• Everyday Research

    Everyday Research

  • 1

Good writing does not happen by accident. Successful writers use deliberate, focused ways of thinking called strategies to make their writing more powerful. A writer's choice of strategies depends on the intended audience and the relationship between the writer and the audience. Strategies must also be appropriate for what the writer wants to accomplish. Although it may be effective in some situations to use a combination of strategies, not every strategy is applicable to every essay. 

Narration, Observation, and Analysis

The gurus introduce basic writing strategies for developing and communicating arguments: narration, observation, and analysis. Each strategy is illustrated as the gurus describe "talking heads" and expert writers discuss how they apply these strategies in their work. A short animation illustrates how careful observation and use of detail can bring writing to life.

Video Focus Points 

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • Why is narrative useful in a variety of writing situations?
  • How do observation skills help a writer become more effective?
  • Why is the use of detail important to writing an essay?
  • What is the value of analysis in writing?


Using Your Tools

The student writers illustrate how they use various writing strategies as they begin writing about their personal decisions.

Video Focus Point

Look for answers to this question when watching the video:

  • How are the basic writing strategies of narration, observation, and analysis used in essays drafted by the writer's group?



Basic Terms

Recognizing basic literary and rhetorical devices in formal arguments will contribute greatly to your success in this course. Test your ability to identify common devices used in these selected passages.


Practice the Language

Building a vocabulary is an obvious part of learning a language, but the nuances of how a language is used and spoken are also very important. Likewise, some layers of argument are very obvious while others are subtle, often implied rather than stated directly. In this activity, you’ll be hunting for terms in all layers of argument to find the language you’ll be using during your odyssey through writing.

Research: Finding out what you are going to do when you cannot keep on doing what you are doing now.

—Charles Kettering