Unit 03

Unit 3:
How to Write Analytically about General Topics
Unit 3: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON JUN 27):

  1. To appreciate why learning to write clearly and analytically is important, read Aims’s (no date) article, “Why Learning How to Write an Analytical Essay Is Important.”
  2. To prepare for watching Professor Gernsbacher’s lecture video, read the first essay in this packet of five-paragraph essays. (The first essay is on the first page of the packet, and it’s the essay about the Five-Paragraph Model.)
  3. To learn the Five-Paragraph Model, watch Professor Gernsbacher’s lecture video, “The Five-Paragraph Model.” (A transcript of the video is available here.) Be sure to learn from the lecture video all the following:
    1. First, a Thesis Statement is ONE statement that captures the essay’s main argument and ALL THREE reasons or examples that support that argument. Therefore, when you identify a Thesis Statement (or write your own Thesis Statement), make sure it’s ONE SENTENCE that captures the essay’s main argument AND all three of the essay’s supporting reasons or  examples.
    2. Second, a Re-stated Thesis Statement is ONE statement that summarizes the essay’s main argument and ALL THREE reasons or examples that support that argument. Therefore, when you identify a Re-stated Thesis Statement (or write your own Re-stated Thesis Statement), make sure it’s ONE SENTENCE that summarizes the essay’s main argument and all three of the essay’s supporting reasons or examples.
    3. Third, Supporting Reasons support the essay’s thesis through explanation or justification.
    4. Fourth, Supporting Examples support the essay’s thesis through illustration. As the dictionary tells us, “an example of something is a particular situation, object, or person that illustrates how what is being claimed is true.”
  4. To ensure your understanding of the Five-Paragraph Model, outline each of the seven essays in the packet of five-paragraph essays (including the essay Professor Gernsbacher outlined in her lecture video). Outline each of the seven essays (from the packet) in the way that Professor Gernsbacher outlined the first essay in her lecture video, using this unfilled but fillable PDF. To be able to fill the fillable PDF, be sure to follow these steps precisely (even if you think you already know how to fill in a fillable PDF).
    1. First, download the unfilled PDF and save it on your own laptop or tablet.
      • Make sure you are downloading AND saving the unfilled PDF onto your own laptop or tablet rather than simply downloading (or merely opening) it in a browser (e.g., Chrome).
    2. Second, rename the unfilled PDF to be YourLastName_PSY-225_Gernsbacher_FiveParagraph_Fillable.pdf. In other words, add your last name to the beginning of the filename.
      • If you have only downloaded the unfilled PDF in a browser, you won’t be able to rename the file.
      • Therefore, this step is a good check to make sure that you have downloaded the unfilled PDF on your own device, rather than still being in a browser.
    3. Third, on your laptop or tablet, open a PDF writer app, such as Preview, Adobe Reader, or the like.
      • Be sure to open your PDF writer app BEFORE you open the unfilled PDF from your computer.
    4. Fourth, from within your PDF writer app, open the unfilled PDF, which you have already saved onto your laptop or tablet, and you have already re-named.
    5. Fifth, using your PDF writer app, fill in the PDF.
    6. Sixth, save your now-filled-in PDF on your computer.
    7. Seventh, to appreciate why, in this course, you will learn how to fill in fillable PDFs, read this excerpt from Platoform’s (2018) article, “The Rise of the Fillable PDF Form.”
  5.  When outlining each of the seven essays in the fillable PDF:
    1. For each of the essay’s Thesis Statements, copy and paste into the fillable PDF the verbatim sentence that is that essay’s Thesis Statement.
      • Remember that a Thesis Statement is ONE SENTENCE that captures the essay’s main argument AND all three of the essay’s supporting reasons or supporting examples.
    2. For each of the essay’s three Reasons or three Examples, you do NOT need to copy and paste verbatim sentences. But you do need to capture the gist of each Reason or Example.
    3. For each of the essay’s Re-stated Thesis Statements, you do need to copy and paste into the fillable PDF the verbatim sentence that is that essay’s Re-stated Thesis Statement.
      • Remember that a Re-stated Thesis Statement is ONE SENTENCE that summarizes the essay’s main argument and all three of the essay’s supporting reasons or supporting examples.
  6. Go to Unit 3: Assignment #1 and submit your filled-in PDF.
    1. First, you’ll notice that the Unit 3: Assignment #1 link is an Assignment link, rather than a Discussion Board link, so it will look a bit different than the other submission links you’ve seen in this course so far.
    2. Second, click “Choose File” to attach/upload your filled-in PDF.
    3. Third, immediately after submitting your assignment, check to make sure that your filled-in PDF is really filled-in (and isn’t empty)!

