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  2.1 Introduction: gather your material

Overview

Welcome to section 2 of the course, "Develop your ideas." It is the second building block for laying the foundation for an outstanding academic essay.

We will look at eight important skills for gathering and using credible evidence in support of your thesis:

  1. doing research
  2. taking notes
  3. thinking critically about what you're reading
  4. summarizing what you read or listen to if you're using recorded material
  5. paraphrasing the material you use
  6. quoting from the material, either directly or indirectly
  7. using tables
  8. using graphs and charts

Questions to ask yourself

Here are some of the questions to ask yourself when you're gathering material for your essay:

Is your evidence consistent?

Do you define your main ideas?

Do do you support them with evidence?

Do you develop your ideas logically?

How many sources do you use? Are they appropriate?

Do you look critically at your sources?

Do you make clear connections between your writing and sources?

Do you use an adequate number of quotes?

At end of the section, you will find a quiz, the second portfolio writing activity, and the self-assessment.