Critical Thinking in the Academic Essay: A Key Component to Attaining the Higher Grade

Posted on  by Admin   |   Filed under templates, internet Comments 11

When students are trying to figure out why they didn't do as well as they wanted on an essay assignment, they often focus on the minute details, like the
spelling, the punctuation errors or, perhaps, the thesis statement was not at
the end of the introduction. However, the problem with the paper is oftentimes
much larger than this, it usually has to do with the amount of critical thinking
demonstrated within the paper.

An Example from a Female Student
CCollege essays are not like high school essays. We demand much more than the student regurgitating information back at us in a paper. We want evidence of original critical thought on the topic -- not rehashings of what other people have to say about it. For example, I had a female student whose son was just diagnosed with ADHD, so she decided to do her research-based paper on that
topic. When doing the research, she discovered that the year before there was a large spike in the amount of kids diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, sleep deprivation had been dropped from the checklist. She wondered how many kids who had been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were really suffering from sleep deprivation. So she put together a questionnaire asking parents various

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What are "Clauses" and "Phrases": Getting Back to the Basics of Sentence Construction (Part 1)

Posted on 29 aug 2016 by Admin   |   Filed under templates, internet Comments 7

In many ways, writing is a lot like driving a car.  You don't have to understand what's going on beneath the hood to be able to drive, and in much the same
way, you don't need to know a lot of grammar to be able to write.  However, when the car or the writing breaks down, then knowledge of what's "under the hood" becomes extremely helpful.  So in this series, I want to examine the various aspects of two prominent parts of any sentence: clauses and phrases. 
       If more people would take the time to learn about these two parts of the sentence, the majority of errors committed by students could be eliminated.  For example, major errors like sentence fragments, run-ons, comma splices, and even mixed constructions could be eliminated from student writings.  Also, by students learning more about these two basic constructions, students would not only learn to improve the flow of their writing, but they would also learn to add complexity to their sentence structures as well, thereby reflecting the complexity of their thoughts discussed within the work.

What is a "Clause"?
Let's start with a basic definition.  A "clause" is a grammatical term for a group
of related words that contain a subject and a predicate.  The "subject" is who or

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About Me

Chris L. Verschage has been teaching English for community colleges since 1991.  He has taught classes in English Composition 1, English Composition 2, Introduction to Literature, and Comparative Religions.   He received His Master
of Arts in English from Northern Arizona University, and he has been here at OCCC since 2005.  In addition, last year, in April 2013, Chris received his ordination in ministry from the Assemblies of God.

Contact Me

If you would like to contact me, you may use one of the following methods.  I hope that you enjoyed the material on this site.  Thank you for taking the time to visit my site.

Address: Oklahoma City Community College
                        7777 South May Avenue
                        Oklahoma City, OK. 73159
Telephone: (405)-682-1611, ext. 7140
E-mail: cverschage@occc.edu