Unit 3: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on MON JUN 27):

  1. To get more hands-on experience planning essays using the Five-Paragraph Model, do the following:
    1. First, choose TWO “Reasons Prompts” quotes from page one of this list of quotes (page one provides a list of 20 quotes that are “Reasons Prompts” for five-paragraph essays).
    2. Second, think of and then write down (somewhere) a Reason A, a Reason B, and a Reason C to support EACH of the two “Reasons Prompts” quotes you have chosen.
    3. Third, make sure your reasons explain or justify WHY the quote is true.
      • Remember, reasons don’t illustrate; reasons explain or justify.
      • A good cue word for a reason is “because” (e.g., something is true because Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C).
  2. To get even more hands-on experience planning essays using the Five-Paragraph Model, do the following:
    1. First, choose TWO “Examples Prompt” quotes from page two of the list of quotes (page two provides a list of 20 quotes that are “Examples Prompts” for five-paragraph essays).
    2. Second, think of and then jot down (somewhere) an Example A, an Example B, and an Example C to support EACH of the two “Examples Prompts” quotes you have chosen.
    3. Third, make sure your examples illustrate HOW the quote is true.
      • Remember, examples don’t explain or justify; examples illustrate.
      • A good cue phrase for examples is “as illustrated by” (e.g., something is true as illustrated by Example A, Example B, and Example C).
  3. You have now chosen four quotes.
    1. For both the first and the second quotes, you have written down your Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C to support each of those two quotes.
    2. For both the third and the fourth quotes, you have written down your Example A, Example B, and Example C to support each of those two quotes.
    3. Check to make sure you have done all of this.
  4. For each of the four quotes you’ve chosen, write a Thesis Statement that incorporates the quote’s argument AND your three reasons or three examples that support that quote. Thus, you need to write four Thesis Statements:
    1. a first Thesis Statement that incorporates into ONE SENTENCE the thesis (argument) of the first “Reasons Prompt” quote you chose AND your Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C that support that quote;
    2. a second Thesis Statement that incorporates into ONE SENTENCE the thesis (argument) of second “Reasons Prompt” quote you chose AND your Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C that support that quote;
    3. a third Thesis Statement that incorporates into ONE SENTENCE the thesis (argument) of the first “Examples Prompt” quote you chose AND your Example A, Example B, and Example C that support that quote; and
    4. a fourth Thesis Statement that incorporates into ONE SENTENCE the thesis (argument) of second “Examples Prompt” quote you chose AND your Example A, Example B, and Example C that support that quote.
  5. For the hook of an essay, you can definitely use a quote, including the prompt quote. However, to get other ideas for good hooks, do the following:
    1. First, read “Essay Hook Ideas.”
    2. Second, read WikiHow’s (no date) “Types of Hooks.”
    3. Third, definitely read and learn “How Not to Begin an Essay.”
  6. Go to Unit 3: Assignment #2 Discussion Board and make a new post in which you do the following:
    1. First, for each of your two Reasons quotes:
      • write out the “Reasons Prompt” quote you chose;
      • list your Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C in support of the quote; and
      • write out your Thesis Statement.
    2. Second, for each of your two Examples quotes:
      • write out the “Examples Prompt” quote you chose;
      • list your Example A, Example B, and Example C in support of the quote; and
      • write out your Thesis Statement.

