Writing Dilemmas

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    • #318 Reply
      Mary Philbrick
      Guest

      A writing dilemma is a difficult situation you encounter while writing. One writing dilemma that I am currently experiencing is making my writing flow smoothly. During my peer revision session, both peers in my group agreed that my essay did not progress in a clear manner. Many of my sentences were choppy and unrelating. I need to improve on better integrating my quotes into my essay. I also need to improve my ability to transition between sentences.

    • #319 Reply
      pmason3
      Participant

      A writing dilemma that I have is whether on not to change the direction of my paper. I chose to write my paper on the idea that emerging adulthood would have both pros and cons when becoming an life phase. As a con I talked a lot about how society would naturally become lazy. As feedback from my group I got that I should focus on the laziness aspect and base my writing on that. I’m not sure what I should do.

      • #328 Reply
        Suki Ullrich
        Guest

        Adding on to the idea of “laziness” in young adults, another con could be that young adults might not have enough time left to achieve all of their goals, even if they wanted to. They might fail to reach their maximum potential (once they’ve finally decided what to do with their lives) all because society encouraged them to pursue too many interests at once. It could distract/hinder them from pursuing the life “purpose” that King describes throughout his essay.

        Another con to consider might be that society would require additional funding if policymakers decided to provide new accommodations for “emerging adults.” Those funds would have to come from somewhere (possibly from people of a certain age group or socioeconomic class?). Ultimately, someone would have to pay for the new support/benefits. (This relates to Henig’s concern that parents nowadays are held financially responsible for their children for too long after they’ve reached adulthood. What if the parents are the ones who end up funding the new accommodations for “emerging adults”?)

      • #330 Reply
        Ryan Dussault
        Guest

        I would suggest picking one side or the other to support (which ever you feel stronger about), and then use the other side as a counter. Take the points you made for the other side and argue them. This will make it much easier to take a stance, and it will strengthen your argument if you have the pros and cons for a counter argument.

      • #339 Reply
        Amanda Leonard
        Guest

        I agree that you should try to pick only one side to argue. I think it confuses the readers when you switch back and forth, so by picking one side you’ll be able to capture their attention more. It will also strengthen the side of the argument you pick because you’ll have more to say about that side and it won’t be contradicted by talking about the other side.

      • #346 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Paige, It sounds like you’ve received some great advice. I would recommend absolutely allowing your paper to shift directions. That’s the whole idea behind the recursive writing process! Your writing–your drafting and revising–are TOOLS for discovering what it is you actually want to say!

    • #324 Reply
      Caleb Cyr
      Guest

      My biggest dilemma for writing this paper is how to relate the texts to the paper itself more. During the peer review process, my group mentioned that it would be helpful to include more information from the text to back up my arguments. Sometimes it’s just hard for me to figure out what information could actually help, rather than just filling space. I also use too many examples sometimes when using them, so I just need to find a balance.

      • #326 Reply
        Mary Philbrick
        Guest

        I am experiencing this same problem and my peer review group members suggested the same thing. I find it helps to skim all of the texts again and just keep in my mind what kind of evidence you are looking for. This usually helps me find quotes or examples that fit with my argument.

      • #347 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        So, there’s this idea that when you read a text with a specific purpose, your experience of the text changes. For example, have you ever noticed the shopping cart in the header image I chose for our class website? Now that you are looking for the cart, you may be more likely to see it. You may feel differently about the photo. I don’t know, maybe you did notice the cart, and my point is lost. Regardless, I strongly recommend that you just reread with a pen in hand. I think you’ll find the essay will change yet again–and for the better.

    • #327 Reply
      Suki Ullrich
      Guest

      Considering my peers’ helpful feedback, I’ve decided that my main goal will be to clarify my arguments and simplify the presentation of those arguments throughout my essay. To accomplish this, I will focus on breaking up run-on sentences and fixing any grammatical errors. I will attempt to clarify and condense my essay by switching some of the semicolons to periods, and by eliminating any redundant elaborations. Additionally, I will revisit the first and last sentences of each paragraph to try to improve the transitions between various ideas. My biggest challenge will be distinguishing between the ideas that I should keep in my essay versus the ones that I should relocate to more relevant places, or even cut out entirely.

      • #348 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Suki, sometimes it can be helpful to write all of your claim sentences (your paragraph’s main points) on a sheet of paper. How do they relate with each other? Do they flow? Is there momentum? Direction? Sometimes this exercise can help give you the distance you need to make the bigger changes.

