reading - l CHAPTER 13 “a OUTLINING l A CARRIE HANNIGAN...

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Unformatted text preview: l CHAPTER 13 “a OUTLINING l A CARRIE HANNIGAN i} ll Outlining is a way of organizing ideas and research for essays and other complex documents. Students who are eager to get to the writ- ... ing part of the assignment often overlook this tool. Furthermore, you "i" might have recollections of creating outlines back in high school and u— how it felt like torture when teachers insisted on specific formats and “1‘ . outcomes. As a college student, you are typically allowed more free- I- dom in the creation and use of your outline, so try to shed any pre- existing notions and anxieties about outlines. Ultimately, creating an outline saves you time in the overall writing process, which is a benefit no student can ignore. THE BENEFITS OF CREATING AN OUTLINE a, The primary benefit oftaking time to create an outline is that it gives you the chance to figure out the whole organization ofthe essay’s potential ‘.. content. Students often have many ideas swirling in their heads, and an outline compels the student to logically note each idea in the appro- priate order to best serve the topic and reader (see Chapter 14, Essay _ Development, pp. 159-204, to learn more about essay organization options). Jumping right into the essay-writing process and writing ideas 1- as they pop into your head might not give the essay a logical or smooth «I flow. Listing these ideas early on in the writing process allows inherent ' _. connections to surface and be represented in the essay. --' Creating an outline puts the essay content into a format that you can easily scan and interpret duringthe writing process. You can quickly 143 a. a .I III-IIIIII_IIIIIIII 1M RESEARCHING, OUTLINING, AND CRAFTING YOUR ESSAY look at the completed outline and see where more content might be needed, or where a point is overemphasized or off topic. Furthermore, when research is required for the essay. the outline reveals where you intend to insert evidence from sources; looking over the outline quickly reveals which paragraphs will have research and which paragraphs still need information from sources. The outline serves as avisual road map of the content. Looking at it not only gives a sense of where you are going. but also how long it mighttake to get to the end. Although professors might have requirements for the assigned essay, the work involved to achieve those requirements might not be clear at the onset ofthe writing process. You might know that you have five pages to write and need to include research, but you might not know how much work is needed to actually write a complete essay. An outline can help give students a sense of what it might take to reach that goal. For example. the outline reveals that you‘ll need six paragraphs. beyond the introduction and conclusion paragraphs. to adequately make your argument and provide all relevant research. Actual writing time will vary based on writing style and the amount of research needed. but the outiine should reveal the complexities of the writing and help you estimate a timeline for completion ofthe essay. No matter your writing style, writer's block is an issue most stu— dents encounter at some point in the process. Without an outline, when you write yourself into a corner. it might not be immediately clear where the essay needs to go next. With an outline already writ‘ ten. you can refer to the outline to get back on track. A detailed out- line is ideal for curing writer's block. but essentially the outline format should appeal to your own writing style and needs. HOW TO FORMAT AN OUTLINE Unless the outline‘s format is Specifically dictated by an assignment's requirements, your outline can take on a variety offorms, from formal to an informal list. The obiective oforganizingyour ideas and research is typically more important than the actual format ofthe outline; most DUTLINING importantly, the outline should be easy for you to go back to and review duringthe writing process. Although not initially intuitive to write, a formal outline is a com- prehensive means to organize main and subtopics for the essay. A for- mal outline uses Roman numerals for the main-level topics (e.g.. I. II. III). The second-level topics use uppercase letters (e.g.. A, B. C); the third-level topics use Arabic numbers (e.g.. 1. 2, 3}; the fourth-level topics use lowercase letters le.g.. a. b. c): and, if necessary, the fifth- leve! topics use lowercase Roman numerals (e.g.. i, ii, iii). See Table 13.1 for a list of the first 10 Roman numerals. To help make the outline easierto follow. each level should be indented five spaces beyond the previous level. The example at the end of this chapter (p. 153) uses a formal outline format, although it does not reach the final level of lowercase Roman numerals. Table 13.1 ROMAN NUMERALS. 1-10 ARABIC RD M AN 1 I 2 fl 3 I” 4 l' V 5 V 6 Vi 7 WI 8 VIII 9 1X 1 0 X Ht! 146 RESEARCHING, OUTLINING, AND CRAFTING VOUR ESSAY You can achieve formal outline formatting by using a multilevel list in Microsoftm Word. Several options are available, so choose the format that follows the numbering system noted previously. In Microsoft® Word 2007, you can use the button with leveled numbers in the Paragraph section on the Home tab; in Microsoft® Word 2003, you can access the outlining numbering system using the Bullets and Numbering command. found on the Format menu. Beyond the numbering system itself, there is another rule dictated by the use of a formal outlining format: “Where there is an A, there needs to he a El; likewise. where there is a one, there needs to be a two." This means that when dividing the information into sections, try not to break the information down so far that there is only one subtopic. For example, if under Roman numeral N there is an A, then there should also be a B; ifthere is only an A, consider elaborating on that subtopic to make sure it is covered with enough depth, or revise Roman numeral Il’s text to accurately reflect the Content of a single topic (i.e.. no sobtopic is needed). Unless required bythe assignment, try not to get too caught up in the accuracy of the numbering and level- ing as long as the information is logical to you as the writer. Ifa formal outline seems too overwhelming or doesn't match your writing style, you can instead rely on an informal outline. which serves to simply list the potential content in the essay. In an informal outline. you can use standard numbers for each paragraph, with a briefnota- tion as to what will be included in the paragraph; you can then use bullets for any subtopics in the paragraph, It is most important for an outline, whetherfmmai and informal. to clearly and accurately reflect all the information needed to create an effective essay. DECIDING OUTLINE CONTENT A5 tor what to actually write in each level of the outline, you should first decide how much information you need to remember what you intend to write in the essay. Typically, it is best to use complete sen- DHTLINING tences, or at least long phrases. for each level in the outline: using one or two words per entry might not be enough information to help you organize the essay overall or readily recall what you intended to write in the paragraphs, Writers generally benefit from the use of both short and long phrases in an outline; you can also include exact quotes and paraphrases from your sources, though be sure to note the source information so you can cite it accurately in the essay. The outline should speak to the content for each paragraph in the essay by listingthe paragraph’s main topic and subtopics or support- ing information, More specifically, this process includes listing each paragraph’s potential: Focus (i.e., topic sentence) Support from research (when needed) Examplesfillustrations Explanations of ideas and key words or concepts Analysis of research or example/itlustration Your opinion or perSonal insights (if appropriate forthe assignment) 0 Conclusions or transitiunfconnecliun to the next topic Based on the preceding list, each section in the outline will likely consist of three to four subtopics, which correlates with the upper- case-letter level of the outline format: further subtopics or tevels below the first subtopic level can be added to