Unit 3: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE JUN 28):

  1. Read Wilbers’ (2015) “Top [5] Reasons You Should Learn to Use Proper Grammar.”
  2. Learn when to use me, myself, and I correctly by doing the following:
    1. First, watch Ted-Ed’s (2015) video, “When to Use ‘Me,’ ‘Myself, and ‘I’.”
      • Remember that you can adjust the speed on this YouTube video (or any YouTube video) by following these directions.
      • Remember that you can access a transcript of this YouTube video (or any YouTube video) by following these directions.
    2. Second, read Grammar Girl’s (2007) article, “How to Use ‘Myself’ and Other Reflexive Pronouns.”
    3. Third, read Stevens’s (2012) article, “Grammar-Grouching on ‘Myself’ Misuse.”
    4. Fourth, test yourself on the Me/I or Myself Quiz. Re-take the Quiz again (and again) until you earn a perfect score.
  3. Learn when to use “you and I” versus “you and me” by doing the following:
    1. First, read Stevens’s (2012) article, “You and I and Lady Gaga’s Bad Grammar.”
    2. Second, read Grammar Girl’s (2007) article, “Between You and Me.”
    3. Third, because “you and I” and “you and me” are often used incorrectly in song lyrics (as Stevens’ and Grammar Girl’s articles note), do the following:
      • Find two songs in which EITHER “you and I” OR “you and me” is used correctly in their lyrics.
        • Write down the entire line from each song’s lyric in which EITHER “you and I” OR “you and me” is used correctly.
        • Write down the name of the song and the name of the singer.
      • Find two songs in which EITHER “you and I” OR “you and me” is used incorrectly in their lyrics.
        • Write down the entire line from each song’s lyric in which EITHER “you and I” OR “you and me” is used incorrectly.
        • Write down the name of the song and the name of the singer.
  4. Read Gaertner-Johnston’s (2006) article, “Its? It’s? Or Its’?” Then find, on the Internet,
    1. two instances when someone has correctly used its,
    2. two instances when someone has correctly used it’s,
    3. two instances when someone has incorrectly used its, and
    4. two instances when someone has incorrectly used it’s.
    5. For all instances, be sure to write down or otherwise capture the entire sentence in which the usage of its or it’s occurred (and the URL where the instance occurred).
  5. To learn why it’s probably not a good idea to double space after a period, do the following:
    1. First, read Manjoo’s (2011) article, “Space Invaders: Why You Should Never, Ever Use Two Spaces After a Period.
    2. Second, read Grammar Girl’s (2005) article, “Two Spaces After a Period.”
    3. Third, think about whether you were taught to double space after a period.
  6. Top off all your grammar learning by watching Pleated Jean’s (2013) YouTube, “Grammar Lessons with Food.
  7. Go to the Unit 3: Assignment #3 Discussion Board and create a new post in which you do the following:
    1. First, list how many times you needed to take the “Me/I or Myself Quiz” (it’s okay if it took you a few attempts; the point is to learn when to use “me” versus “I” versus “myself”).
    2. Second, list the song titles, the singers, and the lines from the lyrics of the two songs you found that use either “you and I” or “you and me” correctly.
    3. Third, list the song titles, the singers, and the lines from the lyrics of the two songs you found that use either “you and I” or “you and me” incorrectly.
    4. Fourth, list the sentences for the two instances you found on the Internet when someone used its correctly AND embed a link to the source for each instance.
    5. Fifth, list the sentences for the two instances you found on the Internet when someone used it’s correctly AND embed a link to the source for each instance.
    6. Sixth, list the sentences for the two instances you found on the Internet (and their context) when someone used its incorrectly AND embed a link to the source for each instance.
    7. Seventh, list the sentences for the two instances you found on the Internet (and their context) when someone used it’s incorrectly AND embed a link to the source for each instance.
    8. Eighth, tell us whether you were taught to double space after a period and, if so, tell us whether you’re surprised to learn that you shouldn’t double space after a period. If you were not taught to double space after a period, tell us whether you’ve wondered why other people (erroneously) double space after a period.
    9. Ninth, tell us which grammar lesson provided in Pleated Jean’s video you were the least familiar with before watching the video.