    • #329 Reply
      Ryan Dussault
      Guest

      My argument is against Emerging adulthood, so most of my paper is discussing Arnett’s ideas, mentioned in Henig’s piece, and why emerging adulthood is flawed. King discusses the changes that he believes we need to make regarding High School and way that we are raised, as it does not prepare us for the future. I want to argue him and say that the way we are raised now does prepare us for the future, even though we are learning from the past. I am having trouble connecting this to emerging adulthood. I’m thinking that because he is wrong (which I will have evidence to support), we do not need to make changes in our society, thus we do not need a new stage of emerging adulthood. I am also struggling with the placement of where to talk about King… Any Ideas?

      • #349 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        I can see your dilemma, as these texts don’t provide you much support. HOWEVER, I think that you could use the text to argue against. King strikes me as someone who was prepared for success–despite his complaints. Brainstorm how he achieved success.

    • #331 Reply
      aleonard4
      Participant

      Based on what my peers mentioned when reviewing my paper, one writing dilemma I have is that while I am able to make valid points, I often lack the evidence needed to back it up. They suggested that I should use more quotes and information from the two texts we read. Another dilemma I had was with the transitions between paragraphs. I went from one idea to the next, but without any flow.

      • #337 Reply
        Mike Steminsky
        Guest

        I had the same issue as you. Something that helps the flow of a paper is great transitions from topic to topic. For example, if one of your paragraphs is about the individual and another is about parents, talk about parents in your last sentence of your individual paragraph. This will result in clearer transitions between topics. To help your lack of evidence, reread your paper and look at ideas the author and you agreed with. See if you can add to your own points or just simply replace it with what one of the authors says.

      • #350 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Chapter 8 in your They Say/I Say text book (I’ll assign reading from this soon) provides some excellent advice on how to transition. There are pictures and templates and lists of words that you can use to make connections

      • #371 Reply
        Alex Williams
        Guest

        Something I found helpful when writing in high school was that my composition teacher told us to hint at the next point in the paragraph(s) prior. That way the reader will already be aware of the idea. This is basically what Mike said, but I think it works. I also find it helpful to write down my own questions while reading the assigned text and try later to build my points and ideas off that. Even just taking note of interesting sentences can help not only save time searching for quotes but also help with your opinion on a certain statement. It’s always easier to write about something if you are intrigued or angry by it.

    • #335 Reply
      Sammi Roche
      Guest

      My biggest writing dilemma is that my thesis seems to not match what I’m proving. The thesis I originally started out with was along the lines of, “its a bad decision to add emerging adulthood to the official life stages because it adds to the amount of things 20-somethings have to accomplish before they hit adulthood.” The proof that I used included; becoming an adult is already stressful so adding more things to do makes it worse, there should be time where each 20-something can adventure and find themselves, this new life stage wont encompass the entire population of 20-somethings, and its a 100 year old narrative that no longer applies because times have changed. In the group peer edit, someone suggested that I should make my thesis more about the social pressures that adding a new life stage would cause. Are there any other ideas though? Much appreciated.

      • #351 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Sammi, This is a fantastic problem. It means that you are actively engaging with the recursive writing process. Keep writing and stay open!

      • #376 Reply
        Kyle Brennan
        Guest

        I too am struggling with this. If you feel that you argument is sound, which appears to be the case, then changing your thesis to fit it does seem like your most viable option. I agree with making you thesis more about the societal pressures that emerging adulthood may add, because finding evidence that emerging adulthood adds physical checklists would be harder than explaining the social pressures which are more what the readings focus on. This could help your argument fit in better with your thesis.

    • #336 Reply
      Mike Steminsky
      Guest

      The biggest dilemma or issue with my paper is that I do not have enough evidence in my paper. Both of my peer editing partners agreed that my thoughts were very intelligent and well thought of, however, the evidence to support them was lacking. The overall idea of my paper is kind of off the beaten path since I take King’s stance and look at how the school system can change. Rereading the paper though and looking at claims I make helped the process. I was able to look at some of my thoughts and see if King or Henig talked about them in their pieces. I then just used their words instead of mine to talk about a topic.

      • #352 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        This is great! It sounds like you are forming real strategies!

    • #338 Reply
      Sara Tancredi
      Guest

      A writing dilemma I faced while writing this paper was finding evidence to clearly back up some of my claims and points. When writing, I don’t just want to find random facts that somewhat relate to the topic. I aspire to find strong points that relate back to my thesis and give my essay more depth. Finding an adequate amount of these statements is what I found most difficult, and what my peer review partners made comments on.

      • #353 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Earlier in the forum (To Caleb), I mention how when you return to a text with a purpose the reading becomes easier. I highly recommend rereading with a pen and a clear purpose in mind.

    • #340 Reply
      Kyle Brennan
      Guest

      My thesis seems to be my writing dilemma. My group was very helpful in describing that although my thesis is worded well, it is not supported by the rest of my essay. So, I should rework my thesis to make it fit better or I can keep my thesis and work my argument around it. Either way, my paper is currently contradictory and could use some work. I think it would be best to just change my thesis instead of my argument. Another problem I had is that I need to cite the sources of all the quotes I have and to fix a couple of flow issues. My group was very helpful and pointed out not only these few items, but many smaller things that I would have missed.

