Notes, Informative Essay, 10/19

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Please take notes on the following points before you begin working on your draft today. You need to process this information before you start revising/drafting, and writing notes helps you process information. Remember that I will collect your notes on Thursday, 10/27 for 200 points.

Again, the criteria for your notes is that they are:

  1. Detailed, coverying key points and yet
  2. Concise, in your own words

What are in-text citations?

  • In-text citations are when you reference a source in the body of your paper

When do you need in-text citations?

  • Anytime you mention something that isn’t common knowledge
  • Even if you know it, it might not be common knowledge
  • Determining whether something is common knowledge or not is a judgment call — ask Mrs. O’Donnell if you have questions about something specific

How do you incorporate in-text citations in MLA format?

  • Have your research doc notes open with your links — you will need to click on them
  • Cite online articles by the title of the article and the name of the online publication (no parenthetical citations needed for online sources)
  • Cite interviews by the person’s name and their credentials

A Few Things About Formatting…

  • Double space your paper –> do you know how to do this on Google Docs?
  • 12 point font, Times New Roman or Arial
  • Your title should also be 12 point font, centered
  • Underneath your title, write “by Bobbi Sanders,” aka, “by [Insert Name]”
  • Remove extra spaces between subtopics or paragraphs
  • Use the Tab key to indent — not the spacebar
  • Make sure all paragraphs are indented

Editing for Grammar
What two elements make a complete sentence?

  • A subject and a verb

Can you use a comma to separate two complete sentences?

  • No you cannot

What punctuation can use to separate two complete sentences?

  • A period –> new sentence
  • Comma and conjunction
  • Semicolon
  • An “m” dash
  • A colon


Period –> new sentence

  • In Writing Workshop, I learn a lot. For example, I learn how to edit for grammar.

Comma and conjunction

  • In Writing Workshop, I learn a lot, but I don’t like editing for grammar.


  • In Writing Workshop, I learn a lot; for example, I learn how to edit for grammar.

An “m” dash

  • In Writing Workshop I learn a lot — for example, I learn how to edit for grammar.

A colon

  • In Writing Workshop I learn a lot: I edit for grammar.

What is a run-on sentence/comma splice?

  • In writing workshop I learn a lot, I learn how to edit for grammar.
  • In writing workshop I learn a lot I learn how to edit for grammar.

Good Goals for Independent Work Time Today:

  • Make sure intro is complete –> anecdotal lede, nutgraf
  • Decide on subtopics
  • Draft subtopics
  • Check formatting of subtopic headings
  • Add in-text citations
  • Make sure you are formatting your paper correctly according to “A Few Things About Formatting”
  • Edit what you have written so far for run-on sentences

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If you need to add anything to your notes from Tuesday, 10/18, here’s the info presented in the PowerPoint:

Deadline for your final draft: Monday, October 31st
Deadline for your notes: Thursday, 10/27

How long should your intro be?

  • Two paragraphs = one page

What should the first paragraph of your intro cover?

  • Anecdotal lede

What is an anecdotal lede again?

  • A brief story that establishes a personal connection with a topic

Example of an anecdotal lede:

The way MS has impacted me is through my mother. It’s always been a touchy subject for me — when I see the commercials, I felt like I had no one to connect with until last year when I saw that Dr. Frederickson had orange ribbons on the back of his door, and I asked him, how is he affiliated with MS? He told me that his wife is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He told me all the places we could go to get the best treatment, and that’s how I found out what multiple sclerosis was. Prior to this, my mom had always told me that her legs felt like sandbags, but she wouldn’t tell me the technical term of what she had. Basically, my mom’s life is: Ellen Degeneres, Steve Harvey, Jamie Foxx — these are all shows that she watches while she waits for us to come over — and a lot of waiting. She’s waiting for someone to come home and help her in and out of bed. She was diagnosed in 2003, when I was six.

Why is an anecdotal lede an attention-grabbing, engaging way to start an informative essay?

  • Pulls the reader in, shows the writer’s passion for and connection to the topic

What should be the topic of your intro’s second paragraph?

  • Your nutgraf, where you justify the importance of your topic

Example of a nutgraf:

Multiple Sclerosis is an important condition to know about because it takes away your most basic functions, such as walking, motor skills, being able to grab things with ease, picking up cards, pennies, dimes, nickles, very thin objects. According to National MS Society, it also affects your T cells, and your immune system, causing you to get sick more quickly than the average person. According to, “the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million people around the world have MS.” I can say that personally, having a mom with MS, sucks. It sucks because you want to help, but people who have MS have a lot of pride — they don’t want help; they’d rather do things themselves. It’s hard to see somebody that you love struggle. It’s important to me to educate others who have MS, or who have family members with MS, so that they can understand what their family member is going through.

Why is it important to have a nutgraf?

  • If the reader sees your topic has value, they will be more invested in the rest of your paper

Should you incorporate research into your introduction?

  • Yes
  • Cite outside sources in your nutgraf
  • Possibly cite interviews in your anecdotal lede

What is the next step after writing your introduction?

  • Identify your subtopics

How do you decide what your subtopics are?

  • By looking at your research notes
  • If each article you researched covers a specific topic, you could do a subtopic for each source
  • Otherwise, look at your research notes and rearrange your notes into categories
  • (The reason we created a doc with research notes & links was to make it easier to create subtopics and easier to track sources for in-text citations and Works Cited page)

Formatting for Subtopic Headings:

  • No extra spaces between subtopics
  • Subtopic headings should be bolded and capitalized – no italics, no underlining
  • Subtopic heading font should still be 12 point, same font as text
  • Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or conjunctions unless they are the first or last word of the subtopic heading

Examples of Correctly Formatted Subtopic Headings

Messages in Spike Lee Films
Pros and Cons of Cooking with Olive Oil
With or Without Cream Cheese?


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