Exercise 2.4: Essay Organization and Thesis Development

Objective: to understand organization of an essay by paragraph using PAS and to understand thesis development as a process.

Estimated time: 1 hour
Due by 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 23rd

Part 1—Reading

  • Read the Effective Paragraphing writing guide.
  • Read the Model Essay. As you read, note how the essay is organized by paragraph. As part of our classwork, you will learn how to apply the same principles to your essay.
  • Read “Linking Evidence and Claims” by David Rossenwasser et al.

Part 2—Writing

Using ideas “Linking Evidence and Claims,” discuss the following in a few sentences and be sure to include quotes for each.

  • why we are not using the five-paragraph essay model for our essays
  • why we are waiting until later drafts to finalize our thesis

Post as a comment below.

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21 thoughts on “Exercise 2.4: Essay Organization and Thesis Development

  1. The five-paragraph essay model has many flaws according to “Linking Evidence and Claims”. One of the most major flaws is “that papers need only repeat (rather than develop) their main ideas” (147). In academic writing the focus is to write to develop a thesis and convey your a message, this would not be possible with a five-paragraph template. The point is that you need to organize a paper on its needs rather than following a template.

    We are waiting to finalize our thesis until later because by then we would have all the evidence to support it and take into consideration that a thesis changes. In the “Linking Evidence and Claims” it states; “A strong thesis evolves: it changes as a paper progresses. The changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence.” (144), a thesis should be finalized later in the writhing process to give room for change and editing.

  2. In my opinion, because use five paragraph essay model can make more further organized the essay in construction and easier know each part of paragraph doing each thing from decipt distinguish different resource and claim our use. on the other hand, via each paragragh stance step by step of convey and comparison to identify every signified of purpose in each paragraph.

    Doing a great draft on other side offer a conceive from idea if not doing a great draft from you is much better prove a draft important simply found regarding technique and reply shortcoming on the essay wrting.

  3. Based on the material that is presented in “Linking Evidence and Claims” the model five-paragraph essay consists of serval errors. However, the most major flaw is “that papers need only repeat (rather than develop) their main ideas” (147). In the realm of academia, writing is used to expand upon any ideas a person has and Write a well-developed thesis in order to convey a message, which requires more writing than the standard five-paragraph template. Following a template shouldn’t be the way of deciding how to write, rather rely on your own ideas and knowledge in order to write a well-developed essay that conveys a message.
    We are waiting to finalize our thesis until later because before we can create a thesis we most fist put all of the ideas and concepts we have on paper, so by the time we finish we confidently express what exactly we are writing about. “Linking Evidence and Claims” states; “A strong thesis evolves: it changes as a paper progresses. The changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence.” (144), showing that a thesis should be the last step in the writing process which leaves room for the changes and edits required in order to truly perfect why you are discussing the topics in your essay.

  4. By using the five-paragraph essay strategy, students are unable to form an in-depth analysis and can only engage till the surface level. Ideas are repeated, “all body paragraphs are essentially the same” and even the theses are a general statement or “broadly stated themes” that are never developed and are not arguable (157). We should wait until later drafts to finalize our thesis, as a strong thesis “evolves” and is not “static”(163). As we write and develop our ideas, our thesis is also improved upon and developed.

  5. We are not using the five-paragraph essay model in our essay because it limits the way you express your ideas on paper. For example, in “Linking Evidence and Claims” it states, “The problem with this orderly scheme is that it doesn’t leave much room for thinking. In fact, it actually discourages thinking because it makes writers afraid to look closely at the evidence” (146). We are waiting until later drafts to develop our thesis because we need to understand the evidence first to be able to support our thesis.

  6. In “Linking Evidence and Claims”, one of the main reason that five-paragraph essay is limiting is because “it doesn’t leave much room for thinking”. It also “discourages thinking because it makes writers afraid to look closely at the evidence”. Also another point the book made was the three body paragraphs are simply listing facts and not helping student form a solid thesis.

    On another note, waiting till the end to finalize our thesis because it allows to hypothetically revise various variation of a statement to look at the “difference within similarity”.

  7. According to “Linking Evidence and Claims”, using a five paragraph essay model can have limitations and “it doesn’t have much room for thinking”. since it’s already organized and has certain guidelines, ones writing could be limited.
    Waiting till later to formulate a thesis could not only result in a stronger thesis but also a thesis that goes well with the writing more.

