• Focus on the issue/question you have chosen to address. (Your thesis statement should articulate your answer to the question or your position on the issue.)
  • Develop this thesis statement by using one of two approaches:
  • Option 1--Starting with the Readings: Generate a discussion/disagreement between a group of authors (at least two positions) on the issue/question you have chosen. Using specific examples from the readings, indicate where the authors agree and where they disagree on this issue. Perhaps show how other students' writing involves itself in this issue. Then show how your personal experience participates in the discussion or provides a possible resolution or answer to the disagreement.
  • Option 2--Starting with Your Personal Story: First and foremost, tell your own story related to the issue/question you have chosen. Demonstrate how your experiences can be explained or interpreted further by particular class readings and other students' writings.

    No matter which of these two options you choose, you will be expected to use specific examples from any texts (essays or peer-authored work) or personal experiences that you bring to the paper.

  • Organize the paper around the main points you are making in support of your thesis. Introduce the common issue/question, connect ideas, and clearly identify whose ideas are referred to. (Organization structures will differ depending on which essay option you choose--See above.)
  • Write in a clear, readable style in language and tone appropriate to your subject and audience.