Step 1: Complete Reading and Learning Activities to prepare for success in the Discussion Board

Step 2: Preview the Academic Essay Assignment and select the article that will provide the foundation for your Academic Essay


Review your prewriting activity in the Learning Activities assignment. Based upon what you wrote there, identify the specific topic that you plan to write on for your Academic Essay and explain briefly why you have chosen this focus.

Then post a preliminary thesis for that topic, applying what you learned about strong thesis statements in the Reading and Learning Activities, along with an outline that identifies at least 2–3 supporting details. Remember that the more detailed your outline is, the stronger your plan for success in the Academic Essay will be.

1 CM107 Unit 5 | Reading and Practice Introduction to Academic Writing In this document, you will find links to the Reading assignment s and Practice Activities for Unit 5 ; reading this information and completing these A ctivities will help you understand academic writing and help you identify a limited topic and establish an effective thesis for your own academic essay . Knowing this information is necessary for success on your Unit 6 and Unit 8 Assignments . Lea rning this skill now will provide you with a foundation for future academic success , as you will be writing formal academic essays in most courses. Begin by completing the following Activity that will help you define Academic Writing: Defining Academic Writing Quiz Types of Academic Essays Now that you have explored what academic writing is, read the following material from the KU Writing Center (KUW C ) that identifies the most common types of academic essays you will write during your college career : Writing Modes In Brief You will have plenty of opportunities in your college career to write usin g the Writing Modes identified above, so familiarizing yourself with them now will help you to succeed when you are assigned to write these various paper types in your other classes. For example, you will learn how to write academic essays that aim to pers uade in CM220: Composition II. In this course, however, you are encouraged to focus on either the Cause or Effect writing mode. Cause/Effect Writing Analyzing why something happens or the repercussions of an event or situation allows a writer to provide the audience with important information that helps them understand things more clearly. A paper that helps the audience understand, for example, what has caused a serious increase in the number of diabetes cases in the United States can allow that audience to find solutions and alter behaviors that might lead to this disease. A paper that analyzes how the U.S. healthcare industry has been affected by this same spike in diabetes might help the audience to understand these effects and identify ways to better serve patients with this disease. In order to give your own formal Academic Essay Assignment a specific focus and purpose, you are encouraged to use either the Cause or Effect writing mode. You should choose to analyze either cause or effect, rather than both, and to educate or inform your audience, rather than taking a position or writing to persuade. 2 To learn more about crafting an essay that addresses cause or effect, read Chapter 26 (pp 385 -387) of The Kaplan Guide to Successful Writing: Cause-Effect Analysis For an example of a cause or effect essay, read Cause/Effect Sample Paper Now that you have reviewed Cause or Effect essay writing, apply what you have learned about writing formal academic essays by completing this P ractice Activity: Analyze Your Experience with Formal Essay Writing Quiz Formal Language Have you ever been to a party or work event and felt uncomfortable because everyone else was dressed more formally, while you were wearing jeans and a t -shirt ? We dress according to the situation, so i f you attend a formal wedding ceremony, you are expected to respect t he formality of the situation by wearing clothes that are appropriate. On the other hand, would you wear a tuxedo or formal gown to a picnic in the park or to go fishing? Of course not, and the same thing applies to language used when we write. One thing you may have noticed so far is that academic writing does indeed tend to be written in a more formal language than personal documents or even documents written for work. Be careful, though, because w riting an academic essay should not m ean that your language is stilted, awkward, and unnecessarily complicated just to impress the audience. Trying too hard to use formal language can lead to poor and often confusing writing, as does using inappropriately informal language in a formal research essay. You may be more comfortable and successful if you write your first rough draft using informal language and then as you revise and edit, adjust the language of your paper to be more appropriately formal. Learn more about the differences between informal and forma l writing and how to adjust your word choice, sentence structure, and vocabulary to fit the writing situation by reading the following KUWC information: Informal and Formal Writing Apply what you have learned about formal and informal language by completing the following Activity : Analyze Language Quiz The Writing Process and How to Write Your Academic Essay Now that you have learned more about an Academic Essay , it is time to start work on your own academic essay. A formal academic essay can be challenging, but note that in this class you will complete the process over several units, step by step: • Unit 5: Review the A ssignment itself and then i dentify your topic and thesis in the Unit 5 Discussion Board. • Unit 6: W rite a rough draft for the Unit 6 Discussion Board and revise this draft to submit as your Unit 6 Assignment. • Unit 7: Identify and i ncorporate relevant sources into your draft, strengthening it further . • Unit 8: S ubmit your paper in a more polished, organized, and well -edited final draft for your Unit 8 Assignment. 3 Begin the writing process for your Academic essay by reviewing exactly what you are expected to do in the Academic Essay Assig nment What to Keep in Mind as You Begin Your Academic Essay Now that you have reviewed your Academic Essay Assignment instructions , you will want to keep a couple of important issues in mind: • First, it is important to think about your Academic Essay as being a well -developed answer to a specific research question that you want your paper to answer, a question about a topic that the audience wants to k now the answer. If you are writing about diabetes, you may naturally want to write everything you know and can find out about the topic, but focusing on one question like “Why has a spike in diabetes cases among teenagers occurred?” will allow you to explore, analyze, and inform your audience about the specific question they have about the topic. • Also, e ven if you know a lot about the topic you are writing about, you may need to both learn more about the subject and use research information to support your ideas and claims. The topics themselves may be complex . Therefore, your documents may be longer and require more planning and strategies to keep the information organized and focused. • Remember also that like any paper, email , or report that you write, the process takes time, from selecting just the right focus, to organizing and developing ideas, to finding just the right research information you need to support your ideas. Remember the essay you read at the beginning of this unit’s Reading and Activities, entitled Innovative Strategies of Effective Educators ? You probably were impressed by how organized and effectively developed that essay is. Keep in mind that what you read is the final product, the end version of a paper that a writer worked on for some time, and in fact, the first draft of that paper may very well have been disorganized, unfocused, confusing at times even. To learn more about how you can move thr ough the writing process and f rom a Mess to your own Masterpiece, read the following KUWC information: Prewriting Now that you have learned about prewriting, read the following KUWC information on how to limit your academic essay topic for your Academic Essay A ssignment: From Topic to a Thesis In preparation for further success in both the Unit 5 DB and on your Academic Essay Assignment , r e ad the following KUWC information for help with outlining the essay ideas that you identify in your thesis: Writing an Outline Finally, before you move to the Unit 5 DB, where you will post your topic idea, thesis and outline for your Academic Essay, complete the following 2 A ctivities aimed at helping you to explore how you can use the writing process to your advantage when you w rite your own Academic Essay: Your Own Writing Process Quiz Your Own Masterpiece in the Making Quiz Next Steps Now that you have learned what an Academic Essay is and have reviewed and practiced the early stages of the Writing Process, complete the Unit 5 Quiz to earn your Activities credit. Then begin your work in the Unit 5 Discussion Board.