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CPHS_Civics 9 - Dystopian Literature Project: Writing

Thesis

Thesis Writing


Academic writing often requires answering a question by persuading the reader that the writer’s assertion is correct. A well-developed thesis statement summarizes the argument the writer will make and can be judged by the following criteria.


Criteria for judging a well-developed thesis:

  • Addresses all parts of the question
  • Takes a position that can be challenged
  • Provides a guide for the argument
  • Helps organize the paper
  • Covers only what is in the paper

Example question:
To what extent was slavery a factor in bringing on the American Civil War? How important were other factors?

Example of a well-developed thesis:
The challenges to the spread of slavery were a key reason the South took up arms against the North. It was believed that the institution of slavery would otherwise die, bringing about radical social and economic change, especially in the South. However, the increasing political power and radical voices in the North were equally important as they destroyed trust between the two sections of the country.

Criteria for judging an acceptable thesis:

  • Addresses all parts of the question
  • Takes a position that can be challenged

Example of an acceptable thesis:
Slavery was the primary reason for the American Civil War; however growing political power in the North was also important.

Organization

A Model for Organizing an Essay


Introduction

  • The first sentence is a broad or general statement that introduces the topic.
  • The first sentence may be an interesting quote, fact, or question to lead the reader into the essay.
  • Statements should narrow down and lead the reader to the main point or thesis of the essay.
  • The final sentence in the introduction should state the thesis.

Body

  • The first sentence should be the topic sentence and connect in some way to the thesis.
  • All other sentences should support the topic sentence with specific arguments.

Body

  • Use a transitional phrase or word to tie to the first paragraph.
  • The first sentence should be a new topic sentence and connect to the thesis.
  • All other sentences should support the topic sentence with specific arguments and evidence.

Body

  • Use a transitional phrase or word to tie to the first paragraph.
  • The first sentence should be a new topic sentence and connect to the thesis.
  • All other sentences should support the topic sentence with specific arguments and evidence.

Conclusion

  • The first sentence should restate the thesis.
  • All other sentences can either summarize the main points of the body paragraphs or merely conclude the essay.

Transitions

Transitions for Linking Paragraphs in an Essay


Chronological Transitions (describe changes over time)

  • At first...Next...Then finally...
  • For years...After that...and then...
  • Beginning with...Next came...This finally led to...

Cause-and-Effect Transitions (explain why)

  • At first...Adding to this...Finally
  • One factor explaining...Then there was...Also...
  • To begin with...Also...Together, all these factors...

Compare-and-Contrast Transitions (describe similarities and differences)

  • To begin with...Moreover...However...Finally
  • On one hand...In contrast...
  • It is true that...But nevertheless...Also...

Order of Importance Transitions (describe important factors)

  • The most important factor...Also significant...Then finally...
  • One more reason...More importantly...But most of all...
  • First of all...Another factor...And in addition to...