Titles as Metacommentary
Chapter 10 (“But Don’t Get Me Wrong”: The Art of Metacommentary)
Metacommentary is “a way of commenting on your claims and telling others how – and how not – to think about them” (129). Metacommentary is telling the audience how to interpret what has been said. They aid the reader by helping them understand why you are saying what you are saying. They prevent readers from getting confused and lead to a more developed paper.
How can we use titles to tell the readers about your paper?
Let’s look at some examples.
- Marathons for Women by Susan Wilcox
- From Scroll to Screen by Lev Grossman
- Wind Technologies Market Report 2012 by U.S. Department of Energy
- 21st Century Causes of Deforestation
Find more examples. Come up with your own.
There are many different ways to structure a report. Decide on the final type of report you will be writing and we can begin to outline the structure. There are as many ways to organize a report and there are types of reports. Here are some examples:
- Organize by date, time, or sequence
- Organize by magnitude or order of importance
- Organize by division
- Organize by classification
- Organize by position, location, or space
- Organize by definition
- Organize by comparison/contrast
- Organize by thesis statement
- Organize by genre (Wikipedia, Encyclopedia, News Report)
You do not have to develop your own structure from scratch, although you can. Look at examples of the type of report you are writing to help determine the structure for your report.
Example: Look at a Wikipedia entry similar to your topic. How is it structured? What order do they present information?
MLA Works Cited
Dean, Cornelia. “Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet.” The New York Times, 22 May 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/science/earth/22ander.html?_r=0. Accessed 12 May 2016.
Ebert, Roger. Review of An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim. rogerebert.com, 1 June 2006, http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/an-inconvenient-truth-2006. Accessed 15 June 2016.
Gowdy, John. “Avoiding Self-organized Extinction: Toward a Co-evolutionary Economics of Sustainability.” International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, vol. 14, no. 1, 2007, pp. 27-36.
How would you like someone to work with you on your paper?
Peer edit the same way you revise your own work. Work on the global, higher order concerns, first.
Be specific in identifying problems or opportunities. Point to places in the text where you notice something. Don’t say organization is confusing, show them where it is confusing.
Use clear sentences and thoughts when commenting. Don’t just say awkward, explain what it is you find awkward.
Offer suggestions for improvement. Don’t just criticize, offer suggestions for revision.
Praise what is good in the paper. What is working well? What did you like?
Keep comments tactful. Treat another’s work the way you would like yours to be treated.
Questions to Answer
- Does the report come across as biased? If so, where?
- Does it sound like research or opinion?
- Is it well organized? What could be better?
Grading Criteria Report
- Use of Sources and Research
- Organization and structure
- Clear Topic and depth
- Title and Images
- Word Count, Word Choice, Grammar