We will use this discussion to generate and respond to working thesis statements for Essay #2.
Greene and Lidinsky present four helpful models for formulating a working thesis:
The Misinterpretations model: “Although many have argued X, a careful examination suggests Z.”
The Gap model: “Although others have noted X, they have overlooked the importance of Y.”
The Modification model: “Although I agree with the X and Y ideas of other writers, it is important to extend/refine/limit their ideas in this way…”
The Hypothesis-testing model: “While some writers explain X by suggesting Y, a close analysis of the problem reveals several competing explanations…”
These thesis models are certainly not the only options available to you, but they do offer ways to enter an academic conversation and make a contribution that extends beyond merely summarizing or echoing someone else’s ideas.
In your initial post, do the following:
Use two of the thesis models above to craft two potential working thesis statements you could use in this unit’s essay
Write a paragraph or so defining the audience you plan to write your essay to. Explain who this audience is, why you have chosen this audience, and what techniques you plan to use in your essay to connect with this audience.
In your follow-up posts, respond to at least two classmate’s posts by doing both of the following:
Explain the types of supporting evidence you would expect to see for each working thesis statement.
Suggest at least one way your classmate could appeal to their chosen audience for Essay #2.
In Essay #2, write an essay that makes a thesis-based argument about education. Your essay must respond specifically to at least one of the assigned articles from Ch. 14. You will choose the audience for your essay, but remember: your job is to “enter the conversation” about education begun by your sources.
Your essay should include all of the following features:
A precise thesis, or main claim
A clearly defined audience
Direct quotations or paraphrases of at least 1 article from Ch. 14 of From Inquiry to Academic Writing
Your instructor may provide more specific instructions for this assignment — check the Announcements for any updates or changes.
Guidelines for Essay #2
Length/Due Date: approximately 800-1,000 words, due Sunday midnight Central Standard Time (CST).
Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN106, should be formatted in a standard scholarly format. (Most students follow MLA or APA guidelines, which are outlined in Easy Writer.) No matter what format you follow, be sure to do the following:
Use 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced.
Use 1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides.
Although no cover page is needed, you should include your name, my name, the course number/title, and date at the upper left-hand corner of the manuscript.
References: Your essay must use at least one source — the article from Ch. 14 that has begun the conversation. Most likely, you will also refer to additional outside sources. For each source you cite or reference in your essay, include in-text citations, using MLA or APA guidelines.
File format: Please submit your essay as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. These formats are available in most word processors, including Google Docs and Open Office, and will ensure that your instructor is able to comment on your work.
Works Cited/References: Please create an appropriate bibliography that lists each source you cite or reference in your essay. Use MLA or APA guidelines for your bibliography.
Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your thesis. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source.
Deadline: Submit your final draft essay no later than midnight on Sunday at the end of this unit.
Use of essays for future courses: Please understand that your essay may be used— anonymously—as a sample for future EN106 students and instructors unless you expressly request that it not be used. Your work, of course, will only be used for educational purposes.
Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item under Course Information.
Why Is This Assignment Important?
This essay assignment is designed to reinforce three “habits of mind” of academic writers: making inquiries, seeking and valuing complexity, and seeing writing as a conversation.
First, to complete this assignment successfully, you must read closely and analytically. In doing so, you will practice observation, asking questions, and examining varied perspectives. The issue you are writing about is multi-faceted, so you must treat it that way. Do not present a simple pro/con view of an issue. Instead, read actively, asking questions of your source. In this way, this assignment will teach you to recognize and value complex perspectives — another habit of mind of effective academic writers.
Finally, completing this essay assignment will help you see how writing is a conversation. Each article is “in conversation” with other articles. Your job will be to “synthesize,” or tie together diverse perspectives. By arguing your own position to your chosen audience, your essay will also add to the academic conversation.