Dictating

Dictate drafts. Dictation can be a quick and easy way to get started on a draft. Even if you don't try and dictate an entire first draft, you may find it useful to try dictating when you are away from your computer. Use your cell phone or watch to record the thesis statement you've been trying to nail down.

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Heuristics

Invention Heuristics are techniques writers use to get started on a document rather than procrastinating. Writing faculty sometimes refer to Invention Heuristics as Prewriting Strategies. Whereas Drafting refers to a writer's effort to actually write a document, maybe a first draft or even a sentence or two that has the kernel of something larger, Invention Heuristics are a bit more playful and experimental. Invention Heuristics are sort of like an athlete's warm up exercises. For instance, a writer could write a reflective note about the rhetorical situation or maybe as...

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Supporting Ideas and Building Arguments

Every day, all around the country, people give speeches that contain generalities and vagueness. Students on your campus might claim that local policies are biased against students, but may not explain why. Politicians may make claims in their speeches about “family values” without defining what those values are or throw out statistics without giving credit to where they found those numbers. Indeed, the nonpartisan websites FactCheck.org and Politifact.com are dedicated to investigating and dispelling the claims that politicians make in their speeches. In this chapter, we explore the nature of...

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