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Bookends of the Essay: Titles, Introductions, Conclusions

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Jacob Riley

on 1 April 2011

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Transcript of Bookends of the Essay: Titles, Introductions, Conclusions

Framing the Paper: Creating Effective Titles 1. State the question 2. Abbreviated thesis 3. Last part of the essays purpose statement 4. Two parts separated by a colon “To the left of the colon the writer presents key words from the essay’s issue or problem or a ‘myster phrase’ that arouses interest; to the right the author places the essay’s question, thesis, or summary of purpose” (Allyn and Bacon 521). Examples: “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy” –Judith Butler

Love in Action: The Sociology of Sex – F. Henriques


“Cytokine mRNA expression in inflammatory multiple sclerosis lesions: detection by non- radioactive in situ hybridization” –MN Woodruff


Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience Connecting Brains with Machines—And How It Will Change Our Lives –Miguel Nicolelis Introductions Four Elements of Introductions
1. Attention Grabber
2. Explanation of the Question to be Asked
3. Background Information
4. A Preview of the Whole
Old Information (Problem) New Information (thesis) Examples “What makes for a livable world is no idle question. It is not merely a question for philosophers. It is posed in various idioms all the time by people in various walks of life. If that makes them all philosophers, then that is a conclusion I am happy to embrace. It becomes a question a question for ethics. I think, not only when we ask the personal question, what makes my own life bearable, but when we ask, from a position of power, and from the point of view of distributive justice, what makes, or ought to make , the lives of others bearable? Somewhere in the answer we find ourselves not only committed to a certain view of what life is, and what it should be, but also of what constitutes the human, the distinctively human life, and what does not. There is always the risk of anthropocentrism here if one assumes that the distinctively human life is valuable—or most valuable—or is the only way to think the problem of value. But perhaps to counter that tendency it is necessary to ask both the question of life and the question of the human, and not to let them fully collapse into one another.
I would like to start, and to end, with the question of the human, of who counts as the human, and the related question of whose lives count as lives and with a question that has preoccupied many of us for years: what makes for a grievable life?” –Judith Butler (pg 240) “Imagine yourself on Angel Island in the 1920s. you are helping an inquisitive immigrant from Canton to fill in an immigration form. Name, it says. You ask her name. She tells you. You write it down. Date of birth. She gives it to you (according to the Chinese calendar, of course, so you have to look up your table for translating from system to another.) Then there is an entry that says Race. This you do not have to ask. You write “Oriental.” And your interlocutor, because she is inquisitive, asks politely: “What are you writing now?” (Afer all, until now, everything you have written has been in response to her answers) [. . . .] My preliminary aim in this essay is to explore the concept of race that is at work in these cases—an American concept, though also, of course one that draws on and interacts with ideas elsewhere. I will go on to argue for three analytical conclusions. First, I want to explain why American social distinctions cannot be understood in terms of the concept of race: the only human race in the United states, I shall argue, is the human race. . .” –Kwame Anthony Appiah Conclusions Simple Summary Conclusion

Larger Significance Conclusion

Proposal Conclusion

Scenic or Anecdotal Conclusion

Hook and return Conclusion

Delayed Thesis Conclusion Examples "When we ask what makes a life livable, we are asking about certain normative conditions that must be fulfilled for life to become life. And so there are at least two senses of life, the one that refers to the minimum biological form of living, and another that intervenes at the start, which establishes minimum conditions for a livable life with regard to human life. And this does not imply that we can disregard the merely living in favor of the livable life, but that we must ask, as we asked about gender violence, what humans require in order to maintain and reproduce the conditions of their own livability. And what are our politics such that we are, in whatever way is possible, both conceptualizing the possibility of the livable life, and arranging for its institutional support? There will always be disagreement about what this means, and those who claim that a single political direction is necessitated by virtue of this commitment will be mistaken. But this is only because to live is to live a life politically, in relation to power, in relation to others, in the act of assuming responsibility for a collective future. To assume responsibility for a future, however, is not to know its direction fully in advance, since the future, especially the future with an for others, requires a certain openness and unkowningness; it implies becoming part of a process the outcome of which no one subject can surely predict. It also implies that a certain agonism and contestation over the course of direction will and must be in play. Contestation must be in play for politics to become democratic. Democracy does not speak in unison; its tunes are dissonant, and necessarily so. It is not a predictable process; it must be undergone, like a passion must be undergone. It may also be that life itself becomes foreclosed when the right way is decided in advance, when we impose what is right for everyone and without finding a way to enter into community and to discover there the ‘right’ in the midst of cultural translation. It may be that what is right and what is good consist in staying open to the tensions that beset the most fundamental categories we require, in knowing, unknowningness at the core of what we know, and what we need, and in recognizing the sign of life in what we undergo without certainty about what will come." --Judith Butler "The bottom line is this: you can't get much of a race concept, ideationally speaking, from any of these traditions; you can get various possible candidates from the referential notion of meaning but none of them will be much good for explaining social or psychological life. And none of them corresponds to the social groups we call 'races' in America" --Kwame Anthony Appiah Frames and Ends: Furnishing the Essay
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