My English Syllabus

Referential Writing

Understanding the aims of writing will help you shape an effective rhetorical strategy for drafting each of our ENGL 1301 essays.

ENGL 1301 examines four standard aims of writing: referential, expressive, persuasive, and analytical. Referential writing is the one that occurs most frequently in the academic world because it requires facts, as well as supportive details and examples. For instance, when you write lab reports, case studies, and informative essays, your writing is referential; you refer to the world outside yourself. Referential writing requires you to select the facts and details that provide the best focus upon a sufficiently narrow topic. Descriptions of physical objects and their purposes, informative reports, and summaries are just a few examples of referential writing.

The purpose of referential writing is to inform about a topic. Referential writing requires you to include detailed, logical support that explains your topic and its main idea (thesis). To keep a referential focus, writers must avoid self-expression (�I,� �me,� �you�), because it can turn readers� attention away from relevant facts and ideas.

The Communication Triangle: Four Aims of Writing


? Inside the triangle = ANALYTICAL Words/Language


Effective writing has a specific purpose. As a writer, anytime you compose an essay, you will write about a particular topic and you must choose precise words or language for a specific audience or group of readers. Depending upon the given assignment, your emphasis will be upon the writer or the topic or the language or the readers; different essays emphasize different parts of the so-called Communication Triangle, depending upon why you are writing. Because effective writing has a specific purpose, understanding why you are writing can help you create you a stronger rhetorical strategy.

What the Referential Essay must contain: ?An introductory paragraph that accurately and clearly presents the summarized TSIS essay�s topic, that gives your audience a clear idea of what your summary/essay will detail, and that provides a concise summary (or brief, well-chosen quotation) of the TSIS essay�s thesis. ?Body or �middle� paragraph that (1) starts with a clearly focused topic sentence to guide the paragraph and that (2) reinforces the TSIS essay�s thesis. This paragraph must also provide very concrete details about the essay you are summarizing, and it must end with a purposeful tie-together sentence. ?A concluding paragraph that unites all the threads of your summary in a memorable way. ?In-text citations and Works Cited documentation See PSM pages 104-118 and 138-140.

ENGLISH 1301-053 MWF Mooney

Essay Assignment #1: Referential Writing �Print out and review the directions/timetable for Essay #1 (Referential) before our 9/4 class. �Begin drafting this essay in class 9/4. �G-mail your attached Essay #1 full draft as a Word 97.doc (or RTF file) by 8 p.m. Thursday 9/5. �Bring three properly formatted, word-processed copies of your full draft of Essay #1 to start of class Friday 9/6 for Writing Workshop. �G-mail your attached Essay #1 improved draft as a Word 97.doc (or RTF file) by 8 p.m. Sunday 9/8. �Bring three properly formatted, word-processed copies of your Essay #1 improved draft to start of class 9/9 for a second Writing Workshop. �G-mail your attached Essay #1 BEST draft as a Word 97.doc (or RTF file) by 8 p.m. Tuesday 9/10. �Bring two properly formatted, word-processed copies of your Essay #1 BEST draft to start of class 9/11 for a final Writing Workshop. �The graded-draft deadline for Essay #1 is noon Thursday 9/12.

Reminders: �Success in this class requires you to meet all deadlines for each essay: progress deadlines, assignment deadlines, and graded deadlines. �Anyone who misses or is late for any of an essay�s deadlines will receive only minimal feedback for that essay.

Your Purpose Because your Referential purpose is to inform by creating a summary, your language should be objective and neutral; do not use subjective words like �I,� �you,� �we,� et cetera.

Your Aim Respond to the following prompt by writing a referential essay that is 250-to-350 words long. To promote your aim, you must explain the TSIS author�s ideas in a way that allows readers to understand that author�s main idea and its key supports.

Your Writing Prompt Inform by Summarizing Felisa Rogers� essay, �How I Learned to Love Football� Organize ideas in an objective, factually detailed way, as you summarize this TSIS essay.

Checklist for the Referential Essay Before you submit your referential essay, you should be able to answer YES to all the following questions: ?Does your draft achieve its purpose to inform? ?Does your draft have a meaningful title? ?Is your draft word-processed and double-spaced and �Saved As� a Word 97-2003 (.doc) or RTF? ?Is your draft 250-to-350 words AND does every word count toward clearly summarizing? ?Does your draft include in-text citations and Works Cited documentation, in the correct format? ?Have you corrected any grammar/mechanical/style errors? So, you can read over 50,000 free articles at