be sure the essay has depth and breadth in each paragraph. Subtopics below the first sub» topic level might include the following: o Specific quotes, summaries, and paraphrases from sources - Details about a relevant example a Path of logic for analysis and conclusions 147 *1 1103 RESEAREHING. OUILINLNG. AND ERAFTIIIG YOUR ESSAY Unless you are creating an outline for an assignment that calls for a specific format, you can also add notes to yourself beyond the previously mentioned subtopics. For example, you can note research questions to remind yourself to look for more sources to prove your conclusion on a subtopic. Because an outline's goal is to help guide you through your writing process. the content of the outline is depen- dent on yourwriting needs. It is importantto remember that strict formal outlines dictate that the content of each level in the outline is parallel. To make the con- tent of each level parallel, the words in the phrasei‘sentence ofeach level should be grammatically alike; for example, each level should be written in the same verb tense. Although a parallel structure makes the outline easier to read overall. you can abandon this structure if it interferes with the clarity ofthe information you plan to include in the essay—especially if it is not a required part of an assignment. Keep in mind that the outline is a gathering of potential ideas; therefore. the content is flexible and can change as you develop your essay. Ideally. the outline is your best estimate of the information to be included because writing with an outline constantly in flux is like trying to hit a moving target. With that said, don't feel adamantly tied to the content of the outline so that the essay seems forced or under- developed; you’ll have the opportunity to verify the organization and content of the essay by way of a postdraft outline after the first draft is complete. The process for creating a postdraft outline is discussed later in this chapter (p. 150). THE PROCESS OF CREATING AN OUTLINE The process of creating an initial outline really depends on yourwriting style; some students need to follow each step in the process to produce a useful outline, whereas students more comfortable with the overall writing process can skip steps when creating an outline. lfyou are new to the outline process. you might want to follow each step. and then with experience you can determine which steps you can skip in the o o n‘n'wt't'l." f‘f‘f‘flflf‘l‘l‘flflll ———n . U‘U w—r Ingot"""" EU 00 i ‘— DUTLINiNG future. Before beginning tire process, it is ideal to have at least a work- ing thesis statement and some research on the topic. Typically. by this point, you have already completed other brainstorming techniques in an effort to create the thesis statement. research questions, and a list of relevant sources (see Chapter 12. Basic Citation Guidelines. pp. 12% 142, and Chapter 14. Essay Development, pp. 159—2oa). The following steps outline a suggested process for creating an outline: 1. Create an informal list oftopics to be covered in the essay. 3. This list can be a list of words or short phrases which wiil be refined duringthe creation of the full outline. b. Try not to list subtopics at this point. 1:. Most short essays have at least three to five main topics, plus the introduction and conclusion paragraphs. d. Here is a sample topic list for an essay on video games in classrooms: NV school. making learningfun, visual learning. counterargumentagainst games. future success ofchildren. 2. Take the topics from the informal list and use those as main topics (i.e.. Roman numeral level). a. Rewrite the phrases from the informal list to be more com— plate. so that the main topic is easily understood (even when read a week ortwo later). b. You might need to add more topics or combine like topics as you developthe outline. 3. Analyze each main topic, determining what information needs to be presented. a. At this point. start developingthe subtopics for each main topic. b. Subtopics may include examples, Iogicfarguments. details! descriptions, and definitions of key terms. to. Sort your sources and research to see which topicslsubtopics lheyfall under. a. As you decide what research to use. put the information into the outline as subtopics. 150 RESEAREHINE, OUTLINING. AND CRAFTING YOUR ESSAY b. Be sure to note the source ofthe information in your outline so you can easily cite the information in the essay. 5. Reviewthe outline. looking for logical ordering ofthe topics. a. Organization options include chronological, building on the previous point, least important to most important, or argument/counterargument. b. Consider adding transitional words or phrases as subtopics in each section to realize the overall flow of the essay. 6. Rely on the outlinewhile writing the essay. a. If new ideas develop during the writing process, try keep- ing track ofthose ideas in a separate document, and then add them after the initial draft is complete, ifthey are still relevant. h. Ifyou encounter writer’s block, refer to the outline to help initiate the writing process with your original ideas. c. Using an outline allows you to write paragraphs out of sequence. such as when research or ideas become available, and then piece the paragraphs together in the order dictated by the outline. Although you can continue to use and revise the original outline throughout the writing process, after writing the essay, you can go back and write a second outline to map the content actually seen in the draft. USING THE POSTDRAFT OUTLINE Once the first draft of an essay is compiete, many conscientious writ- ers use an informal postdraft outline to reveal possible problemswith the logical structure and content of the essay. The postdraft outline briefly lists the focus of each paragraph in the draft. As you will see in this section, to construct this type of outline, you will carefully read each paragraph in your essay and briefly describe the focus or main point of each paragraph using iust one sentence. Similar to the con- 11030 OflTLINIMG tent of the formal or informal outline, your description of the para graph should capture the overall focus or main point. It is crucial to write the sentence based on the actual content of the paragraph, as opposed to what you thinkthe paragraph should be covering, Here’s how to get started. Beginning with your introduction, if it is one paragraph long, it will be represented by the number 1 on the sheet of paper. Because the introduction establishes the thesis, its “point” will be the thesis. so you write the thesis after the number 1. Isolating the paragraph allows you to consider the placement of the thesis in that paragraph as well as the clarity of the thesis itself. Continuing on to the body paragraphs of the essay. if your paper does not make use of topic sentences, you need to read the paragraph as carefully and as objectively as possible to determine its point. Try to put yourselfin your audience’s shoes and do not read into a para- graph what is not there—that is, let the actual content suggest a point. Try to write the point in one complete, declarative sentence. If, how— ever, after reading the paragraph and thinking about the needs ofyour audience, you determine the point of the paragraph is not clear, so be it—you have learned something valuable that you can address in revision, After listing each paragraph's focus, go back and analyze this fist in make sure the essay is well organized and covers all the necessary information to support your thesis. Although you can simply compare the postdraft outline with the original outline. it is important to further analyze the postdraft outline forother issues beyond missing content. During analysis, consider the following questions. issues, and pos— sible solutions: 0 Does the paragraph cover several topics. rather than iust one main topic? This is Often a difficult question to answer, especially because every paragraph covers a main topic by way of presenting several subtopics. lust be sure that the topic covered in the 151 FTIMG VDLIR ESSAY 152 RESEARCNING, OUTLINING, AND CRA Olin-lam paragraph doesn't go offon separate tangents; tangents should be removed and developed into separate paragraphs if they are relevant and support the thesis statement. 0 Does the information appear in a logical order? Although you may be familiar with the topic as a whole, rememberthat the reader might be new to the topic; there- fore, it is important to reveal information in a comprehensible way that gives the reader necessary insights to understand the essay‘s argument, reflection, or description. Also, con- sider the organization method (e.g., chronological) that you set out to use in the essay. o Does each paragraph flow from one idea to the next? You might not have specifically noted transitions in your post- draft outline, but upon review ofthe essay, you might find that there are no clear connections between ideas. You can use the postdraft outline to see where these connections can be drawn by way of inserting transitions at the end or begin- ning of paragraphs. - Are there gaps in information, where the paragraph or argu- ment seems Incomplete? Small or underdeveloped paragraphs will need further research andlor explanation; the postdraft outline often reveals this need byway of a short, descriptive sentence about the paragraph. I Is the focus of the paragraph directly related to the thesis statement? While writing and researching, you will likely develop interest- ing information, but not all ofthat information will directly tie to your thesis statement. lithe postdraft outline reveals extraneous paragraphs, remove the paragraphs or alter the thesis statement ifthe information is important enough to keep in the essay. The goal ofthe postdraft outline is to help you step backfrom your writing and evaluate it objectively by seeing it in its entirety. lust as a predraft outline serves as a map, telling you where to turn next, the postdraft outline is like seeing the entire journey marked on a map. From here, you can evaluate which turn worked and which took you away from your goal. Again, try not to get caught up in the formatting ofthis type of outline; create it to meet your needs as a writer, but be sure to be accurate when writing the focus of each paragraph. W 'l'l't 1 EXAMPLES This section contains three outline examples followed by an expla- nation ol‘ the strengths andfur weaknesses of each. The examples should serve as guidelines rather than templates because your topic and contentwill likely dictate different formats and outcomes. Every example is based on creating a persuasive three—page essay arguing for the inclusion of video games in public, grade school classrooms. 0000100000 d-i-l arose Example 1: Formal Outline, Detailed 1. introduce the concept ofusing video games in grade school classrooms. A. [Quote from Times article} “67% ofchiidren from the ages of four to ten spend 3.5 hours playing video games" (Smith, 2009, p3). [Direct quote from source] B. Children typically get excited about learning when the educa- tion is in the form ofa game. J‘... 4L? C. Being comfortable with technology is important to children’s future success. D. THESIS STATEMENT: Public schools should adopt the use of video games in every grade school classroom to pique chil- dren's interest, help them to be comfortable with technology, and teach them problem-solving techniques. 5! ti m it in t: a! 3: “(HELP 15D RESEARCHING, 0UTL|NING.AND CRAFTING YOUR ESSAY ll. Provide an example ofa school with the entire curriculum based on video games. A. in New York City, there is a schoolwhere every class is based on students usingvideo games (White, 2009). [Summary from source] B. Students enrollin sixth grade and stay in the school through twelfth-grade graduation. 1. Currently. class sizes are small. but will increase overtime. 2. Students must pass an entrance exam. C. [Paraphrase from Educational Technology] In standardized tests given to alt New York public school children, students from this school test at the same level or better (White, 2009). Video games will engage students' interests in learning. A. Children respond well to the visual stimuli and challenges video games provide. B. Example: Students who play a math-oriented video game stay focused on the task ofwinningthe game, while learning multiplication tables. C. Students will learn more than basic memorization: 1. Problem solving. as they navigate through the game's chauenges 2. Teamwork, as they work together playing the same game 3. Application, students can use what they learned right away a. Example: Students playing a geography game will learn state capitals, and then use that information to win the game. b. Application of information reinforces it in their long- term memory. IV. The future will be based on computers and related technology. A. Exposure to computers now will increase potential for success in technology fields. dial—i— -l' n 3:388 n n l‘ 0 fl 0 3? i? 37 31 8‘ fl M'JJJLE‘ 3? 1' 1‘ if 1-7 l DUTLINING 155 B. Students will be comfortable with technology, much like learning a second language. C. Early exposure to technology will inspire creativity with the use and development ofthis technology in theirfutures. V. This type of education is not for all children (counterargument). A. Student needs should be assessed before developing video game-based classes. B. Ifa student is not respondingwellto video game learning, an alternative should be provided. C. Like learning disabilities, students who do not respond to video game learning should be tutored to improve their responses to this technology. Vi. Video games in the classroom might seem futuristic, but they are a practical reality. A. Students need to be prepared forthe technology they'll face in their future. 3. Video games are already accepted by children. so they’ll appreciate the use of these games in classrooms. C. Carefulconsideration needs to be put intothe development of these classes to make them successful. In Example 1, the writer used “reminder notes,“ as suggested pre- viously in this chapter. For example. under I. A, the writer noted that it is a direct quote from an article. This will help the writer remember to use quotation marks if he or she decides to use that exact text in the essay. It will also help the writer remember where the information came from so that an accurate citation can be inserled. These types of notes are not typically included in outlines submitted for a grade, but they are useful options for writers who rely on research to prove an argument. Overall, the details provided bythe use offull sentences and several subtopics per section will help the writer remember the tone. argument, and focus ofthe essay during the writing process. 155 “SEARCHING. DUTLIHING. AND CRAF'I'ING YOUR ESSAY Example 2: Formal Outline. Not Detailed I. Introduction A. 67% of children play video games B. Children like video games C. Technology will be used in their future D. Thesis statement ll. Sample New Vork school A. Every class is based on using video games B. Sixth grade through twelfth grade C. Good standardized test scores III. Video games engage students A. Children respond to visual stimuli and challenges B. Sample video game C. More than basic memorization IV. Technologylcomputer—based future A. Increase potential for success B. Increase comfort with technology 1:. Inspire creativity with technology V. Not for ailchildren A. Assess students before game use B. Provide alternatives C. Provide tutoring VI. Conclusion A. Prepare students for future 8. Students appreciate use ofvideo games C. Plan classes carefully In Example 2. the writer is likely to know what needs to be written in each paragraph as Iongas the essay writing begins and ends within a short time frame. Otherwise, the writer might forget what he or she meant to write in a particular section because the notes are rather vague. For example, under I. D, the thesis statement should bewritten .2. 111111111 (1000000 Ft FgFl‘ifllliflfl OUTLiNING into the essay at this point; without the specific thesis statement in the outline, the writer might not remember all the aspects that need to be discussed and argued. In addition, this less detailed outline doesn’t note what information is from a source. This could potentially lead to accidental plagiarism if the writer doesn’t remember to accu- rately cite the information. even if the information is paraphrased. A nondetailed outline might be a good place to start but adding precise details will help strengthen the essay. The postdraft outline can then be used to double-check the essay's content. Example 3: Postdraft Outline 1. Video games should be used in classrooms because children already like playing video games. and these games can be posi- tive learning experiences. 