Writing Process: Conducting and Using Research

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BONUS STEP: CONDUCTING AND USING RESEARCH

I’m going to start at the beginning with this, since, in my experience, finding good research is a major stumbling block for students. Even though most of my students are incredibly technologically literate and spend a lot of time online, it is a mistake for teachers (or students) to assume that this is the same thing as conducting research.

This is the final entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

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Writing Process: Rewriting, Revising, Editing and Formatting

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STEP 9: REWRITING, REVISING, EDITING

Many students see the process of revision as an unnecessary bother, and rarely do more than correct a few spelling errors. I get it. There comes a point where you just want to turn in the paper, but the truth is that every paper can use some serious rewriting. I personally love this process, because it allows me to move the paper closer to how I imagined it and communicate more clearly.

This is the sixth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

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Writing Process: Body Paragraphs and Conclusion

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STEP 7: BODY PARAGRAPHS

Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence. A topic sentence has the same function for the paragraph that the thesis has for the whole essay: it clearly defines exactly what that paragraph will be about. This helps you identify what information to include in the paragraph, and also ensures that the information connects directly to your thesis statement.

This is the fifth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link

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Writing Process: Outlining and Introduction

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STEP 5: OUTLINING

Outlining is the process of taking the information from your brainstorming list and organizing it so you can present it in the most logical and effective way.

Start by taking your brainstorming list and identifying ideas that go together. I like to use a numbering system, but you can also use symbols, highlighting in different colors, or whatever works best for you. The important thing to remember is that your essay should be organized based on ideas.

This is the fourth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

After identifying similar ideas, decide how to categorize them. What is the best way to describe this subtopic? How do they directly support your topic and ultimately your thesis statement?

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Writing Process: Thesis Statement

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STEP 4: THESIS STATEMENT

A clear thesis statement is key to writing a good essay. It’s not easy, but it is necessary.

This is the third entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

The point I’m going to make about thesis statements is very similar to the point I made about essay topics, but this time I have some fun illustrations.

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Writing Process: Choosing Your Topic and Brainstorming

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STEP 2: CHOOSING YOUR TOPIC

The second step in writing a good essay is choosing the right topic. Your topic determines what you will write, so choose wisely.

This is the second entry in a series concerning the writing process. Make sure that you read Part 1: Reading the Prompt before reviewing this article.

Choosing the right topic for your essay can be tricky. Usually, there is flexibility built into a prompt, so that you have a choice of which part of the question to focus on.

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Writing Process: Introduction and Reading the Prompt

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INTRODUCTION

Writing essays is challenging and intimidating for many students. This is understandable, especially for students who have never written an essay before. It’s stressful trying to produce a longer piece of writing.

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 3: Four Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 3: Four Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Dear Students,

In my recent Internet lurking I came a tumblr post or tweet by a student that said something like this

“I don’t know how people plagiarize on purpose. I’m terrified that I will fail because I accidentally used the same wording as a 16th-century manual on toasters.”

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 2: What Sets Off My Teacher Spidey-Senses?

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 2: What Sets Off My Teacher Spidey-Senses?

Dear Students,

Plagiarism is a topic that is always discussed in specific ways. It’s outlined in school policies, and teachers explain the consequences and moral implications. The messages we as teachers convey about plagiarism by setting out the rules are important, but they are also incomplete. This open letter format is my attempt to continue the conversation with openness and hopefully some humor.

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Learning to Grieve Through God’s Word

Learning to Grieve Through God’s Word

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Loss comes in many forms and for many reasons. Certainly we experience loss when a person we love dies, but loss can also occur when a friendship or romantic relationship ends, when we lose a part of our life that defined us, or when a drastic change in lifestyle (positive or negative) causes us to change our previous environment and habits.

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 1: An Open Letter to Students Dispelling Myths About Plagiarism

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 1: An Open Letter to Students Dispelling Myths About Plagiarism

Dear Students,

Most of you don’t have cause to know this, because most of you do your best not to plagiarize, but I am very strict about plagiarism. I take plagiarism seriously because I believe that as a teacher it is my job to prepare students for their futures, and I know that academic dishonesty, and really any deceptive behavior, can create huge problems for students in school, in college and in the workplace.

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The Power of Education: Witnessing Change in a Village in Tanzania

The Power of Education: Witnessing Change in a Village in Tanzania

As we drove into Igoda, I could hardly believe my eyes. When I left in 2011, most of these houses had grass roofs. A motorcycle was still a novelty, to be exclaimed over by children. Little one-room shack shops had just started to pop up along the main road.

This little village in the mountains of Tanzania had undergone a transformation. Now, signs of new affluence were in evidence everywhere: new buildings, new tin roofs, new beautiful, big shops selling fabric, fresh fruit and even toothpaste. And there were cars, CARS parked in front of houses.