      • #354 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Ah, the recursive writing process often involves reorganizing, rewriting, and cutting your text so that your paper’s argument changes, which leads to rewriting your thesis statement, which may lead you to make other changes in your text. You sort of circle your paper’s completion until you feel that you’ve arrived.

    • #341 Reply
      Glenn Rose
      Guest

      It seems that one writing dilemma I am facing right now with my paper is whether or not to elaborate on certain points that I have brought up, but I am concerned that that may change the direction of my paper. But that issue seems to just deal with whether I feel it fits the ideas I’m trying to portray and not about the actual words I have put on my paper.

      • #344 Reply
        Jack Lamont
        Guest

        When faced with that, I end up writing pros and cons of my idea and then try to disprove the cons.

      • #355 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Jack gives some good advice, but also, Glenn, don’t be afraid to let your paper change.

      • #379 Reply
        Sara Tancredi
        Guest

        I think elaborating is always good! As long as you make sure to stay on topic and be relevant with your explanations, you can’t go wrong.

    • #342 Reply
      Alex
      Participant

      What seems to be my dilemma in writing in general is that I have so much to say at once yet I can’t word it the way I want, which means weird wording, faulty structure, and most likely a half formed sentence or two. In this essay specifically, besides what is mentioned above, I tend to rush over things and not explain thoroughly enough. Other than that and the fact that I tend to underestimate myself and my work, nothing major seems to be the problem.

      • #356 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Alex, this is a common situation–as people strive after complicated ideas, their sentences can get funny. Just keep doing it. Practice writing sentences (It’s no different from learning how to draw the images you see in your mind.) The more you do it, the better you get, the easier it will become. Reading out loud can help too.

      • #377 Reply
        Glenn Rose
        Guest

        What usually helps me when this problem comes up is to right out bullet points of things I want to talk about and then go down the list and only focus on one subject per sentence or two.

      • #378 Reply
        Sammi
        Guest

        This is a problem that I also run into a lot when I’m writing. I have way too many thoughts in my head so when I go to write them all down, my thoughts and wording gets all messed up and what I want to say doesn’t come out right. For me, what seems to work the best is when I just throw all my thoughts down on paper till I can’t think anymore. Then I usually go through and try to elaborate for each point. Those points where I seem to be able to continue my thought process are usually the pieces I put in my paper. It also helps to clear your mind when you just write everything down so you can instead focus on one thing. I don’t know if this will help you, but this has been my process for a while. Good Luck!

    • #343 Reply
      Jack Lamont
      Guest

      One dilemma I always have trouble with in writing is how exactly to write a conclusion, I know its supposed to review your ideas and end your paper but It is always something I have struggled with. It just ends up feeling repetitive and sloppy, no matter how much time I spend on my conclusion it feels like the weakest aspect of my paper.

      • #357 Reply
        Elisha M Emerson
        Guest

        Jack, I’ve stumbled into some closing paragraph hacks while online, and I encourage you to google your dilemma. Sometimes you can close with a paragraph that describes the situation if your argument is not realized. Or perhaps you could come at your argument from a slightly different angle.

        This website could help you out.

        https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html

      • #375 Reply
        ccyr6
        Participant

        For me, I usually just try to restate my thesis & the bigger, more important ideas of my paper. Sometimes, I think it’s also helpful to even possibly bring in a new, very small and unimportant idea for the reader to be left thinking about as they finish reading your paper.

    • #345 Reply
      Elisha M Emerson
      Guest

      Mary, have you ever tried reading your work out loud? Or using a recording device and transcribing? Your voice and ears can be a FANTASTIC tool when it comes to flow. I read everything I write out loud. Your ear and voice will work together and you will find yourself catching that choppiness with greater ease.

    • #372 Reply
      Maleigh Citro
      Guest

      I feel like I repeat myself a lot in my paper. My peer review group gave me some suggestions on how to fix it but does anyone else have any suggestions as well?

    • #373 Reply
      Sydney Kane
      Guest

      A writing dilemma I faced is making my thesis well known. Both of my peer editors said that they were sure what my thesis was, funnily enough though, they both picked my thesis sentence and said I should use that as my thesis. How do I make it clear WHAT my thesis is?

    • #374 Reply
      pmason3
      Participant

      Maleigh, I would suggest reading out loud your writing, or talking your ideas out so you know exactly what you are trying to say. This might help you not repeat yourself.

    • #380 Reply
      Lucas deMey
      Guest

      a writing dilemma im currently having is trying to expand apon points without repeating myself too much i feel like my paper has too much fluff and id like to make sure my writing has meaning and im not just writing to meet a length requirement.

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