ENGL 113B Lecture 6: How to fix writing
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Department
English
Course
ENGL 113B
Professor
vilma
Semester
Spring

Description
How to fix writing. The Fix is usually easy: you read your essay out loud to someone else, and if you stumble as you enter a quotation, theres probably something you can adjust in your leadin sentence to make the two fit together well. Maybe youll need to choose a different subject to make it fit with the quotes verb (reader instead of readers; each instead of all), or maybe youll have to scrap what you first wrote and start over. On occasion youll even feel the need to transparently modify the quotation by adding an [s] to one of its verbs, always being certain to use square brackets to show that you adjusted something in the quotation. Maybe youll even find a way to quote a shorter part of the quotation and squeeze it into the context of a sentence that is mostly your own, a trick that can have a positive effecton readers, who like smooth water slides more than they like bumpy slipandslides. Jennifer does this well in the following sentence, for example: In Crash, no character was allowed to escape his own hypocrisy (Muller), and the film itself emphasized that the reason there is so much racial tension among strangers is because of the personal issues one cannot deal with alone. Similarly, a reader might see a citation. Just like when you look for a link to more information, this reader has a simple, quick question that he or she expects to answer easily. And the most basic way for readers to answer those questions (when theyre reading a work written in APA or MLA style) is (1) to look at the information in the citation, and (2) skim the references or works cited section alphabetically, looking for the first letter in the citation. Theres an assumption that the first letter of a citation will be the letter to look for in the list of works cited. The Fix is to make sure that the first word of the works cited entry is the word you use in your intext citation, every time. If the works cited entry starts with Brooks, use (Brooks) in the essay text. Youve been in this situation: youre on a website that seems like it might be interesting and you want to learn more about it. But the home page doesnt tell you much, so you look for an About Us or More Information or FAQ link. But no matter where you searchTop of page? Bottom? Left menu?you cant find the stupid link. This is usually the fault of web designers, who dont always take the time to test their sites as much as they should with actual users. Just like when you look for a link to more information, this reader has a simple, quick question that he or she expects to answer easily. And the most basic way for readers to answer those questions (when theyre reading a work written in APA or MLA style) is (1) to look at the information in the citation, and (2) skim the references or works cited section alphabetically, looking for the first letter in the citation. Theres an assumption that the first letter of a citation will be the letter to look for in the list of works cited. In short, the following may annoy readers who want to quickly learn more about the citation: [Essay Text:] A respected guide on the subject suggests, If possible, always take the high ground and hold it (The Zombie Survival Guide 135). The reader may wonder when The Zombie Survival Guide was published and flip back to the works cited page, but the parenthetical citation sends her straight to the Zs in the works cited list (because initial As and Thes are ignored when alphabetizing). However, the complete works cited entry is actually with the Bs (where it belongs).
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