An assumption is a value or belief that connects the claim and the reasons given to support that claim. Sometimes these are unspoken and subtle, other times we need to be explicit about them and perhaps even persuade our audience to accept the assumptions that underlie our argument.
The audience is the group of people to whom you intend to address your message. The better you know them and their values, the more effectively you can make choices in your writing to persuade or inform them.
The body of the paper consists of all the inner paragraphs between the Introduction and Conclusion. The body is usually divided into sections and is where all your points will go (including evidence and commentary).
A claim is an assertion you make, something you propose to be true. We use reasons (or evidence) to support our claims and convince or persuade others to change their views or feelings to match what we assert in our claim.
Commentary means a writer's comments in a paper (as opposed to the claims, evidence, etc.). It usually involves analysis or interpretation and can also include opinion or explanation depending on the type of paper.
Knowledge that's generally agreed upon. This usually refers to things an average, educated audience would know like that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This also refers to knowledge agreed upon by members of a certain group or field. For example, Agency Theory is a theory acknowledged in the field of economics. Things considered Common Knowledge do not have to be cited but you have to remember who your audience is. Agency Theory would not have to be cited for an audience of economists who know the term but would have to be cited for a general audience.
The Conclusion section of a paper comes at the end and usually sums up your main points, restates your position (thesis statement), and indicates the implications of your findings. Depending on the type of paper, you may also give recommendations for future research. Also known as the Discussion section.
This type of outline involves idea-generating activities like brainstorming, mind mapping, grouping, and writing sentences and paragraphs. The point is to look for patterns and find the structure in your ideas but in a less formal manner. You can even write a rough draft and then create a more formal outline in reverse that can then be revised. Also known as an organic outline or an unstructured outline.
Context is a catch-all term we use to describe all the factors that influence our writing, including the moment that inspires our writing, the timing with which we deliver our writing, and other external factors related to our writing.
The Discussion section of a paper comes at the end and usually sums up your main points, restates your position (thesis statement), and indicates the implications of your findings. Depending on the type of paper, you may also give recommendations for future research. Also known as the Conclusion.
This is a broad term that we might use to suggest all kinds of support for a claim, from scientific evidence to personal experience to appeals to emotions and shared values. Also known as reasons or logos.
A statement that sums up the crux of a literature review (as opposed to an argumentative research paper) where the author exposes or announces their topic rather than taking a position or making an argument. It usually consists of two parts: main areas of inquiry about a topic and future research directions.
A genre is a kind or type or form or writing. It emerges from repeated situations in which we communicate in specific ways. We also talk about how a genre has certain conventions: An audience expects a specific genre to do things in specific ways (e.g., a letter will have a greeting and a farewell).
Global Revision in a paper is like looking at the foundation and framework of a house: the big ideas, the structure, the logical order you put things, the headings and bigger transitions such as from section to section, etc. Global Revision should generally come before Local Revision.
GRAPE is an acronym used in BYU's first-year writing classes to help you remember the main elements of the rhetorical situation. The G stands for genre (the form or type of writing we choose to use in the situation); the R for rhetor (the speaker or writer); the A for audience (to whom the speaker and writer is addressing their message); the P for purpose (what the rhetor or writer intends to accomplish with the message); and the E for exigence (the reason why this message needs to be given by this speaker to this audience at this moment).
Hedging means adding conditional statements or qualifying a statement in order to allow for more possibilities. For example, the statement "All forests have pine trees" means no exceptions are allowed. But if you say "Most forests have pine trees," it's okay if there are exceptions.
A literature review is a review or synthesis of all the research published on a certain topic. It shows the "state of the field." A literature review can be part of the introduction of a bigger paper or can be a longer stand-alone document.
Local Revision in a paper is like looking at the finish work on a house: the style, formatting, sentence-to-sentence transitions, grammar, language, etc. Local Revision should generally come after Global Revision.
The message is, quite simply, what you have to say to other people through your writing or speaking. It's connected to our discussions about argument: The message often contains a claim support by reasons (and underpinned by important assumptions).
Metacommentary is the words and phrases you use to comment on something you've written. Metacommentary helps with interpretation, clarification, and elaboration. Transition words can act as metacommentary as can phrases such as "In other words . . ." and even whole paragraphs.
A sentence structure that emphasizes the object rather than the subject of a sentence, i.e., the subject is acted upon rather than doing the action. The passive voice is appropriate when the subject is unknown or less important than the object. Otherwise, try to use active voice as much as possible.
The process whereby an article, book, or other piece of writing is formally evaluated by qualified scholars in the same field as the author. These reviewers evaluate the quality of the research and determine whether or not to recommend the work for publication. Peer review can also be done less formally with less formal writing as between classmates.
This is a broad term that we might use to suggest all kinds of support for a claim, from scientific evidence to personal experience to appeals to emotions and shared values. Also known as evidence or logos.
The References section is where you provide all the information necessary about your sources such as authors' names, year, title, publisher, etc. These are usually in alphabetical order and should follow the format of your chosen style guide.
At its most basic level, rhetoric is the study of how we communicate effectively with people. It encompasses a study of the tools we might use as well as the way the context of our communication may impact the way we use those tools.
We use the term rhetorical situation to describe the context in which you engage an audience through writing or speaking. It can refer specifically to characteristics of the audience and your relationship to them as well as your purpose in communicating with them. We analyze a rhetorical situation in order to guide our decision-making as we compose a written or spoken message.
An image that describes a rhetorical situation where the three connected points of the triangle are the Writer, the Speak, and the Message. These surround a purpose and exist inside the context or the situation.
The main point of a paper summed up as a brief statement. In a typical Research Paper, it's usually an argumentative thesis statement while in a Literature Review, it's usually an expository thesis statement
The writer is you--the person composing the message. But don't be complacent and think you don't need to think critically about who you are as a writer. We should consider our own emotions, our biases and preferences, and our relationship with the audience when we consider our role as writers.
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