There are three main areas I ask students to focus on when writing essays for Perspectives. They are:
- To provide a clear statement of what they are arguing in the essay–sometimes I will refer to this as a “central claim,” other times I will use the word “thesis.”
- To provide specific, relevant and sufficient support for their claims–that is, to provide evidence.
- To use the conventions of citation when using evidence. This might mean simply providing page numbers when quoting or summarizing, or it might mean using something more formal, like MLA in-text citation.
There’s plenty else to focus on, and we will primarily rely on Graff, Birkenstein, and Durst’s They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing.