Tips for Writing Your Essay

Tips for Writing Your Essay - Tips for writing your essay...

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Tips for writing your essay As you are thinking about a thesis: A good thesis always starts with a good question. A question is “good” for essay purposes if it meets the following criteria: 1. It’s manageable for the amount of space you’ve got to write in. (For you, this means a very focused question because eight pages goes very quickly; don’t try to solve the problems of the world.) 2. It is something that you can back up with reference to one or two primary texts (absolute maximum four, and then only if you’re talking short pieces such as picturebooks or poems). If you’re doing film, I’d stick to just one source. The strongest essays will do a lot with a little material. 3. It’s something that interests you. If you think the topic is boring, you’ll never be able to write a compelling essay about it. Conversely, if it’s something that you’re excited about, that tone will be reflected in your writing. Make sure that this is something you want to think about for the five weeks before you hand in the final draft. 4. Writing is very personal, and what you choose to write about will be reflected by your personality and your background. Let that help you – if you’ve got a rebellious personality, think about bucking the trend and defending the gender politics of a Disney film. If you already know a lot about a foreign language, theology, psychology, gender theory, etc. find a topic that uses what you already know. Even if you don’t think that your specialization is relevant, be willing to think outside the box – I once got a lovely paper from an Accounting major about the Marxist implications of the economic transactions in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” 5. If you get stuck when thinking about your thesis – talk to your teacher immediately (by email or in person). I’m happy to discuss or help refine your ideas.
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course ENGL 20118 taught by Professor Weeks during the Fall '08 term at Notre Dame.

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Tips for Writing Your Essay - Tips for writing your essay...

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