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Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Full OWL Resources for Grades 7-12 Students and Instructors

For resources specifically created for grades 7-12 students, see the other resources in this section. 

For access to all OWL resources, click here. Please click on the links below to access Full OWL resources that may also be useful grades 7-12 instructors and students:

Process

Starting the Writing Process - This resource contains tips for instructors and student on beginning writing.

Prewriting - This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.

Writer's Block / Writer's Anxiety - This resource contains help for overcoming writer's block and a short series of exercises to help students begin writing.

Developing an Outline - This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.

Paragraphs and Paragraphing - The purpose of this resource is to provide some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.

Transitions and Transitional Devices - This resource discusses transition strategies and specific transitional devices to help students' essays and sentences flow more effectively.

Research: Overview - This section provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

Searching the World Wide Web - This section covers finding sources for your writing in the World Wide Web. It includes information about search engines, Boolean operators, web directories, and the invisible web. It also includes an extensive, annotated links section.

Evaluating Sources of Information - This section provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating internet sources.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing - This resource will help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Avoiding Plagiarism - This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work—there are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts.

Rhetoric and Logic

Creating a Thesis Statement - This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Establishing Arguments - This section discusses the thesis statement and explains argument in writing, which includes using research to support a thesis. This resources also discusses Aristotle's logical proof: ethos, pathos, and logos and the logical fallacies.

Logic in Argumentative Writing - This resource covers logic within writing— logical vocabulary, logical fallacies, and other types of logos-based reasoning.

Rhetorical Situation - This presentation is designed for instructors to use with students to introduce a variety of factors that contribute to strong, well-organiz ed writing. This presentation is suitable for the beginning of a composition course or the assignment of a writing project in any class.

Different Kinds of Essay Genres

Writing a Research Paper - This section provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Writing About Fiction - This resource covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Writing About Literature - This material provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

Writing About Poetry - This section covers the basics of how to write about poetry. Including why it is done, what you should know, and what you can write about.

Writing Definitions - This resource provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.

Style and Language

Adding Emphasis in Writing - This handout provides information on visual and textual devices for adding emphasis to student writing including textual formatting, punctuation, sentence structure, and the arrangement of words.

Conciseness - This resource explains the concept of concise writing and provides examples of how to ensure clear prose.

Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely - This handout provides steps and exercises to eliminate wordiness at the sentence level.

Sentence Variety - This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety.

Using Appropriate Language - This section covers some of the major issues with appropriate language use: levels of language formality, deceitful language and Euphemisms, slang and idiomatic expressions; using group-specific jargon; and biased/stereotypical language.

Punctuation - This resource will help clarify when and how to use various marks of punctuation. When speaking, we can pause or change the tone of our voices to indicate emphasis. When writing, we must use punctuation to indicate these places of emphasis.

Proofreading Your Writing - This section provides information on proofreading, finding and fixing common errors.

Commas - This resource offers a number of pages about comma use.

Citation

Annotated Bibliography - This resource provides information about annotated bibliographies.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide - This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.

APA Formatting and Style Guide - This resource, revised according to the 5th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences.

Writing and Research Help by Email - Still have questions about your writing? Haven't found what you need? Send us an email! Our staff will provide individualized writing help online.

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Invention for Secondary School Students: Introduction

Introduction to Invention (Grades 7-12)

The following Purdue OWL resource has been specifically designed to address various issues of invention that students in secondary school (grades 7-12) may encounter.  

When you're thinking about invention, or what some might call pre-writing, here are some questions for you to consider:

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this information on writing invention is for you! 

 

Think of the invention process as a way to create ideas. It’s the “stuff” that happens before you produce the writing that is read by others and/or graded by your teacher.

Every person goes about invention differently. The key is to find what works best for you. Try out the ideas in this section. Use them, blend them, and figure out what you like best.

These web pages are designed to give you the tools to begin the invention process. For additional information, see Introduction to Prewriting (Invention) handout on the Purdue OWL. 

Beginning The Invention Process: General Guidelines and Ideas

Plan to spend time inventing ideas. Writing is not about getting information and ideas down as quickly as you can. Taking time to come up with ideas is the best way to make sure your writing will be unique and interesting, as well as being enjoyable to write. 

Here are some ways to get the ideas flowing for any writing project you might do:

Examples of Invention Strategies

To see examples of these invention strategies, click here. 

Works Consulted

Applegate, Carey. Personal interview. 30 Nov. 2013.

Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1986. Print.

