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ME 1100: Music Education

The Written Paper

Writing the Paper

Don't make writing the paper hard for yourself.  Sometimes you can get overwhelmed by thinking you're taking on an enormous task.

Here are a few pointers. 

  • Keep your audience in mind.  This isn't just an academic exercise.  Someone will have to read what you write.  Make that person feel like you're writing to them.  Are you writing to others of your age?  Are you writing specifically to music teachers?  The audience you keep in your mind will have a great affect on the tone your paper or presentation will take on.

  • The quality of the paper will say a very great deal about the quality of your research and thought.  If there are lots of typos and misspellings, the reader will have to assume you aren't very serious.  So when you've finished the paper, set it aside.  Come back to it later and Proof Read.

  • Nothing says, "I don't care." like a sloppy bibliography.

  • Read you paper aloud.  Often when you say something aloud, you'll see where some things don't make sense or aren't really what you mean to say.

  • Get help from the Writing Center.  The center isn't for students who aren't very good.  In fact, the opposite is true.  The best students care enough to go over their work with someone else and see if it "works."



[Part One: -- you wouldn't label these parts in your paper.]

  • An introduction that broadly describes an issue. 

  • Follow this with a description of the particular aspect of the issue you want to address.

  • State alternative points of view.  State your point of view.  State your thesis:  "This paper will show that...."

[Part Two:]

  • Describe one aspect of the problem and give evidence from reputable resources that backs up your point of view.

[Part Three:]

  • Describe another aspect of the problem, again giving evidence from reputable resources that backs up your point of view.

[You can add as many arguments, or parts, as you feel necessary.]

[Part Four:]

  • Describe yet another aspect of the problem.  Authors usually reserve this spot for the strongest argument they have.  You want to have your readers finish the paper with your strongest argument in mind.  Remember, you want to persuade your reader that your point of view is the correct point of view.

[Part Five:]

  • Conclude the paper by summarizing your arguments and showing the reader that you've proven your point.  State why your point of view is correct based on the evidence you've shown.

Works Cited