THINK ABOUT THE FORM


The form that your ideas take is important if you want to persuade your reader. Make no mistake, good writing is hard work. Furthermore, bad writing makes your reader think that your ideas can't be good since the expression of those ideas is unsuccessful.

A sure way to get the examiner on your side from the start is to write in proper English with proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax (word usage and sentence structure). If you take the time to write well, it will pay off for you.
  1. Some clues to help think about proper form:
  2. Don't save writing until the last minute.
  3. Give yourself time to rewrite and revise.
  4. Form and content often go hand in hand. Make sure that you are clear about what your argument is, and that the words that you are using to make that argument are best suited for the job
  5. .Proofread! So many errors could be corrected by giving yourself time to proofread your papers.
  6. The computer is not smarter than you are. Don't just accept any corrections/suggestions made by the software. Often I see the work costumer in place of customer.
  7. Remember, the examiner does not just read an error in your paper. She/he might read it in 20 other papers. Consider what that might mean if your paper is on the bottom of the pile.
  8. And most importantly, let other people read your work before you turn it in for a grade.

(adapted from http://lamar.colostate.edu/~jgaughan/main/advice.html who adapted ideas from John C. Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Inc. 1996.)


THINK ABOUT THE CONTENT


Criterion C of the portfolio paper requires THREE indispensable items: Argument, Evidence, Analysis and Evaluation

The argument can be a single sentence that clearly states the point being made in the paragraph. Everything in the paragraph should be there to examine the argument. A collection of arguments are required to help examine in the case of criterion C, the IMPACT of the issue.


Evidence is the material that supports the argument. Without sufficient evidence the argument is unsubstantiated and you will lose marks in Criterion F as well as in Criterion C. In order for evidence to be persuasive it must be SPECIFIC and the source of it must be CITED.

Analysis might be viewed as the glue that binds the evidence and arguments together. You must explain to your reader how the evidence you are using supports your argument(s). A good approach to analysis is to consider that your reader is intelligent, but does not quite understand what connection you are making. Your job is to make that connection as explicit as possible.

Do you have enough analysis? One hint is the extent to which the following words and phrases appear in your paper:


Although
Accordingly
As
As a result
Because
Besides
But
Consequently/As a consequence
Despite
Even if
Even though
For that reason
Furthermore
Hence
however (not the first word in sentence)
In addition
In particular
In spite of
Moreover
Nevertheless
Notwithstanding
Rather
Regardless of
Since
So
The fact that
Therefore
Thus
While
Yet