Strategies for Writing

Read critically. Be sure that you are accurately and fairly representing the author's argument, purpose and main ideas to ensure that your evaluation of the text is accurate and valid.

Consider your audience. How can you present a response that is appropriate and meaningful given the expectations of this academic context, including clarity, objectivity, accuracy, and support through personal and textual evidence? What would your reader-the seminar instructor-value most in a reading to be used for this class? In what different ways might a professor use a text/reading to help students learn? What criteria might the professor be most likely to use?

Focus on the main ideas from the text and specific set of criteria as a basis for your evaluation. Are you going to focus on recommending or not recommending the text? What criterion or related criteria are you going to use as a basis for your evaluation?

Develop your evaluation with a thesis appropriate to the context that includes viable criteria, given the purpose and audience. In support of your thesis/claim about the text's usefulness, you should use textual evidence (including quotes and paraphrases) as well as any relevant personal experience or other relevant evidence to support your recommendation.

Organize a cohesive essay using transitions to guide the reader, and use a structure that presents your ideas clearly and logically for readers.