Make sure you are aware of any specific content or technical requirements you may have from teachers. Research and analyze information sources if needed. Remember that even a 1, word college essay may take a few days to properly complete, so do not postpone writing assignments to the last minute! Put ideas in sub-groups that will later develop into paragraphs.
When writing the first draft of your text, focus on content only and FORGET about language and mechanical aspects such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You must write freely and try to find the best way to communicate your ideas. Do not get stuck checking spelling and other nitty-gritty at this point! That will stop your writing flow! For example, pose a provocative question; give a testimonial or illustrative story, or present interesting facts on the phenomenon under discussion.
Consider the expected text length and go into detail accordingly.
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No text should be sent out or published without going over it at least once! Twice is even better. You must reread even the shortest business email to prevent any embarrassing mistakes such as sending the wrong email to the wrong person, to start with. You may be surprised to hear that revising should take as much time as drafting! Should I delete certain parts or move them somewhere else in the text?
In other words, is your text cohesive and unified around one theme? Is there enough or too much support to each topic sentence? These studies have found that the lower L2 proficiency writers benefited from composing in the L1 and then translating into the L2, a result that highlights the importance of using L1 composing strategies for lower L2 proficiency writers. Jones and Tetroe did a study on the effect of L1 use during L2 writing. They found that the lower L2 proficiency writers who did not use their L1 were less effective in their planning.
How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Pre-Writing Phase
The writers who did use their L1 produced more details during the planning stage of L2 writing. Furthermore, the L1 facilitated more abstract thought during planning. Although we have some understanding of how lower proficiency writers cope with the demands of writing in an L2, our picture is still incomplete. One area in which we still have little understanding is the degree to which L2 writers transfer their L1 composing process and strategies to their L2 writing. While it is given that L2 writing poses challenges that are unique from L1 writing and thus require unique strategies to deal with, it is reasonable to assume that parts of the composing process are similar or even the same in the L1 and the L2.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the degree to which lower L2 proficiency writers transfer their composing processes and strategies from L1 writing to L2 writing.
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The question that this research sought to answer is: What L1 composing processes and strategies do lower L2 proficiency writers transfer to L2 writing? Three native Japanese-speaking subjects were selected from an intensive English program in the U. They were chosen for their beginning English proficiency, their wider experience with writing in Japanese, and their limited experience with writing in English. All three subjects were female and their ages ranged from 26 to 28 years old.
All three subjects were high school graduates, and two of the three subjects had also graduated from 2-year colleges. Six think-aloud protocols were collected while the subjects composed essays in Japanese and then in English. Each subject individually participated in two composing sessions in which the subject wrote an essay while thinking aloud.
In the first session subjects wrote a Japanese essay and in the second session they wrote an English essay. The sessions were video and audio taped for subsequent transcription, analysis, and comparison.
Each session followed a similar pattern. First the researcher explained the purpose of think-aloud protocols and gave a brief demonstration of the process by composing the first paragraph of an essay while thinking aloud. The subject then practiced the protocol method while the researcher checked for quality and subject understanding of the process.
Subjects were then given an essay topic see Table 1. Table 1—Essay Topics The topic for the Japanese essay was written in Japanese and the topic for the English essay was written in both Japanese and English. The subject began the protocol by reading the topic aloud. The subject was allowed to take as much time as they needed to compose their essay and they signaled the researcher when they finished composing. Two protocols for each of the three subjects were collected, transcribed and then reviewed and analyzed for composing processes and strategies.
Process Essay Topics
The descriptions below highlight the main features of each subject's Japanese and English essay composing process and strategies. They also compare and contrast those processes and strategies for similarities and differences. The format and length of Katsue's prewriting varied between the two essays. During the Japanese essay, Katsue spent 8 minutes making a list of ideas under two separate headings before beginning to draft her essay.
The ideas were embodied in a variety of words, phrases, and sentences under each heading. The idea generation for the English essay took 18 minutes and looked more like a first draft without any organization. Despite the identical structure of the two essay topics, there were no headings to identify the two options in her English essay prewriting as there had been in her Japanese. Katsue wrote down her ideas completely in English as she brainstormed in Japanese.
Similar to her Japanese prewriting, she used a mixture of words, phrases, and sentences to write down her ideas; however, unlike her Japanese prewriting, Katsue did not use an even balance of all three but used mostly complete sentences. Part of her idea generation for her English essay was finding the English that best expressed her ideas.
This was evidenced by the numerous revisions made to these sentences before Katsue began composing her essay. While composing her Japanese essay, there were three triggers that caused her composing process to cycle from writing into various combinations of rehearsing ideas, revising, editing, and reading. These triggers were completing a sentence, searching for a word to more clearly express an idea, and not knowing how to complete a thought.
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After completing a sentence, Katsue would usually reread what she had just written, sometimes evaluating it before continuing on with the next sentence. For example, Katsue finished composing the sentence, "When I think about it, I abandon my complaint halfway through" see Appendix A. When she completed the sentence, Katsue went back and reread it, giving her a new idea that pushed her to write the next sentence, "This is because even though I think it in my heart, it is very difficult for me to say it in words. She then reread her last sentence, which gave her a direction for the next, and she began writing it down.
Being unable to think of the right word mid-sentence also caused Katsue to reread what she had written, occasionally make revisions, and rehearse words to match the idea. In one section of the protocol, Katsue was in the middle of writing the sentence "However, neither of these apply to my approach. Then she reread the sentence and came up with the right word, "apply. Running out of ideas mid-sentence would also cause her to reread, make revisions, and then rehearse an idea to complete the sentence.
Katsue had composed a sentence to this point before she ran out of ideas: "Even though I think it in my heart, for me, compared with the ill service, saying it is. Then she realized that the comparative structure of the sentence made it difficult to finish her idea, so she deleted the comparison portion and reread the sentence without it. At this point Katsue paused to consider the sentence and then continued writing.
The final sentence read: "This is because even though I think it in my heart, it is very difficult for me to say it in words. The examples mentioned here are only samples of these three cycles that recur throughout Katsue's Japanese protocol. Nevertheless, these patterns demonstrate a consistent and recursive composing process while Katsue was drafting her Japanese essay and established rereading as a key strategy within that composing process. In contrast, the patterns and cycles of composing while drafting her English essay were much more broken and fragmented than those of her Japanese essay.
Katsue's writing never fell into a recognizable cycle during her English essay. Her writing patterns were perforated by struggles with English. Her writing would usually be interrupted mid-sentence by a language concern, whether spelling, grammar, word choice, or doubt about the meaning conveyed by language she had assembled. The struggle of putting her ideas into coherent English seemed to dismantle the smooth, reciprocal cycle of writing which was so readily apparent during her Japanese essay. One section of Katsue's English essay protocol clearly illustrated her fragmented composing processes.
In this section, she was writing the sentence "Some people think our own custom is commonsense, but it is wrong. Using Japanese, she evaluated these statements and came up with the idea that people think their own customs are just commonsense. So far this follows the read and rehearse composing processes found in her Japanese essay, but this was where the similarity ended. She immediately began looking up the Japanese word for "commonsense" to find a translation into English.
Once she found a translation, she tried to recall a previous encounter with the English word "commonsense" and then wrote the word down. Then she began reassembling her original idea and wrote it down in a simple sentence.
She sensed that this new sentence lacked some elements of her idea and began to back-translate it from English to Japanese.