  8. The five-paragraph essay model restricts writer’s thought process. The reason we are not using the model is because it focuses on a static generalized thesis and the paragraphs follow the repeated pattern of examples making the same point (144). “The problem with this orderly scheme is that it doesn’t leave much room for thinking. Infact, it actually discourages thinking because it makes writer afraid to look closely at the evidence” (146). This model doesn’t incorporate complexities rather it ends the same way it started (146).

    The idea of a strong thesis is that it’s not static or in other words, “The absence of change is a primary trait of weak thesis” (144). As moving forward to later drafts, our thoughts are refined but with an static thesis, the flow of ideas would be restricted. The goal is to state a thesis in the light of claims and evidences presented. “A strong thesis evolves: it changes as the paper progresses. The changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence” (144).

  9. The reasons why the 5 paragraph theme doesn’t work is that it doesn’t leave much room for thinking, it makes the writer actually afraid to look closely at the evidence, because if they do look too closely, then perhaps they will find something that doesn’t fit.

    The reason why a thesis is created later on in an essay is that the thesis is constantly changing, and if you write a thesis at the beginning of an essay, you may find that it changes when you advance further in the essay.

  10. The problem with the five paragraph essay model, according to “Linking Evidence and Claims,” is that it…”blocks writers’ abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145). It does not allow the writer to expand on his ideas and its limiting him to just a few paragraphs to express himself.
    If we want to have a good, strong thesis we have to understand that it might change as we find new evidence, as it states “…in nearly all good writing, the thesis evolves by gaining in complexity and, thus, in accuracy as the paper progresses” (144). That is why we wait to finalize the thesis- we want to get as much evidence as we can.

  11. An essay with five paragraph is too simple. A good writer needs more room to develop their thinking. “this simplistic scheme blocks writers’ abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145).

    Sometimes you don’t know what you are writing. You are just trying to answer question and coming up with a thesis is much easier once you have answered all the questions. “A strong thesis evolves: it changes as a paper progresses. The changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence” (144).

  12. We are not using the five-paragraph essay model for our essay because it limits the writer’s creativity and it has complications. Linking Evidence and Claims states “This simplistic scheme blocks writers’ abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145).
    We wait until later drafts to finalize our thesis because a thesis changes as the evidence is better understood and the writing develops ” A strong thesis evolves, it changes as a paper progresses” (144).

  13. According to “Linking Evidence and Claims”, the five paragraph essay model “restricts rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145), asserting that there is no momentum built from having stated an original idea. These original ideas presented in the five paragraph model essay are but more displayed and left to some audience to develop rather than the author of said original ideas developing them themselves.

    As for why we are waiting to finalize out theses, this is because we really don’t have too large of a foundation yet to even draft a thesis, or at the very least, come to a very rough and possibly messy statement at best. To come to this finalized theses of ours, we need more concrete blocks of what will be the rest of our essay in order to consider what a summarized thesis might be about our essay.

  14. According to “Linking Evidence and Claims” by David Rossenwasser et al, the reason for no using a five [paragraph format for our essays is very simple. He states that, “ Although it has the advantage of providing a mechanical format that will give virtually any subject the appearance of order, it usually lops off writer’s ideas before they have the chance to form or stretches a single idea to the breaking point”(145). Through this we understand that this format limits the writer’s ability to expand and to be creative with his or her writing given that it impedes the author to change the way their text looks as it may look disorderly. This type of format also makes writing process mechanized and simplistic as it limits the ways in which the authors can imagine their ideas.
    This text also explains that we wait until later drafts to finalize our thesis because writing it at the beginning creates a mayor problem for the writer. According to this text “ It [ the thesis] tells the writer that he or she will have to write a paragraph on each of the terms in the list, but it doesn’t let the reader( or the writer) know why this might be worth doing”(146). This means that apart from being nothing more than a list, a thesis written at the beginning of an essay can also lack the “tension…the pressure of one idea against another” (146). This makes the idea that will be discussed in the essay increasingly boring for the reader as there doesn’t seem to be any purpose to them. Thus, writing the thesis after witting multiple drafts allows the writer to first know why they are writing on the subject they have been assigned and then create a dable thesis.

  15. “Linking Evidence and Claims” states that the five-paragraph format “blocks writers’ abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145). Limiting an essay on complex ideas to only five paragraphs makes it difficult to eleborate on a topic. The structure of the essay would seem unorganized, having jumbles of information clogged up in a single paragraph. Making new paragraphs for each idea would have better structure and be less of a problem to read. Limiting to five paragraphs also means sacrificing information that can make reading the essay easier.
    “Linking Evidence and Claims” also states that ” a strong thesis evolves: it changes as a paper progresses. The changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence” (144). We’ve only written one draft so far, so having a complete understanding of our thesis would be is outlandish. By doing more drafts and changing our writing, we could understand what our thesis could be.

