Writing With Substance: You Can Haz it! SRSLY!

Quotation Workshop!

Today's workshop will build on the work you completed in Assignment 6.

We'll start by going through some very basic components of MLA documentation, the citation system you will use for our course this semester (and possibly in future courses in the Humanities disciplines as well).

I'm providing a handout constructed from the MLA Sample paper The Purdue Owl that provides you with examples in which a writer not only integrates quotations effectively but also formats and punctuates them correctly. We'll discuss these examples together; I will also tell you how to do so with quotations from articles that do not have page numbers, since the format and punctuation will be different in these cases.

Next, we'll look at some examples from your submissions (with your names removed) in a Google Document; I will model some options for revising them.

Once we've covered these basic parts of our course, you'll be ready to return to your submission for Assignment 6 with an eye to improving your use of quoted material.

1) Access/Open the document you submitted for Assignment 6. 
2) Read your narrative all the way through, and, though it may be tempting to edit aspects of your prose that distract you as you read, try to limit your immediate revisions to proofreading errors or glaring mistakes.
3) Attend to your paraphrased and quoted material closely, both in your draft and in the source itself. 

a) With the paraphrased material, consider whether you have inserted any direct phrasing that should be placed within quotation marks that is currently not within quotation marks. Consider as well whether your reader would be able to tell which author and which source you're discussing from your language. Would your reader be able to find the source on his or her own in a works cited page from the draft as-is? If not, how could you improve the clarity of your sentences so that readers know where to look in both the works cited page and in "IRL"––that is, in a library or the internet. The goal is both to give credit to authors for ideas and to ensure readers can follow your footsteps when they want to learn more from your sources.

b) Focusing now on the quoted material, think about the way you've attributed the material and consider its effectiveness in each case based on the examples we revised in the previous part of the workshop. How can you improve upon your integration of the quoted material, both with respect to the clarity and efficiency of your prose and with respect to the way you've treated the author and quotation? For instance, do you use strong verbs and attributive tags effectively? Do you tend to use the same construction for these tags over and over again? Is the author's name prominent enough, or do you downplay the author and instead suggest "the article" performs the verbs of attribution? How much information do you provide about the venue in which an article appears? Do you think readers have enough information in the paragraphs you've crafted to know what kind of source you're quoting and find it credible? And here again, consider whether readers will be able to locate the source for themselves in your works cited page as well as "IRL" in a library, on library databases, or online. 

From these considerations, revise as you see fit. If you'd like assistance at any point, raise your hand.

4) Now you will try your hand at making a works cited page (if you haven't done so already.) Instead of using auto-generators for the page, you must DO IT MANUALLY today! In order to determine how to cite your sources, read through the entries and examples this page from the Purdue Owl (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/07/) for articles, and then this page on formatting entries for electronic sources (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/). YES, READ THROUGH THEM BOTH BEFORE YOU BEGIN. BOTH! 

5) If you are satisfied with your treatment of quoted material in your narrative, assess the quality of your prose more generally and revise anything else that you think needs revision. You would do well to check on whether your revisions have introduced errors or repetitious diction that now needs additional attention. 

6) When you're satisfied with your assignment, log on to Blackboard and click on "Submit Work." Find the link for submitting the Revised Assignment 6 and submit your new draft.

IF YOU DON’T FINISH BY THE TIME CLASS IS OVER: Submit your revised work no later than Friday 10/3 at 5PM.


7) You may now consider your prose more broadly. For the best possible analysis of your prose, you'll need to think about grammatical problems you've had in all of your submitted work for the course. I returned a hard copy of your Assignment 1, so you'll need to find that hard copy and look through my handwritten comments first.

8) Once you've considered those comments, you can move on to comments in Assignments 2, 3, and 4. To access those comments, you'll need to login to Blackboard and find the links where you originally submitted these assignments (under "Submit Work" on our Blackboard site). To access the comments, you'll need to click on "Grademark" and then wait until the page loads your paper with comments. To see the comments, you'll need to hover your mouse over the highlighted material. Review all the comments I have made on your prose. 

9) Open a document,  and name/save your file as follows: [YourLastName]ProseStyle

10) After reviewing the comments on all of your assignments, what errors or problems come up repeatedly?   For comments that indicate a specific grammatical problem, you may need to look up the error. Here is a link to the University of Texas Undergraduate Writing Center, which has handouts on common grammatical problems and other aspects of writing. Search the list to see if your particular issue is described there and read up on what the problem is, exactly, and how writers can revise sentences with those problems.

9) Write a paragraph about your prose style and what you see in it after reviewing my feedback. What aspects do you need to work on based on those comments? 

10) Choose 5-7 sentences distributed over the entirety of submitted assignments that I've indicated as needing further revision. Cut and paste each sentence twice into your document. Leave the first instance as-is; in the second instance, revise to remove the problem.

11) Save the document in a place you'll be able to find it easily later; I will give you instructions on where to submit your revised sentences later in the course.

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