Unit 3: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on TUE JUN 28):

  1. The goal of this assignment is to learn the Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs.
    1. First, re-read (or skim re-read) Aims’s (no date) article, “Why Learning How to Write an Analytical Essay Is Important.”
    2. Second, watch Professor Gernsbacher’s lecture video, “Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs.” (A transcript of the lecture video is available here.)
  2. To ensure your understanding of the Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs, outline three paragraphs using this unfilled but fillable PDF.
    1. First, refer back to Unit 3: Assignment #1, part d. for how to download, save, then open, and fill in a fillable PDF.
    2. Second, rename the PDF to be YourLastName_PSY-225_Gernsbacher_ParagraphRecipe_Fillable.pdf. In other words, add your last name to the beginning of the filename.
    3. Third, for the three paragraphs you will outline, use the other two paragraphs in Aims’s article that were not completely outlined in Professor Gernsbacher’s lecture video (“Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs“) and select one other paragraph from another essay in the packet of five-paragraph essays.
      • When completing the ParagraphRecipe_Fillable.pdf, copy and paste into the fillable PDF the verbatim sentences from each essay you are outlining.
  3. To learn other helpful essay writing tips, read Kaplan’s Test Prep (no date) “7 Tips for a Perfect GRE Essay.”
    1. Although the Kaplan Test Prep tips are for writing an essay during the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test, the recommendations apply to the types of essays you write in college and that you are writing for this course.
    2. Pay specific attention to the recommendation to avoid writing “I think” or “I believe,” along with the reason why you should avoid writing such terms in your essays.
  4. Now comes the time to put into action everything you’ve learned in the first three assignments of this Unit.
    1. First, choose one of the two “Reasons Prompts” quotes that you have been working on in this Unit.
    2. Second, write an entire five-paragraph essay on that one Reasons quote.
    3. Third, remember the following:
      • Your five-paragraph essay needs to have an Introduction Paragraph with a hook and a Thesis Statement.
        • Remember that a good cue word for a Thesis Statement containing reasons is “because” (e.g., something is true because Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C).
      • Your Conclusion Paragraph needs to restate your Thesis Statement and end with something witty or profound.
      • REMEMBER: ALL FIVE of your paragraphs, including your Introduction Paragraph, each of your three Reasons Paragraphs, and your Conclusion Paragraph, need to be structured following the basic recipe you learned in “Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs” lecture video. Therefore, ALL FIVE of your paragraphs need to have
        • a Topic Sentence;
        • three Supporting Sentences; and
        • a Conclusion Sentence.
    4. Fourth, save your “Reasons” essay as a PDF with the filename YourLastName_PSY-225_Reasons_Essay.pdf.
  5. To obtain more practice putting into action everything you’ve learned in the first three assignments of this Unit:
    1. First, choose one of the two “Examples Prompts” quotes that you have been working on in this Unit.
    2. Second, write an entire five-paragraph essay on that one Examples Prompt quote.
    3. Third, again, remember the following:
      • Your five five-paragraph essay needs to have an Introduction Paragraph with a hook and a Thesis Statement.
        • Remember that a good cue phrase for a Thesis Statement that contains examples is “as illustrated by” (e.g., something is true as illustrated by Example A, Example B, and Example C).
      • Your Conclusion Paragraph needs to restate your Thesis Statement and end with something witty or profound.
      • REMEMBER: ALL FIVE of your paragraphs, including your Introduction Paragraph, each of your three Examples Paragraphs, and your Conclusion Paragraph, need to be structured following the basic recipe you learned in “Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs” lecture video. Therefore, ALL FIVE of your paragraphs need to have five sentences:
        • a Topic Sentence;
        • three Supporting Sentences; and
        • a Conclusion Sentence.
    4. Fourth, save your “Examples Prompts” essay as a PDF with the filename YourLastName_PSY-225_Examples_Essay.pdf.
  6. Go to the Unit 3: Assignment #4 Discussion Board and make a new post.
    1. Use your initial post to “Attach” your Reasons Essay PDF using the “Attach” tool.
    2. If you can’t remember how to “Attach” a file, review Unit 2: Assignment #5.
    3. Because the Discussion Board will allow only one file to be attached to each post, make a reply post to your first post (which was the post where you attached your Reasons Essay post). Then, use your reply post to “Attach” your Examples Essay PDF.
    4. Finally, make a second reply post, and this time “Attach” the PDF you renamed YourLastName_PSY-225_Gernsbacher_ParagraphRecipe_Fillable.pdf and filled in.
    5. Thus, your Unit 3: Assignment #4 will have
      • an initial post to which you attached your Reasons Essay PDF.
      • a reply post to which you attached your Examples Essay PDF.
      • a second reply post to which you attached your filled-in Paragraph Recipe PDF.

