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EFFECTIVE ACADEMIC
WRITING: A LOOK AT WORDS

Andrew Joseph Pegoda, A.B.D.
Department of History
University of Houston
Video Clip,
Every Presentation Ever
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A VERY, VERY BRIEF AND SELECTIVE
HISTORY OF
WRITING/COMMUNICATION
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Writing Around the World
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Writing Around the World
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Writing Around the World
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UNIVERSITY WRITING:
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCES
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Evidence
Revision
Freedom
Originality
Analysis
Five Characteristics
of College Writing:
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College A paper
A VIEW OF ACADEMIC WRITING
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The Academic Essay
Content
Mechanics
Academic Writing
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Content
Thesis
Evidence
Organization
Originality
Clarity
Multiple Drafts
Research
Academic Writing
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Mechanics
Capitalization
Usage
Punctuation
Spelling
Diction
Sentence Structure
Format
Academic Writing
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Unlike math,
there are
countless correct
answers when it
comes to writing
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CLARITY:
CLEAR, ACTIVE, & POWERFUL WRITING
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Words and Clarity?
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Words and Clarity?
The book Carry Me Back: The Domestic Slave Trade in
American Life (2005) written by Steven Deyle discusses the
internal slave trade in the United States.
I need to call my grandmother at six p.m. in the evening on
the phone.
The restaurant McDonalds is taking applications at this point
in time.
I commute back and forth to the University of Houston.
The large meat packers were not seriously hindered by the
resulting regulations, but many smaller packers were
bankrupted.



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Words and Clarity
handicapped
Illiterate
slave
race
feminist
civilization
Native American


How is it used in society and by
individuals?

Strengths of this word/phrase?
Weaknesses?

Alternatives to this word/phrase?
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Words and Loaded Language
Video Clip,
The Power of Words
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Writing with Clarity
& Appropriate Diction Activity
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Does every sentence and every word and
every punctuation mark have a purpose?
And does it serve the right purpose?

Video Clip,
Where is Matt?
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SEMANTICS:
CONNOTATION VS. DENOTATION
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Connotation vs. Denotation
Whats up, man?
Whats up, man?
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The World of Connotation
Body language and tone
Culture
Context
Historical events
Popular usage
Other words
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Connotation & Denotation Activity
1) Shared denotation of the words 2) Discuss the various
connotations of the words and appropriate/inappropriate uses
desegregation, integration
aggressive, assertive, domineering, dynamic, pushy, forceful
staggered, limped, waddled, crept, strolled
homeless, vagrant, without a permanent address
uprising, riot, demonstration, unlawful gathering, protest,
disturbance, civil war, revolution, civil disobedience
guerilla, freedom fighter, mercenary, soldier, terrorist, activist,
revolutionary


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Quickly skim the article
Looking at the assigned paragraph and bolded
words
Discuss the connotation of each word
Consider why other words were not used OR consider
if a better word could have been used
Consider different ways to write the same sentences
Reflect on how this will inform your academic writing
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Connotation and Denotation
Group Activity
WRAPPING UP:
EIGHT AJP WRITING HINTS
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Write where you
are comfortable;
write with your
comfort food
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Do not
use the
Internet
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Before you
worry about
editing, just
write
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Read grammar books
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Papers are never finished,
but always due
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Although clich,
practice makes perfect
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What did you learn today about
writing?

How are you going to actively take this
information and apply it?

What did you enjoy most, least? What
suggestions do you have?

Thanks.
Andrew Joseph Pegoda (AJP)