Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ms. Huckabay's Notes on Summary, Paraphrasing, and Direct Quotations

There are three basic types of note-taking during research: summarizing, paraphrasing, and direct quotations. These three tools are essential to creating a research paper that avoids plagiarizing and gives individual flavor to any student's writing. It is important to distinguish between the three. I will describe the purpose of each, and how they differ.

Summary
A summary is a type of note-taking in which you restate the main idea of a reading selection. The information that you include in a summary is more general than that of paraphrasing. Summaries are shortened versions of the reading selection. Summaries must be written in your own words.

Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing is a type of note-taking in which you include all the ideas in an article or story. It is not necessarily just the main idea of the selection. It is a shortened version (similar to a summary) of the article; however, it is more detailed than a summary since you are including all the ideas from the reading selection. You must write in your own words.

Direct quotation
Direct quotations are statements used in research that must be identical to the original source. You must make sure to cite your source in order to give credit to the originator of the statement.

Please be sure to note the differences between summary and paraphrasing. They sound very similar at first glance, but I have pointed out the differences. You will have to apply this to your note-taking.

All three types of note-taking for research must be referenced in in-text citations as well as the works cited page.
Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries serve many purposes. You might use them to . . .
Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing
Refer to work that leads up to the work you are now doing
Give examples of several points of view on a subject
Call attention to a position that you wish to agree or disagree with
Highlight a particularly striking phrase, sentence, or passage by quoting the original
Distance yourself from the original by quoting it in order to cue readers that the words are not your own
Expand the breadth or depth of your writing

The following website provides even more information for your reference:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who is your Favorite Author from An Honest Lie Volume 2?

Who is your Favorite Author from An Honest Lie Volume 2? Please check out this link and vote for CB Calsing if you haven't already. And don't forget to buy your copy of An Honest Lie Volume Two!

Citation! song

Sung to the theme from Ghostbusters!

If you use a source
in your bio project,
what you gonna do?
Citation!

If you paraphrase
someone else’s words
What you gonna do?
Citation!

I ain’t gonna get in trouble
I ain’t gonna get in trouble.

If you summarize
some big main ideas
What you gonna do?
Citation!

Direct Quotations
need the most attention
What you gonna do?
Citation!

Author, page number, in-text
Author, page number, in-text

Where’s it gonna be?
In text!

If you don’t know
for sure what to do
call
Ms. Calsing!

Last name, lead in, page number
Author and Web site address!
I ain’t gonna get in trouble
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

What you gonna do?
Citation

If you’ve used outside sources
and you need to cite them
you’d better call
Ms. Huckabay

Lemme tell you something
Citing sources makes me feel so good!

I’m gonna give credit!
I’m gonna give credit!’

Don’t get caught plagiarizing no no

Citation!

When you put it in
Your own words
You still need to do
citation

What you gonna do?
Citation

What you gonna do?
Citation

What you gonna do?
Citation

What you gonna do?
Citation

I can’t hear you
What you gonna do?
Citation

Even in your own words?
Citation!

What you gonna do?
Citation

What you gonna do?
Citation

What you gonna do?
Citation

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In-text Documentation and Citation

Works cited pages are definitely an important part of research writing, but it is only one element of an adequately cited and sourced paper. The second important element is using in-text documentation or citation. This is the method generally used by the Modern Language Association.

Every piece of information you include in your paper from another source must be cited both in text and in the works cited page. This is true for paraphrasing -- "putting it in your own words" -- summary, and, of course, direct quotations. All in-text documentation must also appear in a works cited entry, and you will not have anything in a works cited entry that is not also cited in text. Failure to include either a works cited or in-text documentation will result in suspicion of plagiarism. Take the time to do it right so that there will be no question later.

So what needs to go into in-text documentation. Well, it can be a little different for each source. Commonly for a book, you need to include the author's name and a page number. For a Web site, you might use the page title and the URL or the host site of the page. Some great examples from Duke University can be found here. It follows MLA format and is pretty clear with how in-text documentation should look.

Of course, the best place to get information about in-text documentation and works cited pages is the MLA handbook. This is a book you will need throughout high school and college. Becoming comfortable with it now will only make things easier later.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Works Cited Entries

More and more students every year are relying on the Internet to do their research. You're probably among them. However, just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's free for you to use without citing your sources. In fact, if anything it's probably more important for you to cite sources really carefully so your teacher doesn't get suspicious.

The first step to citing sources -- the thing that is most basic and most widely asked for -- is the works cited page. Later in the week, we'll get into in-text documentation too, which is probably more important but harder to grasp.

What is a works cited page? Well, it's a list of the resources you used to find your information for your research project. It is comprised of entries, which include specific information. A list of Web site addresses, for instance, isn't enough.

For a book entry, you will need to include the author, the title of the book, the city it was published in, the publisher, and the year it was published.

