Esl 221 September 23, 2009 In-Class Reading



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ESL 221

  • September 23, 2009

In-Class Reading

  • In Handbook, Read pp. 23-26 (start at the bottom of p. 23 with “Developing a working thesis”
  • When you finish reading, complete any two of the examples at the bottom of p. 26 (e.g. 1 & 4, 2 & 5, 3 & 4, etc.)

Research Questions

  • When preparing to write an essay, a research question can help to guide your preparation
  • A research question helps to remind you of the kind of information you hope to include in your essay

Sample Research Questions

  • What is wrong with the current American healthcare system?
  • What are some of the problems that international students face while studying in America?
  • Do you think that international students should be allowed to have American Driver’s Licenses? Why or why not?

Going from Research Question to Thesis Statement

  • The thesis statement is a detailed yet concise answer to the research question
  • It includes a main idea, but also includes several supporting ideas (called sub-topics) that will be further addressed in the body of the paper
  • Typically one sentence, can be two sentences in some cases

Identify the Sub-Topics

  • Research Question: What are some of the problems that international students face while studying in America?
  • Thesis Statement: While studying in America, international students must overcome a language barrier, spend time away from their families, and learn to do everything in a new and different culture.

Identify the Sub-Topics

  • Research Question: What are some of the problems that international students face while studying in America?
  • Thesis Statement: While studying in America, international students must overcome a language barrier, spend time away from their families, and learn to do everything in a new and different culture.

Activity

  • Working with a partner, write a thesis statement that answers the following research question:
  • What are the benefits of studying abroad?

Three Types of Thesis Statements

  • Informing – writing to transmit knowledge
  • Interpreting – writing to produce understanding
  • Arguing – writing to assert matters of public debate
  • Three basic types of essays: Informative, Interpretive and Argumentative

What type of essay is appropriate?

  • For each essay prompt below, determine the type of thesis statement that would be most appropriate (informative, interpretive or argumentative):
  • Should international students be allowed to obtain American driver’s licenses?
  • Write an essay discussing American values as they are represented in the movie Gone with the Wind
  • Write an essay about daily life in your home country
  • Do you think the American healthcare system needs to be changed? Why or why not?

Topic Sentences

  • Topic Sentences are drawn from the sub-topics found in the thesis statement
  • Each sub-topic in the thesis statement becomes the main idea for a paragraph in the body of the essay

Writing Topic Sentences

  • Thesis Statement: The negative outcomes of drinking alcohol include, but are not limited to: poor performance in school, an increase of risky behaviors, and alcoholism.
  • One of the negative outcomes of drinking is poorer performance in the classroom.
  • Another potentially negative outcome of drinking is an increased likelihood to participate in risky behavior.
  • A final and most serious outcome of drinking is the development of alcoholism, or an addiction to alcohol.

Activity/Homework

  • Complete the handout given in class (due Monday)
    • You may work with a partner while in class
  • Read pp. 48-57 in Sourcework, then complete Activity 2 on p. 59. Please write or type your answers on a separate sheet of paper so that you may turn them in.


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