Johnson-Sheehan, Richard and Charles Paine. Writing Today. Boston: Pearson       Education, Inc., 2013. Print.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers. Common Core State Standards Initiative. National Governors       Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers,        Washington D.C., 2010. Web. 18 Aug. 2013.

Ramet, Adèle. Creative Writing. Oxford: How To Books Ltd., 2004. Print.

Spurgin, Timothy. The Art of Reading Course Guidebook. Chantilly: The Teaching Company, 2009. Print. 

 

 

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Sample Invention Strategies Handout

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Invention for Secondary School Students: Creative Writing

Creative writing lets you break away from traditional or “normal” papers. You get to use your own imagination to write a story, a poem, a reflection, and more.  However, creative writing requires different details that you might not find in another genre like research writing. A few strategies for starting your creative writing can be found in the next section.

Invention Strategies for Creative Writing

Warm Up First

Learn to trust your own voice and ideas (Goldberg 13). Your writing will be different from your friend’s work and your favorite author’s work, and that is just fine! You have something to say and an individual way to say it. Use your words and style to express your ideas. Sometimes creative writing can be scary because you just don’t know what to say. Trust yourself, and know that no one expects you to be a professional or perfect writer immediately. The more you write, the better you will become.

Look at Examples for Inspiration 

Who is your favorite writer? Why? What does this writer do that makes him or her cool, fun, or interesting to you? You might look at these things:

Consider looking at a variety of writers as well. Pick up pieces of writing that you haven’t looked at before. If you have a favorite writer or book, ask your teacher about other writers or books that might be similar. This can give you more ideas to spark your own creative writing. However, make sure that your ideas are your own or give credit to the to the other person’s ideas see the Avoiding Plagiarism handout on the Purdue OWL. 

Creative Writing Invention Questions

When you begin to invent a piece of creative writing  (like a story or a poem), asking yourself questions can be a great way to allow ideas flowing.

General Questions for Creative Writing

Questions For Inventing a Fictional Character

The following questions can help you create your own unique characters:

For more information on writing fiction, see the Fiction Writing Basics handout on the Purdue OWL.

Questions For Inventing a Poem or Prose Narrative About a Personal Experience 

If you are writing about a personal experience, use these questions to remember the interesting details of that experience:

For additional information on general invention strategies, click here.

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Secondary Students: Invention for Research Writing

Invention For Research Writing

Writing a research paper is different than creative writing. Research involves looking beyond of what you already know in order to find answers to a question or questions.  Therefore, the inventing process for a research paper will look different from the invention process for creative writing.

The First Steps of Research Invention

Identifying your research topic is usually the most difficult part of writing a research paper. The topic is the general idea that the research paper will focus on.

You can begin by reviewing the information contained in the Invention for Secondary Students: Introduction resource. 

However, research invention strategies are different than more general writing invention strategies. As you work on your research writing, you should do the following things:

For more information on choosing a topic, please see the Choosing a Topic resource on the Purdue OWL. 

When You Begin to Find Sources for Research

There are a lot of articles, encyclopedias, and books in existence. Where can you begin to find the material you need for your topic?

Tracing Backward to Find Sources

Once you find a source that works well for your topic, see if you can find a “Works Cited” page or information about what sources influenced the author of your particular source. Tracing backward like this can give you a wealth of information. Think of it as someone handing you a list of sources that might work very well with your paper topic.

Evaluating Sources 

Be sure that the sources you use are credible. This means that you must find good sources with information you can trust. But how do you know if you can trust a source? Here are some things to look for:

Author
Date of Source
 Evidence
Organization/Publishers

For more information about evaluating sources and finding credible sources, see the Purdue OWL’s resources on Evaluation During Reading and Using Research and Evidence. 

Citing Your Sources

As you use other people’s writings, thoughts, and opinions in your writing, always remember to cite your sources. This means that every time you use a quotation, opinion, or though of another person, you must give credit to that person and the text that they wrote their thoughts in.

For information about citations according to MLA (Modern Language Association), see the MLA Formatting and Style Guide, or see the APA Formatting and Style Guide for APA’s  (American Psychological Association) guidelines, available through the Purdue OWL.

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

What to do when You are Stuck

First, know that it is normal to feel stuck. This is what we call writer’s block. Sometimes you just do not know what to say next when you write. If this happens to you, try some of these ideas:

See the Symptoms and Cures for Writer’s Block resource on the Purdue OWL for more information about beating the block. 

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Invention Worksheets

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Invention Strategies: Introduction

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Invention Strategies: Explanation

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee.
Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Invention Struggles