I think it is important to use sources during your writings when you are trying to teach others about what you are writing about and need the facts to support your evidence. When writing a paper, column, or another body of writing that is stating facts about a situation, you need to have reputable sources to support your statements. You need to find research that is from an author with good credentials. When writing a research paper it is very important to use accredited sources.
Without these sources, it is hard to persuade the audience to agree with your views. It is always important to differentiate between facts, opinions, and bias in your research because the main goal is to persuade your audience to agree with what you are saying. When you have facts and evidence supporting your statements, there will not be room for error. You will have a solid piece of writing that is true and a great argument to get the audience on your side.
If you were to use opinions and bias, there would be so many reasons to questions if you even know what you are talking about. It would make it seem as if you were not a reputable author. And leaves the audience questioning why would they believe or agree with you when you have not given any evidence to support your theory or side of an argument.
Two ways to effectively organize research information are note taking and summarizing the writings you are gathering evidence from to support your topic.
Note taking is when you write down tidbits of information that you find in articles. You always need to make sure that you give credit to the source when using quotes from the writing or small excerpts from the writing. While summarizing a writing that you need to use for research, you will need to condense what you have read into a short paragraph or more, depending on the writing, and make sure that it is in your own words. Again, also make sure that you are giving credit to the source if using quotes. I think that summarizing would work best for my information organization. I have a hard time with note taking and not writing my quotes down effectively. Summarizing is great for me, as I will read a short section and summarize it in my own words as I go. This way, I can easily remember that if I do use a direct quote, I will credit the source correctly and accurately. I find it better to include my citations this way as well. Reflect: Plagiarism is copying information or excerpt of writing, speeches, etc. without citing or giving credit to the source, and using it as your own. It is never appropriate to plagiarize your works. It is always important to cite your work when you are using any research to support your thesis, or idea. If you are using information or facts to back up anything you say, you will need to cite that as well. If you are writing an opinionated piece, then you would not need to use cited sources. Also, if you are writing about a personal experience, you also would not need to use cited sources.
Using Your Sources Responsibly Using direct quotation in writing, is exactly as it sounds. I would use the exact words from said writer of the piece I am reading. This is a time to use quotations, especially when you are reporting sayings or quotes from a professional on the topic. Summarizing is a collection of statements that you read, written in your own words, that must highlight the main points of the writing accurately. While summarizing, you usually only use or record notes that are related specifically to your topic. Paraphrasing is when you restate the writer’s thoughts using your own words. In paraphrasing you will not shorten or exempt out any information or details. The most effective use of direct quotation is when you capture unique phrases or when quoting an expert in your topic. When you interview a person for your writing or need hard evidence for a piece and need to use a statement from an expert in the field. Summarizing is the most common and way to take notes or information for your writing. You will need to condense information from a writing and copy down the sources. Paraphrasing is used as well to condense information, but mainly to restate the author’s writing without plagiarizing. Your will need to use this while recording supporting information for the piece you are working on.
State your claim: Renewable energy sources are beneficial and economical A. Identify type of claim: Claim of Fact B. Explain: The goal of my research paper is to help the audience understand the benefits of using renewable energy sources and see how it can help us environmentally and economically.
Identify your reasons:
Fossil fuels cause more harm than renewable energy sources. They effect our air and water supply, contribute to loss of wildlife, and increase gas emissions. By using clean energy sources such as water, solar, or wind, we are cutting down the amount of carbon and gas emissions that we are putting into our atmosphere. Diversifying energy supply and minimizing the need for imported fuels. Bringing the U.S energy independence would reduce our dependence on foreign nations. This could also help reduce reliance on foreign oil. Also renewable sources do not run out, so we could count on being energy dependent long term.
Investing in clean renewable energy creates 16.7 jobs for every $1 million spent. Spending on fossil fuels decreasingly generates 5.3 jobs per $1 million spent. (Center for American Progress, 2009. Clean Energy Investment Creates Jobs in Every State.) That is two and a half times more jobs than if we just stuck with fossil fuels. b. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Sun Shot Initiative aims to reduce the price of solar energy 75% from 2010 to 2020, which is projected to lead to 27% of U.S. electricity demand met by solar technology and a 28% decrease in electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (US Renewable Energy- The Facts, Csanyi, Edvard. Jan. 8, 2014.)
