Synopses & Reviews
The popular, brief rhetoric that treats writing as thinking, WRITING ANALYTICALLY offers a sequence of specific prompts that teach students across the curriculum how the process of analysis and synthesis is a vehicle for original and well-developed ideas.
A rhetoric that treats writing as thinking, Writing Analytically offers a sequence of specific prompts that teach students across the curriculum how to use writing to arrive at ideas.
About the Author
David Rosenwasser teaches at Muhlenberg College, a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, where he has been since the late 1980s. He and Jill Stephen created and implemented the Writing Across the Curriculum program there through a series of faculty seminars. During these seminars, Dr. Rosenwasser and Dr. Stephen discovered that while content faculty from across the disciplines maintained disciplinary-specific writing protocols, they essentially wanted the same thing from student writing: analysis. From this premise, WRITING ANALYTICALLY was born. Dr. Rosenwasser received his B.A. from Grinnell College and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in the theory and history of narrative. His current interests include contemporary Irish literature and comic theory. His most recent literary papers include a study of the contemporary Irish writer Edna O'Brien in relation to the work of Joyce and Yeats as well as an analysis of the politics of Bruce Springsteen's albums during the Bush presidency, written collaboratively with a political science professor. Jill Stephen teaches at Muhlenberg College, a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, where she's been since the late 1980s. Along with David Rosenwasser, she created and implemented the Writing Across the Curriculum program there through a series of faculty seminars. In these seminars, they discovered that content faculty from across the disciplines, although they maintained disciplinary-specific writing protocols, essentially wanted the same thing from student writing: analysis. From this premise, their textbook, Writing Analytically, was born. Stephen worked in the expository writing program at New York University under Lil Brannon and Cy Knoblauch. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and received her Ph.D. from NYU on rhetorical theory as evidenced in Renaissance poetry and prose. Aside from her writing with Rosenwasser on composition and writing program administration, she writes on poetry, especially Renaissance lyrics. Her current interests include the poetry of Frank O'Hara, Emily Dickinson, and contemporary Irish women writers.
Table of Contents
Part I: MAKING MEANING: ESSENTIAL SKILLS. 1. Habits of Mind: Getting Ready to Have Ideas. Counterproductive Habits of Mind. Banking. Generalizing. Judging. Debate-Style Argument. Either/Or Thinking (Binaries). Personalizing (Locating the "I"). Opinions (vs. Ideas). What It Means to Have an Idea. Analysis and Creativity. 2. Noticing: Learning to Observe. Notice and Focus (Ranking). The Method. The Steps of The Method: Making Observation Systematic and Habitual. Rationale for The Method: Looking for Pattern. Anomaly. Using The Method: An Example. Thinking Recursively: Refocusing Binaries. Prerequisites to Getting Smarter . 3. Interpreting: Asking "So What?" Prompts: "Interesting" and "Strange". Pushing Observations to Conclusions: Asking "So What?" Moving From Description to Interpretation: An Example. Where Do Meanings Come From? The Limits on Interpretation. Multiple Meanings and Interpretive Contexts. Intentionality as an Interpretive Context. Hidden Meanings: What "Reading Between the Lines" Really Means. The Fortune Cookie School of Interpretation vs. The Anything Goes School. Implication and Inference: Hidden or Not? Seems to Be About X but . . . 4. Reading: How to Do It and What to Do With It. How to Read: Words Matter. Becoming Conversant versus "Reading for the Gist". Paraphrase X 3. Summary. Strategies for Making Summaries More Analytical. Passage-Based Focused Freewriting. What to Do with the Reading: Avoiding the Matching Exercise. Applying a Reading as a Lens. Comparing and Contrasting One Reading with Another. Uncovering the Assumptions in a Reading. Procedure for Uncovering Assumptions. A Sample Essay: Having Ideas by Uncovering Assumptions. Part II: WRITING THE THESIS-DRIVEN PAPER. 5. Linking Evidence and Claims: 10 on 1 vs 1 on 10. Developing a Thesis Is More Than Repeating an Idea ("1 on 10"). What's Wrong with Five-Paragraph Form? An Alternative to Five-Paragraph Form: the All-Purpose Organizational Scheme. Linking Evidence and Claims. Unsubstantiated Claims. Pointless Evidence. Analyzing Evidence in Depth: "10 on 1". Pan, Track, and Zoom: The Film Analogy. Demonstrating the Representativeness of Your Example. 10 on 1 and Disciplinary Conventions. 6. The Evolving Thesis. Making the Thesis Evolve. The Reciprocal Relationship between Thesis and Evidence: The Thesis as Camera Lens. Procedure for Making the Thesis Evolve through Successive Complications. Locating the Evolving Thesis in the Final Draft. Placing the Thesis in the Final Draft. The Evolving Thesis and Common Thought Patterns: Deduction and Induction. The Evolving Thesis as Hypothesis and Conclusion in the Natural and Social Sciences. The Evolving Thesis and Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs. Putting It All Together. Description to Analysis: the Exploratory Draft. Interpretive Leaps and Complicating Evidence. Revising the Exploratory Draft. Testing the Adequacy of the Thesis. Guidelines for Finding and Developing a Thesis. 