Paper One: Outline and write an argument to advance a thesis
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Paper One: Outline and write an argument to advance a thesis (#1 on page 119). Like Robyn Martin, choose an issue that is important to you and one to which there are thoughtful counterviews. Avoid arguments about partisan politics and conspiracy theories–just about anything else is fair game. The paper should make a clear, defensible claim, and should anticipate the questions of your readers and entertain reasonable counterperspectives. Your claim, also called a thesis, should be phrased as a clear, arguable statement, not a question.
Do not refer to your assignment anywhere in the paper; in fact, don’t even intimate (hint or suggest) that you are writing in response to an assignment, even though you are. (Your instructor is part of your audience, but imagine a broader readership for your work.)
Plan to reference one or two outside sources (but no more) within your argument to help you illustrate a problem or support your claim. Your argument may well be a response to one of these sources. An acceptable source may be an article from a popular magazine, academic or news source, a speech or a documentary film.
Use the databases from our libguide that were mentioned earlier to help you find a source.
Make your outline before you write the paper; it will help you organize your argument and its structure.
Strive to use minimal first-person point of view in the paper or better yet, none at all. (Robyn Martin used “I” one time in her essay.) To put this another way, strive to write in the academic, third person point of view, avoiding first person pronouns whenever possible, and avoiding the pronoun “you” in a direct address to the reader.
Papers that contain unnecessary use of first person will lose points. (We’ll be talking about style and point of view in future modules, but if you have questions before then, please ask.)
Craft a two-part, academic title for your paper. This means your title should have a title and sub-title, separated by a colon. The title should suggest something about your content, thesis, and/or your stance on your subject. It should not identify your assignment. See the attached handout for more on titles: Writing a Great Title
The paper should be 1,200-1,500 words. This assigned length does not include the outline, which should be submitted on a separate file.
More on the outline (not to be confused with your reading documentation)–Whatever your process is for planning and drafting the paper, I want to see it—whether it is a rough, hand-written outline, a formal or sentence outline, or some sort of visual representation of the paper. The outline should contain specifics, not generic, filler terms like “Thesis,” or “first supporting point, second supporting point, third supporting point.” In other words, state your thesis, and what your supporting points are.
Your outline should be written before the paper. If your outline is not submitted along with the paper, I will not accept it after the fact. Don’t lose points for forgetting your outline.