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Assignment | Proposal Essay with Research (Vasconcelos): Organize Your Ideas

ENGL 1301 | Prof. M. Vasconcelos (Spring 2023)

From Your Assignment

First paragraph: Introduction, a brief discussion of the topic, and a strong thesis.
No citations used here, typically.
Body paragraphs: body paragraphs should support the thesis and incorporate the writer’s research. Body paragraphs should explain both the problem and the solution.
Discuss who will be positively impacted by the change,
and why this is an important problem that is in need of a solution.
Final paragraph: Conclusion summing up your arguments in the essay in fresh words and a final thought to leave the reader with a strong impression
No citations used here, typically.

Develop Your Thesis

Thesis statements...

  • give a preview of what arguments you'll be making
  • usually one sentence long
  • last sentence of your introduction paragraph

Thesis statements should be:


lay out exactly the arguments/reasons you're using in your thesis


if you can find a definitive yes/no answer within a few minutes of Google searching, it's not arguable enough


not about all of [topic], but this little sliver of a [topic] in a particular context


or at least something you can persuasively argue

Parts of Your Paper

  1. Introduction Paragraph
    1. Introduce your topic
    2. Last sentence is your thesis statement
  2. "Big idea" paragraph
  3. Next "big idea" paragraph
  4. Repeat big idea paragraphs as needed, depending on your topic
  5. Conclusion: bring it all together
    1. Don't just think of this as a summary: how does everything above come together? What's the point? What's the big take-away?
An outline is a useful tool, but isn't required for this assignment. Use an outline if it helps you organize ideas!

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