I. Essay Requirements: (all pg. #s are from the 13th ed., but you can look up any of the underlined words in your index if you have another edition of the textbook)
A. Your answer to the question posed is your thesis
B. You might have a long preview, so you are welcome to break the preview of your supporting paragraph topics (reasons for your thesis) into three or so separate preview sentences near the end of your Introductory paragraph.
C. Audience: Assume your readers are skeptical, college-level readers (p. 526). Think of those who disagree with you as colleagues, not adversaries (see Rogerian argument p. 530).
D. Use several hooks in your introduction: Anecdote, Quotation, Profound Question or Statement, the Opposition, Statistic or Fact, Description, Definition, Comparison (simile/met.), or Brief, Engaging Background Information. Be sure to transition/bridge into background info or your thesis. See Week 1’s Presentation material and examples if you need to review.
E. Note that each supporting paragraph has a topic sentence that not only introduces the paragraph topic but alsoalludes to the idea set forth in your thesis statement. This should insure paragraph unity. A Research Paper will be longer, so you may wish to break up one point into several paragraphs that each tackle a distinct concern of that one point. You might even have entire paragraphs on background information, etc. This is not digressing as long as the background will help persuade readers.
F. After the topic sentence, a paragraph will include support for the statement made in the TS. Make sure there are transitions between your examples and between supporting paragraphs to ensure coherence.
G. Organization/Structuring: You do NOT need to include an outline at the end of this essay. You should now understand that an essay needs structure; it’s like the spine of your argument. Without structure, your argument falls apart. Like all essays, you’ll have an introduction, body, and conclusion. If you’re feeling ambitious, as an option, you might experiment with the different types of organization seen in Ch. 14. Move from evidence to conclusion using a mix of different ways. For example, use Deductive or Inductive Arguments (see p. 531). Deductive Reasoning is moving from a general premise/assumption (your thesis) to a specific conclusion. If all statements in the argument are true, the conclusion must be true. Inductive Reasoning proceeds from individual observations to a more general conclusion. For an example of such organization, look in our textbook under “Structuring an Argumentative Essay” on p. 538-40 and 546. Or you could use the Toulmin Logic which divides argument into claim, grounds, warrant (p. 534-35).
H. Support (evidence in supporting paragraphs):
1) Where appropriate, bring in Personal, Observational (such as current events), and/or Hypothetical Examples filled with description such as concrete detail, senses, dialog, similes/metaphors, lively adj., adv., and verbs. Also be sure to analyze the examples you provide to explain how each example proves the topic sentence of each paragraph.
2) Bring in textual examples. You’ll have at least twelve sources (6 from your research and 6 from our readings). You will decide the number of textual examples (see p. 529 for additional guidance) you’ll quote/paraphrase from.
3) For the textual examples, review Week 08’s module specifically addressing our library’s databases. Make sure they are credible sources (p. 527-28). Again, your sources should be relevant, representative, and sufficient (p. 528). If you do not properly cite this research in MLA format, your grade will suffer. There are two types of citations: be sure to include in-text citations and a Works Cited list for each entry. As a reminder, if you don’t know how to cite something, google “KnightCite” and add in all the information you can from the source. Please avoid EasyBib type websites as they are not always accurate.
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