2. A school in New York has proven to be successful in creating a learning environment based entirely on video game usage. 3. Video games provide learning beyond memorization.while keep» ing students interested in learning. 4. Because technology is only becoming more prevalent. the stu- dents wiil be comfortable with technology at an early age and potentially excel in the future. 5. Although this technology might not be right for every student. every effort should be made to allow students to be successful in the classroom. 6. Well-planned usage ofvideo games in the classroom is a realistic and engaging means of educating students, Example 3 shows a well—organized essay. where the content fol- lows the original plan in the predraft outline. Each paragraph is sum- marized in one sentence and clearly shows what is covered in that paragraph. One potential change the writer might want to consider Is to breakthe third paragraph into two paragraphs. one focusing on 157 ( ‘ '— (c-W ‘13. children's interests in visual stimuli and video game challenges and a a. second paragraph focusing on the content of the video game beyond __ memorization. Although the original outline did not break this topic C: -H 1' D E into two sections, afterwriting the essay, it seems logical to give each P ‘ topic its own paragraph and supporting research. In addition. the (— u *- writer might consider movingthe counterargument, as seen in number five, before the fourth paragraph, so that the essay does not end with the opposing argument. 158 RESEARCHING. DUTLINING. AND CRAFTING YOUR ESSAY KURTIS CLEME I m- , ,_ After gathering your research and designing an outline, you can begin ‘ “ the writing process that yields what will be your draft and, ultimately. ._ final version of the essay or writingassignmentr This section breaks the " essay down into manageable pieces, to be considered individually, and 3 then combined for a cohesive reflection of your ideas and research. '\ "w.- WHAT IS A TH ESIS STATEMENT? I Every composition needs to make a clear point about its topic. 0th- ‘ erwise, what purpose would the writing serve? One way to ensure that readers will follow along in the development of an essay is by 3 including a written thesis statement, The word thesis comes from a Greek word that means "proposition" or "position." In an essay, the thesis establishes your position, the main idea of the paper, what you claim to be true or important aboutthe topic. A thesis helps readers understand the direction the essay is heading and it connects body paragraphs to a controlling idea so thatthe essay comes together as a t, A_. U U ,y a unified and cohesive whole. T Most thesis statements are expressed in a single declarative I a sentence, but depending on a number of factors such as the scope T and complexity of the topic orthe writer's approach in discussing it, the thesis may require more than one sentence. For research papers. T the thesis statement is not your research question, but typically the a response to your main research question. In most academic writ- T ing, the thesis appears near or at the end of the introduction and 160 RESEARCHIHG, DUTLINENG, AND CRAFIING YOUR ESSAY announces to readers exactly what the body paragraphs that fotlow will discuss. There aretwo basic approaches to composing a thesis—forecast- ing the main points by embedding them in the thesis [an approach commonly referred to as the three—point thesis) or not including the main points, but just the overall main topic, in the thesis. Your approach will depend on the topic you are addressing as well as any particular requirements of the assignment. A three»pointthesis states the main idea ofthe essay and includes three key points as support. Look at the followingthesis: Banning cig- arette smoking in public places is on effective intervention to improve the pubiic's health by helping to reduce the dangers of secondhand smoke on nonsmokers, encouraging current smokers to quit. and reducing heaith-cnre costs. In this example, the main idea—the posi- tion the writer takes relative to the topic—is Banning cigarette Smok- ing in public places is an effective intervention to improve the pubiic's health. This part ofthe thesis states what the writer claims to be true about the topic. How willthe writer support this View? In this case. the thesis includes three telegraphed key points—by helping to reduce the dangers of secondhand smoke on nonsmokers, encouraging current smokers to quit, and reducing health-care costs. The three-point thesis is the blueprint of the essay in that it not only establishes the main idea, but it also fleshes out the key points so that readers can anticipate a basic structure of the essay. Read- ers would expect each forecasted point to be discussed in the order presented—that is, the first section will discuss the first key point, the next section the second, and so on. Another approach to structuring a thesis is to state the main idea minus the key points. Using the preceding example. the thesis would read: Banning cigarette smoking in public places is an effective inter- vention to improve the public’s health. With this approach, the key points are not included in the thesis. yet the focus and direction are clear. Readers might not know the exact key points, but they under- "rid-9- “a bUflU‘l'HNUU flflflflflflflflflfl ESSAY DEVELOPMENT stand the writer’s position on the topic and can anticipate the likely discussion that will follow. In this case, because the main idea states theview that banning smoking in public is an effective intervention to improve public health, it is logical to expect key points that address howthis is so. Whetheryou choose to structure yourthesis statement with three specific points or just the main idea, particular characteristics are needed to make the thesis statement effective, for both keeping your writing on track and giving the reader an indication ofthe direction of the essay: I Establishes one major Idea: A thesis statement should focus on one main idea. if a thesis introduces more than one idea, the paperwill not have a tight focus. Many papers you will write will be relatively short and will not have room to discuss more than one major idea. Pay particular attention to your thesis statement ifit includes the word andas this connect— ing word often joins new ideas. Note how the foElowing thesis has more than one main idea: Health-care reform mustbe addressed because so many Americans are uninsured or with— out adequate coverage. and politicians must work together to ensure new legislation is passed. In this example, the word and establishes an additional main idea and so the thesis lacks a clearly defined focus. To improve upon the thesis, you would need to streamline the thesis and focus on one main idea. For example, a better thesis might be Politicians must work together to reform health care because too monyAmeri— cans are without sufficient coverage. 0 Reasonable in scope: The thesis should limit the extent ofthe discussion to something manageable given the assignment— neither too broad nor too narrow. Thethesis should estab- lish a focus that is realistic and suitable for a substantive discussion of the main idea. Simply taking a stand on capital 161 162 RESEARCHING, OUTLINING. AND CRAF'IING YOUR ESSAY punishment, for example, is not realistic for a short research paper let alone an entire book—the topic is too broad. How- ever, limiting the focus by narrowing the scope mightwork. You could argue that capital punishment does not reduce the crime rate or that lethal injection is the most humane form of capital punishment. In this way, the focus is something that realistically could be addressed in the paper. 0 Clearly states the writer's position: The thesis should state precisely and specifically what the paper will discuss, After reading the thesis, readers should know exactly what to expect. Avoid language that is too general. abstract. or other- wise confusing. Ifyour thesis does not clearly establish your main idea. readers might have a difficult time understanding the significance of the essay and following the development of the body paragraphs that follow. Here is an example ofa thesis statement that is vague: Television vioience is an issue that manyfuce. Based on this thesis, doyou understand what the writer is goingto explore in the paper? Sure, television vio- lence, but beyond that general suoiect, do you have any clear sense of what the writer will be arguing for or against? This the- sis tacks the specificity it needs to orient readers appropriately so that they know what to expect in the discussion. 