Tips to keep in mind while you are completing the DSP Process

Tips to Keep in Mind while You Complete the DSP

  • This is not a timed writing test. Take the time you need to read, write, and revise thoughtfully. 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. Information on the DSP prompt can be found here.
  • Reading: We encourage you to read and re-read the article carefully, making notes as you read. As you read, take note of the evidence and central arguments (including those that are not readily-obvious) in the reading.
  • Brainstorming: As you start to brainstorm your ideas for your own writing, 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 this academic essay, we are asking you to show thoughtful analysis of the article and to explain what you see as the main perspective in it. We have suggested that you keep the following guidelines in mind.
    • Audience: write for an academic audience who may or may not have read Kolbert’s article.
    • Focus: develop your essay around a clear, thoughtful, and compelling explanation of the key ideas in Kolbert’s text.
    • Evidence: support your analysis  with well-chosen evidence from Kolbert’s article.
    • Structure: organize your essay in a way that supports and clarifies your key ideas.
  • Revising: Read and re-read your essay as you revise. Consider how your examples, transitions, and main ideas 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.
  • 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.