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Essay-Writing Flow Chart

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by

Mary Ganster

on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of Essay-Writing Flow Chart

Brainstorming, Thesis Generation, and Other Awesome Stuff
Stasis Pyramid
Unstated Assumption & 3 How's
To find the UA, replace your e-meme's shared term with vague language:
University Athletics
F:
What athletics programs exist at UO? Academic programs?
D:
How are we defining "athletics?" "Academics?"
V:
Are athletics good/bad? Moral/immoral?
I:
What do athletics accomplish? Do they serve the mission of the university?
C:
What would happen if athletics were abolished at UO?
P:
Should the UO allocate fewer funds to its athletics programs?
Topic of Interest
broad area of inquiry
Research Question
open-ended
general
What is the relationship between athletics and academics at the University of Oregon?
Fact
Definition
Value
Interpretation
Consequence
Policy
Question at Issue
yes/no question
social issue
more than one answer
crank/fogey rule*
Stasis! Woot!
Should the UO allocate fewer funds to its athletics programs in order to better serve its academic mission?
What purpose does university athletics serve, and is that purpose in line with UO's mission?
Q@I to Enthymeme
Answer = Claim
Why? = Reason
Shared terms?
SC because SR = Enthymeme'd!
"Anything that is R is C."
or
"Something is (or should be) C if R."
What's a Good Reason?
The UO [should][should not] allocate fewer funds to its athletics programs, because . . .
The best reasons will answer the questions, "Why do I believe my Claim to be true?" and "Why should my reader accept my Claim or find it convincing?"
Pro-tip: If your e-meme contains "because of," you may be working with the wrong kind of reason. (e.g. "... because of tailgating.") Try changing your shared term.
3 How Questions
help with identifying your burden of proof and can inform structure
1. How of the e-meme's Claim: "How are standardized tests used to measure ability?"

2. How of its Reason: "How do standardized tests only reveal a small part of the knowledge a student gains?"

3. How of the UA: "How do things that only reveal a small part of a student's knowledge fail to accurately/properly measure his ability?"
Or, working backward through the e-meme...
An Organization and Outlining Tool
S1. Introduction
S2. Define key terms
S3. Address the Reason
S4. Address the UA
S5. Address the Claim
S6. Raise & Explain Counter-Argument
S7. Refute CA
S8. Conclusion
* The "crank/fogey" rule states that people who are irrational are not your audience. Ergo, if the only person you can imagine disagreeing with you is one of your cranky older relatives or that one friend you have who argues everything just to be annoying, then your question is not at issue. Only reasonable people, listening and responding in good faith, compose your audience.
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