more on the paper.
A few days ago I wrote out my essay outline format for a paper I had to write. It actually ended up helping me out a lot and I did 8.5 pages in less than 3 hours.
Here is what the introduction–following the format–ends up looking like:
Since understanding often induces simplification, it is no surprise that the study of global religion is found lacking. Indeed, it seems that Christianity and ethnic religions are so diametrically opposed in their philosophies that the subjection of the latter by the former was inevitable. As author Joel Tishken points out, the current definitions for what constitutes religion regularly ignores “huge portions” of the world. (303) From this he asserts that scholars must rid themselves of the bias that world religion is “evolving” towards a monotheistic, Christian-like faith. Vine Deloria in his book “God is Read” begins with similar assumptions and adds that the evangelical nature of Christianity has set it on a crash-course towards domination and conversion of native peoples. The views of both authors are exemplified in the oral history told by Lin Custalow’s “The True Story of Pocahontas.” This book–serving as a microcosm of the conflict between Christian settlers and the indigenous people of American–shows the great chasm between ethnic and evangelical religion, and how their coexistence seems unlikely. Ultimately, Christianity and ethnic religions look at the world in vastly different ways and thus it seems inappropriate and even condescending to attempt to place the two in a singular category.*
I put the thesis in bold. In the comments section of the last one, someone argued that the thesis should actually go at the bottom of the introduction, which I think is a huge mistake. Since a paper is about make a clear point and then supporting it, don’t you think that means, logically, your clear point must come first? Your thesis is the constitution of your paper and then your support is the democratic practices. One is meaningless without the other preceeding it. Boldly stating your point and then elaborating why that is true makes a great impression on the reader than stating, first, what your evidence is and then later, what it means.
*Let me make it clear that I don’t necessarily believe what I wrote, although it was the correct interpretation of the works. I make this point because I just had to sit through a fellow student use the same logic to actually defend cannibalism in Mesoamerican tribes; which of course is absolutely idiotic.
After reading what you wrote I would agree with your point about the thesis being better at the top. However, perhaps B or lower students that cannot tie the thesis as (necessarily) nice to the end sentence of the intro should not attempt this. Or just people who cannot write at a certain level of quality English. For really poor essay writers it makes it easier for the professor to find out their major point because their writing is otherwise too wishy washy.
Just my thoughts that I wanted to share. It may be better for everybody… I’m not sure.
What do you think?
You’ve obviously never eaten the heart of one of your enemies.
Otherwise, you would realize that the moral justification of cannibalism is axiomatic.
I almost died when I heard this words “Look, we just can’t understand the Aztecs because we didn’t grow up with their way of life.”
Maybe it’s just me but I think one of the few things we can objectively say is wrong is eating another human.
And Anonymous: You raise a good point. If someone isn’t confident as a writer, stick to the format your teacher gives you. At least then you’ll get credit for listening. Although I would argue that there is nothing easier than the format I posted.
My 10th grade English teacher taught me the exact same format to writing an essay and it’s probably one of the most important things I have ever learned. It still serves me well today. I am always surprised when professors are impressed with my writing because I’ve been doing the same thing for years.
I love your format, since it works for my legal essays as well.
The sample intro helped me understand your format much better.
Would you please post a complete sample–following the format? or at least a conclusion sample?
Thanks a bunch
I’m not sure I like the short quotes that you use…to me, they look like sarcastic air quotes. I typically like to do at least 4 or 5 words to avoid that appearance, though I may be the only one who reads it that way.
Either the current definitions ignore, or the current definition ignores. Which is it?
A typo? Oh no!
I am glad you posted your article on HuffPo about the need to cut to the chase & get with it, in terms of producing a to the point coherent piece of writing.
I can tell you first hand as a post doctoral graduate, that the writing skills of most undergraduate students these days is nothing less than atrocious, which lent itself when the Internet first launched to the epidemic of cut & paste plagiarism we used to see in college level papers.
Granted, some of it was time induced because of student workload to get work out yesterday, but whenever you put your name on any paper, I would hope one has more self-honor & dignity to produce poor work and turn it in with your name on it.
And therein lies the crux of the problem.
Intrinsic motivation to want to write well to begin with.
can you please put up the “essay outline format” – I can’t find it.