Class Notes, 2 May 2012

Photo of Queens College: embedded for class example. Make sure you hit “insert into post” when adding media, otherwise the media will not show up on your published texts.

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 Essay 3: was already due, but because I missed class (sorry), it will be due, the most recent version, Monday12PM.

 

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For your Essay Three (the structure you should follow); if you didn’t follow this, then go back and make some revisions: final revisions will be due at the end of May.

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Structuring Academic Essays: Note Burton Clark

The parts of academic essays: Intro, Literature Review, Application of theory, Discussion (optional), and Conclusion.

This is the general formula for all academic articles. You can test just about any article and you will find these sections. Let’s take a look at Clark first though:

–First, note that Clark has an abstract: what the article is going to be about, short paragraph summary, usually written after the article is composed in full . . .

 

First comes the INTRODUCTION: think of this as a SECTION,
and not a paragraph, usually at least TWO paragraphs

–author discusses thesis/argument/interpretation

–it also starts from general to specific

Think of this as the INVERTED TRIANGLE, from general to specific
______________________

\                                                  /

\                                          /

\                                /
\                            /
\                        /
\                    /
\               /
\          /

\    /

Works from general (top of triangle) to specific, the POINT, your argument, or thesis statement . . . “I will argue that”

 

            Strong verbs: demonstrate, argue,
prove, show, explain, analyze, dissect . . .

 

 

Top of triangle example for your essay: intro statement: Don’t go too general like, “Throughout history, college has been a place where young people could discover themselves.”

TOO BROAD. ALL HISTORY BECOMES THE SUBJECT. That would be a long essay . . .  

Better alternatives:
start with a specific scene, narrate an event

Begin with a more general statement that’s not too broad: for example, “United States colleges in the twentieth century
pretended to offer their students a dream of upward mobility upon completion.”  Maybe another four or five more going on this
topic 

 

Don’t use terms like “seems,”
“might” these take away from your argument, make a strong stand, even if you
know people will argue with you . . .

 

 

THEN, the next
sentence of the next paragraph has a TRANSITION into what YOU WILL BE WRITING
ABOUT SPECIFICALLY, so for example, maybe “Cooling-out at Queens College” YOU
WANT TO MAKE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN A ‘THEORY’ AND YOUR EXPERIENCE AT QC . . .

The theory could be
Bourdieu (domination and resistance) or Clark (of reproduction of domination,
inequality and students internalizing social structures)

 

 –it also introduces the theoretical lens you will apply . . . and connect it to your argument: Let’s just say that you think that Cooling-out happens too much at QC, and there could be ways to prevent students from dropping out.

            1. Classes could be smaller (more
attention from the instructor)

            2. Food on campus (important to have
nutrition for students, bad nutrition leads to cooling-out)

            3. More opportunities for students
to socialize (sports events and things like this could provide school spirit
and keep students involved)

_________________________________

 

Theory Section: literature review: where you bring in the
material you researched

INCLUDE SUBTITLE

 

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE YOUR QC EXPERIENCE AS FOCUS, FOCUS ON THE ARTICLES YOU RESEARCHED,
DEFINE YOUR TERMS BEFORE YOU APPLY THEM TO YOUR DATA

 

PIE paragraphs, 2-4, or more, focusing just on
(in this case) Clark, Bourdieu, or another
scholarly article: here’s where you would give a couple PIE paragraphs from KEY
QUOTES from Clark about cooling-out, take note of key
phrases you will use in your “application section”

 

This section, defines the terms you’ll use in the next
section: this section you would define what Clark means
by that term, citing him

___________________________________

Application: again, add subtitle: here is where you apply
the theory to your analysis, or our case, Clark to your
experience at QC, : MAKE SURE TO ADD SUBTITLE

 

1. Classes could be
smaller (more attention from the instructor)

 HOW TO APPLY COOLING-OUT TO THIS?

 

*Sample P paragraph
starts

 

P section, classes
sizes at QC are too big for some courses, such at Chemistry 101 . . .

————–

 

I section: in my
class we had over 200 students, and I sat in the back. Professor used
Powerpoint to present lectures. Students fell asleep all the time, nobody
learned anything—the professor didn’t even learn our names.

————

E section: Tie in
Cooling-out to this I: tie in your theory to this experience; when students don’t
feel a connection with their instructors, they also don’t feel a connection
with the material they study, or with the institutional lives of the college.
Students at this point, begin to cool-out, or as I noted in my class, the attendance
dropped by the end of the semester.

 

 

You should use terms
from your theory section, and make sure the I section has evidence from your QC
experience. The I doesn’t need to be a quote, but it should come from your QC
experience, and documented with some kind of piece of media.

 

 

2. Food on campus
(important to have nutrition for students, bad nutrition leads to cooling-out)

HOW TO APPLY
COOLING-OUT TO THIS?

PIE paragraph

 

 

3. More opportunities for students to socialize (sports events and things like this could provide school spirit and keep students involved)

HOW TO APPLY COOLING-OUT TO THIS?

PIE paragraph

 

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Conclusion: MAKE SURE TO ADD SUBTITLE

From conclusion

 

 

 

 

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Finally, works cited with correct MLA format.

 

You restate your point, or thesis, check back to first intro
section: move from that specific to something general, in this case, where
someone else could research in the future.

 

This essay argued
that cooling-out occurred too often at QC, and that students suffered the most because
of this. I demonstrated that classes that were too large, the terrible food
choices on campus, and the lack of social opportunities led students to
disengage with their educations . . . move on for on for a few sentences, then:

 

Future research into
the cooling-out function at QC could also look at ineffectual staff and
counseling, problems with financial aid, and lack of parking as contributing to
the cooling-out function.

 

 

            1. Classes could be smaller (more
attention from the instructor)

            2. Food on campus (important to have
nutrition for students, bad nutrition leads to cooling-out)

            3. More opportunities for students
to socialize (sports events and things like this could provide school spirit
and keep students involved

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