This really is a classic five-paragraph essay introduction.
But Alex’s professor doesn’t want it. She underlines the first two sentences, and she writes, “This is just too general. Arrive at the true point.” She underlines the 3rd and fourth sentences, and she writes, “You’re just restating the question I asked. What’s your point?” She underlines the sentence that is final after which writes in the margin, “What’s your thesis?” because the last sentence within the paragraph only lists topics. It does not make an argument.
Is Alex’s professor just a grouch? Well, no—she is trying to teach this student that college writing isn’t about following a formula (the model that is five-paragraph, it’s about making an argument. Her first sentence is general, just how she learned a five-paragraph essay should start. But from the professor’s perspective, it is far too general—so general, in reality, so it’s completely outside the assignment: she didn’t ask students to define civil war. The 3rd and fourth sentences say, in so many words, “I am comparing and contrasting reasons why the North therefore the South fought the Civil War”—as the professor says, they just restate the prompt, without giving a single hint about where this student’s paper is going. The sentence that is final which should make a quarrel, only lists topics; it doesn’t begin to explore how or why something happened.
You can guess what Alex will write next if you’ve seen a lot of five-paragraph essays. Her body that is first paragraph begin, “We is able to see some of the different main reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War by taking a look at the economy.” What will the professor say about this? She may ask, “What differences can we come across? What the main economy will you be dealing with? How come the differences exist? What makes they important?” The student might write a conclusion that says much the same thing as her introduction, in slightly different words after three such body paragraphs. Alex’s professor might respond, “You’ve already said this!”
What could Alex do differently? Let’s start over. This time, Alex does not start out with a notion that is preconceived of to prepare her essay. As opposed to three “points,” she decides that she will brainstorm until she pops up with a principal argument, or thesis, that answers the question “Why did the North and South fight the Civil War?” Then she’s going to determine how to prepare her draft by thinking about the argument’s parts and exactly how they fit together.
After doing some brainstorming and reading the Writing Center’s handout on thesis statements, Alex thinks of a main argument, or thesis statement:
- Both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, but Northerners dedicated to the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their rights to property and self-government.
Then Alex writes her introduction. But instead of starting with a general statement about civil wars, she gives us the ideas we have to know to be able to understand all of the elements of her argument:
- The United States broke far from England in response to British tyranny and oppression, so opposition to tyranny and a belief in individual freedom and liberty were important values in the republic that is young. But in the century that is nineteenth slavery made Northerners and Southerners see these values in very different ways. By 1860, the conflict over these values broke out into a war that is civil nearly tore the country apart. For the reason that war, both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, but Northerners centered on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their rights to property and self-government.
Every sentence in Alex’s new introduction leads the reader along the road to her thesis statement in an unbroken chain of ideas.
Now Alex turns to organization. You’ll find more about the thinking process she passes through within our handout on organization, but here are the basics: first, she decides, she’ll write a paragraph that gives background; she’ll explain how opposition to tyranny and a belief in individual liberty came into existence such values that are important the usa. Then she’ll write another background paragraph in which she shows how the conflict over slavery developed as time passes. Then she’ll have separate paragraphs about Northerners and Southerners, explaining in detail—and evidence that is giving claims about each group’s cause of planning to war.
Note that Alex now has four body paragraphs. She might have had three or two or seven; what’s important is that she allowed her argument to tell her exactly how many paragraphs she should have and just how to fit them together. Furthermore, her body paragraphs don’t all discuss “points,” like “the economy” and “politics”—two of them give background, in addition to other two explain Northerners’ and Southerners’ views in detail.
Finally, having followed her sketch outline and written her paper, Alex turns to writing a conclusion. From our handout on conclusions, she understands that a “that’s my story and I’m adhering to it” conclusion doesn’t move her ideas forward. Applying the strategies she finds in the handout, she decides that she will use her conclusion to describe why the buy essay online paper she’s just written really matters—perhaps by pointing out that the fissures in our society that the Civil War opened are, quite often, still causing trouble today.
Is it ever OK to create a five-paragraph essay?
Yes. Have you ever found yourself in times where somebody expects you to definitely add up of a body that is large of at that moment and write a well-organized, persuasive essay—in fifty minutes or less? Sounds like an essay exam situation, right? When time is short therefore the pressure is on, falling back in the good old essay that is five-paragraph help you save some time provide you with confidence. A five-paragraph essay may also act as the framework for a speech that is short. Try not to fall under the trap, however, of creating a” that is“listing statement when your instructor expects a quarrel; when planning your body paragraphs, think of three aspects of a disagreement, in the place of three “points” to discuss. On the other hand, most professors recognize the constraints of writing blue-book essays, and a “listing” thesis is probably a lot better than no thesis after all.
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