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Chapter 1 points to the essay portion of the SAT as a representative artifact of the writing skills that K-12 education imparts.
This format is easy for readers to follow, and it helps writers organize their points and the evidence that goes with them. Figure 3.2, in contrast, represents a paper on the same topic that has the more organic form expected in college. Rather than simply positing a number of reasons to think that something is true, it puts forward an arguable statement: one with which a reasonable person might disagree. But if you assume that you must adhere rigidly to the simpler form, you’re blunting your intellectual ambition.Putting your claims in their broader context makes them more interesting to your reader and more impressive to your professors who, after all, assign topics that they think have enduring significance. Many instructors and writers find useful a metaphor based on this passage by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.: There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights.Finding that significance for yourself makes the most of both your paper and your learning. All fact collectors who have no aim beyond their facts are one-story men.The five-paragraph theme, outlined in Figure 3.1 is probably what you’re used to: the introductory paragraph starts broad and gradually narrows to a thesis, which readers expect to find at the very end of that paragraph. In the classic five-paragraph theme (Figure 3.1) it hardly matters which of the three reasons you explain first or second. ” The conclusion of an organically structured paper has a real job to do.In this idealized format, the thesis invokes the magic number of three: three reasons why a statement is true. In the more organic structure (Figure 3.2) each paragraph specifically leads to the next. Because the organic essay is driven by an ambitious, non-obvious argument, the reader comes to the concluding section thinking “OK, I’m convinced by the argument. It doesn’t just reiterate the thesis; it explains why the thesis matters.Your professors will not be impressed by obvious theses, loosely related body paragraphs, and repetitive conclusions.They want you to undertake an ambitious independent analysis, one that will yield a thesis that is somewhat surprising and challenging to explain.You have no doubt been drilled on the need for a thesis statement and its proper location at the end of the introduction.And you also know that all of the key points of the paper should clearly support the central driving thesis.Their professor might even claim that the paper doesn’t have a thesis when, in the author’s view it clearly does. Linen served as a form of currency in the ancient Mediterranean world, connecting rival empires through circuits of trade.The economic role of linen raises important questions about how shifting environmental conditions can influence economic relationships and, by extension, political conflicts.