Unit 3: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on WED JUN 29):

  1. To gain more experience writing five-paragraph essays (and to illustrate the usefulness and versatility of the five-paragraph essay), choose two of the following tasks:
    1. Write a five-paragraph Reasons or Examples Essay that is a hypothetical cover letter for a job application (providing three reasons that explain or justify why you’re, hypothetically, the best person for the job OR providing three example hypothetical skills that illustrate that you’re the best person for the job).
    2. Write a five-paragraph Reasons or Examples Essay that’s a hypothetical letter to your landlord explaining three reasons why you should receive your full deposit back or providing three examples of good tenant behavior that illustrate that you should receive your full deposit back.
    3. Write a five-paragraph Reasons or Examples Essay dissuading a hypothetical student who didn’t receive the grade they hoped for from approaching the professor to ask if there’s any extra-credit they can do, after the class is over, to get the grade they hoped for. (Dissuade means to advise someone not to do something.)
    4. Write a five-paragraph Reasons or Examples Essay arguing either in favor of or against the following essay prompt from the GRE Analytic Writing Assessment: “As long as they are aware of the dangers involved, adults should not be legally bound to use seat belts.”
    5. Write a five-paragraph Reasons or Examples Essay arguing either in favor of or against the following essay prompt from the GRE Analytic Writing Assessment: “To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities.”
    6. Write a five-paragraph Reasons or Examples Essay arguing either in favor of or against the following essay prompt from the GRE Analytic Writing Assessment: “In any field of endeavor, it is impossible to make a significant contribution without first being strongly influenced by past achievements within that field.”
  2. Remember that both of your five-paragraph Reasons or Examples essays need ALL of the following:
    • an Introduction Paragraph with a hook that contains a ONE-sentence Thesis Statement  incorporating all three of your reasons or examples;
      • If you’ve chosen to write a Reasons essay, remember that reasons don’t illustrate; they explain or justify. Therefore, a good cue word for a Thesis Statement containing reasons is “because” (e.g., something is true because Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C).
      • If you’ve chosen to write an Examples essay, remember that examples don’t explain or justify; examples illustrate. Therefore, a good cue phrase for a Thesis Statement containing examples is “as illustrated by” (e.g., something is true as illustrated by Example A, Example B, and Example C).
    • a Conclusion Paragraph that contains a ONE-sentence Re-stated Thesis Statement summarizing all three of your reasons and that ends with something (mildly) witty or profound; and
    • within each essay, ALL FIVE of your paragraphs, including your Introduction Paragraph, each of your three Reasons or Examples Paragraphs, and your Conclusion Paragraph, need to be structured following the basic recipe you learned in “Basic Recipe for Writing Paragraphs” lecture video. Therefore, ALL FIVE of your paragraphs need to contain five sentences:
      • a Topic Sentence;
      • three Supporting Sentences; and
      • a Conclusion Sentence.
  3. Take a screenshot of each of your two essays (i.e., take two screenshots: one screenshot of one essay and another screenshot of the other essay; if you do not know how to take a screenshot, this website will help you).
  4. Go to Unit 3: Assignment #5 Discussion Board and make a new post in which you embed the two images (screenshots) of the two essays you wrote for this Assignment. Remember to size each image correctly (no wider than 500 pixels and no taller than 500 pixels, as explained in the Course How To) and be sure to embed the image, not “attach” it.

