Make Them Believe What You Write!

December 18, 2011
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1. Come up with your argument: This is the part many people find difficult. All this means is answer the question given to you. Sometimes though, they may give you a complicated topic like "Describe the attitudes Han China and Rome had towards technology based on the following documents." This may not seem like a question asking about your opinion, but it is! They're essentially asking you what do YOU think the attitudes Han China and Rome had towards technology based on the documents you should have read. Besides answering the question though, you always need to give reasons why you think a certain way.

2.Come up with reasons for why you think a certain way: There should be a reason why you think killing another human is bad, right? Sure, it seems obvious that you shouldn't kill someone, but aren't there underlying reasons why killing is bad? Perhaps one reason would be that by killing someone, you eliminate another human that might have had thoughts that could possibly revolutionize the world. Write reasons for your opinions; everyone has reasons for thinking a certain way! Don't worry if your reasons sound crazy, as long as you have evidence, you can back up your reasons.

With these two steps, you should now be able to generate your thesis. Your thesis is just your opinion and the reasons for your opinion. Now, let's get on with your body paragraphs.

3. Find evidence: Evidence is anything you can use that either supports or disproves your argument. There are some pieces of evidence you should definitely watch out for though! One, is it relevant? Do you need to have evidence of how chocolate is lethal to rats to write an essay about why killing another human is bad? Two, can you actually use it? Be careful for bogus writers! These writers are just there to promote their own opinions. They can be VERY biased. One example of this is an advertiser: do you really think and advertiser is going to talk in a very objective manner about all the different radios in the world if he or she is trying to sell a certain radio brand? NO. So, don't go for these pieces of evidence unless they can really help you in your essay (for example, you might be writing about advertisers always being biased so perhaps this piece of evidence can help you for it). Analyze for these two things. By the way, some of you may still be stuck on why I said you can use evidence that also disproves your argument too. Here's how: disprove that contradicting evidence!

4.Analysis/commentary on your evidence: After you talk about your evidence, you should ALWAYS provide insight on why you chose that piece of evidence for your essay. A piece of evidence may show how valid one of your reasons for your argument is. To be able to let readers know that, you must explain it in such a straightforward way that readers don't have to think about how the evidence and thesis connects. They should just be able to go like, "Hmmm, this writer has a point! Okay, I believe him/her." Now, as for the contradicting/disproving evidence, you can get fun and creative with this. You can DISPROVE that evidence. To disprove that evidence, all you need is a counterargument. A counterargument is anything that shows that a statement is not prevalent in every situation. For example, if you find a piece of evidence that says that space colonization will lead to the stopping of continuous human reproduction due to radiation in space while you're trying to talk about how space colonization will prevent human extinction, you may say that the former evidence is invalid because it doesn't take into account that research can be done to find new ways of preventing radiation in space to affect birth rates.

Now, you should have your body paragraphs and thesis done. Your body paragraphs only need evidence and analysis. How do you connect everything though? An essay certainly doesn't seem like it only has these components.

•For your first paragraph, write an introduction. Write something that will hook the readers in. You know all those books and newspaper articles that always say something in the beginning that gets you interested? Yeah, that's what you need in your essay. Then, you'd have to put some background information (readers won't understand you if you ask a question and suddenly have a thesis [and even if your thesis answers the question, that's a big no-no already! Let the readers think about the question hook first, get some small information, and then read the rest of your essay]). After the introduction, THEN state your thesis (aka your opinion and reasons.

•For each body paragraph, you should rewrite, in a different way, one reason for your opinion. Then, you should use evidence and write commentary/analysis of that evidence. Then, to make it flow to the next paragraph, you should include a transitioning sentence (those are hard, but there are many transitioning phrases out there like "in the next paragraph, the blahblahblah will be discussed', though that is a pretty weak transition and I'm sure you can come up with something better!). On the next paragraph, you redo this process until you have no more reasons for your opinions to prove.

•After all those body paragraphs, it's time for your conclusion. That's extremely easy. Just restate your thesis...but then what? End it like that? Well, readers, that depends on YOU. There are many ways to end an essay ranging from relaying an important message that should be heard by the world or just simply summarizing all the evidence you've been using. What you do with your conclusion is up to you, as long as you restate your thesis in a different way!
Writing essays aren't that hard. Don't try to complicate them. It's just your opinion, reasons for it, and evidence for how your reasons are correct. Writing should be a fun activity though; there's definitely a lot of room for creativity, and that, perhaps, sets so many different yet amazing writers apart.





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