All That Jazz

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At the end of the document, you will find a TEMPLATE for the basic recipe (formula) for the successful organization and development of an argumentative essay as well as the framework for a formal outline that you can and should use for each of your essays. Print out the final pages and fill in the info by hand so that you can see how your body paragraphs are organized. Note though, that your essay might have more than four body paragraphs.

Please recall that formal outlines must accompany each essay you write, but note that the basic formula TEMPLATE provided does not have Roman numerals though your outline should like example #3 in the Outlining Exercises and the examples in your textbook(s).

Outline And Essay Formula:
Every college student has heard the term thesis statement, but often folks are not quite sure how to write one or how to identify one in an essay. In a different handout, we will examine how to recognize and write a thesis statement, building on concepts learned in previous writing classes, but here we only examined how to use a thesis statement as a controlling idea for an argumentative essay. We will agree, however, that a thesis statement cannot ever be a question – that by definition it is a statement, and in most academic writing, it will be a debatable statement – one that has a point or claim to prove ~ one that can be argued.

The thesis statement must be the main idea of the essay – in other words, all the details in the essay must have something specifically to do with the thesis statement. Never include ideas or details or data that aren’t directly related to or in support of your thesis.

For short essays like ours, the thesis belongs in the introductory paragraph, and it must be one sentence long – only one sentence. Introductory paragraphs should be around six to eight sentences long.

Body paragraphs should be around 10 – 12 sentences long and begin with a debatable topic sentence followed by nine sentences of development. These nine sentences are broken into 3 sets of three; they are smaller units of information that consist of an idea that is directly related to the topic sentence followed by support (evidence, proof, data, etc.) followed by a sentence that further explains (illustrates, demonstrates) why the proof does indeed prove the point you are making. Each body paragraph can be thought of as a mini-essay organized around a mini-thesis statement known as a topic sentence.

Legend:
Here are the basic definitions for the five ideas and concepts used in an outline:

1.)Thesis Statement: one sentence long, debatable, never a question, located in intro and restated using different words in the conclusion. 2.)Topic Sentence: one sentence long, debatable, never a question, first sentence of body paragraph, directly related to the thesis statement. 3.)Explanation: one or two sentences, debatable or explanatory, explains or clarifies the topic sentence. 4.)Textual Evidence: evidence from the literature when writing literary criticism (e.g., brief plot summary, quote, line from a poem, etc.) used to prove the explanation – must be directly related to the topic sentence and explanation ~ when performing research on other topics, this textual evidence comes from your research (e.g., facts, data, statistics, quote from a specialist in the field, etc. NOTE: the Textual Evidence is NOT debatable but commonly accepted as true or factual or verifiable.) 5.)Further explanation of how/why textual evidence proves the explanation: a sentence that reconfirms how/why your specific choice of evidence does support the point you are making. Introductory Paragraph

Thesis Statement: There are many different types of music, Rock, Country, Rap, R&B, but Jazz was the one that started it all.

Body Paragraph One ~ Topic Sentence: African- American tribes and field chants Explanation: What the chants mean
Textual Evidence (or data, statistics, etc.): spiritual and community...
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