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Assignment | Essay 1 Inquiry/Analyzing Text Essay (Izaguirre): Organize Your Writing

Spring 2020 | ENGL 1302 | Prof. Lori Izaquirre

Parts of Your Paper


  • Introduce your topic to the reader. 
  • The last sentence of your introduction will be your thesis statement.


  • Use the body of the paper to develop your thesis statement with research and analysis. For each big idea that you introduced in your thesis statement, you will develop it in a separate paragraph. Include as many paragraphs as big ideas.  


  • Wrap up your paper by showing the connections between your big ideas and relating them to your thesis statement


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Develop Your Thesis

Your thesis is where you put forward your argument in a concise, declarative way. It is typically one sentence long and comes at the end of your introduction paragraph. You should only develop your thesis after you've started doing your research. You can have a thesis in mind as you start your research, of course, but be prepared to change it if you find it's unsupportable with the information available to you.

Thesis statements should be:

  • Specific - lay out exactly the arguments/reasons you're using in your thesis
  • Contestable - if you can find a definitive yes/no answer within a few minutes of Google searching, it's not arguable enough
  • Narrow - not about all of privacy ever, but this little sliver of a privacy issue in this particular time and society
  • Provable - or at least something you can persuasively argue.

Your thesis statement should essentially give your reader a preview of what arguments you'll be presenting over the course of your paper.

For this assignment, your goal is to analyze three texts and compare the perspectives that each brings.  You will also need to explore how one reading shapes your understanding of a second reading.

Per the assignment, you should ask yourself the following questions as you read the three texts:

  • Does one reading introduce ideas that help you understand what happens in the other reading?
  • Does reading #1 lead you to question claims or arguments (implicit or explicit) being made in reading #2?
  • What does one text reveal about the other text?

To begin your thesis statement, ask yourself those questions about the text and list your answers. Then, reverse your question and answer to form your thesis statement.

Example: Smith upholds that exposure to different world views is one of the key values of a college education, but Jones argues that these perspectives can be gain outside of the classroom through both local interactions with diverse groups and thoughtful travel experiences. 

Research and Writing Development

Once you have your thesis statement, you will need to develop it using your research.  After your introduction paragraph, you will use the body of your paper to develop the big ideas in your thesis statement.  You will need at least one paragraph for each big idea.  


You will need to support your thesis statement with research. As you review the resources you find in the research databases, take notes on what supports your arguments. When you write your paper, you will incorporate these sources through paraphrasing and quotes. But remember, any time you use someone else's ideas or words, you must give them credit by including a citation. 


Direct Quote

In some cases, you may need to use the author's exact words. In these cases, you will put the author's exact words in quotation marks and include an in-text citation at the end of the sentence.

Resources vs. Your Analysis

Your writing should balance out your use of outside sources with your own analysis. For this paper, you will need a minimum of 5 but maximum of 7. This will give you space to incorporate your analysis of the texts and develop your thesis.