- Essay Question: Historically, what circumstances have contributed to a weakening of patriarchal controls on women’s lives?
As we get started, I wanted to share some tips on your Weekly Essays.
Tips for your Weekly Essays:
Build a formal essay. An intro, body and conclusion.
Introduce the topic to the reader in 3-5 sentences. Leave the body for the facts. Focus on a strong thesis statement leading into the body of your paper.
Build that strong thesis and introduction: Let the last sentence in your introduction be your thesis statement. What is a thesis? It is a proposition to be tested and weighed.
Conclude your paper by summarizing your findings (3-5 sentences).
Please remember to include a works cited section for your references. <<< This is a big deal. You always need to cite your sources. <<< I know Blackboard says otherwise. However, I do require citations.
Avoid first-person interaction within your essays (I, me, we, etc.).
For full credit: Bring sources—at least three for full credit. Research is key. Hence, I would like to see some sources in your work.
Stick with scholarly sources. Example: .edu and .gov sites. Books (ebooks and traditional hardcopies)
You will need sources besides your textbook for this essay. This is not a research paper, but good sources will make your essay easier to write as well as stronger in content.
Find good, solid sources ahead of time and read them over to let the content sink in. Then, use these sources to bolster the main points in your essay. Cite the sources as you use them, and then list your sources as references at the end of your essay.
If you choose good, solid sources which are comprehensive, then you might need perhaps three sources. If you choose shorter, more focused sources, then perhaps you might need six sources. So, one of your tasks for this essay is to find three to six sources which support the main points of your essay.
Choose sources which are academically sound. Please avoid encyclopedias, including Wikipedia, and also avoid textbooks as sources since they are considered tertiary sources, which means they are three steps removed from the historical event. Look for journal articles, books, or robust web articles which are scholarly in nature. A good sign of a robust sources is when it lists its references at the end of the source and cites those sources as part of the narrative.
Top Ten Tips on Essays
Pause for a moment before you start your essay. Here is a short list of the most common mistakes that my students make when writing essays. Let’s learn from these previous mistakes:
- Use the essay format of an introductory paragraph, one paragraph for each main point, and a concluding paragraph. Organize those words by using the essay format.
- State the purpose of your essay clearly in the introductory paragraph. You need a thesis, a theme, a guiding purpose. What is your argument? Tell the reader about it in the introduction.
- Support each main point with details or examples. Tie each main point to the goal of the essay that you stated in your introduction. Cite your sources as you use them to support your main points.
- Use transitions to guide the reader from point to point. Make it a smooth ride for your readers.
- Tidy things up with a conclusion that summarizes your main points as they related to your argument. Be sure to list your references in APA format at the end of your essay. You do not need to double-space your references or use hanging indents since this is hard to do in Blackboard, but include the necessary information in APA format.
- Run a grammar and spell check.
- Let the essay sit for awhile and then go back for proofreading and editing. Don’t turn in your first draft.
- Don’t plagiarize. Be sure to give credit to the sources of your ideas.
- Use your own words. Avoid lots of quotes. Indeed, you probably don’t have to quote at all unless the quote is a memorable phrase.
- Have something to say. Don’t just fill in words to make your essay long enough.
You will be posting this essay in our class discussions for your classmates to read. Here are some formatting tips to help make your essay easier to share with your classmates:
- You do not need a title page. Simply put a title at the top of your essay and then leave a blank line.
- Single-space this essay, with a blank line between each paragraph.
- Copy your essay from your word processor and then paste it into Blackboard. This lets your classmates see your essay without downloading it and launching another application.
- You can adjust line spacing in Blackboard if necessary (sometimes Blackboard adds extra blank lines).
- Are you using visual aids such as pictures or tables in your essay? If so, then go ahead and attach your word processing file rather than trying to copy and paste your essay into Blackboard. For visual aids, that will be easier for you and also easier for your classmates to read.
This is not an APA paper with a title page and an abstract and such. However, you need to cite sources in the body of your essay as you use them and then list your references at the end of your essay. Use the APA format to cite your sources. Also, use the APA format for your references except that you do not need to double-space or use hanging indents since those are hard to do in Blackboard.
Remember, you need at least 600 words and perhaps as many as 1000 words. Follow the essay format of introduction, main points, and conclusion.