|MWSU | Academics/Departments | EML||GLOSSARY OF TERMS|
Body of paper - The portion of a composition in which, through the use of such specific strategies as details, examples, and explanation, the author develops the central idea or claim. The body falls between the introduction and the conclusion.
Claim - A sentence that clearly gives the author's argument for the text. It also usually indicates the writer's point of view toward the subject and ordinarily sets the limits for the discussion. This statement is usually near the beginning of the text. The claim may also be called a thesis, central idea, or controlling idea.
Coherence - A principle of writing requiring that all ideas in an expository essay be related and that the relationship be immediately apparent to the reader. Transitional words and repetition of key words from the claim are important devices for establishing coherence within a composition.
Comma splice - The punctuation error of using a comma to join two groups of words, each of which could be a sentence by itself. May also be called comma fault. Comma splice: I'm hungry, I think I'll have a sandwich. Correction: I'm hungry. I think I 'll have a sandwich.
Concluding paragraph - The conclusion should be strong and brief. Among other things, it may restate the central idea, summarize the points made in the paper, raise a question, or provide a challenge, call the reader to action, refer back to a narrative introduction, or say what the authors argument means for the future.
Diction - The use of words in writing or speaking. Good diction demands that the words chosen for use in a particular composition be accurate, suitable, specific, and effective for the intended audience.
Documentation - The proper identification of authors and sources of information used in a research paper.
Grammar - The set of formal patterns in standard written English. Writers of standard written English need to be aware of grammatical patterns acceptable in written standard English, which differs from spoken standard English.
Introductory paragraph - The opening paragraph of the essay. The introduction usually includes several sentences that carefully lead toward the statement of claim.
Kairos - The context in which a text is delivered to the intended audience.
Logos - The logical appeal of a text. Logos includes statistics, charts, graphs, facts, citations, research, and the way the text is organized.
Mechanics - The technical components of writing, including spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Misplaced modifier - A modifying word or phrase that is confusing because it could describe more than one thing.
Outline - A plan for a composition. A scratch or rough outline may consist of ideas jotted down in no particular order but in sufficient detail for the author to develop a claim and plan an organized theme. Formal outlines are of several types, including topic outlines, in which words and phrases are used, and sentence outlines, in which the use of complete sentences is required throughout. A well-constructed text is seldom achieved unless the author has previously constructed some kind of outline.
Pathos -The emotional appeal used in a text. Descriptive words; referencing issues such as death, love, anger, and sadness; use of color or images; photographs; and personal stories are all examples of pathos.
Peer editing - Working with other students in writing classes to write and rewrite and to edit student prose as a means of improving writing and editing skills.
Rhetoric - The art of persuasion or argument.
Rhetorical patterns - Various methods and techniques used for organizing paragraphs and themes. Frequently used patterns or strategies include definition, cause-and-effect, process, analogy, classification, identification, and comparison-contrast.
Rough draft - The first attempt at writing the text, including the claim and supporting material. The phrase "rough draft" can be somewhat misleading, since teachers usually expect it to be as long as a final draft, well-thought-out, typed, and proofread.
Run-on sentences - No punctuation between two independent clauses, which makes it difficult for the reader to know how they should be separated. Example: My brother opened the door where I was sleeping I could feel the draft.
Sentence fragment - A group of words that does not fully express an idea. Example: When the horse eats in the field where the cows are.
Supporting detail - Specific ideas, facts, or words that explain, exemplify, or qualify both claim and topic sentences. Abroad generalization does not qualify as supporting detail, which must be specific.
Supporting Paragraph - A unit of thought. A supporting paragraph usually consists of a group of related sentences. These include a topic sentence, which is often but not always the first sentence, an example/quote/paraphrase to 'support' the claim, and an explanation or analysis of the example. When the paragraph is part of an essay, it must qualify, analyze, explain, exemplify, or otherwise develop the central idea of the paper.
Tone - A term for the attitude toward a subject or reader that a composition conveys. (Tone may also refer to the mood the writing arouses.) Tone depends for its quality on many factors, including word choice, sentence structure, and paragraph form. The writer attempts to make tone consistent and appropriate to the audience and the purpose.
Topic sentence - The statement that provides the main idea of a paragraph and limits the range of acceptable material in the paragraph. Although other positions are suitable, the topic sentence is often placed at the beginning of the paragraph.
Transition - A word, phrase or sentence used to link sentences within paragraphs, and paragraphs with each other, so that the reader is able to follow the line of thought without difficulty. Do NOT use transitional words and phrases such as first, second, finally, then, thus, however, in addition, on the one hand. Use complete sentences that connect the previous idea to the next idea/paragraph.
Usage - The way words and phrases are actually used by a language community. Usage in the United States varies somewhat from one region to another, from one sub-group to another, and from one situation to another. The language suitable for most themes is standard English.