A thesis statement is an argument you are making in the paper. An argument is different from an opinion. A thesis statement is an interpretation of the material that can be backed up with evidence from the sources and course material. Make sure you focus on the scope of the paper from the beginning, Avoid broad generalizations. Please spend time considering what your argument is and how best to provide evidence before sitting down to write. Brainstorming is vital to this process. You are welcome to email drafts of your introductions and theses to me. Include around five paragraphs presenting the evidence to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should be advancing your argument; it should fit with the others and stand by itself. If you think of it as a glorified outline, the thesis could be numbered 1 for instance, and each paragraph 1a, 1b, 1c, etc. This structure will allow you to keep the appropriate narrow focus throughout the essay. In addition, every paragraph must include a quotation from one of the sources that support your argument in the paragraph. Be sure to provide an appropriate citation for the quotations. And be sure that the quotation is of appropriate length and that you frame it with your own analysis. Introduce each paragraph with a TOPIC SENTENCE, which states what your paragraph is about. Please don′t write, ″This paragraph is about″ but simply enter into your point. Finish the paper with a conclusion. Each paper should have a few sentences at the end wrapping up the argument. You can restate your argument or you can point in a broader direction. The conclusion is a place to think a bit beyond the evidence, perhaps, to be a little more creative, or it can be used functionally in order to summarize the paper. Be sure to edit your essay. This is vital for success. Please do not pass in the first draft you write. Rather you should spend as much time or more on the editing process as on the initial writing process. Pay diligent attention to spelling and grammar. The point of an essay is to express an interpretation, and this can happen best when the grammar is sound and the writing is clear. If you have doubts about how to express something, please look it up or ask someone for help. Please note: though an essay can be broken down into its component parts for the sake of these directions, in practice it is a fluid entity, which does not appear to the reader as segmented. Find ways of linking your paragraphs together by employing transitional language.
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