Tips To Keep in Mind while You Complete the DSP Process:

  • This is not a timed writing test. Take the time you need to read the article and create a well thought-out argument — including time for revision. You should complete the process over the course of about one week, as you will with many of your university-level writing assignments. Plan ahead so that you can take your time with both the reading and writing processes. Your essay and reflective questions are due June 16, 2014.
  • Reading: We encourage you to read and re-read the articles carefully, making notes as you read. As you read, take note of central arguments and examples.
  • Brainstorming: As you start to brainstorm your ideas for your own argument, think carefully about what the prompt is asking you to do. You may find it helpful to rephrase the prompt in your own words. Think about how you want to organize your response, and come up with a working plan before you begin writing.
  • Writing: In asking you to write an academic essay, we are asking you to develop a clear position and to support that position using evidence. Therefore, we have suggested that you keep the following guidelines in mind.
    • Focus: Your essay should be developed around a clear central thesis or argument that allows you to integrate your own views with material from the articles. This means you will provide some review of the articles, but it does not mean a full summary of the articles.
    • Structure: Your essay should be clearly organized in a way that elaborates on and supports your central thesis. Individual paragraphs should be cohesive, and your reader should be able to follow the logical progression of your ideas from one sentence and paragraph to the next.
    • Evidence: Make sure that you support your claims with well-chosen examples from the articles and that you explain clearly how these examples support your points. Because the prompt asks you to engage with specific articles, the articles should be your primary or exclusive sources of evidence. Consider both examples and perspectives which support your claims, as well as possible counter-arguments to your claims, in order to help explain your argument.
  • Revising: Read and re-read your essay as you revise. Consider how your examples, transitions, and claims work together and how you can help make such connections clear in your writing. Finally, proofread your essay carefully before you upload your Word doc file (titled with your Last name, First name). An easy way to undermine your credibility (or ethos) as a writer is to have overlooked typos or mistyped words; avoid such oversight via thorough careful revising and proofreading. To submit your essay once you are ready to do so, click on the link on the main DSP webpage (link will be available beginning June 1).
  • Reflecting: After submitting your completed essay, you will answer ten questions about the experience. As you answer them, reflect on these questions especially in terms of the reading and writing task you just completed, as well as in light of your previous writing experiences. These questions are available via the same link through which you will submit your essay  on the main DSP webpage.