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Study Guide

ENG1100- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 52 pages long!)

52 pages83 viewsFall 2017

Department
English
Course Code
ENG 1100
Professor
Ross Clarkson
Study Guide
Final

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UOttawa
ENG1100
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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English 1100 Lecture 3 Topic to Thesis, Paragraphs
I. Commas. (Handbook 89-93). We will follow the textbook for all the rules about
comma usage.
II. Thesis.
By turning the topic into a question and answering it, you are developing a
thesis. Essay topics are often called research questions. But by giving a tentative
answer the topic question, or by recognizing you do not have an answer means
that you need to do some research. Formulating a thesis tends to come after you
have done some research, but then your thesis will direct you to more research.
Your thesis is the conclusion you have arrived at about the topic.
Your thesis is the main point you are making in the essay. Everything in
the essay is there to support the thesis or main claim. A claim is a statement that is
either true or false, so your thesis is a truth statement that you are trying to prove
or try and convince the reader that it is true. See Lecture 1 for definition of
‘claims’ or the Course Pack: “Claims and Critical Thinking
Three kinds of thesis claims:
1. Factual claim: A claim that is supported by empirical evidence such as
statistics or observation. These claims can be the basis for an expository essay
whose purpose is to explain, inform or describe. But factual claims can also
support other kinds of essays or arguments.
2. Evaluative claim: uses a standard of evaluation to make a claim about
strengths and weaknesses, better or worse, right or wrong. The two main
standards of evaluation you will be using are ‘practical’ and ‘ethical.’
Practical standards evaluate to how well something works, while ethical
standards evaluate human actions according either to moral principles or the
effects those actions have on other people. We will be looking at this more
closely in future lectures.
3. Proposal claim, or solution to a problem: goes beyond the values claim and is
a call to action, or a claim that something should be done (ie a law made or
changed), and is the basis of a policy essay.
III. Process of developing a good thesis:
1. Narrowing the topic until it becomes a thesis.
a. If the topic is the topos or place you are exploring, the thesis is your
destination. Every essay you write in university should have a clear thesis?
Expository essays are informative essays, but they are still claiming that the
explanation or description of a certain phenomena is a good one.
b. You need to do some research and through analysis develop your thesis: ie.
through analysis you can discover the function of voting in the democratic
system, and then evaluate how well ‘first past the post’ represents the majority
of the people. Your thesis will be the conclusion you reach about the
effectiveness of that system of voting.
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c. begin by approximating your thesis. When clear ideas or insights occur, jot
them down, follow them through, and develop them into a thesis. A thesis is
something you have discovered about the subject or data. Be flexible at the
beginning. Don’t be afraid to change your thesis if you find a truer or more
interesting conclusion.
d. A thesis needs to be specific, but it is still a general conclusion. It cannot be
so specific that it is merely a statement of fact or description: a thesis needs to
say something about those facts. A good essay moves from the general to the
specific, or from the main point to the specific evidence by analyzing that
evidence to show how the evidence supports the main point.
e. What kind of basic claim are you making? Thesis claims break down in either
Informative/Explanatory claims or Argumentative claims (see Handbook 5-6),
while there are different kinds of Argumentative claims. But you will still
arrive at a good claim by asking questions:
i. Informative claim: What happened? How it happened? Why it
happened? This could be a causal claim: what caused this or that to
happen? What was the effect of this or that? Why did this happen
this way?
ii. Evaluative claim: claiming that something works better than
something else, or something is morally right or wrong. What are
its strengths and weaknesses? Why is one way of doing it better
than another? Is this behavior right or wrong? Fair or unfair?
iii. Solution/Proposal claim. What is problem and how do we solve it?
iv. When you give a solid answer to the question, you will have come
to a conclusion and therefore have a thesis.
v. There are wo basic kinds of thesis statements:
1) Simple thesis states your main claim: “No fault divorce
is a better way to settle a martial breakdown than
traditional divorce, or
2) Expanded thesis states your main claim plus the main
supporting reasons: “Compared to traditional divorce,
no fault divorce is less expensive, promotes fairer
settlements, and reflects a more realistic view of the
causes of marital breakdown.” These reasons could also
be given in the sentence following the simple thesis
statement.
2. A good thesis is usually addressing a clear issue.
a. An issue is a debatable problem and you are offering a possible solution
to that problem, or at least contributing to better understanding the
problem. Your thesis will be your position on the issue, in other words,
you need to take a stand.
b. The thesis is a conclusion. It is the answer that you have arrived at after
researching the problem/topic. You can propose a solution, you are
arguing your proposition is a good one.
c. A strong, clear thesis should provide a clear, organizing, and forward
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