Presentation on theme: "Or : “So? What’s your point?” What’s wrong with that? Now, plain ol’ water cures everything at just pennies a glass! Don’t you get it? Pharmaceuticals."— Presentation transcript:
Or : “So? What’s your point?” What’s wrong with that? Now, plain ol’ water cures everything at just pennies a glass! Don’t you get it? Pharmaceuticals getting into our water supply is a real problem!
Thesis Statement 1: Pollution is bad for the environment. Is this a strong thesis statement or a weak thesis statement? Why?
Thesis Statement 2: As the continued sullying of Earth’s land, air, and water has great potential to bring harm to all life, America should allot at least 25 percent of its budget toward limiting pollution. Is this a strong thesis statement or a weak thesis statement? Why?
Pollution is bad for the environment. (In other words, this is a statement so generally agreed upon by your readers that it could essentially be accepted as fact – and facts are really hard to debate).
AUTHOR: “Is pollution bad for the environment?” READER: “Yup.” (or, alternatively, “Nope.”) STATUS OF ESSAY: Dead. In. The. Water. The End.
You need to answer the all-important “Why?” or “How?” question to make the subject debatable ! Why is pollution bad for the environment? How (In what way) is pollution bad for the environment? Remember, your thesis questions (i.e., the questions your thesis statement will attempt to answer) CANNOT BE ANSWERED AS “ YES ” OR “ NO ”
For an argumentative paper, you need to present the reader with a “CALL TO ACTION” “So, what should (or must) we do about that issue?” Notice that, in your paper, you are attempting to be a catalyst for change, and, as such, YOU ARE MAKING A JUDGMENT CALL IN FAVOR OF YOUR PARTICULAR OPINION ON THE SUBJECT) For an issue analysis paper, you give the reader the alternative viewpoints on a controversial issue, BUT WITHOUT THE JUDGMENT CALL EXAMPLE: “While environmentalists see pollution as a threat to life on our planet [VIEWPOINT ONE], corporations see pollution as a necessary and manageable byproduct of a robust economy and the perpetuation of Americans’ way of life. [VIEWPOINT TWO]” Notice that a conjunction was used at the beginning of the sentence (in this case, “ while ”), which allows equal weighting to be given to both sides of the issue WITHOUT MAKING ANY JUDGMENT CALL In the issue analysis paper, you are “just the messenger” who presents the two sides of an issue
Thesis Statement 3: The use of illegal drugs in America is detrimental because it encourages violent crime, undermines family relationships, and contributes to lost productivity in the workplace; therefore, stronger governmental and social programs should be targeted to those populations shown to be at higher risk for drug dependency. Is this a strong thesis statement or a weak thesis statement? Why?
Thesis Statement 4: Drug use is detrimental to society. Is this a strong thesis statement or a weak thesis statement? Why?
AUTHOR: “Drug use is detrimental to society!” READER: “So, antibiotics are out?” AUTHOR: “Well, no… they’re OK when used judiciously.” READER: “How about drugs that fight cancer, malaria, or Ebola? Are they bad, too?” AUTHOR: “No, those are obviously good drugs to have around.” READER: “OBVIOUSLY? From your thesis statement, NOTHING IS OBVIOUS! This conversation is giving me a headache!” AUTHOR: “Do you need a Tylenol?” READER: “What are you, a drug pusher?” (Insert sad trombone sound here) WAH-WAHHHH!
You need to be specific here (only when you say what you mean can the reader understand that you mean what you say) What kind of drugs? Illegal drugs! How exactly are these drugs detrimental to society? They increase violent crime (THERE’S A PARAGRAPH TELLING THE READER HOW ILLEGAL DRUGS DO THIS) They undermine family relationships (HEY! THERE’S ANOTHER PARAGRAPH TELLING THE READER HOW ILLEGAL DRUGS DO THAT, TOO) They contribute to lost productivity in the workplace (WELL, I’LL BE HORNSWOGGLED! THERE’S A THIRD PARAGRAPH!) Plus, you can tell the reader how these problems can be solved through governmental and social programs (either problem-by- problem in each of the paragraphs or all at once in its own paragraph)!
