alternatives to your explanation for why a relationship might exist between two things.

Controlling for what?

One way we can discern whether an observed relationship is causal is to control for other possible causes. What was controlled for in the study you are reading? What factors were not controlled for but may be important?

What's the source of the numbers?

Consider whether the people reporting the figures are credible or if they might have a bias. Also note whether the number comes from a single study or is the result of an entire literature—that is, a collection of studies.

Types of Writing

Professional and Academic Creative Differences Based on Audience

Professional and Academic

External goal Variations based on employer and

discipline Common structure, vocabulary and

purpose

Determination of Correct Form

Audience Purpose

Goals of Structure

Quickly convey the most pertinent information

Provide the data and information necessary to allow readers to think critically about content in an easily accessible format

Basic Structure

Abstract

Introduction Support Paragraphs Conclusion

Abstract

Given a variety of names in professional writing

Includes main points and conclusions of the larger document without most supporting information

Mirrors organization of the paper http://www.svsu.edu/fileadmin/

websites/writingcenter/APA_Abstracts.pdf

Abstract Format

Create a separate page after the title page

Title the page Abstract in uppercase and lowercase letters, centered, at the top of the page

Type the abstract in a single double-spaced paragraph with no indenting

Reference sources in text Use active voice and present tense

Abstract Example

Use of Statistical Methods in the US Census

Basic Structure

Abstract

Introduction Body Conclusion

Writing a Thesis

Expresses the central idea of a paper Working thesis vs. final thesis

Introduction

Paragraph or series of paragraphs depending on the document length

Sets context according to audience States a thesis Hints at structure for following

paragraphs

Qualities of a Good Thesis

Suitable type: informative, interpretive or argumentative

Specific Significant Outlines Paper

Thesis Types Informative: In terms of income and

wealth, the gap between rich and poor has increased substantially during the past decade.

Interpretative: The economic ideas George Will expresses in “Healthy Inequality” are politically conservative.

Argumentative: George will is wrong about economic inequality being good for the economy.

Basic Structure

Abstract

Introduction Body Conclusion

Body

Each paragraph….. Contains one main idea Begins with a topic sentence Transitions from previous paragraph to

new paragraph

Organizing Paragraphs

Chronologically Classification and division Compare and contrast Point and counterpoint

Basic Structure

Abstract

Introduction Body Conclusion

Conclusion

Restates the thesis Reiterates most important points Gives feeling of closure

Thesis Activity

Who should be responsible for paying for college?

Write a thesis and topic sentences for following paragraphs

Essay Writing Evaluation

Read the full essay In groups or pairs evaluate the essay

according to the Evaluation Guidelines Rewrite portions of the essay What grade would you give the essay?

Introduction

The United States Census is perhaps the most extensive data collection effort in the United States. The results of the Census are important in determining the amount of Federal funding and the number of United States Representatives an area receives. The Census is used to count and collect data about every individual in the United States; however, it is not always successful. Sampling is viewed as a potential solution.

Body Paragraph 1The Census requires enormous resources to

conduct, yet, locating some individuals is more difficult than other locating others; sampling can help compensate for missed individuals. Individuals such as the homeless are difficult to identify and are, as a result, undercounted. We know they are undercounted because, in some areas, the Census bureau conducts an intensive door-to-door search to confirm the official count. The difference between the more intensive and traditional count provide an estimate of the number and type of people missed. Sampling can be use to establish the likely characteristics of missed people.

Body Paragraph 2The Census requires enormous resources to

conduct, yet, locating some individuals is more difficult than other locating others; sampling can help compensate for missed individuals. Individuals such as the homeless are difficult to identify and are, as a result, undercounted. We know they are undercounted because, in some areas, the Census bureau conducts an intensive door-to-door search to confirm the official count. The difference between the more intensive and traditional count provide an estimate of the number and type of people missed. Sampling can be use to establish the likely characteristics of missed people.

Body Paragraph 2

Sampling may decrease the integrity of the Census. Currently, each person in the Census is uniquely identified. If sampling is introduced, the final count is dependent on the procedures adopted by a statistician in the Census Bureau who may not be held publically accountable for their actions or may be politically motivated. However, arguably, the resources allocated to conduct the Census thoroughly and the decision not to sample is also political.

Conclusion

In summary, sampling in the Census is controversial. It may be a solution. However, it also has a potential for misuse.

APA Format

Title Page Running head Paper title Author byline Institutional affiliation

Page Headers Paper Title Page Number

Citations and References

In-text citation Author Year Page Number

References page

APA Source

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/


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