0 Relies on supporting evidence: The thesis expresses an idea that moves beyond a statement of fact and requires support- ing content to "prove" the main idea. For example, athesis that proclaims Barack Obama is the first African-American to be elected president of the United Slates would not be very good as it states a widely known fact. A better thesis might proclaim this: Barack Ohama‘s election as president ofthe United States marked a seminal moment in American politics. The revised thesis moves beyond simply statinga fact and. instead, presents a main idea that would require evidence to support. ESSAY DEVELOPMENT DRAFTING A WORKING THESIS Constructing a unique thesis statement takes time; in fact, like writ ing itself. developing a thesis is a process, so be patient and be will- ing to revise as necessary. A good thesis comes about the more you work with your topic, as you get deeper and deeper into your research and your ideas get clearer and clearer. A thesis statement evolves overtime. Begin with a working thesis—your tentative ideas about the topiceand be willing to modify the statement depending on what you discover about your topic and how your thinking changes as a result. Indeed, many writers find themselves in jams because they are unwill- ingto deviate from their original thesis and are bent on trying to sup- port ideas that are unrealistic, perhaps even impossible. Once you have found a suitable topic to pursue [for more infor- mation on approaching a topic, see Chapter 6, The Writing Process, pp. 35—47], you are ready to start thinking about the direction your paper will take. To this end, you need to compose a working thesis that establishes your initial ideas about the topic as well as your pur- pose for writing. will you be informing? Persuading? Either way, that purpose needs to be apparent in the wording ofthe thesis. For many, composing a working thesis can be a challenge, but you can make the process more manageable by considering the following practical sug- gestions fordrafting a working thesis statement. Ultimately. the thesis of your paperwill grow out ofyourown thinking and the research con- ducted. The suggestions are not meant to befollowed in any particular order. although a step-by-step approach might be a logical approach. ExploringYour Thoughts what do you already know about the topic? Use freewriting (or other prewriting methods, such as brainstorming, which is discussed in more detail in Chapter 6, The Writing Process, pp. 35-47) to capture what you already know and think about the topic. Roll up your sleeves and spend 10, 15, ormore minutes justwriting. Write about what inter— ests you about the topic and what you might like to know. Write about 153 164 RESEARCHING, OUTLINING, AND CRAFTING YOUR ESSAY what you think you wantto discuss in the paper. Explore freely what is bouncing around inside your head and do not be afraid to follow your thinkingwherever it takes you. Writing is an act ofdiscovery. and you might stumble upon an interesting angle to pursue if you give your- self permission to explore. After you’ve written for a period of time. look over yourwritingand see ifany dominant idea emerges or ifsome writing suggests a direction worth thinking about more. In a perfect world, the freewriting will produce enough of your ideas that you can almost see the beginning of a thesis. Conducting Some Preliminary Research Go to the library (online or on-ground) and read a number of articles about your topic. The more you know, the better off you will be. so this is time well spent. At this point. you are just reading to gain a deeper understanding of the topic, to generate potential ideas for further research, and to help you think more about what you might want to say about this topic or explore. Take notes as necessary, pay- ing particular attention to content that speaks to aspects ofthe topic that seem interesting to you or that are repeated in other articles. The idea of this kind of research is to read enough that you are in a better position to commit your ideas to paper. Be certain to record informa- tion about each source accurately so that you can locate the source again if need be. Of course, if an article looks particularly promising, you might want to make a copy of it andior save it to your hard drive for later use. STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS © Turn to Online Libraries First It's so easy to do research today because ofthe Internet. It might seem like the days of visiting the library are over. but, thankfully, because ofonline technology. you have a choice to walk through the doors ofyour local library or log on to an online (or virtual) library from wherever you happen to be. Even though popular search engines are our first choice ESSAY DEVELOPM ENT 16! for day-to-day searches. logging on to and using an online library is just as easy. and you will get more scholastic and refined results. In addition, using an online iibrary is also less time consuming than doing a general Internet search because you do not have to wade through millions of nonrel- evant or noncredible Web sites. Posing Research Questions A research question establishes an aspect ofthe topic that you want to investigate. What do you want to know about your topic? What interests you about the topic thatyou want to explore further? A good approach is to pose as many different research questions as possible to use as the basis for your research and for formulating a working thesis. The “answer” to the research question becomes the working thesis, so give some thoughtto the questions you ask and avoid those that elicit yes/notype answers. For example, ifthe topic is banning smoking in public, you could pose the following research questions: I How effective are laws banning smoking in public? I What impact do smoking bans have on businesses? - What effects do smoking bans have on the public? o Are public smoking bans constitutional? At this point, you will want to select the research question that looks the most promising and then, if possible. try to answer it gen- erally before conducting research to answer it more specifically. The research question helps you define a focus and the answer will become the working thesis. The thesis statement serves as the crux of the essay. and the paragraphs that follow the thesis only serve to support and elaborate on your main idea in the essay. When developing each piece of the essay, be sure to keep the thesis statement in mind. 166 RESEARCHING. OUTLINING. AND CRAFTING YOUR ESSAY OUTLINING As described in a previous chapter, before you begin to draft. consider devising some kind of plan that will organize your thoughts so that your writing has direction from the start. If you have a good working thesis. you should be in good shape to create an informal outline so that you have a plan for developing the thesis and organizing your points. For example. one good approach isto write the thesis and then list the supporting points in an order that seems appropriate. As compared with an informal list, formal outlines take consider- ably more time to develop and for most people. they are more diffi- cult to write before a complete draft is produced because supporting points and details usually come out of research and discovery during the composing process. However. every person's writing process is different and formal outlines are. regardless of how they come about, useful. A formal outline allows you to see the structure of your paper in detail—the key points. the supporting points. the evidence. Formal outlines a'ilow you to see how your essay is put together. how your ideas are organized. and how the points are developed. The formal outline offers a structurat representation of your paper. which allows you to see where your ideas are fully developed and where you might need to add new information. For more information about