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Report: Analyze Key Features

Analyze Key Features

Analyze Key Features

Notes

Analysis is used to find the parts that make up the whole. Since there are different kinds of analyses, readers need to know what kind analysis has been applied by the writer. Here are five kinds of ananlyses reader needs to understand.

  • Divide into equal parts

–       Analysis by division means dividing something (one thing as opposed to a group) into equal or comparable parts (e.g., chapters in a book, departments in an engineering company)

  • Dissect the whole into parts

–       Dissection means breaking something into its component parts. (e.g., dissect a radio, issues in a complex problem, components of a diesel engine’)

  • Enumerate

–       Enumerate means counting all the parts that are similar (e.g., five courses of action are possible, several misconceptions must be analyzed)

  • Focus on a problem

–       Break a problem into its component parts using a logical process (find a problem in a bank balance, discuss one of the major problems of the world, analyze the pressure on a student)

  • State the key features

–       State the basics of an idea, thing or process (e.g., analyze global warming by looking at key indicators of climate change)

This Module is focused on stating the key features. Readers should look for the key features developed in an essay or report in order to follow the writer’s analysis.

When a writer decides to write an analysis, she needs to let readers know what kind of analysis will be made. This should be announced at the beginning so that readers are prepared for the text structure used by the writer. Otherwise, readers are left guessing as to what kind of analysis is used. In fact, readers could find an essay quite confusing if the writer used the wrong kind of analysis to explain an issue. For example, if a writer used ‘Divide into equeal parts’ to present five indicators of global warming, that would be quite confusing to readers.

Read the following sample paragraph. Do you recognize the analysis used in the text? Look at the notes below the paragraph to find out whether you are right.

Sample

Red River Valley

The signs of above normal precipitation were evident by early fall. Normally, winter storm tracks tend to run south and east of the Red River Valley. They trap the moist air flowing up from the Gulf of Mexico and carry it to Iowa and Michigan. But in 1996-97, a slight shift in the position of the planetary Rossby waves moved the track somewhat farther north and west. Minnesota, especially the Red River Valley, became the target for heavy rains and numerous blizzards. Of course, nobody could be certain of the actual impact on the Valley of these natural developments.

Template: State the Key Features

Introduction

The signs of above normal precipitation were evident by early fall.

Key Features

Normally, winter storm tracks tend to run south and east of the Red River Valley.

They tap the moist air …  and carry it to Iowa and Michigan.

But in 1996-97, a slight shift …  moved the track somewhat farther north and west.

Minnesota … became the target for heavy rains and numerous blizzards

Conclusion

Of course, nobody could be certain of the actual impact on the Valley of these natural developments.

Assignment

Read the following report and complete the template below.

Teaching Grammar

To teach or not to teach grammar – that is the issue. A not-so-useful debate on this issue has been raging for decades. Since grammar is needed to construct clear and precise sentences, it must be taught. Grammar refers to the rules of the language, which writers need to achieve the best clarity of meaning.

The real issue should be ‘How should grammar be taught?’ It should be taught in the context of their own writing so that students see the purpose of grammar usage. Suppose Mary, a grade six student, is writing an essay on ‘Clean Air’ where she is urging the Mayor to takes steps to improve the quality of air. She wants to convince a real audience, the Mayor, to take action. What is the point of encouraging the young writer to invent her own grammar in this essay? Will that help to convince the Mayor? Needless to say, the teacher should have instructed her class to use conventional grammar so that they are able to write to a real audience. That would have helped Mary with her essay.

One example might help to explain the need for grammar. Mary needs to write in complete and varied sentences to express herself clearly. It would help her to know that there are only four basic sentence patterns: subject-verb; subject-verb-object; subject-verb-predicate noun; and subject-verb-predicate adjectives. All sentences must be constructed with one or some combination of these four patterns. Each one of these can be used in a simple sentence. For example, ‘Toms runs’ reflects the subject-verb pattern. Compound and complex sentences require a combination of at least two of these patterns.  ‘I ate my candy but my sister saved hers.’ is a compound sentence where both clauses reflect the subject-verb-object pattern.  ‘I will not cut the flowers because they look beautiful growing in the garden.’ is a complex sentence where the first part (clause) reflects the subject-verb-object pattern and the second part (clause) reflects the subject-verb-predicate adjective pattern. With this basic grammar knowledge, Mary would be able to express herself more clearly.

Writing experts maintain that teaching grammar has to be repeated across grade levels because students don’t learn it “once and for all.” With repeated exposure, grammar skills become automatic “so students have them embedded in their brains and don’t have to worry about them as they write,” says Mary Ann Smith of the National Writing Project.

Let’s shift the debate about grammar from whether to teach it to teaching grammar as part of teaching writing. High school students may be able to write when they graduate.

Template: State the Key Features

  1. Introduction

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

  1. Key features

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

  1. Conclusion

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

Assignment

Writing Assignment: Analyze key features

Write a paragraph in which you analyze the key features on a topic of your choice. Complete the template below to ensure that you have included all aspects of the analysis you have applied. Submit it to your teacher or tutor for feedback. Then edit your paragraph based on the feedback you received.

Template: State the Key Features

  1. Introduction

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

  1. Key features

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

  1. Conclusion

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

Answer Key

Analyze Key Features

  • Introduction

–       Since grammar is needed to construct clear and precise sentences, it must be taught.

  • Key features

–       ‘How should grammar be taught?’

–       One example might help to explain the need for grammar.

–       repeated exposure

  • Conclusion

–       Let’s shift the debate about grammar from whether to teach it to teaching grammar as part of teaching writing.