Here’s one way to handle an argumentative research essay, step by step: 1. Come up with a topic that can be argued or debated and choose a side. 2. Think about an effect of, or solution to, that argument. 3. Devise three pieces of evidence that will support your effect or solution and write them down on a piece of paper. 4. Rank those pieces of evidence according to how strong you believe each item is to your overall effect or solution Initially, you can perform this ranking based upon your “gut feeling,” but you may need to rank them again later, dependent upon the amount of material you can find for each evidence item in the course of your research Remember: Your argument is not set in stone and your priorities may change as your research progresses
5. Then, to construct your argument on paper, follow this schema: Think about some notes for your introduction (perhaps start by including some background on the subject about which you are writing, anecdotes, a pithy quote, etc.) DO NOT FORGET TO HAVE YOUR INTRODUCTION LEAD UP TO THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE OF YOUR PAPER AT THE END OF YOUR INTRODUCTION: THE THESIS STATEMENT (which will provide the roadmap to everything that follows in your paper)
From that ranking you made of your pieces of evidence (according to how strong you believe each item is to your overall effect or solution), your first body paragraph (a paragraph that is not the introduction or conclusion) should concern your second strongest piece of evidence
From that ranking you made of your pieces of evidence (according to how strong you believe each item is to your overall effect or solution), your second body paragraph should be about your weakest piece of evidence
Your third body paragraph is known as “THE CONCESSION” and it’s where you concede (or acknowledge) the opposing viewpoint(s) this paragraph is important because it helps to give your argument credibility and shows that you understand what is at stake in expressing your point of view (because, after all, there are at least two sides to every argument, and you are writing an argumentative essay, right?)
The fourth (and final) body paragraph is where you meet up with the challenge of taking your stand against the opposition and present your strongest piece of evidence (you take what was at stake when you conceded the opposing point of view and turn it on its ear by going out with a “BANG” Think: “Although I understand how and why the opposing side believes this, they’re wrong…and my strongest evidence shows why – BOOM!”)
The final paragraph of the essay is your conclusion This is where you wrap things up by first restating your thesis statement in an entirely new way with NO REPEATING OF ANY OF THE SAME WORDS YOU USED IN THE INTRODUCTION’S THESIS STATEMENT (Think: “the essence” or “a reinterpretation” of the original thesis statement) Then finish the paragraph with a few sentences providing any closing thoughts you want your reader to take away after reading your paper (it could include something you had mentioned in your introductory paragraph, but now with new perspective, an interesting and appropriate quote, a turn of phrase – whatever) In the conclusion, DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, PRESENT ANY FURTHER EVIDENCE OR BRING UP ANY NEW POINTS – that would just be overkill, you know, like flogging a dead horse…
The issue analysis research essay has some elements in common with an argumentative essay, but also features some important differences: You still have the introduction, complete with strong thesis statement (just like in the argumentative style), but rather than taking a stand, your thesis will simply provide the reader with the opposing viewpoints that exist in regard to your controversial topic YOU WILL NOT HAVE YOUR OWN “CALL TO ACTION,” BUT YOU MAY DISCUSS EACH AND EVERY ALTERNATIVE VIEWPOINTS’ POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS OR EFFECTS – REMEMBER: YOU WILL PROVIDE NEITHER YOUR OWN OPINION NOR A SOLUTION TO THE ISSUE AT HAND BECAUSE YOU ARE ONLY ACTING AS A MESSENGER TO PRESENT BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT EQUALLY Think: “compare and contrast,” rather than the argumentative paper’s “cause and effect” or “problem and solution” schema
You can attack your issue analysis in one of two ways for your body paragraphs: Point-by-Point (item of evidence of opposing viewpoint 1 vs. analogous item of evidence of opposing viewpoint 2 – one point per body paragraph in multiple paragraphs ( analogous means points must be related – not comparing “apples to oranges”) Perspective-by-Perspective (Viewpoint 1 with all its evidence in one paragraph followed by Viewpoint 2 with all its evidence in one paragraph
You will end your paper with the conclusion paragraph, which starts with the restatement of your thesis followed by closing thoughts on your topic (in the same way we discussed for the argumentative paper)
And now, a few rules about your thesis statement and its relationship to your paper… Rule #1: If elements are contained in your thesis, they must also be found in the body of your paper. Rule #2: If elements are contained within the body of your paper, they must also be located within your thesis. Rule #3: If either of the above rules are violated, you must perform a rewrite to ensure that thesis and body match – not doing so is like crafting an authorial “bait-and-switch” scheme that serves to dupe your reader (you promised one thing, but delivered something totally different OR delivered something your reader never wanted)!
The content of thesis and body should match like… THESIS BODY PARAGRAPHS
In a nutshell, here is the general idea on how the essay is structured: The Introduction: Tells The Readers What You’re Going To Tell Them The Body Paragraphs: Tell Them The Conclusion: Tells Them What You Told Them
Some Final Tips Be sure to proofread every step of the way in your writing process by reading your on-paper versions OUT LOUD! Another proofreading trick is to read the the paper backwards (in other words, “backwards paper the read to is trick proofreading Another”) because you can sometimes find mistakes that would be hidden from you when reading the text normally (did you spot the error that was caught?)
“There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” — Louis Brandeis, former Associate Justice on The Supreme Court of the United States, namesake of Brandeis University in Massachusetts “The first draft of anything is shit.” — Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist, possible template for Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World”