If the topics you found in your research don’t really support the claim you initially created, you have two choices: 1) do more research and find notes that actually DO support your claim, or 2) revise your claim to match the notes you found. Option #2 is definitely easier and less time consuming – it is the option I would choose (See pages 42-44 of the Essay Guide for information on revising your claim).
- First, go to the Google driveà Writing à Videos folder and watch the video titled Building the Research Paper.
- Put your cursor in front of the first (indented) word of your claim statement and type or copy and paste the paragraph you wrote yesterday with the background information and justification of your topic. If you put this information in front of your claim statement, your claim statement will become the LAST sentence of this paragraph. This paragraph is your introduction. YOUR CLAIM STATEMENT SHOULD ALWAYS BE THE LAST SENTENCE OF YOUR INTRODUCTION. Is your introduction perfect at this point? No, probably not. However, you now have something to work with.
- Read pages 46-49 of the Essay Guide about introductions and fix the introduction until you are happy with it.
- Underline your claim statement (IT SHOULD BE THE LAST SENTENCE).
- Find your list of topics and decide which topics you will discuss.
- Read pages 50-51, 57-62 of the Essay Guide for information about the topic sentences, organization of your argument, warrants and counterclaims.
A Note about Length
Your paper MAY (or MAY NOT) have three body paragraphs. Your paper should have however many body paragraphs are right for YOUR paper – there is NO one-size-fits-all essay formula. I’m going to be grading on the quality of your argument, so you need to discuss as many topics as it takes to convince me that your claim is correct. One person may need to discuss only two major topics; another person may need to discuss five. Look at your topic list for the answer. Consider the counterclaim(s) – you MUST address the counterclaim(s) that are appropriate for your topic. You may or may not want to specifically state your warrant (it may just be understood). Do whatever is right for YOUR topic and claim.
- Using your topics and the guidelines in the Essay Guide, create the topic sentences for each of the body paragraphs of your paper. Make sure each topic sentence introduces the topic for the individual body paragraph (the point you are trying to make in that paragraph) AND has a clear connection to the claim (see a labeled example on page 137 of the Essay Guide, and look at the Sentence Outline.pptx presentation in the Writing, Argument Essay folder in the Google drive).