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Essay Writing

Tammy Denomme

on 26 October 2013

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Transcript of EssaysDenomme

Writing History Essays
brief historical background
list of points (in the order you
plan to discuss them in the essay)
topic sentence
development of point
evidence (paraphrase or quote)
if the evidence is a quote, you need a lead into the quote
transition or wrap up sentence
The Basics
Evidence In History Essays
should be mostly paraphrases
should come from books, databases, or legitimate websites.
Sorry, no wikipedia.
restate thesis in different words
restate main points
end thoughtfully
One sentence explaining
what you will prove in
the essay.
The thesis is the beating heart of your essay.
If you don't know your thesis, what the heck
are you writing about anyway?
Ending Thoughtfully
Try to think of the big picture....

Which ending do you like better?

A. When the order was given to drop the atomic bombs to end World War II, anyone could have predicted what type of ripple effect this would have in the short term and in the long term. The Americans should not have dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This one decision may have hastened the end of World War II, but it cost too many lives and lauched a horrible phase of global tension called the Cold War.
B. Dropping the atomic bombs was a mistake for the simple reason that it cost too many lives. No reasoning could ever justify such a high price.
Which of the following could be considered a thesis statement?
A. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, causing the deaths of over
150, 000 people.

B. The United States should not have dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski without considering fully how it would affect Japan, the United States, and the world in the present and the near and distant future.
Nope, sorry!
Definitely better.
When do you footnote
something that is NOT a direct quotation?
a) when you read another writer's idea and put it in your own words to use as evidence
b) when you cite numbers and statistics that may be controversial and not widely known
c) when you read an anecdote and put it into your own words to use as evidence
d) when you mention a historian and then explain in your own words what s/he said in order to prove or support your point

Try the paraphrasing exercise at the University of Berkeley, California's webpage. www.berkely.edu/
How do you lead into a quotation?
Don't just "drop" a quote into an essay. Lead into
it in one of three ways:

1. A full sentence and a colon:
Harry S. Truman felt strongly that dropping the atomic bomb was the right decision: "It was...a powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness."

2. A couple of words (not a complete sentence) and a comma:

Harry S. Truman said, "It was...a powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness."

3. Build the quotation right into the words in your own sentence:

Harry S. Truman felt sure that the atomic bomb was just another "powerful weapon" in what he saw as America's "arsenal of righteousness."
Topic Sentences
What is a topic sentence?

words from the thesis + point = topic sentence

Turn the 4 points below into topic sentences.

Let's say this is your thesis: The United States should not have dropped the atomic bomb without considering the impact it would have on Japan, the United States, and the world in the present and the near and distant future.

Point 1: impact in the "present"-- death and
destruction of the bomb--90% of buildings
collapsed and burned, Little Boy killed 100, 000
Fat Man killed 70 000.

Point 2: impact on Japan in "long run"--radiation, environmental impact, political

Point 3: impact on USA in "present"--started the Cold War

Point 4: impact on the world in "long run"--Cold War
The end.
Thank you for your attention.
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