Lleviating the Womenas Poverty: Effectiveness of Constitutional interventions in Rural South Africa
Total Length of Course Essay: 6pages [no less and no more]+ works cited page; double-spaced, 12 Point Font, proper margins, page numbers, carefully edited.
What is a thesis statement?:
1. First you take the essay topic and consider it in relation to the course material that can be said to inform this question.
2. Once you consider the essay topic in relation to the ideas presented in the course this will hopefully inform how you conduct your research. You then begin preliminary research to determine which aspect of the broad topic you want to research further. Once you have determined which aspect of the topic you want to explore you begin to research that aspect of your particular topic. Your bibliography should reflect the particular aspect of the topic that you are investigating.
3. After you read the material which makes up your bibliography, you then consider your own position in response to that material: What do you think after you have read that material. What you think must be located in relation to what your research material itself leads you to think.
A suggested practice is to have the essay question that you want to focus on beside you as you read the corresponding research material and jot down notes for yourself as you go. At the end of this when you read over your own notes, you will have a general idea of where you stand in relation to the aspect of the topic that you are pursuing.
4. You then make a succinct statement that reflects your position in relation to your essay question and the readings. A thesis statement should start like this: In this essay, I argue (here is where your informed position is).
5. Then, you tell your reader how you are going substantiate your argument. Here, you give a brief outline of the main points you will use to substantiate the argument you made. Having a brief outline of how you are going to convince the reader of your argument helps to organize your essay and helps the reader follow your argument.
The most common problem with thesis statements and essays in general is that people donat do point 1 & 2 before they start writing and the essay writer, along with the reader, only find out what the writer is thinking at the end of the essay. If this is how you write, then go with that, but consider this stage as your first working draft and then, reorganize your essay accordingly.
Essay writing is an academic exercise, it is asking you what you think in relation to the material; what you think outside of that material, does not belong in your essay. Your points, ideas, thoughts and so on, must be supported by the material.
People often get confused between a?my opiniona? and a?my informed opiniona?. The first is less formal while the second is more academic. In an essay you are asked for your informed opinion. Informed by what you may ask: informed by your readings and the ideas you encounter in the course.
Remember that a good essay takes time and that writing is a skill and it does get better and better with practice.
Evaluation Criteria Studentas Name:
We use these guidelines to assess your essays. You can also use this sheet to first assess your own work. When assessing your own work, you should be able to answer a?yesa? to these questions. This lets you know that you have a good essay.
a? is the essay well structured does it have a clear introduction, body and conclusion?
a? does the introduction begin by introducing the reader to the general topic? (your introduction should introduce your reader to the broad topic of the essay question)
a? does the writer provide a clear thesis statement in her/his introduction? (A thesis statement is the position your taking within the broad essay topic, see thesis statement handout): In this essay, I will argue…
a? does the writer provide a clear outline of how she/he will substantiate her/his thesis? (an outline is a brief synopsis of how you will substantiate the argument you have just made [2 or 3 sentences]).
a? does the conclusion adequately tie up the loose ends and restate the thesis argued? (the conclusion should not bring up new points)
a? does the content address the essay question in a satisfactory way?
a? are the transitions between points smooth and well thought out? (without a clear structure at the beginning, transitions are impossible, so if you are having problems with transitions, review your structure).
3. Analysis and Description
a? does the writer describe and analyze the concepts and ideas she/he uses?
(remember that your reader cannot read your mind, you must take your reader through it step by step, think of yourself as a guide)
4. Style, syntax, grammar, etc.
a? is the essay well written?
a? are the transitions from one to the other clear and logical?
a? are the sentences well structured?
a? are the paragraphs well structured?
a? how is the grammar, spelling and word choice? Remember that this is an academic essay avoid using colloquial speech and expressions.
a? does the writer properly reference the essay?
a? does she/he provide a bibliography or works cited? footnotes or endnotes? do these follow reference guidelines?
a? does the paper have a title? (that encapsulates your argument)
a? does the writer provide a title page?
a? is the essay well displayed, visually pleasing with adequate margins, page numbers, appropriate fonts etc.?