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Good essays should be driven by a statement, idea, or theory about a topic and theme—this is called a thesis (referred to in this class as a thesis statement or topic statement). Sometimes a “formula” is given to create a thesis statement: topic + theme + impact = thesis statement. For this essay on your brain and researching on the internet:
the topics are: researching, brains and the internet
the thesis statement is: When using the internet for research, people need to be aware of what is true and how their brain might be trying to trick them, but there are ways to overcome those problems.
It might help you to think of the thesis statement as consisting of these things you need to write about in your essay:
using the internet for research and what is found there
what is true/truth/reality
how to know if something is true, especially on the internet
how the brain can trick people into believing something is true, even if it’s not (or that something is false, even if it is really true)
ways to overcome those brain problems, especially by applying it to research done on the internet
When you are finished writing your essay: use this “rubric” by looking at one criterion (“criterion” is the singular form of “criteria,” and basically means “one item”) below and comparing it to the writing you are evaluating (yours or someone else’s). Once you are finished evaluating the writing based on that one criterion below, go to the next criterion and evaluate the writing based on that one criterion. Continue doing that until you have evaluated the writing using all the criteria in the “rubric” below.
This introduces the thesis statement, and expands on that thesis statement by providing some of the main points you will cover in your essay.
The thesis statement appears in the introduction.
There is important information included in the introduction in one or two sentences that you cover more fully in the body—do not attempt to include everything from the body, just the important parts.
There are not any questions.
Here is a link if you feel like you could use some help with writing The Introduction (that page might have information that can be used for several assignments, so some things may not apply to this assignment; individual assignments and items on the calendar take precedence over other information you may find in other places).
You need to have enough paragraphs to fully explore the thesis statement using the class assignments and notes that deal with the topic. Information/thoughts/ideas from each of the following must somehow be incorporated into your essay body (that means each of those assignments are completed; if they are not completed, you have to complete them before completing this essay so that you can include all of the following sources; this means you have homework/PUp work because you will not get caught up during class time) and properly cited (see the bottom of this page for more about citing the sources):
Critical Reading – Notes
Your Brain Lies to You – Notes
What is Truth? Philosophy News – Notes
What Is Truth? Questions
Black Presidents Survey – Debrief (cite the Canvas page the assignment came from, do not try to cite the document you wrote on)
Reality & Truth – Class Definitions (you did not take notes or do an assignment for this, but you need to incorporate info from here and write a full source citation for it)
The following are requirements for the body paragraphs:
Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence that introduces the rest of the paragraph.
Each paragraph helps the reader focus on some part of understanding the thesis statement:
For each paragraph, ask, “How does this paragraph help the reader understand something more about reading is a way of learning?”
If you used sources to help you, in-text citations are included and are written properly to the best of your ability. (a later assignment will ask you to add to your essay and use some sources)
EVERYTHING supports the thesis statement! The purpose of all of the writing is to help explore/understand the thesis statement. If there is something in the body that does not help support/explore/understand the thesis statement, it should not be there.
There is a clear conclusion (the essay doesn’t just stop).
The reader was reminded of the importance of the thesis statement: they have a clear understanding about “reading is a way of learning”, BUT…
the conclusion sounds completely different than the introduction—this is very important, and also hard.
Do not ever use the words, “In conclusion…” or anything like that. The reader can figure out it is your conclusion.
When you are finished, do not use the words, “The End” or anything like it – the reader can figure out when it’s the end because the writing stops.
Here is a link if you feel like you could use some help with writing The Conclusion (that page might have information that can be used for several assignments, so some things may not apply to this assignment; individual assignments and items on the calendar take precedence over other information you may find in other places).
The whole essay flows with good transitions (read the information from Organization – TransitionsLinks to an external site. and then read everything here on TransitionsLinks to an external site.) that makes everything connected to the things around it
with sentences that are connected with the other sentences around it.
with paragraphs that connect together somehow.
it doesn’t sound like a bunch of notes shoved together.
No spelling errors.
No grammatical errors—the sentences are clear and make sense.
No talking to the audience (don’t use you, your, us, we, etc.).
You may NOT use personal pronouns, like I, me, my, etc. since the thesis statement does not focus on you. CAUTION: Because some assignments were about you and used those personal pronouns, you are going to be tempted to include it in this essay, but you will have to figure out a way to apply it to others and not yourself.
No punctuation errors.
Formatted properly (if you simply type, you should be OK and everything below should already work for you):
make real paragraphs by pressing the enter key only once
the entire document is single spacing
leave the fonts alone: do not change style, size, color, etc.
nothing is underlined
the only thing italicized should be the titles of books, websites, etc. for citations when you use them
Delete the word “Title” at the top of the page and put a short title that reflects your thesis statement.
You may use anything you have previously written for this class to help you write the essay: if there are notes, paragraphs, essays, answers, full source citations, etc. that would help you complete the essay, please use that material in whatever way you would like. (Copying and pasting your already written full source citations is a wise choice.)
Do not cite your notes, answers or essays, but do cite the information you may have used to write those note, answers and essays (in other words, use the full source citations you have already written). For example, when you use information about the brain in your essay, use the notes you took. But for the citation, do not write a citation for your notes, but do use the citations you have already written from the readings when you took the notes. For the “Black Presidents Debrief” assignment, cite the Canvas page the assignment came from, do not try to cite the document you wrote on.
Full Source Citations
Below the section for the essay is a place to list full source citations. Before starting the essay, you must:
include full source citations for every source you used for the assignments 2-5 listed above (you never had to write a citation for the critical reading notes assignment) – simply copy and paste them in (if you use [Ctrl][Shift][v] you will lose all of your italics and will have to re-italicize anything needing italicizing, like website names)
alphabetize the source list
when you are finished with the essay, if you did not use some of the sources from your full source list, delete them from the list
Include in-text citations for anything you used to help you come up with information for this essay at the end of each paragraph. If you have a quote, properly cite the quote. Both of those things are explained on the “In-Text Citations” page in Canvas.