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					     PROVE IT!

How to make an argument
    (focus question)
           STAGE I
Vague statement to brilliant thesis!
Academic writing challenges us to dig
deeper and find out what we really mean.
For example:

HARRY POTTER & The
PHILOSOPHER’S STONE
     VAGUE STATEMENT
Your thesis will start with a “knee jerk”
emotional reaction.
“Harry Potter is boring!”
This will be the driving force behind your
thesis, but it will not be your thesis!
This is just the beginning, you will need to
develop your initial statement and find out
exactly what you mean.
         Why is it Boring?
Is it because it is a typical Hollywood film?
Dull Actors?
Crappy Plot?
Typical? Why exactly?
“A typical Hollywood movie that shows us
that boys can save the day and girls can
stand in the background and watch?”
           Be a Lawyer!
Make sure your case (argument) is going
to make for an interesting trial.
EXAMPLE 1:
“Harry Potter lives a dangerous life”
No one is going to pay attention to a case
that can be proven by looking at the cover
of the book.
This thesis aims too low.
            EXAMPLE 2
“Harry Potter is Nazi propaganda”

A thesis that aims for controversy is going
to have insufficient proof.

This thesis aims too high.
           EXAMPLE 3
“Harry Potter teaches us that women are
weak”.
I did notice that the male characters seem
to save the day.
But I would consider the major female
characters to be strong.
How do you define weak?
You have my attention…
                   Recap
1. Start with your vague statement.


2. Define this statement / redefine /
   redefine… until you come up with a
   thesis that you believe you can prove.

3. Ask yourself: does it make for an
   interesting trial?
  Final thesis and introductory
           paragraph
Now I am ready to develop my
introductory paragraph which includes my
thesis statement and hints at the three
proofs that I will elaborate on in my essay.

This is where I will state my case to the
jury and tell them the names of my
witnesses.
        Developing proofs

Your jury/readers are anticipating an
interesting trial, but a good thesis does not
guarantee a good essay.
You are going to need proof to win your
case.
You can only call three witnesses, so they
had better be good.
The Proof is in the Pudding…
Good academic evidence is clearly stated
and supported with facts.
You have to articulate to the jury how they
should interpret the text.
The reader shouldn’t have to guess how
your ideas link to your thesis.
    Pulling it all together…
If you have made your case properly then
your conclusion won’t need to tell us
anything new.
Forget about calling last minute witnesses,
your case is over.
The purpose of the conclusion is to remind
your reader what your three witnesses
have already proven.

				
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