“Analysis and Critique; How to Engage and Write About Anything” is a writing course published by The Great Courses.
The course is taught by Dorsey Armstrong, Ph.D. Professor Armstrong is Associate Professor of English and Medieval Literature at Perdue University.
The course contains 24 lectures available on CD or DVD. It also comes with a course guidebook. I purchased the DVD and at the time of this writing I’ve completed lectures 1 through 9. This blog post will focus on lectures 6 through 9. The other lectures contain valuable information but lectures 6 through 9 will guide you through the process of writing a complete essay which can be used as a compelling blog post.
“By the end of the course, you will know the feeling of having a masterful instructor standing right by your side as you learn to write practically anything.” ~ Dr. Dorsey Armstrong
Watch this short video for a course overview and to “meet” Professor Armstrong:
Lecture 6–The Art of the Essay–How to Start
The hardest part of writing an engaging article, essay, or blog post is getting started. Once you know what you want to write about you should focus on your opening statement. Your opening statement should clearly state what the topic is and and why it is worthy of an argument. In this lecture you will learn how to write an opening statement that gets the attention and stirs the emotions of your readers. Here’s an example of the opening statement I’ve written for a post;
Lecture 7–How to Organize an Argument
The next thing you will learn is how to organize your argument using the 5 Paragraph Model. The 5 Paragraph Model consists of the following parts:
1st paragraph; state your main claim
2nd paragraph; offer support for the main claim
3rd paragraph; offer additional support for the main claim
4th paragraph; offer even more support for the main claim
5th paragraph; reiterate your main claim
Lecture 8–Supporting Your Argument
Evidence does not support itself. In this lecture you will learn how to write a sentence supporting your evidence. Here’s an example;
You will also learn how to write a sentence with a direct link between the evidence and conclusion. Here’s an example;
You will also learn how to write a sentence admitting that alternative viewpoints exist without undermining your own opinion. See the following example;
Lecture 9–Finishing Strong
In this lecture you will learn three techniques that will allow you to finish your essay on a very strong note.
You will learn how to write a closing statement using a negative consequence. Here’s an example;
You will also learn how to write a closing statement where there are no viable alternatives to your viewpoint. Here’s an example;
You will also learn how to write a closing statement using a positive consequence. For example;
Here are the parts of the 5 paragraph essay together in one place:
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be rich and have the ability to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them, and with whom you want to do them?
It is not enough that I tell you that you can get rich; I must also tell you that you must decide that you want to get rich and that you are commited to take the appropriate action that is required to get rich.
Have you ever seen a child ask for a cookie and be denied? And he asks again, and again, until eventually he gets the cookie. You can get what you want if you are clear about what you want and you take persistent action to get it.
There are many who will tell you to work hard and keep your nose to the grindstone and you will do well. I do not disgree, but if you want to get rich and do what you love you have to decide on what you want and take persistent action to get it.
Once you get rich you will be able to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them, and with whom you want to do them.
That was pretty cool! I really learned a lot in just a short period of time. All I need to do now is flesh out each paragraph by adding examples, more evidence, testimonials, references, etc. Can’t wait to watch the remaining lectures.
Purchase the CD or DVD today and save 70%;
Question of the day: Which of the three closing techniques (negative consequence, positive consequence, or no alternative) do you think is the most effective? Leave your answer in the comment section below…and thanks for stopping by!
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