The Multi-Source Essay To Accomplish this Essay, you should: 1. Identify an issue that your readers need to know about or would like to know about; 2. Evaluate and choose appropriate sources to define and explain the issue; 3. Synthesize (the combination of parts or elements into a whole) material from a variety of sources, including written texts, experience, and, if appropriate, field research; and 4. Provide a clear, well-supported discussion of the issue. Purpose • The purpose of the informative essay is to provide information that is not generally known to readers in order to teach them something or to update them on something. • The goal of this essay is to surprise your reader either by informing them about something they probably did not know before or by clarifying commonly accepted understandings. Audience • Your audience is anyone who would be concerned with your topic. • Questions: • So ask yourself, who would be interested? • What would they want to know? • What is the education level of those who may be interested in the information? Having an idea of their educational background will help you as a writer to determine what kind of terminology or wording to use. • Also why would they care about the issue anyway? Tone • Now that you know the purpose and the audience for this essay, determine the tone that you want to take for this essay. Is it a serious tone, a reprimanding tone? What kind of tone would the proposed audience appreciate? • Will the audience think your topic is a laughing matter? Probably not. So, what tone will fit your audience? The Informative Introduction • In a subject-focused essay, you must be aware of your readers and their need for context and adequate background on your topic before you present your information. • You need to excite their curiosity about your subject and help them feel comfortable reading your material. • One strategy for getting the readers' attention is to use a short descriptive narrative. • You should also consider providing definitions of key concepts and a brief historical overview before presenting a controlling idea for the body of the essay. Introduction Continued • In your introduction apply the principle of "laying out the whole before the parts" by having a clearly stated thesis. • Your thesis should state the purpose of the essay and the point of view you will present. • One interesting method of discovering a thesis is to ask a question: the essay's thesis will be an explanation of your answer. • By asking a question, you find the right rhetorical approach to the subject. • For example, you could use key words which imply a rhetorical approach: cause, effect, process, definition, example, compare, contrast. The Body • The body of the paper will be an explanation of your controlling idea. Use information from your sources to support the thesis with specific details. • By choosing focused rhetorical approaches to the subject (analysis of cause and effect, process analysis, comparison and contrast), you will be able to develop your ideas in depth and organize them clearly. • Examples, definitions, narration and description may also help to strengthen your explanation and help your reader understand the complexity of your ideas. • In an informative paper, all rhetorical methods may be used to explain the controlling idea. The Body Continued • You need to have a coherent organization in the body of your paper. • Use topic sentences to indicate which rhetorical approach will be used to develop a paragraph. • Use transitions such as "first," "second,” "finally," and repeat key words and your controlling idea as you develop your ideas in depth. • Use compound sentences to link your supporting details and complex sentences to create relationships between ideas. • In short, be sure your essay has unity and coherence and can be outlined. • Either outline your essay's organization before you draft, or plan to write a descriptive outline after your first draft. • In either case, you must be able to describe the purpose and the focus of each paragraph and how it connects to the previous and the following paragraphs with smooth transitions. Every paragraph must be directly related to the controlling idea of the essay. The Body Continued • Summarizing ideas from outside sources, both primary and secondary, will also clarify your explanation. • It is important that the essay is not a cut and paste of researched information (Plagiarism). The controlling idea and its development must be the writer's. The research is only the supporting evidence. • Identify your outside sources, by using MLA. • Make certain that the information you paraphrase or quote, as well as all research results, is cited. Use handbook to document in MLA style. The Conclusion • In your conclusion, try to relate your topic to a larger context. • Give your readers a bigger perspective to make sure the significance of your essay is apparent. • You may refer to your introduction: use a "hook and return" to your original ideas or story to frame the essay. • You may need to briefly summarize the main points and call for further examination of this topic. • Remember that the Conclusion is not a restatement of your thesis and it does not bring up new information. In your Informative Research Essay, you should do the following: • Introduce the issue you are addressing by providing appropriate context to the readers (e.g., an introduction that frames the issue and shows your interest in it). Explain the issue using appropriate evidence and support. • Select and use an organization that is appropriate for your audience and purpose. • Conclude your essay by doing more than simply summarizing what you've said so far. In general, try to leave your readers with something to think about after they have read your essay. • Design your document to enhance its effect on your readers and to make it easy for them to locate information. • Document your sources using MLA. • Revise to clarify and strengthen your argument and edit to remove errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics so that your writing is clear and readable.. Assignment • Multi-Source Essay • Topic-Evaluate an approved topic. • Length-This essay should be 1,000-1,290 words in length. This is at least three full pages of text and no more than four. • Sources-This paper will utilize three sources. Two of these sources must be print sources. The other source must be an internet source. • Your informative essay does not have to be all positive or all negative. You can mix both positives and negatives in your essay!
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