Free writing is one of the best ways to prewrite because you sit down and write your final essay without stopping.

Which of the following is the last thing you should do before turning a paper in?

It's okay to skip the prewriting step if that's not how you think.

Analyze Some Examples We want to give you examples of students' writing processes so you can see what they look like. Read the situation; then, read each example and answer the questions that follow.

The Situation Professor Downey asked his class to write about the following topic:

McDonalds has been an Olympic sponsor for many years, including the 2010 Winter Games in Canada. The theme of that year's campaign was "Eat like an Olympian." This theme was criticized for sending the wrong message to children about the nutritional value of McDonalds' food, especially since Olympic athletes typically follow strict diets (no hamburgers and fries) when they are training. A nation-wide student group is considering a letter-writing campaign asking McDonalds to step down as an Olympic sponsor. Do you think McDonalds should step down?

Wanda's Response to the Writing Situation from Professor Downey

Text Box: Pre-writing: I am on the fence on this issue!!!  Yes, they should:   obesity, bad role model for kids, does not represent healthy diet  No, they shouldn't: It's not all bad food, people need moderation, it's a world-wide symbol

Text Box: Organizing: I am going with yes.    Thesis: Yes, McDonalds should have to step down as an Olympic sponsor.   Reason  1: Misrepresentation of athlete's diet. False advertising—most things athletes don't eat Reason 2: Obesity epidemic in the U.S. McDonalds has responsibility to U.S. kids Makes high-calorie food look more appealing

Wanda's draft essay

The Golden Arches have become a symbol of American cuisine— everyone through the world loves McDonalds food. There are limits, however, to how far McDonalds should go in its advertising. McDonalds should not be allowed to sponsor any more Olympic games after its 2010 advertising campaign because it falsely connected its food to athletes' diet and because it sends the wrong message to children during the obesity epidemic.

When McDonalds uses the slogan "Eat like an Olympian" in its advertisements, it is misleading the public, and therefore the company should not be an Olympic sponsor. McDonalds is known for its fast food—hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and French fries. These are not the kinds of healthy foods training athletes eat. While they may indulge sometimes, the phrase "Eat like an Olympian" also makes it seem like McDonalds food is something they eat regularly. Nobody can maintain their health with a diet of hamburgers and French fries. Finally, Olympians are regarded as heroes—children and adults idolize them. To associate them with fast food creates a phony connection that can confuse people into thinking fast food is great, and it's what great people eat.

A big part of the confusion of McDonalds with athleticism will be from children, which is especially alarming, given the current obesity epidemic. It is clear that obesity has become a major problem among children in part because of their unhealthy diets. Fast food contributes to those unhealthy diets. When McDonalds says it has the food of Olympians, it makes McDonalds food sound less unhealthy than it actually is, particularly to children, who have little to no knowledge of the nutritional value of their meals. Children make nutritional choices based on the kind of emotional factors the Olympic sponsorship creates instead of making them based on nutritional value. McDonalds should be especially aware of this and should not sponsor the Olympics if there is a possibility that they will use slogans like they did in 2010.

It simply does not make any sense for restaurant known for its fast food to not only sponsor the Olympics, but to claim that athletes eat its food, as though it's a staple of their diet. McDonalds has misled the public, especially children who are vulnerable and subject to high rates of obesity, long enough.

Questions about Wanda's Response to the Writing Situation from Dr. Downey

Wanda used the writing process in coming up with her draft.

Which of the following is Wanda's most finished version of her thesis statement?

Why is it wise to make a list of reasons for both sides, like Wanda did, when you are unsure of how you feel about the issue?

Ralph's Response to the Writing Situation from Professor Downey

Text Box: McDonalds should be able to sponsor the Olympics because it's a free world and people need to watch what they eat. McDonalds is not responsible for the food people choose. They just make a product. People have to be responsible for their own choices, and McDonalds is not to blame for people eating bad food or eating too much. Plus there's stuff like grilled chicken and salads and carrot sticks. You can get a healthy meal at McDonalds if you make a good choice, so their food is not all unhealthy, so it can be the food of Olympians. This great company which is associated with happiness and a great clown should not be punished for anyone's bad choice.

Ralph's draft essay

McDonalds is a corporation almost anyone can recognize, whether it's for their food or their charitable work. This multi-national corporation has been an Olympic sponsor for decades and is responsible for the development of the Olympic Village, where athletes from all over the world live and work comfortably during the games. McDonalds should continue to be an Olympic sponsor because there is nothing wrong with the "Eat like an Olympian" campaign; it's not McDonalds job to police what people eat, and there are perfectly healthy options available at the restaurant. McDonalds can and should us its billions of dollars to sponsor the Olympics and can use slogans like "Eat like an Olympian" because it is not responsible for people's choices. Olympians can and do eat foods like the ones offered at McDonalds; they probably do it in moderation, and they exercise. It is okay for even a world-class athlete to have a hamburger, French fries, or even ice cream once in a while. Fast food is dangerous only to people who eat too much of it or eat it too regularly, and these people need to change their habits. McDonalds is not responsible for how they choose to eat. Even if folks do choose McDonalds for their meal, there are healthy options on their menu, so McDonalds should be an Olympic sponsor. Because of federal laws, McDonalds puts nutritional information on their menus and packaging so people know the nutritional value of what they are eating. If they are concerned about calories, they can choose a salad, wraps, or diet sodas instead of other, more fattening menu items. McDonalds even points out lower-calorie items and smaller-portioned items on its menu. This could be said to actually encourage customers to pick healthier options. McDonalds has also recently redone their kids meals, making them healthier. They now offer a vegetable or apple alternative to French fries, and a skim milk alternative to soda. Again, it seems like McDonalds is actually encouraging healthier eating, so it actually should be an Olympic sponsor. It's okay for McDonalds to sponsor the Olympics.

Questions about Ralph's Response to the Writing Situation from Dr. Downey

Ralph used the writing process in coming up with his draft essay.

Which method did Ralph use to get his thoughts together?

Why did Ralph highlight the two sentences in purple?