Now that You Have a Thesis, Start to Develop it

Hi everyone,

Most of you now have a least a working thesis, or you will by Monday,  so it’s time to start developing it.  This will involve not only re-reading the poem but doing the research.

We’ll meet outside the library (4th floor of Library Building) for Monday’s class (November 26).  Prof. Anne Leonard from the library will be talking about finding and evaluating news sources.  If you arrive late, you can find us in the computer classroom on the 5th floor of the library. Go inside the library and up the stairs and make a right.

  1. Read over the poem you’ve chosen.  Which lines, images, points, or ideas are most important to the argument you want to make?   Circle what looks most important. Add a few more thoughts to these.  Annotate your copy of the poem.   Don’t be afraid to use poetic terms to help you explain what you see.
  2. In a Word file, make an outline of the most important ideas or points in an order that makes sense to you. Start developing/writing your points out and listing/adding examples and quotations to the outline.  Also save this to a cloud service like com.  If you prefer, write this out by hand on paper–maybe take a picture so you don’t have to worry about losing the outline.
  3. Now write out a rough introduction paragraph where you make an argument about the poem where you connect it to the contemporary news event.  Continue to follow your rough outline and start writing the other sections of the paper.
  4. Handling research: even while you are in in the brainstorming phase, you should be looking over your research materials.  Pick one to start, then another one, etc.  Take brief notes on your sources: always jot down page numbers if you have them.  You’re thinking about where the research has points or examples that can help you make your own argument stronger or more specific.  When adding information from a research source into your paper, work from your brief notes, so you avoid plagiarizing the research!  Of course, you will transcribe a direct quotation word for word.   Think, though, about where you can put the research author’s point into your own words and then support this point with a direct quotation.  Always give an in-text citation for quotes or paraphrases. 
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