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Chapter 5

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Ryerson University
Social Sciences and Humanities
SSH 205
Scott Clark

SSH 205: Chapter 5 Linking Evidence and Claims: 1 on 10 Versus 10 on 1 • Instead of using “thesis”, use the synonym, “claim” • Claim is an assertion that you make about your evidence –an idea that you believe the evidence supports. Primary claim in a paper is the thesis • Subject itself, primary material (data) being analyzed, is known as evidence • Demonstrations re result of 2 primary mistaken assumptions about what an analytical paper is: 1. Misconception about a thesis is that a thesis should be static and unchanging 2. Misconception about evidence is that the sole function of evidence is to confirm the thesis –evidence is limited to “the stuff that proves I’m right” • Strong thesis evolves: changes as paper progresses, strong thesis isn’t static • Evidence has a second function beyond confirming claims: test and develop and evolve the thesis more precise. Evidence is not stat, as just a means of confirming and reasserting unchanging ideas A. Developing AThesis Is More Than RepeatingAn Idea (“1 on 10”) • 1 on 10: Writer makes a single and usually very general claim and then process to affix it to ten examples • Number ten is arbitrarily chose, you could cite four, five, or seven examples What’s Wrong With 5-Paragraph Form? • Complex idea is one that has many sides • Intro (top bun)- announces writers main idea, abut the three points • Three paragraphs (meat patties) –each on one of the three points • Conclusions (bottom bun) –beginning with “thus,” “in conclusion”, that essentially repeats the introduction • You should have as many points (evidence) to prove your claim (thesis) AnAlternative to 5-Paragraph Form: TheAll-Purpose Organizational Scheme 1. Write an introduction: Begin analytical papers by defining some issue, question, problem, or phenomenon that the paper will address. Use the intro to get readers to see why they should read about the thing you have noticed (half page) 2. State a working thesis: Tentative claim about whatever it is you have laid out as being in need of exploration (thesis will change as you write the paper) 3. Begin querying your thesis: Develop the working thesis by asking “So what?” 4. Muster supporting evidence for your working thesis: Test its adequacy by seeing how much evidence it can account for (prove your thesis correct) 5. Seek complication evidence: Find contrary evidence to your thesis, then explore and explain how and why it doesn’t fit 6. Reformulate your thesis: Use complicating evidence to make a new thesis (evolves thesis by assimilating obstacles and refining terms) 7. Repeat steps 3 to 6: Query, support, complicate, and reformulate your thesis until you are satisfied with its accuracy 8. State a conclusion B. Linking Evidence and Claims • Whenever you make a claim, make sure you (1) offer your readers evidence that led you it, and (2) explain how the evidence led you to the conclusion • “Unsubstantiated” means “without substance” (unsubstantiated claim doesn’t mean false; just offers none of the concrete “stuff” upon which the claim is based • You have to make the details speak, conveying to your readers why the details mean what you claim they mean • (1) Say explicitly what you take the details to mean and (2) to state exactly how the evidence supports or qualifies your claims • Evidence characteristically does to a claim: shrinks and restricts its scope (process called qualifying a claim, means by which a thesis evolves) C.Analyzing Evidence In Depth: “10 on 1” • 10 on 1: Focused analysis of a representative example • 10 on 1 holds that it is better to make ten observations or points about a single representative iss
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