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Caution! Things to Watch Out for

While analyzing, you need to be careful not to fall into a trap.  Here are some things you want to avoid in your writing:

  • Getting off topic

Sometimes when we write, we can get off topic.  You want to avoid this by checking that what you are saying applies to your main point.

  • Not being credible

When venturing outside of our comfort zone, sometimes we fail to do the proper amount of research necessary to be credible writers.  Always make sure that you explore as many views and ideas as possible and collect as much relevant research on your subject as you can. 

  • Generalizing

Generalizations or stereotypes make broad categorizing statements that cannot be applied to all individuals.  Using phrases like, “All people love ice cream,” assumes that everyone feels a certain way.  It is impossible to prove this statement.

  • Jumping to conclusions

Sometimes we make connections between subjects and ideas that are not there or do not add up.  We also may try to get the reader to jump to a conclusion without giving enough evidence to help them along way.  Make sure you are always giving the reader the information that he or she will need to reach a specific conclusion.

  • Skimming the surface

It is easy to forget to look deeper into a topic or idea.  We can even forget to analyze our research.  When you write, you always want to ask yourself, “What’s the point?” and try to pull apart the pieces of what you’ve read.  You want to make connections and bring in new views to the topic you are writing about.  

  • Asking too many questions

Asking too many questions can lead to not enough answers.  If you find yourself asking the reader a question, think about why you are doing it.  You do not want to ask a question that is irrelevant to your topic, or one that is simply taking up space because you answer it in the next sentence of your paper.

  • Emotional Appeals

Emotional appeals are usually inappropriate in an argument.  While it is tempting to appeal to the emotions of your reader, this is not a logical way to approach a topic.  If you find yourself including statements that are designed to cause the reader to feel sympathy or anger, or any other emotion, you may be leading them away from the main point you want to prove.

  • Attacking others

This usually applies to an argument.  Sometimes writers make the mistake of attacking an individual or his or her reputation instead of looking at the argument.  When you are writing about another person’s beliefs and/or ideology, always make sure you focus on the points, not the individual.