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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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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10 Fun Facts About Thomas Jefferson

10 Fun Facts About Thomas Jefferson

At a conference last year I heard Eric Metaxas, author of the bestselling books Amazing Grace and 7 Men, speak about the fact that our country needs to remember and venerate its heroes. Heroes give young people someone to look up to and emulate. They teach students that they can have a positive impact on the world around them when they use their God-given talents. Finally, they teach us all that greatness in the pure unselfish sense is something worth striving for. This does not mean we should focus only on their greatest accomplishments. Instead, we should accepted that the whole life of a hero or heroine is part of their legacy.

 

One of our greatest national heroes is indisputably Thomas Jefferson, who will have his 273 birthday on April 13th. Jefferson’s face is familiar to most americans. After all, it was famously carved into Mt. Rushmore, and is, perhaps less famously, printed on the 2 dollar bill. Jefferson accomplished much in his life, both in his career as third President of the United States and beyond. Perhaps the most interesting fact about Jefferson is that he apparently did not consider his presidency as his greatest achievement.

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9 Tips to Teach Your Kids that Books Are Fun

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Teachers and researchers agree that reading is a highly beneficial habit for kids of all ages. Yet with today’s tidal wave of new technology infringing on traditional pastimes, the bookworm is becoming an endangered species. New products market their learning advantages, and the internet offers students more information than ever before. In this environment, encouraging reluctant children and teens to read can seem like a chore, and it can be tempting to ask “How important is it really for kids to read books?”

The answer is simple: It is very important for kids to read. According to Child Development journal, reading is an active factor in intelligence and cognitive development. In addition, a recent article in Neurology journal suggests that continued cognitive activity in older generations means slower cognitive decline. In other words, reading is important for children, and continues to be important throughout a lifespan. It is crucial for parents to encourage their children to build a habit of reading at any age.

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12 Must-Have Resources for Online Homeschool Students

12 Must-Have Resources for Online Homeschool Students

In today’s world, access to a wealth of information is at our fingertips through our smartphones, computers and tablets. In this environment, taking homeschool classes online seems like a logical step and has proven to be a good fit for many K–12 students. The internet is readily available and an endless sea of resources is waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, not all resources are made equally. Finding an online resource that has quality information and presents it in a way that is interesting and useful can feel like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

 

Sometimes it’s useful just to have a place to start. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the amazing educational aids available to homeschool students because a basic google search is not turning up any gems. After talking to teachers in different subject areas, we would like to offer the following 12 resources geared towards students in different age groups, who have different educational needs:

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