Writing Workshop Expository Writing: Informative Report
Informative Report: AssignmentAssignment: Write an informative report about a historical subject. (Your audience is your teacher, classmates, and other students in your school.)What part of history do you think is excitingthe people, the places, the buildings, the battles? For this report, youll have a chance to learn more about your favorite historical figure, event, or issue.
Informative Report: PrewritingChoosing a SubjectFinding and Evaluating SourcesTaking NotesWriting a Thesis StatementOrganizing the ReportGetting Started
Informative ReportPrewriting: Choosing a SubjectTo choose a subject for your report, start by thinking about historical figures who interest you.Mohandas K. GandhiMother TeresaThomas A. EdisonMarie CurieNelson MandelaCan you list some others?
Informative ReportPrewriting: Choosing a SubjectNext, think about historical sites, objects, or events that interest you. The Declaration of IndependenceCivil War Battle SitesPurchase of AlaskaThe Civil Rights Movement
Informative ReportPrewriting: Choosing a SubjectOnce you have chosen a topic, write a question to guide your research. Otherwise, your topic may be too broad and unmanageable.Too broadHow did Gandhi develop his philosophy of nonviolent resistance?Mohandas K. GandhiQuestionThe American Civil WarWhat role did navies play in the Civil War?Too broadQuestion
Informative ReportPrewriting: Choosing a SubjectFreewriting is a good way to begin exploring your question. You might already know more than you think you do.How did this individual contribute to history?Gandhi led a mostly peaceful movement that helped win independence for India from the British.Why is this historical event important and memorable?Gandhis belief in nonviolent approaches to causing social and political change influenced many leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr.[End of Section]
Informative ReportPrewriting: Finding and Evaluating SourcesPlan to use at least three sources for your report. Whenever possible, use some primary sources such asmapsdiarieslettersPrimary sources were written by people who experienced an historical event firsthand.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Finding and Evaluating SourcesSecondary sources are interpretations of primary materials. Some examples areencyclopedia entriesdocumentariesnewspaper articlesSecondary sources are written by people who did not experience an event firsthand.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Finding and Evaluating SourcesIs the source factual (nonfiction)?Evaluate your sources before you use them for your report. Ask yourself these questions:Is the information up-to-date?Is the information trustworthy?[End of Section]
Informative ReportPrewriting: Taking NotesSource list for Gandhi paper
1. Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand, World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, pp. 24-25.2. http://www.mkgandhi.org/bio5000/bio5ind ex.htm (biographical information)As you take notes, keep a list of your sources. Give every source a number. Numbering your sources will make it easy to keep your notes organized.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Taking Notes1, page 24
Gandhis type of social action was based on courage, truth, and nonviolence. He said nonviolence took courage. He called his method Satyagraha.Record each fact or idea on a separate card or slip of paper.Write the source number and page number on the card.Summarize the information.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Taking NotesPlagiarism is using someone elses words or ideas as if they were your own.1, page 24
Gandhi developed a method of direct social action, based upon principles of courage, nonviolence, and truth, which he called Satyagraha.If you copy something word for wordeven on a note cardbe sure to put quotation marks around it.Its usually better to paraphraseor restateinformation in your own words.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Taking NotesTo avoid plagiarism, you will need to credit the source of the information, even if you put it in your own words.1, page 24
Gandhi developed a method of direct social action, based upon principles of courage, nonviolence, and truth, which he called Satyagraha.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Taking NotesStay focused on your question as you research and take notes.1, page 24
Indira Gandhi was not related to M.K. Gandhi, but she became the first woman prime minister of India. She was assassinated in 1984.This is an interesting fact, but . . .it doesnt have anything to do with Mohandas Gandhis philosophy of nonviolence.[End of Section]
Informative ReportPrewriting: Writing a Thesis StatementYour thesis statement tells what the point of the paper will be. To develop your thesis statement, start by answering your original research question.How did Gandhi develop his philosophy of nonviolent resistance?QuestionThesisGandhis nonviolent philosophy grew out of his religious beliefs and his personal experience with discrimination.
Informative ReportPrewriting: Writing a Thesis StatementYou might need to ask a series of questions before you arrive at a good thesis statement.QuestionAnswerShips were used to blockade harbors, and there were also several major battles. What role did navies play in the Civil War?Did any of the battles have lasting significance?QuestionThe battle between the two ironclad warships, the Confederate Merrimack and the Union Monitor, showed that wooden warships had become outdated. Thesis
Informative ReportPrewriting: Writing a Thesis StatementThe thesis statement usually appears in the introductory paragraph.Before the Civil War, American naval campaigns were fought in wood warships. The course of naval history changed, however, in 1862, when a battle between two ironclad warships, the Confederate Merrimack and the Union Monitor, showed that wooden warships had become outdated.The thesis states both the topic of the paperand the most important conclusion youve reached.[End of Section]
Informative ReportPrewriting: Organizing the ReportOrganize important information into an outline.Start by sorting your notes into major categories.Then, divide your categories into subcategories. Each subcategory will be developed into a full paragraph.IroncladsMerrimackMonitorthe battleWooden shipsIronclads
Informative ReportPrewriting: Organizing the ReportDecide how you will organize your information.Event 1Chronological (time) orderOrder of importanceEvent 2Event 3Most important ideaImportant ideaLeast important idea
Informative ReportPrewriting: Organizing the Report Introduction
ConclusionHooks readers interest; clearly identifies subject of report.Discusses each main idea in one or more paragraphs; supports each main idea with facts, examples, and quotations.Summarizes or restates main idea(s); draws conclusions.[End of Section]
Informative ReportDrafting: Getting StartedGo ahead! History is made by people with new and different ideas. Your research may lead you in a different direction than the one you had in mindto different questions or even to a different conclusion.
Writing Workshop Expository Writing: Informative ReportThe End