Paper Organization Part one: Full Paper A Journey Onward from the 5-Paragraph Essay
Back in High School, so Long Ago… The Five-paragraph Essay It was a good start for what it was trying to do: “Say what you’re going to say, then say it, and then say what you said.”
Example 5-paragraph Essay Thesis: “Boys rule and girls drool. Boys are too cool for school.” Outline: “Boys rule and girls drool.” Evidence for boys ruling point one Point two Evidence for girls drooling point Evidence for boys being too cool for school Point one Point two 5. Conclusion: “Boys rule and girls drool. Boys are too cool for school”
Strengths of the 5-Paragraph Easy to write quickly Easy to follow Well-suited for 2-3 page assignments It’s a classic!
And Weakness of the 5-Paragraph Difficult for long papers Lose opportunity to include additional useful information such as history or review of literature. Comes off as less sophisticated.
So what other options are there? Compare/Contrast History Review of Literature Argument and Counter-argument Implications Etc.
Consider Timbur’s Paper Introduction Roots of SACHED and its goals Changes in race relations Critique of 70s-era black education Political composition of SACHED Explanation of thesis (definitions, etc.) SACHED popular literacy
Popular Literacy and SACHED Roux’s work “Easy English” Origins of “Easy English” Problems with “Easy English” … How does this outline change things? Lengthening and strengthening
A More Sophisticated Outline Thesis: “Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider; girls go to Mars to get more candy bars.” Thesis History of juvenile space travel Lack of gender studies in review of literature Boys’ increased stupidity, post-Jupiter Evidence #1 Evidence #2 Girls’ increased candy from Mars Evidence #1 Evidence #2 Implications for gender relations on Earth Conclusion
Strengths of a Mixed Outline Greater freedom of motion More information than just analysis Weaknesses of a Mixed Outline Can be harder to follow Hint 1: Try using sub-headings! Hint 2: Try setting out “road map” in thesis Best for longer papers
Bless Your HS Teachers! The 5-paragraph essay is a beautiful thing and very useful for high school students to learn, but there’s a whole world of organization out there. Go and write! Please remember to go home and write your high school teacher a nice email thanking him/her for teaching you the basics of writing!