formal and informal outlining. along with examples of each style. please see Chapter 13. Outlining. pp. 143—158. DRAFTIHG AN ESSAY After you create some kind of an outline, you are ready to draft. Do not worry about writing the introduction first unless you already have a good idea for a beginning. instead, use your working thesis and out- line as the starting point forcornposing body paragraphs. Concentrate on developing points and staying as organized as possible. If new ideas surface while you compose. develop them andfor add them to the outline.Althoogh you will need to consult your notes and work in evidence from your research. you should try to compose as quickly emu, ouoou non agar iiiidiirl HUN ESSAY DEVELOPMENT as possible. Do not let anything slow down your forward progress. if the development of a particular point is not going anywhere. move to another point. lust because an essay reads in a linear fashion does not mean you have to write it that way. Sure. you might need to write transitions for the sake of the flow, but you can do that kind of writ— ing later. initially. your focus should be on getting words down on the page so that you have a complete draft as soon as possible. Once the draft is complete, you can compose the introductory and concluding paragraphs. After you complete the initial full draft. read it over carefully. You will undoubtedly notice where your evidence is thin. Conduct more research to strengthen your points. You might notice that your draft might not have developed exactly as your outline suggested. but that is okay. An essay has various components. and you need to develop each component during the drafting process. The next sections break the essay down to its basic sentenceiparagraph structure to help you see how you can create an effective essay overall. TOPIC SENTENCES lust as the thesis establishes the main idea of an essay. 3 topic sen- tence establishes the main idea of a paragraph. A topic sentence is usuallythe first sentence ofthe paragraph and is a direct and limited statement that announces exactiy what the paragraph will discuss. The sentences that follow expand upon and support the idea put forth in the topic sentence. In a very real way. topic sentences are like mini- thesis statements for paragraphs. Athesis expresses an idea that uni- fies an essay just as topic sentences express an idea that unifies the content of a paragraph. Using a topic sentence helps readers under- stand the point of a paragraph and helps writers stay focused too. Although not every paragraph needs an explicit topic sentence. every paragraph needs a clear focus, and for many writers using a topic sen— tence is the best approach. 167 u a a no ‘ CHAPTER 21 EXPOSITORY ESSAYS JENNIFER PROPP An expository essay explains something using facts rather than opin- ions. The purpose ofthis type of essay is to inform an audience about a subject. It is not intended to persuade or present an argument ofany kind. Writing this type of essay is a good way to learn about all the different perspectives on a topic. Many students use the expository essay to explore a variety of topics, and do so in a wide range of for- mats, including “process” and “definition” essays. WHO IS THE INTENDED AUDIENCE FOR AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY? The audience for an expository essay is a general one, and can vary widely depending upon the topic chosen. Keeping this in mind, stu- dents should compose their essays to reach a broad selection of read- ers. A good rule of thumb to use is to assume the audience has no prior knowledge of the topic. HOW DO | WRITE AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY? The following steps can assist you in creating a cohesive, well-written expository essay that will inform the audience on the selected topic. Choose an Essay Topic Some essay topics that work well with expository writing include: o How advertising works 350 ISIM' FORM 5 - Challenges ofdisabled Internet users 0 The life ofa first-generation immigrant I Internet personalities Although choosing a topic can seem like a daunting task at first. there are some ways to simplify this process. Asking reflective ques- tions can help determine what you want to Write about. For example. consider the following questions: what topic interests me most? What do | wantto learn as I write about this topic? What prior knowledge do I have aboutthis topic? Have I conducted thorough research to provide concrete infor- mation to my audience? Conduct Research Once the topic has been determined. start researching eaily in the writing process so that your essay provides the audience with facts. statistics. direct quotes, and paraphrased passages. This will increase yourcredibility as you demonstratethe knowledge ofthe subject mat- ter at hand. You can get the research process started in several differ- ent ways. in today's global society, students have access to a wider selec» tion of sources than ever before. including online journal articles. reputable Web sites. online libraries, databases linked to the circula- tion desks at traditional tibraries. and e-books. However. it can also be beneficial to take a trip to a public or collegeluniversity library to conduct research among the stacks since many sources are not yet in electronic form. Furthermore. librarians are often available to assist In the research process. Checking out a broad spectrum of sources can give a writer addi- tional ideas at the start of the writing process, and can assist in find- ing the most reliable information for an expository essay. a a ai—ittttii 00000 HUHHUU A ,1 ca IXIOII‘I'DII III!" III How can a writer find the best Information possible? The following tips can start you on the right path to Success as you research a topic to create a credible. informative expository essay: Note: The Associated Press (AP) style guide (not to be confused with APA style} is a style used by many journalists who happen to write a great deal of expository pieces. The examples and tips for expository essays in this Guide refer to and use AP style. 0 when writing using AP styie, start an essay with as much concrete information as possible or an eye»catching anecdote or quote. - Ifthe purpose ofthe essay is to inform the audience on the consequences of sexual activity in adolescents. for example. use that topic as the search term when starting the research process. Avariety of hits will most likely appear in an online database, Internet search engine, or library catalog database. At this time, enter other search terms to narrowthe scope of the research and find the sources that bestfit the informa— tion you need to cover in the expository essay. For example, instead of the broad topic of consequences ofsexualacrivity in adolescents. enter terms such as teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and adolescents. and so forth to focus on specific issues associated with sexually active teens. 0 Use a variety of source types to showcase different perspec- tives. Interviews with experts in the sub;ect matter discussed within the essay. iournai articles. Web sites. books. and electronic articles can all contain varied information to use in an expository essay. I Once initial sources are gathered. it is time to start the prewriting process by brainstorming main points, specific details. and information to include in the expository essay. Choose one (or several) prewriting techniques to help you generate ideas: 352 ESSAY FORMS - Freewriting: In a time period of about 5—10 minutes, write down all your thoughts related to the topic, even ifsome ofthem do not make it into the draft or final essay. Do not pay attention to spelling. grammar, or sentence structure. instead, the goal here is to generate as many ideas as possible. For example: Sex, teens, girls. bays, differences between the Mo, how old when sexual activity starts? Having a baby, get a disease. possibly life-threatening. scory, depressing, isolation, lose friends, might not finish school, stay with mom/dad afhaby? Body issues in pregnant teens, loss afschaiarships for college, terrified ofpor'n associ ated with labor and delivery. What happens when the baby comes? who will take care of it? Money? lob? Mar- riage? Dating? Loss of freedom... -- Listing: Usingthis simple, yet effective prewriting method, write down all