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What is the Will of God?

From early childhood I earnestly sought to follow the path God has for me. Like many young Christians, I pictured this path as a singular direction, a “destiny”, which I had to find. When I graduated from high school, I was ready to find that destiny. I asked myself sincerely, “What is the will of God for the rest of my life?”

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A Teacher’s Perspective on Traditional Homeschooling Vs. Online Schooling

A Teacher’s Perspective on Traditional Homeschooling Vs. Online Schooling

When I was 13 years old, a big change took place in my life: my family moved. Suddenly I had to adjust to a new home, a new city, and a new school. It soon became clear that the public school I was enrolled in was not a good fit for me. The classes were not at an appropriate level for my abilities, and I had difficulty making friends. So I came up with a plan: have my parents homeschool me for 8th grade. I devoted months to convincing my parents and it worked. At that time, the only option I considered was traditional homeschooling, as cyber school education was still a new development in education.

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Why Music is Important for Young Christian Artists

Why Music is Important for Young Christian Artists

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 100:1, KJV).

Music holds an important place in the lives of most people, whether they are musicians or music appreciators. Many consider music to be an integral part of their identity. This is by design—God’s design. In Psalm 139:14 King David reminds us that our gifts are unique and intentional, saying, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” David himself was a musician and used his talent to sing praises to God. Each person has been given unique talents by God.

Enlightium Academy student and musician Emma Segnini is a singer-songwriter currently living in New York. Segnini says, “My family and I have always believed that God puts you in this world for a reason and that everyone has a mission in this world.” Asked how music plays a role in her faith, she says, “I believe that God sent me to this world to learn from others and to help people with their problems and just with simple things like opening a door for someone, and to touch people with music, to say things through melody and music that people are afraid to say. My goal is to one day be able to inspire people the way that other singers and composers (like my mom) inspire me.”

 

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Understanding Pentecost: The Fulfillment of God’s Promise

Understanding Pentecost: The Fulfillment of God’s Promise

“I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth”

(John 14:16-17).

 

In the early days of the Christian church certain days of the year were considered significant due to the events that had occurred on or near those days. Those days came to be days of celebration, of feasting and festivities. Today many of those days are still part of the church calendar, but are not celebrated by all denominations. One such day is Pentecost.

 

Understanding Pentecost and the importance attached to it can be difficult for Christians who did not grow up in a church that observes Pentecost celebrations. Yet, Pentecost commemorates an important event in the church: the day when God fulfilled a promise that Jesus made to his disciples. Understanding Pentecost increases our understanding of the God we serve, the God who exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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Exploring Mexican Culture with Cinco de Mayo Coloring Pages

Exploring Mexican Culture with Cinco de Mayo Coloring Pages

On the 5th of May, Cinco de Mayo celebrations take place throughout the United States, and are attended both by people of Mexican heritage and people who are not. These celebrations are often beautiful, exciting, and contain vivid cultural elements like food, music, dancing and traditional clothing. Unfortunately, many people in the United States don’t understand the historical and cultural significance of the holiday.

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Better Course Notes. Better Grades. 5 Strategies that Work.

Better Course Notes. Better Grades. 5 Strategies that Work.

If you’re a student, you’ve been told that note-taking is a valuable and important skill. Also if you’re a student, you may not have received much instruction on how to take notes, beyond basic outlining.

 

Unfortunately, in education there is a tendency for teachers to give instructions without explaining why something is important or how to do whatever it is well. It’s not surprising that some students fail to see the value in taking course notes.

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Nature’s Classroom: Make School Fun With Hiking

Nature’s Classroom: Make School Fun With Hiking

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”

(Psalm 19:1).

Though Spring is tardy in some areas of the country, warmer weather is on its way. Are your children getting restless doing lessons inside? Why not take a nature day and make school fun again for your young naturalists? Spending the day outside on a hike is not just good exercise, it is also an invaluable opportunity for your children to discover the wonders of God’s creation and find a new perspective on their science classes.

A day trip into nature presents many occasions to teach children through actions. These moments start with preparation and continue beyond the day of the hike. Help your children get excited about nature and science by taking them on an expedition to collect samples in the field.

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8 Fun Earth Day Projects Every Parent Can Use to Teach Godly Stewardship

8 Fun Earth Day Projects Every Parent Can Use to Teach Godly Stewardship

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

In the first verses of the first book of the Bible, we see how God lovingly created the earth and everything that lives on it, from plants to animals to people. After He was finished, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

It can be easy to take the incredible gift of God’s creation for granted. It is even easier to forget to be thankful and mindful. While Earth Day is a secular holiday, it is a perfect opportunity to take the time to appreciate God’s gift, to teach our children about creation, and to consider how we can be mindful of and live in a way that helps to conserve the beauty and wonder of creation.

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