7. Recognizing and Fixing Weak Thesis Statements. Five Kinds of Weak Theses and How to Fix Them. Weak Thesis Type 1: The Thesis Makes No Claim. Weak Thesis Type 2: The Thesis Is Obviously True or Is a Statement of Fact. Weak Thesis Type 3: The Thesis Restates Conventional Wisdom. Weak Thesis Type 4: The Thesis Offers Personal Conviction as the Basis for the Claim. Weak Thesis Type 5: The Thesis Makes an Overly Broad Claim. How to Rephrase Thesis Statements: Specify and Subordinate. Another Note on the Phrasing of Thesis Statements: Questions. Common Logical Errors in Constructing a Thesis. 8. Writing the Researched Paper. What to Do with Secondary Sources. "Source Anxiety" and What to Do about It. The Conversation Analogy. Six Strategies for Analyzing Sources. Strategy 1: Make Your Sources Speak. Strategy 2: Use Your Sources to Ask Questions, Not Just to Provide Answers. Strategy 3: Put Your Sources into Conversation with One Another. Strategy 4: Find Your Own Role in the Conversation. Strategy 5: Supply Ongoing Analysis of Sources (Don't Wait Until the End). Strategy 6: Attend Carefully to the Language of Your Sources by Quoting or Paraphrasing It. Making the Research Paper More Analytical: A Sample Essay. Strategies for Writing and Revising Research Papers. An Analytical Research Paper: a Good Example. Guidelines for Writing the Researched Paper. 9. Finding and Citing Sources. Getting Started. Electronic Research: Locating Scholarly Information. Understanding Domain Names. Print Corollaries. For Subscribers Only. Directories Before Search Engines. Asking the Right Questions. Bibliographic Research. Popular Press. Tuning in to Your Environment. Quick Tips. Citation Guides on the Web. Seven Steps to Successful Research. Plagiarism and the Logic of Citation. Why Does Plagiarism Matter? Frequently Asked Questions About Plagiarism. How to Cite Sources. How to Integrate Quotations into Your Paper. How to Prepare an Abstract. Paper Assignment: A Research Sequence. Part III: MATTERS OF FORM. 10. Introductions and Conclusions. The Function of Introductions. Putting an Issue or Question in Context. Using Procedural Openings. How Much to Introduce Up Front. Typical Problems That Are Symptoms of Doing Too Much. Opening Gambits: Five Good Ways to Begin. Gambit 1: Challenge a Commonly Held View. Gambit 2: Begin with a Definition. Gambit 3: Offer a Working Hypothesis. Gambit 4: Lead with Your Second-Best Example. Gambit 5: Exemplify the Topic with a Narrative. The Function of Conclusions. Judgment. Culmination. Send-Off. Ways of Concluding. Three Strategies for Writing Effective Conclusions. Solving Typical Problems in Conclusions. Redundancy. Raising a Totally New Point. Overstatement. Anticlimax. Scientific Format: Introductions and Conclusions. Introductions of Reports in the Sciences. Discussion Sections of Reports in the Sciences. 11. Forms and Formats. The Two Functions of Formats: Product and Process. Using Formats Heuristically: An Example. Formats in the Natural and Social Sciences. The Psychology of Form. How to Locate Concessions and Refutations. Organizing Comparisons and Contrasts. Climactic Order. How Thesis Shapes Predict the Shape of the Paper. The Shaping Force of Transitions. 12. Style: Choosing Words. Not Just Icing on the Cake. Tone. Levels of Style: Who's Writing to Whom, and Why Does It Matter? The Person Question. The First-Person I: Pro and Con. The Second-Person You and the Imperative Mood. Shades of Meaning: Choosing the Best Word. What's Bad about Good and Bad (and Other Broad, Judgmental Terms). Concrete and Abstract Diction. Latinate Diction. Using and Avoiding Jargon. The Politics and Language. 13. Style: Shaping Sentences (and Cutting the Fat). How to Recognize the Four Basic Sentence Shapes. The Simple Sentence. The Compound Sentence. The Complex Sentence. The Compound-Complex Sentence. Coordination, Subordination, and Emphasis. Coordination. Reversing the Order of Coordinate Clauses. Subordination. Reversing Main and Subordinate Clauses. Parallel Structure. Adding Shapes to the Main Clause: Periodic and Cumulative Sentences. The Periodic Sentence: Snapping Shut. The Cumulative Sentence: Starting Fast. Cutting the Fat. Expletive Constructions. Static (Intransitive) vs. Active (Transitive) Verbs: To Be or Not to Be. Active and Passive Voices: Doing and Being Done To Experiment! 14. Nine Basic Writing Errors and How to Fix Them. Why Correctness Matters. The Concept of Basic Writing Errors (BWEs). What Punctuation Marks Say: A Quick-Hit Guide. Nine Basic Writing Errors and How to Fix Them. BWE 1: Sentence Fragments. A Note on Dashes and Colons. BWE 2: Comma Splices and Fused (or Run-On) Sentences. BWE 3: Errors in Subject-Verb Agreement. A Note on Nonstandard English. BWE 4: Shifts in Sentence Structure (Faulty Predication). BWE 5: Errors in Pronoun Reference. A Note on Sexism and Pronoun Usage. BWE 6: Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Participles. BWE 7: Errors in Using Possessive Apostrophes. BWE 8: Comma Errors. BWE 9: Spelling/Diction Errors That Interfere with Meaning. Glossary of Grammatical Terms. Guidelines for Revising for Correctness. Grammar and Style Quiz. Appendix: Answer Key (with Discussion) for Chapter 14.