the terms associated with the essay topic in a list fmrn. Often, one idea sparks another one, and the listbecomes longerand longer until it forms a solid base forthe expository essay. This process is likely to produce key words/phrases to be used during the research process. For example: Teenagers Sex Consequences 5T0: Pregnancy Emotional repercussions Educational consequences Depression EXPOSITORV ESSAYS 353 - Clustering: This method allows writersto start with one central idea or term, and branch out using a diagram designed to expand on the initial idea. The main idea or topic istypically placed in a middie circle or bubble, and the supporting ideas branch offofthat main idea into bubbles of their own, which can then branch off into subcategories or ideas. After putting your ideas down on paper, an outline is a great way to organize those ideas. Outlines can serve as the framework for an expository essay. They clearly point out any items that need to be reor- dered or deleted and illustrate anyareas that might need further clari- fication. For example: Paper Title: Sexually Active Teens: Confusion. Challenges, and Consequences Introduction A. Adolescence is a time ofoncertainty and excitement: B. Sexual activity can add further complications. C. Workingthesis statement: The consequences of becoming sexually active during adolescence can include pregnancy. sexualiy transmitted diseases. and depression. Pregnancy A. Health risks to babies born to teen mothers B. Educationalconsequences C. Financial burdens forteens and society Sexuaily Transmitted Diseases A. Teens are at high riskior STDs. 8. Teens account for a large part of 15 million STD yearly infec- tions in the United States. C. Common STDs plaguing teens: Chlamydia. gonorrhea—these can cause more serious health issues 354 ESSAY FORMS IV. Depression A. Sexually active teens are more likely to be depressed than nonsexually active counterparts. B. Both teen boys/girls can experience depression when sexu- ally active. C. Age offirst sexual experience and commitment of partner can contributeto depression. V. Conclusion A. Teens must weigh consequences of sexual activity. 3. Makingan informed decision is best. C. Teens should bereadyto face financial, emotional, and physi- cal consequences when sexually active. You can use an outline like this one to start each section ofthe expository essay, from the introduction. to elaborating on each main point throughout the essay, to the conclusion. The actual structure of the expository essay should follow the outline as you elaborate on the basic points within it to create an organized. cohesive final product. Keep in mind thatthe essay structure might change during the writing process and a great way to stay organized is to make changes to the outline as well. Some revision will be necessary as you compose the final exposi- tory essay. so be sure to askyourselfthe following questions: I Is my essay informative? Remember. expository essays should be informative, not persuasive. 0 Did the quotes and information | used lhroughoutthe assign- ment give the essay more depth and credibility? I Did I include a lead paragraph that will capture myaudience’s attention and inspire them to read more? I Have I presented the information in a logical, easy-tofollow manner? 0 Does the essay meet the assignment’s requirements? list“; l} 000 4.4% UBUNtIUUt-INMU nnrrrvnnrrrr LA—l—i—J—A—l—J. 4m“. Hit—i “HUB” EXPOSITORY ESSAYS Before submitting the final essay, revision and proofreading are necessary to catch any errors and make any necessary changes to the content. Both revision and proofreading can be personal. subiective processes, and what works well for one writer might not be a good fit for another. However, a few proven proofreading techniques can lead to successful revision in order to create an effective expository essay. Reading your paper out loud will help you catch commonly missed errors; it also illustrates how the paper reads to your intended audi- ence. If the paper does not flow well when you read it out loud, it is safe to assume your audience wilt have problems with it as well. In addition, reading the paper out loud to someone else allows you to do a “test-run" with a trusted individual who will give honest feedback before you submit the paper for review by an instructor. Finally. waiking away from the draft. taking a short break. and then returning to the work can help provide you with a fresh perspective, find additional errors. and possibly inspire a few new lines to make your essay shine. In the end. you will have an essay that you can be proud of. 555 Wiiw J V?" vnrvn i—l.._..l__: uuuuu—uuuuuu H‘ Lil-l. Fl“. 0 CHAPTER 27 SAMPLE ESSAYS The following sample essays demonstrate the different modes of dis- course described and explained previously in this section. Each essay uses a different style of citation to give you the chance to see how citation styles vary and are used in formal academic writing. Take time to critically evaluate each piece of writing for its audience, clarity, and effectiveness. The following citation styles are used in the examples: 0 Expository—Associated Press (AP) 0 Persuasive—Modern Language Association (MLA) o Compare-Contrast—American PsychologicalAssociation (APA) 0 Critical or Evaluative—Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) 0 Descriptive—No style used 0 Cause-EffectAnalysis—Bluebook EXPOSITORY ESSAYS The following expository essays are written using the style guide for the Associated Press. It is a guide for journalists, mostly. The style is intended to give writers guidelines for writing in a journalistic or popu- lar media style where quotes are separated from other text in order to emphasize them, and in-text citations are written in such a way that they are integrated into the text and not supplemental like some of the other styles you will see. In the first sample essay, you will see annotations that comment on the essay itself as well as the style used. See if you can identify the same or similar items in the second essay. 389 39D ESSAY FORMS Ajitiethat is clearlyinformuye, n define: cont-in bias or mouth: man. This essay will churns m. 91.!le nfellieclhre odtiututs. A short anecdote to introduce the topic. In the previous paragraph, the last sentence sets up this quote. when usingAPstyle the quotefoliows the setup In a separate paragraph. as shown here. - Typically. a thesis statement is not a home or idea horn someone else becauseyour essaysth hire Its m unique direction. There are. however. ecceptlonsto every rule. in this use, the quote also acts as the thesis statement In that it brings out three main chlracherlstlt! of tile:- tive educators. lhose three qualities will be expanded on In the rest olthe essay. , - The topic semence lntheleit pan. W mentions the hrstnlunee hey points ofelfecflye educators. Innovative strategies of Effective Educators Nancy Sm ith, a veteran third-grade teacher in the Orland Park. iL. school district, knows a few things about effective teaching. This Golden Apple Award winner has been using a vari- ety of techniques in her classrooms during her 20-year career that are designed to create a sale. intellectu- ally stimulating atmosphere that mutiyates her students to achieve academic excellence. Smith states, "In my experienel, qualitles of efiective educators tan include, but are certainly not BMW to. excellentciossroom management} the ability to foster: motiwtlrirtlifll‘. mate within the classroom. mom necessary sklEls to encoumse academic engagement In shim! Educators must manage a variety of elem ents In their classrooms to create an intellectually stimulat- ing yet structured atmosphere for lheirstudents, Including classroom management. A study done by the National Council on Education includes four essential elements of effective classroom management: =r? SAMPLE ESSAYS 391 Know what you want and what you don't want. Show and tell your students what you want, When you get whatyou want. acknowledge (not praise] it. When you get something else. act quickly and appropriately. Coll Some otheraspects of classroom ‘_ ' .. ~ ' . r-_‘Hie“essv;ta_itesonah lntorniaflve managementthat are no less Impur- _ “gm Ion .