Imensions of the Verbal and Nonverbal Contexts
paper should discuss unique nonverbal codes in south American culture (Mexican culture).
paper should begin with a description of the culture that is to be examined (e.g., geographical location, population, government, current leaders, language, etc.)
Writing an Essay
An essay is not simply a list of facts. You must organize the facts into themes which support a central argument or thesis. This thesis should be introduced in the beginning of the paper and developed throughout the paper one step at a time. The stronger your thesis, the easier it will be for you to develop a strong argument. Use an outline to organize your thoughts in a clear, coherent and logical manner and to guide you in writing the essay. Organizationally, the essay has three main parts:
1. Introduction. Use the introduction to state your thesis, outline the main points you will make in the essay/paper, and describe the conclusions which you will draw in the essay. Essays are not mystery papers; the reader should know from the beginning what your conclusions are. Use the introduction to draw the reader into the essay. Often it is easier to write your introduction last, after you clearly know what arguments you develop in the essay.
2. Body. The body is the bulk of your paper, the place where you present your facts and develop your thoughts and arguments. The body can be developed chronologically, thematically, geographically, or in any number of ways, but you must make it clear how you are approaching and organizing the material. While you write the essay, keep in mind the following points:
o Write in paragraphs. Each paragraph is a unit of thought limited to one major idea. Each paragraph should relate to and support your thesis or central argument. Use specific and concrete examples to support your general statements. Be sure your facts are correct and that they support your argument.
o Use good grammar. This includes writing in complete sentences, using past tense instead of present tense when appropriate, using active verbs instead of passive ones, varying your vocabulary, and avoiding sexist language (i.e.–dont use the generic Heor talk about the history of man when you mean the history of humans or people). If you have taken an English composition class, bring those skills into your essay.
o Write analytically, not descriptively. Do not just explain what happened, but also try to explain why it happened and why it is significant. Facts are important, but without interpretation they become meaningless.
o I am not looking for any Correctanswers. Rather, it is more important that you are able to use the material to develop an argument supporting your viewpoint.
o You will be rewarded for independent and original thought. Dont be afraid to give your opinions and interpretations of the material (this is your thesis!). Be critical of your readings and the lectures. Look for new ways of approaching the material. When you disagree with an authors views, say so.
o Be creative. Make your essay interesting to read. Dont assume that I as the instructor know everything that there is to know on your topic. Write as if you are teaching someone something that is new and interesting. This will automatically make your paper a better one.
3. Conclusion. The conclusion can be as simple as a restatement of your introduction. It should emphasize your thesis, and briefly summarize how you have proven it in the body of the paper. In this way, your paper is cyclical–you end up where you started. You can also use the conclusion to state your own interpretations, to assess and argue with the material you have read, and to point to gaps in our historical knowledge.