KP_writing_workshop_outline

KP_writing_workshop_outline - 1 CTCS 190 ESSAY WRITING...

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1 CTCS 190 ESSAY WRITING WORKSHOP Monday, September 22, 2008, 11:30am, LUC 108 GENERAL: What is a thesis ? What is a good thesis ? --A thesis is an argument or a claim supported by evidence. --A good thesis is persuasively argued with strong evidence; a thesis statement by itself without supporting evidence is not a good thesis—it is merely an uninformed opinion. What is evidence ? --Evidence in this case would be: design elements of the film you’re studying (visual, performance, or literary, depending on your topic), and any outside research you are using to back up certain points. What comes first, a thesis statement or evidence ? --You don’t need to have a thesis statement already in mind before gathering evidence, and likewise, you don’t have to wait until collecting all your evidence to begin developing a thesis statement. They build upon each other. DEVELOPING A THESIS: 1. First, watch the film all the way through. Take a few notes. Your focus here should be on understanding the various subjects and conflicts of the film. 2. After seeing the film, write down what you think are the themes of the film. Every film has themes. They are not always obvious, and they can be a matter of your own interpretation. How does the film approach its subjects? What does it “say” about those subjects? For example, let’s say you’re writing about Paul Newman’s performance in The Verdict . After viewing The Verdict once, you should have a sense of its main themes. Write them down. One of them may well be “redemption.” Try to narrow it down further. Redemption of what? The film has a lot going on in terms of redemption: the Newman character himself, the legal profession, and the Catholic Church are just three things (out of many more) that the film presents as being in need of redemption. 3. With your ideas of the film’s theme(s) in mind, watch the film again, this time keeping in mind your topic (visual/performance/literary design) as it relates to your understanding of the theme(s). There are moments, images, and situations in the film where aspects of visual design, performance, and literary design relate directly to theme. Note as many of these as you can during this second viewing. These moments, images, and situations will be the majority of your evidence . 4. Look over your notes and organize your evidence. Rank them: some are very important, some are less important in relation to your understanding of the theme(s). Think of the film as a work of design composed of several parts and you are pulling out some of those parts (what you think are the most important ones) to illustrate, through your topic (visual/performance/literary design), the theme(s) of the
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film. When you have a clear understanding of theme and several points of evidence related to theme, you have the makings of a thesis. STRUCTURING A THESIS:
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KP_writing_workshop_outline - 1 CTCS 190 ESSAY WRITING...

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