WESM Shared Academic Language

1. Essay - a piece of writing that gives an opinion. This is NOT a report, research paper or article. It is what one might read in the editorial section of a newspaper.


2. Report - A report is a specific form of writing that is organized around identifying and examining issues, events or findings that have occurred. A report is usually written in response to a brief that may outline the purpose, audience and problem or issue that your report must address, together with any specific requirements for format or structure.


3. Thesis -A sentence with a subject and an opinion provides the controlling idea for the whole essay. Thesis is often the last sentence of introductory paragraph.


4. Concrete Detail - Textual evidence, either explicit or implicit. Facts that support your opinion as stated in your thesis. Synonyms include quotes, paraphrased ideas, summary, data, charts or examples.


5. Commentary -Your opinion or comment about something. Synonyms include: analysis, reflection, insight, interpretation, inference, personal response, feelings and evaluation.


6. Topic Sentence -First Sentence in a body paragraph must have a controlling idea for the paragraph. Does the same thing for the paragraph that the thesis does for the whole essay. Provides the controlling idea for the paragraph.


7. Connotation -The associated or secondary meaning of a word. A possible connotation of “home” is warmth, safety, or comfort.


8. Denotation - The literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas the word suggests.


9. Cite - to quote from a passage, book, or author as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work.


10. Citation - to give credit to the author of a concrete detail used in your claim. This can done parenthetically: Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). Examples of Works Cited pages can be found at The Purdue Owl online.

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