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Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument Department of History

A 500-word essay is pretty comprehensive and would allow you enough words to describe the plot of the story while having time to disseminate what themes are present and what morals are being conveyed.

Primary sources: letters, diaries, government documents, an organizations meeting minutes, newspapers. Secondary sources: articles and books from your class that explain and interpret the historical event or person you are writing about, lecture notes, films or documentaries. Look for Pattern: After determining a general focus, go back and look more closely at your evidence. As you re-examine your evidence and identify patterns, you will develop your argument and some conclusions.

Specific thesis: "At the end of the nineteenth century French women lawyers experienced misogynist attacks from male lawyers when they attempted to enter the legal profession because male lawyers wanted to keep women out of judgeships."  This thesis statement asserts that French male lawyers attacked French women lawyers because they feared women as judges, an intriguing and controversial point. Using evidence works to check over-general statements. Use evidence to address an opposing point of view. How do your sources give examples that refute another historians interpretation? Remember - if in doubt, talk to your instructor. 2. Determine the goal for the length - Keep in mind that an essay on a book would already have a predisposed assigned number of words. Lets set the word count (for the sake of illustration) at 500 words. Look for Similar Items by Category. Almost every assignment you complete for a history course will ask you to make an argument. Your instructors will often call this your "thesis" - your position on a subject. What is an Argument?