Okay, you have your thoughts down on paper and have gone over your organizational structure to be sure that your argument is presented in the clearest possible way. Then you have reviewed your claims to be sure that your reasoning is sound. You may have written a first draft that contained only your own words.
Now it is time to add in the support that external sources provide. Think of your sources as a scholarly friend standing beside you when you make a claim, saying that you are right. This friend cannot be the main speaker but can offer affirmation of whatever you are saying. As you add in support be sure to cite every idea that is not your own. Be sure to indicate what material is from a direct quote, paraphrase, or summary, so as to avoid plagiarism.
Here are the traits of a good second draft:
Your paper makes a single, main point, a single claim that is not too broad, not too narrow, not a fact, and not a feeling. All sentences in your paper directly relate to and support your single thesis statement. You support your initial claim with personal experience and the university-level evidence gathered during your research. You correctly cite every claim that is not your own or common knowledge and include all necessary information. You give full credit for any ideas that are not your own. Your main point is an original claim that is consistent with current research on the subject selected. You avoid fallacious arguments.
Your word choice and language level show that you have a specific audience in mind. You present the strongest arguments against your claim.
You reply appropriately to all objections, agreeing with those that are correct, showing the errors in those that are not correct, and acknowledging any areas where you are uncertain.
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