Unit 3: Assignment #6 (due before 11:59 pm Central on WED JUN 29):

  1. Read both essays that each of the other members of your small Chat Group posted in Unit 3: Assignment #4. If you are in a Chat Group with two other students, that means you will read four essays; if you are in a Chat Group with only one other student, that means you will read two essays.
  2. Learn how to provide peer review on your Chat Group members’ essays by reading the Peer Review Guidelines. Note that you will be answering 12 questions about each member’s essays.
  3. For this assignment, you will meet online with your small Chat Group at the time your Chat Group arranged for your one-hour text-based Group Chat.
    1. Prior to your Chat Group meeting online, all members of your Chat Group must have completed steps a. and b. of this Assignment.
    2. Prior to your Chat Group meeting online, the member of your Chat Group whose last name comes last alphabetically in your Chat Group needs to have set up the Group Chat room (as instructed in Unit 2: Assignment #6) and according to the instructions in the Course How To (under the topic, “How To Set Up a Group Chat Room on Your Laptop” or “How To Set Up a Group Chat Room on Your Mobile Device”).
    3. Prior to your Chat Group meeting online, all members of your Chat Group need to have learned from the Course How To:
      • “How To Participate in a Group Chat on Your Laptop” OR “How To Participate in a Group Chat on Your Mobile Device”;
      • that at least one member of the Chat Group must participate in the Group Chat using the browser Chrome on their laptop (rather than on their mobile device);
      • what to do if your Chat Group agrees on a date and time for your Chat, but one member of the Chat Group wants to reschedule or hasn’t joined the Chat within 15 minutes after the agreed on time; and
      • that all Group Chats are required to last ONE FULL HOUR. During that entire hour, the Group Chat should be the ONLY thing you’re doing. If you finish early, then practice the assignment more or discuss further implications.
    4. Begin your one-hour Chat by introducing yourselves, including your preferred first names and the name mnemonic that each Chat Group member provided in Unit 1: Assignment #2. Also, tell each other the specific four hours per six days a week that you are working on (only) this course.
    5. Then, spend the remainder of your hour-long Chat with each Chat Group member providing peer review of the other Chat Group members’ essays.
    6. Before ending the Group Chat, arrange the time for the Group Chat you will meet to hold during the next Unit (Unit 4: Assignment #6).
  4. At the end of your one-hour Chat, do the following:
    1. First, nominate one member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make a post on the Unit 3: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that summarizes your Group Chat in at least 200 words.
    2. Second, nominate a second member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Group Chat using the browser Chrome on their laptop, rather than on their mobile device) to save the Chat transcript, as described in the Course How To (under the topic, “How To Save and Attach a Chat Transcript”).
      1. Then, this member of the Chat Group needs to make a post on the Unit 3: Assignment #6 Discussion Board and attach the Chat transcript, saved as a PDF, to that Discussion Board post.
      2. Remember: To attach the Chat transcript, click on the word “Attach.” (Do not click on the sidebar menu “Files.”)
    3. Third, nominate a third member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make another post on the Unit 3: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that states the name of your Chat Group, the first and last names of the Chat Group members who participated the Chat, the date of your Chat, and the start and stop time of your Group Chat.
    4. Across the term, and to the degree possible, try to trade off which member of your Chat Group does each task (writes and posts the summary; creates the transcript and attaches it; posts the names, date, start/stop time) so that across the semester each member of the Chat Group carries an equal load. You don’t want to create a groupwork experience like the bottom chart of these charts.
    5. If only two persons participated in the Group Chat, then one of those two persons needs to do two of the above three tasks.
    6. Before ending the Group Chat, arrange the date and time that your Chat Group will meet to hold your Group Chat for the next Unit (Unit 4: Assignment #6).
  5. All members of the Chat Group must record a typical Unit entry in their own Course Journal for Unit 3.

Congratulations; you have finished Unit 3! Onward to Unit 4!