Purdue Writing Lab Tutor Training Video: I Want to Sound Natural


So what are we gonna work on today?
Hello. Umm, I have a draft. Okay.
A first draft. I wrote this for my class,
and I have to turn it in to my instructor. Alright.
I’d like to get some help. Okay. Alright. So what specifically
did you want to work on? Uhh, just things like grammar, vocabulary, verbs.
I, I want it to sound natural for my instructor. Okay, alright. When is it due? Uhh, it’s due on Monday.
On Monday? Okay, so it’s . . . Thursday.
That’s good. You’ve got lots of time. Umm, so is this going to be a finished paper,
or a rough draft? When you turn it in to your instructor,
what is your instructor expecting? It, it is a first draft. A first draft, okay. Alright. But my, my instructor needs to be able to read it.
Of course, of course. Your instructor’s
gonna be able to read it. Don’t worry. Umm, are there any particular parts of the paper
that you’re more concerned about? [Sighs] I just umm,
I want to make sure that it all sounds natural.
[Tutor interjects] Okay.
When my instructor reads it. Okay. Well for a first draft, you instructor is less concerned with whether or not it sounds natural,
whether or not all of the commas are in the right place than he or she is whether or not it’s well organized, whether or not your argument makes sense whether you have a clear thesis.
Have you talked about thesises in your class, theses? Yes, yes.
Okay. Alright, whether you have a clear thesis,
whether all your paragraphs support that thesis. That’s really what’s important with a first draft.
That’s what your teacher is looking for. So let’s focus on that, and if we find grammar problems that make it hard to understand, we’ll work on those. Okay. It, it does need to sound natural.
Well okay, by the time you turn in the final draft,
we’ll have you sounding natural. Okay, umm [pauses], tell you what- [Clock Ticking] Alright, now, we’ve talked about organization
and that’s gonna help your reader understand Umm, we did find here just right now, though,
a grammar issue that makes it hard for people
to understand your meaning. Do me a favor, just read this sentence,
the second sentence to your first paragraph. Uhh, [begins reading] study about drugs such as Sonata, Lunesta, and Roserem developed cancer
on mice and rats after given high doses of those drugs [stops reading]. Okay, so, the study got cancer
and had to go to the hospital? [Hesitates] No.
[Laughing] No, of course not. So, take a look here. Find me the verb in this sentence. Uhh, [long pause], uhhh, “developed.
Yes, exactly. And what developed? What’s the subject? Ummm, [talking to self quietly]
the subject comes first, uhh, “study.”
Study developed what? What’s the object?
Cancer. Yes, “study developed cancer.” There’s the problem, see? You’re, you’re really, so what in reality really developed the cancer? Oh, the- what they did was they did a study
on mice and rats. They gave them the drugs,
and the mice developed cancer. There you go, exactly. So how can you fix this sentence so that the subject and the verb work together better? Ummm, [slowly], the mice, [more confidently]
the mice developed cancer in a study on Sonata, Lunesta, and Roserem. Yeah, there you go. Write that down.
Okay. Alright, so here’s what you’re gonna work on. Remember, you’re gonna add more details to your argument. We’re gonna get a clearer thesis.
And I want you to strengthen your conclusion.
Yes. And remember, that’s better to have your ideas and your argument set first. And then you can work on the details like punctuation and grammar. But my instructor will be able to read it? Oh yes, we just read it.
I understood what you were saying.
Your instructor will, too. But that’s not the most– the most important thing–
I mean, the writing is perfectly understandable.
It’s clear okay? We need to make sure that the organization is good
and that the argument is good.
Then later we can work on the grammar. So, so it is better to have details before the grammar? Yes, absolutely. Grammar is last.
Okay.
Alright? Good luck.
Thank you.

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