Written Essays

There are three main areas I ask students to focus on when writing essays for Perspectives. They are:

  1. 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.”
  2. To provide specific, relevant and sufficient support for their claims–that is, to provide evidence.
  3. 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.

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