|On this page, I illustrate the the process of writing a
paper, as if I
were a student again. I start the process by reviewing my class notes
and re-reading the play, poem, or novel. I think about the things that
strike me about it. I write down my ideas, read them, and chose a
topic. Next, I plan my essay. Then I write it. Finally, I revise my
I. Thesis. I state my topic as a sentence.
Claudius is a very capable enemy; this fact increases our sense that Hamlet's death was inevitable.Note: I do not overstate my thesis by saying that Claudius's abilities make Hamlet's death inevitable. More is involved in the audience's sense of inevitability than just Claudius; there is, for example, Hamlet's nature to consider, as well as his depression and disillusionment at his father's death and his mother's remarriage.
II. Basic Argument. An argument is reasoning designed to convince or persuade. An argument is the overall plan or train of reasoning for proving a thesis. If I tell my thesis about Claudius to a friend, she naturally asks, "Why do you believe that?" If I can't explain why, I should do more thinking or perhaps choose another topic. Fortunately, I can explain my belief (my explanation is the argument for my paper).
Because Claudius is so intelligent, perceptive, and quick-witted, Hamlet is unlikely to catch him unaware and kill him. Because Claudius is so resourceful, quick-acting, determined, and unscrupulous, Hamlet seems unlikely to avoid Claudius's plots to kill him. So when Hamlet dies in a plot Claudius laid, the audience's sense of Hamlet's death as inevitable is significantly reinforced.III. Plan or Organization of My Paper. I work out my strategy for developing my argument and organizing my ideas; I do this by analyzing my thesis (analysis= breaking something down into its major parts). Analyzing a thesis means breaking it down into the generalizations that explain it. My thesis breaks down into three major generalizations or thought units. With an introduction and a conclusion, my paper will have a total of five divisions or thought units.
Thought Unit 1.IV. Development of Generalizations. Each generalization identified in section III must be developed or supported. Readers want to know why you the writer make each generalization. To illustrate how a generalization may be developed, I have selected one generalization and list the specific details which develop it. I discuss one of the traits which make Claudius such a deadly enemy.
Generalization to be Proven.I am now ready to write my paper. To illustrate how I develop generalizions and connect generalizations to specific details, illustrations, etc., I have written the portion of my paper dealing with Claudius's intelligence and quick-wittedness. Click here to read it.Claudius is highly intelligent and consistently quick-witted.Proof or Support of This GeneralizationSupporting detail #1
If you have questions about writing, grammar, punctuation, footnotes,
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