My mother’s home is set up with solar power technology. When they first moved there, I assumed that it was a waste to even have that. Over time I did see the benefits of them having solar power in their home. There was a huge payment decrease on their electric bill. They did have to still pay the flat rate every month the electric company charges for having a home connected to the electrical grid. The biggest personal benefit that you can actually attest to is during power outages, or when it is nighttime, you can use the stored energy from your home during the day as energy and not have any electrical usage at all! I will be investing in solar power in my next home, just based on the pros I have witnessed from spending time at my mother’s.
Having an alternate power source can be purposeful to a wide range of people. It serves toward physical needs by producing a clean energy source to grow food, they do not have chemical effects toward your physical health, therefore being safer for the general population, and can be used in every shelter type imaginable. The biggest appeal is that renewable energy is proven to improve air quality which is better for the health of a person. This is a bonus for psychological needs as well by making a person feel great that they are contributing to a healthier, cleaner environment, and helping them feel as though they are a bigger part of their community.
Integrating renewable energy sources into a person’s life will give them a sense of loyalty to their community and make them feel as though it will be a duty for them now to make a change or difference in their own life or the life of others.
Three ways that I can recognize opposing views in my argument is by refuting it, acknowledging it, and accommodating it. Refuting the opposing view is where I will recognize and argue against the opposing view. I can simply just state the opposing view by acknowledging that it exists. Finally, I can accommodate them, which is where I give the opposing view merit and modify or find another way of addressing it. I think that it is important to include the opposing views in an argument essay as it lets the audience know that you are aware there are other opinions other than your own. Also, this makes you a more reputable source to your audience. The audience will know that you did your research for your project when you show them there is an opposing side to this argument, but also that the side you are arguing is superior.
Reflect: After reading “Abolish the Penny” by William Safire, I see that he did mention the opposing viewpoints, however I feel as though he did this in a satirical way. He was harsher and used a lot of opinionated statements including, “If Senator John McCain would get off President Bush’s back long enough to serve…”. This is in a way disrespectful and certainly not tasteful. There are better ways of asserting your opinions into an argument essay. I also think that his use of satire was more to make a dig at the issue presented rather than helping his argument. For example, “And what is a nickel made of? No, not the metallic element nickel…”, it makes him seem not as reputable and turned me off to the reading all together. All in all, I think that acknowledging his opposition weakened his argument.
The five aspects of my learning style are social, pragmatic, spatial, emotional, and concrete. Figuring my learning style had drastically helped me in this course as I have found different ways of accomplishing tasks needed to be completed. It has helped me develop in other areas of my life as well. I learned that being in a study group or partnering with another person has helped me achieve my study goals. The pragmatic side of my learning style has helped me realize that I need to do things in a certain order to accomplish tasks. It has been very helpful that this course has visual aids and charts, as this helps the spatial portion of my learning. Being an emotional learner has helped me understand the different readings in this course by being able to see where the writer is coming from and seeing their viewpoints. Being a concrete learner has helped me be reasonable with my studies and set manageable goals that I was able to accomplish.
From the first journal entry I have written, I feel as though I have grown as a writer. I now have a general education and ability of writing styles such as process analysis, argumentative, or comparison and contrasting, and I have more knowledge of understanding which viewpoint to write my pieces in (i.e. First, second, or third person). My grammar and punctuation have drastically improved along with my vocabulary. It is easier to piece together my thoughts and not feel so jumbled as I am writing. The areas that I can improve in are in general, just practicing more writing and being more comfortable with what I am writing. The more writings that I complete, I feel more accomplished than the last. I need to work on my argumentative writings and my citations. The citations would have to be my biggest opportunity in this course and for future essays or papers.
Evaluate: The goals that I set for myself this course was to complete it to the best of my ability. I feel as though I have accomplished that through the progression of my work. I know that I still have a long way to go as far as development goes, but I am willing to keep practicing and managing my assignments to make sure they are done the correct way. Another goal that I set for myself was to improve my writing. I accomplished that, though it may be minor, I have seen vast improvement in my writings from my first journal and essay to now. I feel as though I could have come into this class with a different attitude. Writing composition is not my first choice when it comes to picking classes. I think that if I had to do it over again, I would come into this class with a fresh perspective, and high hopes that it would help turn my current writing into something more. I would see it as a great learning experience and to gain more knowledge on how to properly write essays and the different styles. In the future, especially with my next courses, I will come to each assignment with a fresh and open mind. I think that this will help me stay positive through the course and have better writing. I know that I have the tools and equipment, and where to find them, to use in my future writings and this is already giving me the confidence to do better and set higher expectations with my next courses.