- tant than these points include how mnmkgwummgme instructors set up their classrooms. ._ W, Ammo ind humanis- wm‘ _ name mp1:- establishing concrete examples of the behaviors they expect from students, and providing a firm, easily understood rewardicon- sequence system that focuses on student behavior and on work responsibilities. Sam McGuire, principalofthe West School in Chicago, takes the concept of a reward/consequence system one step further by bringing it to the students“ level as well: “When students are Involved in the planning ofa reward and consequence plan in their classroom, they are more likely to adhere to these rules. They feel a sense of belonging and ownership when they are included in the process Itself.” Specific classroom rewards can Enclude longer recess time, an invitation to eat lunch with the teacher, listening to CD5. and playing games. Older students might be inspired to exhibit good behav- ior if they are allowed to sit with friends during class instead of in assigned seating. are given a parking spot close to the school doors if they drive to school. and, like their younger counterparts, are allowed to listen to CD5 during reading or other open class times. lust as students can benefit from earning rewards for good behavior. paragraphintroduces the - ' about. mom n In t the - 392 ESSAY FORM-S they must also adhere to a set of classroom consequences designed to curb lessthan-desirable behavior. Joe Ornelas, author of the best-selling book. “Educating America's Children," outlines a list of important elements teachers must keep in mind when developing consistent consequences for their students: I Educators must show a clear connection between the tasks their students complete and the grades they eventually earn. I Although students must realize that there are consequences for their behavior, educators must also realize that frequent punishment is counterproductive and will not bring about the desired behavior or results. I Teachers should consider milder punishments for infractions rather than more severe ones as the former is more likely to elicit desirable behavior from students than the latter. 0 Foot behavior is less likely to recur if a student makes a com- mitment to avoid the action and to engage in more desirable behaviors. I Keeping a consequence system simple is best. Very often, a verbal warning will suffice for a first offense, a call or note home will help to rectify a second offense. while any further issues might have to be resolved by bringing in help from the school administration. No matter the age level of the students. common themes exist that can help create an intellectually stimulating classroom atmo- sphere. Main themes are discussed by Emily Erickson, who has a doctorate in education and is a prolessor of education at City Col- lege. They include: 0 Obvious enthusiasm from the instructor 0 Relevant course material I Organization attire course clLlLlLlLl‘JLl‘ UNUUUUUU” JJ ll-ltl‘t‘l ll SAMPLE ESSAYS 393 Age-appropriate difficulty levels on all assignments Encouragement of active invoivement of students Variety of assignments and aclivlties Easy, stimulating rapport between teacher and students Use of concrete, easily understood and applicable examples 0.... Erickson also asserts there are a variety oftechniques teachers can use to motivate students to want to learn: however. one theme remains constant: involving students as active participants in their own learning process rather than relegating them to the sidelines. “I maintain that we all learn better by doing. This does not iust apply to students as we are a hands-on society as a whole. but stu- dents in particular can benefit from active questioning techniques. asking them to explain the concept rather than having it explained to them. and pmvidingthem with activities that allow them to engage in active rather than passive learning.” Additional methods teachers can use to encourage students to become active learners include: I Providing timely, thoughtful feedback. I Creating opportunities for success by designing engaging assignments that are neither too difficult nor too simple in content. 0 Assisting students in discovering meaning in all course material. Fostering an open, dynamic learning atmosphere. 0 Helping students feel they are valued members ola learning community. There is no one-size-fits-all formula teachers can apply in engaging their students to ultimately create a dynamic learning experience; in fact, some students will find meaningful ESSAY FORMS learning even it their teacher does not create an engaging classroom almoSphere. However, most students do need some type of strong support to succeed in. and out. of the classroom. Consequences of Sexually Active Teens iulie H. is a 15—year-oid girl on the brink oia new adventure. She is a sophomore in high school. plays the flute in the school band. is involved in the drama club. and although she mlghtseem like one of the last girls to deliverthis news, she isalso five months preg- nant. She is havingthe baby. a decision that is supported by her parents, but her life is forever changed. The consequences some adolescents like lulieface when they decide to become sexually active can include pregnancy. sexually transmitted diseasesand depression. One obvious consequence teens face when they become sexu- ally active is pregnancy, Pregnancy at any age can be taxing on the bodVand Spirit; however, adding in a third factor—lack of maturity in most adolescents—can create a disastrous combination. Accord- ing to Brenda Smith. author of “The Many Consequences ofTeen Pregnancy,” the risks associated with teenage pregnancy can be severe. Smith states, “Pregnant teens are prone to giving birth to prema- ture babies, struggling with depression. and experiencing socioeco- nomic and economic hardships.” A recent poll conducted by The National Center for Teenage Pregnancy indicates that recent years. 200872009. have seen a rise in the number of teenage pregnancies, from 30 out of 1,000 teens to 50 out of1.000 teens reporting pregnancies. in addition 396 ESSAY FORMS Responsible. informed decisions can be made by investigating the physical, emotional and socioeconomic effects associated with sexual activity during the teen years. A lot of information is readily available to teens and taking advantage of this information Very well might save them from experiencing the issues discussed here before they are emotionally, physically and financially ready to do so. SAMPLE ESSAYS 395 to this increase, the results ofthe poll also show that 25 per- cent of pregnant teens have another child within one or two years of their first. what do these statistics mean for pregnant teens? Brenda Frank. dilectorof the Chicago chapter of Planned Parenthood. paints a bleak future for many pregnant teens: l'Teen mothers typically miss out on lhe educational ben- efits experienced by their classmates as only about one-third of teenage mothers graduate from high school. In addition to not completing high school, teen mothers are susceptible to getting Involved with drugs and alcohol, slruggle with poverty in patldue to low earning potential oftheir babies‘ fathers, and are more susceptible to contract a sexuaily transmitted disease than more mature mothers." Frank goes on to explain that the issues surrounding teen pregnancy are not limited to teen mothers. Rather. teen fathers also share a big portion of the burden. as does society as a whole. Yearly. teen pregnancies cost nea rly $8 billion total in lost tax revenue5. public assistance. child health care and involvement with the crimi- nal justice system. Dr. Peter Young, professor of psychology at lllinois University, brings up perhaps a less obvious but no less disturbing conse quence of early sexual activity—depression: “Sexually active teens do not necessarily succumb to depres- sion, but there is evidence that shows the age by which a loan first becomes sexually active as well as the type of partner he or she chooses Can cause depression in some teenagers." Both leanage boys and girls can experience symptoms of depression as well as think suicidalthoughts when they first have sex before age 16 for girts and age 15 for boys. In addition, ifan adolescent relationship ends quickly after a sexual encounter, or is not emotionally fulfilling. teens are more likely to so through an extended period ofdepresslon or contemplate suicide. ia"ri'ri‘d'd‘ ‘ ...
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