Web site entries can contain a lot of information, but the most common entry includes the following:
  • The author of the page, if available
  • The title of the page or post in quotes
  • The title of the entire site underlined
  • Post date or date the site was last updated
  • Site sponsor, like a college or organization
  • Date you visited the site and got the information you used
  • The entire URL in carats, like this <http://www.writingfromthemiddle.blogspot.com>
It's not enough just to have the entries correct for a works cited page, however. You also have to have the layout right. Here's some hints on what the layout should include.
  1. In the header, right aligned, should be your last name and the page number.
  2. The entire page is double spaced, with no extra line breaks anywhere, not even between the title and the first entry.
  3. The entires are in alphabetical order.
  4. The first line of each entry is flush, or right about against, the left margin.
  5. Every subsequent line of each entry has a hanging indent of half an inch.
All of this can be done in Word or, if need be, written out by hand. There are plenty of resources online with lots of exmples, so make sure you check those out.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mad Rush is Over

The mad days of going back to work after the summer -- of readjusting to six a.m. mornings and going to bed when the clock tells me to and not when I want to -- are slowly fading. And just in time, I get swamped. Work, work, and more work. Still, I somehow find the time to write. Today, two scenes for the screenplay, day before yesterday, a flash sci fi story. Tomorrow I hope to get another scene written before I head off to work on the restaurant.


I'm optimistic enough to think that I may have the first draft of the screenplay done before November, which means I could possibly do NaNoWriMo again this year. I'm not quite sure what to do, though. I have an idea for a western fantasy, but part of it is already written as a short story, so that would be cheating. So really the bottom line is I have no real ideas for this year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WERE-WORDS: Verbs can change when the moon is full... or when we have to do it to make sense.

Unfortunately, the title of this blog entry makes it sound a lot more exciting than it actually is, doesn't it? You were all thinking, "Whoopee! It's just like Twilight!" but it's not entirely. In some cases it is, though. Just like Jacob can transform into a wolf, but remain the same lovable Jacob on the inside, so can verbs. They can change, but still have the same kernel of meaning.

Verbs change in two major ways.
  1. Tense. Tense deals with when the action happens. The most basic tenses we use are past, present, and future, but there are many more tenses that we use every day orally that we may not necessarily know the name of when it comes to grammar class. That's okay. The most common way to make something past tense is to add an -ed to the end. To make it future, tack on "will." Some verbs make it more difficult than that though, so you always have to pay attention!
  2. Conjugation. The other way verbs change is to take into account the subject of the sentence and what kind of noun that is. It also takes into account who is talking. Conjugation changes the verb to singular or plural subject, and to first, second, or third person perspective.
Tense and verb conjugation come together in verb grids. Remember that the main components of a grid are always the same, shown below:

SingularPlural
FirstIWe
SecondYouYou all
ThirdHe, She, ItThey

This should be memorized. After that, the verb with the correct tense and conjugation should be added. For instance, "to shop" in future tense would look like this:


Singular
Plural
First
I will shop
We will shop
Second
You will shop
You all will shop
Third
He, She, It will shop
They will shop

Notice the word remains the same here. Again, this isn't always the case, so always pay attention.

There you have conjugation and tense. Not all that difficult. You can go ahead and read some Stephanie Meyers now. You know you want to.

Go Team Jacob!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hellebore & Rue | Drollerie Press

Hellebore & Rue | Drollerie Press Check out the cover art for the new anthology of which I am a contributor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vampire Tour

Last night I went, with my friends from out of town, on the New Orleans vampire tour from Haunted History. It wasn't...that bad. He told some interesting stories, but I did have to call foul on a few. Like he had the bit about the casket girls wrong at the Ursuline Convent.

Today, still playing tourist, I'm off to do the plantations on LA 18. I'm also hoping to pick up a pawpaw at a nursery out there. They had them a few weeks back when I called.

The screenplay is going quite well. I think I'll have a first draft done far sooner than expected, and then I'll go in and rewrite, sprinkling in foreshadowing and that type of thing. I like the Celtx program. It's a totally free download for the basic form, and it's really easy to use. Keeps track of all the characters and such. Really nice.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recommended Read

This is a book I love! It makes me laugh every time, and it offers super advise for writings of all ages. Everyone should have it on his or her shelf.

Welcome!

Periodically through this blog, I will be offering nuggets of really important writing advise geared toward middle school students. I have been teaching middle school for seven years, and have taught writing specifically for four years. Not only am I a veteran teacher, but also a published writing. Everything I teach is not only to help kids get better grades and pass state tests, but also to help them become writers in all areas of their lives.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Basset Hounds

Lately I have had two basset hounds visiting. They come for the day, to dig for rats with my Dane/boxer cross Hamlet and to make my pit/Catahoula Zatoichi feel insecure. Zato is normally the "cute" one, the happy-go-lucky one that gets into all types of shenanigans. He eats light bulbs and climbs chain-link fences as Catahoulas are wont to do. Having these oddly-shaped dogs with comically floppy ears around is putting him off his game. While they are around, he mopes. When they leave, Hamlet whines. It's been just great.

Everyone should get to test-drive dogs. I used to think it might be sort of neat to have a basset hound. They're funny, at least. And I bet they're super at sitting on feet to keep them warm in the winter. I had a corgi once that was great at that, and I sort of miss it. However, I have come to the realization that I will never, not in a million years, get a full-time basset hound.

Here are six things that I've learned this week about basset hounds that helped me reach this conclusion.

  1. They don't fetch.
  2. They slobber on everything.
  3. They can jump up on you, regardless of the laws of physics. And then they slobber on your chest.
  4. The manage to slobber on their own ears. Their ears are always so wet and...slobbery.
  5. Their feet are freakishly large, and are often covered in slobber that has rained down from their giant, slobbery maws.
  6. They are not good ratters, despite the fact that they can fit down the holes and they have all that slobber to lubricate their passage.