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BHS_READING/WRITING/RESEARCH ACROSS THE CURRICULUM: Strategies

Writing

Pre-writing Strategies and Tasks

Prewriting tasks are an immediate and effective way to relax, engage, and re-inform the writer about what the writer already knows in order to pursue the writing assignment. Pre-writing strategies serve the following purposes:

  • Function as ice-breakers and help the writer overcome writer’s block.
  • Immediately engage the writer and further motivate the writer to pursue the assignment.
  • Enable the writer to explore and discover perspectives or convictions that may be used in pursuing the assignment.

Activities:

  • Brainstorming
  • Clustering
  • Freewriting
  • Looping
  • Questioning techniques

Drafting Strategies and Tasks

  • Defining terms and concepts
  • Analyzing statements, ideas, and concepts
  • Amplifying, clarifying, and explaining ideas
  • Citing authority
  • Citing common assumptions
  • Qualifying assertions
  • Providing contexts or associations for ideas and examples
  • Using analogy
  • Appealing to emotion

Strategies in Using Direct/Indirect Quotations and Avoiding Plagiarism

The following skills are necessary in writing a thesis paper:

  • Emphasizing and explaining how a direct or indirect quote supports the main idea of a paragraph
  • Citing and documenting correctly
  • Detecting and avoiding plagiarism

Responding to a Draft and Planning Revision Strategies

These overviews can be simplified into manageable initial strategies for revision. For example, the student can revise by reading the draft and completing the following directions:

  • Re-state topic sentences to support the thesis
  • Re-state the thesis in alignment with topic sentences
  • Examine the relevance of supporting examples
  • Emphasize and explain how direct or indirect quotes support the main ideas of the body paragraphs
  • Add, delete, or clarify ideas and sentences in the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • Substitute weak words with more precise words. 
  • Eliminate wordiness and ensure conciseness. 

Proofreading and Editing Strategies

These problems include fragments, run-ons, shifts in tense, shifts in point-of-view, plurals and possessives, subject/verb agreement, pronoun usage, punctuation, capitalization, and homonyms.

Documentation, Style Manuals, and Writer’s Resources

To find MLA, APA, and Chicago online guidelines for documentation, the writer can google “Diana Hacker’s Research and Documentation Online.”