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How to write an essay

How to write an essay

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Published by misseswho
Here's a quick explanation on how to write an essay
Here's a quick explanation on how to write an essay

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Published by: misseswho on Mar 22, 2013
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01/07/2015

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How to Write an Essay

by Mason

An Essay is an Investigation
Every essay is an investigation. In this case, we are investigating the documentary Hungry for Change.

What's the film accused of?
● Like many documentary films, We caught it film red handed trying to convince you of things!! ● We need to analyze some of the claims that the film has made.

What does the film claim?
● Each one of the people below express a variety of opinions. For example:
○ ○ ○ ○ the potential danger of aspartame the health value of preservatives special benefits of radishes etc.

What does it NOT claim?
● The film never mentions a list of five helpful ways to stay healthy! You probably obtained that from the companion website. ● You can't use it in an essay that is only about analyzing a documentary.

What does it mean to analyze the claims?
● In the context of this essay, you analyze claims by determining if they are true and effective at convincing people.

Film's Claims

Reliable Sources

How do we know what's true?
● The easiest way to do this, is to compare the claims to a reliable source. ● There are many reliable sources, but for simplicities sake, consider referring to information from websites that contain in . gov or .edu, for example:
○ health.gov ○ hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/

How Do We Know What's Effective?
● Again, there are many ways to determine this, but I don't have time to explain them all. ● For simplicities sake, and in the context of this essay, you can use your own feelings. Ask yourself questions like:
○ ○ ○ ○ Are you convinced by what they said? Do you think your peers would be convinced? What parts convinced you, and what part's didn't? Why were some parts convincing and others not?

Forming a Thesis
● The first step of writing an essay is to formulate a thesis statement. ● In this case, your thesis statement should explain your beliefs about whether the film is true and effective. For example:
○ "Hungry for Change is full of lies and completely ineffective at educating the American public." ○ "Hungry for Change contained a lot of useful information, but did not present it in an good way. ○ "Hungry for Change was very informative and effective at encouraging the public improve their lives.

Building Your Case
● Now you need to prepare to defend your thesis statement in court, by building your case. ● This will follow the simple pattern:
○ ○ ○ ○ 1: identify a single claim 2: determine if it's true 3: determine if it's effective 4: state your findings

● You can add value to your case by including quotes.

What is a quote?
● A quote, in the context a film, is anything that anyone says during the film or any text that is shown to you.
○ A quote is not a summary of a scene(s).

● It can also be text copied from reliable sources. "Blah blah blah..." "blah blah..."

How do I know which quotes are good to use?
● If your quote is good, make sure you can answer yes to two simple questions:
○ Does the quote directly relate to the specific claim that you're analyzing ? ○ Does the quote directly relate to your thesis statement?

● If both answers are yes, go ahead and use the quote!

Putting it all together
● Now you can put it all together with an essay outline. A very simple sample of this is included on the next slide. ● Hopefully you're no longer completely lost and are reasonably prepared to make a first draft of your essay.

Essay Outline
● Intro Paragraph
○ Thesis statement:

● Body Paragraphs
○ Claim from the film: ■ is it true?: ■ is it effective? ○ Relevant quote

● Conclusion Paragraph
○ Restate and confirm the thesis statement.

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