  16. According to “Linking Evidence and Claims” by David Rossenwasser , the five paragraph essay model “ is a procrustean formula that most students learn in high school. Although it has the advantage of providing a mechanical format that will give virtually any subject the appearance of order, it usually lops off a writers ideas before they have the chance to form or stretches a single idea to the breaking point. In other words, this simplistic scheme blocks writers’ abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145). This is basically saying that this format limits the writer’s ability to expand and to be creative their writing and it also makes it seem simple as it limits the ways in which the authors can imagine their ideas. Also according to “Linking Evidence and Claims” rossenwasser says “A strong thesis evolves, it changes as a paper progresses” (144). This shows that we wait until later drafts to finalize our thesis because the thesis may change as we continuously revise our drafts.

  17. 1. We are not using the five-paragraph essay model for our essays because it consists of some errors. The five-paragraph essay keeps repeating the main idea instead of expanding it, the introduction and conclusion is basically the same, the essay only provides the evidence to support the thesis rather than to test and develop the main idea (147).
    2. We are waiting until later drafts to finalize our thesis because we need enough evidences to support a thesis. Also, a thesis can be changed many times as we look into the evidences and start to work on them.

  18. According to “Linking Evidence and Claims” by David Rossenwasser, the five-paragraph essay model “blocks writers’ abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting rather than encouraging the development of complex ideas” (145). He also added, “It is a meat grinder that can turn any content into sausage” (145).

    As for why we are waiting to finalize out theses, this is because it gives us more time to develop our thesis and research on the content. After lots of revision, we can change our thesis as we will be exposed to more content. So if we change and revise our drafts more we can make a better thesis statement. David Rossenwasser said “A strong thesis evolves: it changes as a paper progresses. The changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence” (144).

  19. The five-paragraph essay form is one of the most common writing structures taught to highschool students, and everything must follow an order. Besides the fact that we are no longer in high school, the five-paragraph essay form is ineffective. According to the Linking Evidence and Claims by David Rossenwasser et al,
    ” the generally 5 paragraph model blocks writers from engaging in more sustained, subtle and revelatory thinking” (page 137). David furthermore states ” It usually lops off a writer’s ideas before they have the chance to form or stretches a single idea to the breaking point .. this scheme blocks writer’s abilities to think deeply or logically, restricting than encouraging the development of complex ideas …the 5 paragraph form seems to provide the greatest good but the form does not promote logically tight and intellectually aggressive writing. another problem is that the thesis shape is that it doesn’t offer a real thesis. it offers a list instead of an idea” (145-146). Not providing a strong and real thesis is always a struggle which all only adds on more to why the five-paragraph form isnt the best format to use.

    A thesis declares what you believe and what you intend to prove. However, with this essay, it is better to finalize these statements because we need to avoid certain errors in our essay. we are acting on making claims lastly in our essays is to avoid problems such as making our claims unsubstantiated, without substance ” an unsubstantiated claim doesn’t offer none of the concrete
    ” stuff” upon which the claim is based. when a writer makes an unsubstantiated claim he/she assumed that readers will believe it just because the writer put it out there. It deprives the reader of details” (page 139). Furthermore, not having a strong thesis is always a problem and a struggle for many writers, however, David provides an explanation for why this happens “a strong thesis evolves, the changes in the thesis are galvanized by its repeated encounters with evidence. .. the absence of change is the primary trait of a weak thesis” (144). If a thesis is a static one, it is not a strong one at the end. A thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic. David also adds “evidence has a second function beyond corroborating claims, to test and develop and evolve the thesis, making the thesis account more accurately for the evidence”(144) where he backs up the idea that a thesis much changes because after all it tests and develops as evidence is dug up.

  20. the 5-paragraph essay is very limiting to the students, especially for those in college. This is a high-school technique used, and can not be applied in the broad world of college level writing. the 5-paragraph essay requires us to write thesis, facts, claims, evidence, etc in a strict format, and a lot of times, it is not possible to end a claim or evidence, etc in 1 or 2 sentences. It is also clearly stated in ‘linking evidence and claims’: “A common assumption about evidence is that it is ‘the stuffs that proves I’m write.’ Although this way of thinking about evidence is not wrong, it is much too limited”

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