1. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    Point, Evidence, Explain in Non-Fiction

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The95Writer, May 8, 2014.

    In school, to evaluate a piece of writing or a book, I was taught to: convey my point, display the evidence and explain my point. But, do you use any techniques similar to this in your non-fiction writing?

    I noticed that I haven't at all, but I do sometimes get stuck because I haven't a clue what I need to say in some of my notes; I seem to find it hard to elaborate.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    writing an evaluation of a book is a very different thing from writing the book itself, so i can't tell what it is you're saying and asking...

    are you asking if members write an evaluation of their own mss, before they submit the books to agents/publsihers, or self-publish them?
     
  3. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    I am just asking how you may make a point in non-fiction. Like, the structure of what you are including (Make the point, provide the evidence, explain the point).
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    That's typical exposition. In a scholarly study of a complex subject, you may not want to go point by point. You may want to begin with your main conclusion, which may be supported by several points of fact, and present evidence supporting each point if fact.

    This suggests to me that perhaps you have not completely digested what is in your notes - either you don't completely grasp all the facts or are unsure of what conclusion can be drawn from them. I recall from past posts of yours that you are working on a non-fictional subject about which you have some personal experience and some (strong? unconventional?) views. As the congressman said in the film "Quiz Show", you don't go huntin' in your underwear. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to make sure that you have as complete an understanding of every aspect of your subject matter and enough of a command of it that you can express yourself clearly.

    That's about all I can offer without knowing what, specifically, you are writing about and what is giving you trouble.
     
  5. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    Yes. Certain parts of my book, I can go into great detail with a relaxing writing flow, and for some parts I just get really stuck or frustrated. But yes, I do need to look a lot deeper into certain parts of it before continuing. I suppose I could write about the topics that I know a lot more about, first.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are many kinds of non-fiction:
    biography
    autobiography
    self-help
    how-to
    general essay
    personal essay
    humor
    philosophy
    journalism
    advertising
    site copy
    ...and so on...

    so we need to know what you are referring to, in order to offer any valid advice...
     
  7. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    The main topic is RELIGION.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Well, that certainly narrows it down. :rolleyes:
     
  9. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    ....the negative impact religion had and has on society.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, that won't be controversial at all.

    What's your thesis?
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting. Do you blame the religion or the men who twisted religion for their own purposes?
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's a topic i write about, as well, 95... quite often, in fact, in both essay form and what i call 'philosetry' [poems w/ a philosophic basis]...

    but i don't agonize over how to make a point, or use any 'formula' for doing so... i simply write from my own knowledge, experience, observation, and research, putting my conclusions/hypotheses in wording that will best 'get to' the readers...
     
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  13. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    Religion is WHAT IT IS. Simple as that. It is not the people - it is the religious texts that influence atrocity ON these people who are gullible to follow. I tend not to go into it here being that this is not a usual place where I like to debate. Plus, I like to save some of it for the actual book when it comes to clarifying all my points about it.
     
  14. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I'm not following...the religious texts came from somewhere. The ideas in the texts that influence their followers didn't sprout about themselves...doesn't that put the power in the hands of people and not the ideology itself?
     
  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @The95Writer - I asked out of academic interest in your writing, with an intention to link it back to your OP. But your statement above - "religion is what it is" does not tell me anything.

    If your intention is to show the link of what is actually written in religious texts to historical atrocities, you will need to be able to quote those texts and link what is written to the actual atrocities committed. You will need to be able to demonstrate, though your understanding of the original religious texts as well as the histories of the atrocities you have in mind, that the writings themselves, rather than the interpretations and actions of others, impelled those who committed the atrocities. Any such analysis, of course, would have to be completely objective and completely unemotional in order to be persuasive.
     
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