Theses

  • The "Roadmap" Mentality
    • A good thesis statement and introduction for an argumentative paper should be the equivalent of drawing a roadmap for someone. Your goal is to get them from point A (where they're at) to point B (where you want them to go--in this case, you want to convince them to act on your issue). The thesis statement should define for the reader where you want them to go and how you're going to get them there.
  • Thesis Statement Activity
  • The strongest place for your thesis statement to hang out is at the end of your introduction. Once you've got a working thesis, give it some context by setting up any background information you've collected with a few sentences before the thesis.
  • All together, your introduction should now have some brief background (which you can elaborate on later in the draft) and a strong central argument in the form of a thesis; it's a great start!

Chunking

  • When incorporating your sources into your text, it is helpful to break your important points into "chunks".
  • To do this, you can organize the quoted material that you want to use into a framework similar to this:
    • Begin with your main thought or idea
    • Utilize a quote/paraphrase to support, prove, or document your idea
    • Add sentences that analyze or discuss your thoughts in relation to the documented material.

* By chunking your work this way, you not only give yourself a neat little package of information in which to utilize your source material, you give the reader a comfortable pattern by which they can digest the content of your essay.

  • Use a quote that you have available from the research you've done and build a short paragraph with it, using the chunking method.
    • You should have about 20-30 minutes or so to work on it, so pace yourself accordingly. I'll come around to help out, too.
  • Chunking is usually the last thing I do when I compose a draft in order to use my research to effectively reinforce my ideas. If this technique is helpful to you, use it to strengthen your draft for Week 13 conferences!