Academic Writing I, week 8: June 5th, 2015


  1. Re-write the first and last paragraphs of your Essay1 (Rewrite) to match your new,  argumentative thesis statement which you wrote in class today.
  2. Read the sample essay in the textbook, chapter 2.

Makeup class for May 1st will be July 11. Time and place will be announced later.

Today’s class:

  1. Today’s class focused on
    1. thesis statement, and
    2. using evidence to support claims.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a sentence that states your main argument

  1. It must be
    • argumentative
    • capable of advancement or development.
    • concise
    • supported
    1. The purpose of my paper is to discuss dark chocolate.
    2. My paper will explore dark chocolate.
    1 is a purpose statement, but not a thesis statement because it is not argumentative and not capable of advancement. It is concise, but not supported.
    3. In this paper I argue that dark chocolate has more positive benefits than other types of chocolates.
    4. My discussion shows that dark chocolate contributes to people’s happiness and satisfaction.
    Which thesis statement is argumentative?
    1. In his article, Jefferson (2003) insisted that social media was responsible for corrupting the mind of America’s high school students.
    2. Social media can create distractions for high school students as they focus on talking with their friends rather than their studies.
    3. The purpose of this paper is to consider the positive and negative ways that social media affects high school students.


TASK: Re-write the thesis statement of your Essay 1 Rewrite to be argumentative.

Using evidence

Statements in academic writing need to be supported by factual details. You will need to support your claims with adequate evidence.

What kind of evidence can be used?

  • numbers
  • facts
  • examples
  • personal experience (including your own, but also that of others)
  • quotations

TASK: What kind of evidence could you use in your new, argumentative essay? List the types of evidence you might need.

Evidence is the support you give for your statements and arguments. In academic writing, there are strict rules about the evidence you use. You must acknowledge another’s intellectual material every time you use it—words (e.g. single words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs); graphic material (e.g. tables, diagrams, drawings); multimedia sources (e.g. videos, CD-ROMS, Internet).

TASK: Look at handout #1. (You can download handout #1 here: How_to_work_out_less_edt  )

  • Is this argumentative writing, or explanatory?
  • What is the meaning of the blue words?
  • If you click on them, what kind of page do you think you will be taken to?

TASK: Look at handout #2. (You can download handout #2 here: Is_Your_Doctor_Harming_You_edt  )

  • Where is the hook?
  • What kind of page do you think you will be taken to if yo click on the hyperlink in the first paragraph beneath the title?
  • Why does that first paragraph provide all this detail?



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