DEVELOPING THE BODY OF A PAPER Thesis Statements Thesis Statements should be ARGUMENTATIVE—not descriptive. Thesis Statements should clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Can you imagine someone disagreeing with your position? It should be clear to us how your ideas differ or support the ones Feagin includes. Remember to use attributive tags to distinguish Feagin’s ideas from your own. Thesis statements avoid vague language (like "it seems"). Thesis statements should address both points of agreement and disagreement. Sample Thesis Statement While I agree with Feagin’s assertion that white people are unlikely to identify themselves as racist, I disagree with the idea that affirmative action is not supported by white people for this reason. Feagin’s discussion on “Everyday Racism” supports experiences that I have had, but like the examples he mentioned, I never thought of them as important enough to be considered racist. Body: Elements of a Paragraph Unity Single focus Idea expressed in topic sentence should be only idea explored in paragraph. Coherence Coherence is the trait that makes the paragraph easily understandable to a reader. A topic sentence Indicates main idea Can be placed anywhere, but best at beginning of paragraph Body: Elements of a Paragraph, cont. Adequate development Topic should be discussed fully Short paragraphs often indicate poorly developed ideas Some methods to make sure your paragraph is welldeveloped: Use examples and illustrations Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and others) Examine testimony (what other people say such as quotes and paraphrases) Use an anecdote or story Define terms in the paragraph Analyze the topic Describe the topic Body: Constructing Paragraphs A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: Transition, Topic sentence, specific Evidence and analysis, and a Brief wrap-up sentence– TTEB! Transition Sentences A Transition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand off from one idea to the next. Creating Transition Sentences Picking up key phrases from the previous paragraph Making connections Being specific Examples of Transition Sentences Previous paragraph: Amy Tan became a famous author after her novel, The Joy Luck Club, skyrocketed up the bestseller list. Current transition/topic sentence: There are other things to note about Tan as well. Amy Tan also participates in the satirical garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, with Stephen King and Dave Barry. Revision: Though her fiction is well known, her work with the satirical garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, receives far less publicity. Practice Previous paragraph: : Overall, Management Systems International has logged increased sales in every sector, leading to a significant rise in thirdquarter profits. Current transition/topic sentence: Another important thing to note is that the corporation had expanded its international influence. Revision: ? Topic Sentences A Topic sentence tells the reader what you will be discussing in the paragraph. Summary topic sentences Response topic sentences Should address main idea being expressed by author Example: Feagin discusses the reasons why whites are reluctant to endorse affirmative action I disagree with Feagin’s claim that lower class whites are more likely to be violent towards black people. Summary response topic sentences Should address Feagin’s perspective and your own Example: Feagin asserts that many white people are unable to see themselves as racist because they’re less racist than their parents, and in my experience, that is true. Evidence Personal Story or example Information from Feagin’s text Outside sources Brief Wrap-Up Sentences The ending sentence in a paragraph or essay should summarize what has already been said. The ending sentence should add ZING to the paragraph or essay. 1. Topic: My best holiday celebration ever Details: •Christmas last year •Remote controlled car •Visit grandparents in Florida Are you ready to choose the best wrap up sentence? • As you can see, Christmas last year was my favorite holiday since I received a remote controlled car and visited my grandparents in sunny Florida. As you can see, Christmas last year was my favorite holiday, because I had so much fun and got to play with all my stuff; and it was cool. • As you can see, Christmas last year was my favorite holiday since I received a remote controlled car, visited my grandparents in sunny Florida. As you can see, Christmas last year was my favorite holiday, because I had so much fun and got to play with all my stuff; and it was cool. 5. Topic: Babysitting my little brother Details: •Sneaky •Picky eater •Whiney Click the box to choose the best wrap up sentence! • I’m in double trouble when I have to babysit my little brother, because he is sneaky, a picky eater, and whines like a cat. I hate babysitting my little brother because he is sneaky, a picky eater, and whines a lot. • I’m in double trouble when I have to babysit my little brother, because he is sneaky, a picky eater, and whines like a cat. I hate babysitting my little brother because he is sneaky, a picky eater, and whines a lot. Body: When to start a new paragraph? When you begin a new idea or point. When your readers need a pause. Hint: If you use a transition word within the same paragraph (i.e. however), then you’ve probably moved on to a new idea. Hint: Long paragraphs are difficult for readers to manage. When you are ending your introduction or starting your conclusion. Hint: In longer papers, your intro and/or conclusion may be many paragraphs long.