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The University Essay

an outline of the more in-depth, less structured university essay, beyond the well known "five paragraph" structure
by

Taylor Gundry

on 19 July 2013

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Transcript of The University Essay

.. you're writing an essay for university
so..
you can use the hamburger method..
introduction
first argument
second argument
third argument
conclusion
.. or not
a simple thesis
five paragraphs
three arguments that support your thesis
.. but here's an idea..
it's a start
the structure
forget the rules,
now you have
freedom
you can structure your essay around
your ideas
your opinions
and
your position
your essay can be
whatever
you want
the
new and improved
usually involves
four main elements
this thing called a
"working thesis"
the
"so what?"
the
research question
and the
"lather, rinse, and repeat"
is the driving force of your essay

it is where your ideas come from
and guides the exploration of your topic
the
first step
in developing your research question
is compiling a list of various things you want to learn about your topic
you are trying to discover something
new
an idea that has never been explored
try to come up with several questions that have yet to be answered
or have
the
never
been asked
once you have your list
choose the question you are
most interested
in answering
then ask yourself:
"does the question interest me enough to provoke my own original thoughts and opinions?"
"what type of information will I need?"
"is the breadth of information reasonable?"
"is my question too broad, too narrow, or just right?"
"can I access the information I need?"
consider asking:
"who?"
"what?"
"when?"
"where?"
"why?"
"how?"
"if?"
this is the
university essay
essay
"based on the previous answers, do I have a
good quality
research question that I will be able to answer through my research?"
if your answer is
yes
you are ready for the next step
if it's a
no
make the necessary changes
to provide you with that solid research question
"which?"
repeat this process as many times as necessary
the thesis you first come up with does not need to be
or
fixed
final
at the beginning, your thesis need only be a general guide
and it can
.. but first,
let's start with the
basics
a means of
your investigation
a basis for selecting the most
focusing
relevant
information
development
of your ideas
a means of illustrating the
chain of thoughts
that led to your conclusion
a
working thesis
is different from the theses you are probably accustomed to in high school
change
evolve
as your essay progresses
it is continuously evolving
and
as you discover and analyse
supporting
and
conflicting
evidence
a way to guide the
a thesis is a
claim
about some part of your topic
an outline of the
path
your argument will take
your thesis is flexible,
it allows for alterations to be made based on your
findings
and
research
to formulate your working thesis
initial claim
an idea about your topic
begin with an
often it is the
answer
to your research question
gather your research and see how far your thesis can go in
accounting
for this evidence
look at the evidence that is
not encompassed
or find other information that seems important to your topic but is beyond your thesis
by the thesis
reshape
your thesis to accommodate what doesn't fit
repeat
as many times as needed
the thesis guides your analysis of the information gathered
your analysis and findings shape and mold your thesis
the dialectic (or tension) between the
topic
thesis
and the
is a reciprocal cycle
the back-and-forth helps
expand
your understanding of the topic
upon finishing your first draft,
review your working thesis by asking
"does my thesis statement clearly state my argument or analysis?"
"are my supporting points emphasised?"
"does it present the structure of my paper?"
based on your answers
make any necessary changes to your thesis and your draft
the
"so what?"
research question
is where you question the
importance
of what you are writing about
and why your argument
matters
often the "so what?" is a way to
conclude
your essay
by leaving the reader with something new to
think about
identifying some of the
implications
of your argument
the point you've already made
beyond
and demonstrating
why
your argument is important in a more broad context
while developing your thesis
asking
"so what?"
"who cares?"
"why is my claim significant?"
can help you
reflect
on your thesis and come up with a
strong
foundation for your essay
as said by Canadian journalist Babara Frum;
"tell me something
new
about something I
care
about"
the
"lather, rinse, and repeat"
is the process of doing the previous steps
over and over
until you have your polished essay
now you have the basics of the
university essay
now take your new knowledge
go forth and
knock 'em dead
Full transcript