1) The difference between an opinion and a fact is that an opinion can be used as the main topic of an essay. It is based on partial knowledge of a subject where the writer thinks what seems true. In a fact, however, the statements are based on absolute certainty and can be proven if needed to. Facts can not be used as an essay topic since no sides exist, meaning no people to persuade.
2) Although facts do not make admirable essay topics, they do provide the needed support for an opinion. If an essay is purely based on personal feelings, nothing is available to prove those emotions. What is needed are strong facts which can show the reader the impartial aspects of the main idea.
3) Opinions may prove a writer’s viewpoint, but not all of them are created equal. In terms of writing an essay, a more detailed opinion (more than just a “yes or no” answer) is preferred. This makes the topic more interesting to read and forces the writer think in a less general perspective. The legitimacy of the opinion is also considered when it comes down to quality. A writer needs a statement that creates controversy to stir up interest. An opinion that is generally accepted to be true would not be a topic to choose since hardly any factual evidence would exist to support the opposition.
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4) Assuming a writer has all the background information needed, an essay topic on an American foreign policy would be a great choice. In this opinion, one nation is enforcing a rule based in another country. This would pull people from both America and the foreign country to either oppose or support this policy. With the numerous amount of people involved, controversy will be unavoidable. This controversy plays a key role in the topic since people will be interested and want to see how this policy will support/oppose their own views.
5) Of the five groups of topics, only one from each group would make a strong topic. In the first group (A-D), Sewing as a Hobby would be the better choice since people have different viewpoints on how sewing is a hobby. The variety of topics in sewing would also give the writer the work of narrowing the topic down to a single or few aspects. In group E-H, the choice would be Driver Training Programs Cost Too Much. This is an excellent topic for both support and opposition and for looking though the viewpoints of multiple people, such as students, parents, or other people in a community. The winner of best topic in the third group (I-J) would go to Moby Dick, America’s Greatest novel. This statement would relate to anyone who has read the novel and has created an opinion on the quality of it. Using these opinions, interest would be created and people would gladly voice their love/hate for the classic. In choices M-P, the best topic would be High Points in American Literature. Great amounts of literature have been composed in American history and that would bring out numerous high points. People will have their views on which should be crowned “best.” In the final group (Q-T), The Student Council is Outmoded would be the choice since this would stir up views from teachers, students, and parents. Depending on their likings of the student council, they would strongly support or oppose it since this audience would have a strong view on what is best for the students.
6) The chief difference between a typical term paper and an essay is that an essay is mainly a persuasive piece of writing. In it, the writer writes on a certain topic which reflects his/her opinions. In a term paper, however, the writer is mainly focused on providing the facts in order to tell about a subject.
7) A. Edison Invented the Electric-Light Bulb would be a poor essay topic since that is a fact and it can be proven without much effort.
B. The weakness of Teachers Should Explain Things More Clearly is that this topic is too emotional. Hardly any facts that would prove this true.
C. No weakness lies in the topic Science Has Influenced Modern Life.
D. Safe Driving Should be Encouraged is another weak topic as this statement is supported by a vast majority of people. It would be ridiculous go against safe driving.
E. Although The Responsibilities of Students may seem like a feasible topic, it is actually quite poor since varieties of responsibilities exist and they can mostly be agreed on by everyone.
1) The difference between a thesis and an opinion is that an opinion is a broad idea. This cannot be used as a strong basis for an essay, but when it is condensed down to a specific point, it becomes a thesis. A thesis, now with all excess information cut away, is now ready to become a main point of an essay.
2) To narrow down an opinion to a thesis, five steps are required. The first step is to take inventory, and that means to take into consideration all that is known about the topic. After seeing all the information available, ask questions that derive from the opinion. Make sure that the questions asked are still related to the topic. When a question that seems appeasing is found, look for relationships between this question and the original opinion. Try to find what commonalities they share and search for statements that can be used as a thesis. Then ask the yes-or-no question; if both a supportive and negative statement can be given, then it is on its way to becoming a thesis. The final step in the process is to qualify the statement by narrowing it down. Choose which point to write on and specify a degree of support/opposition.
3) The value of a yes-or-no question is small when it is viewed as a an essay topic, but is very useful in finding a proper thesis. The question will help define a particular viewpoint, which is the basis of growth to a more specific statement. It will also help determine whether or not the statement is appropriate for use as a thesis.
4) Qualification of a thesis is important since that is where the the feelings toward an opinion come in. Qualifying outlines the degree of support or opposition, thus it helps guide the writer on the right path when writing an essay. This process is also useful for looking at both sides of an opinion and it can help the writer take them into consideration.
1) The three elements that create a full thesis are the statement itself, the supporting points, and the opposing points.
2) In writing, the full thesis is related to the psychology of an argument since the goal of a thesis is to persuade, just like how one tries win in an argument. Arguments aren’t won just by pure factual information nor is it won by emotions alone. The thesis statement highlights the main view of an argument, thus taking a stand. Then the use of both the supporting and opposing statements are used to persuade the reader/opposition. With these two sides, the persuader can use factual information along with some opposing statements, in an attempt to win by including facts with a hint of emotion.
3) The full thesis statement should be kept in view when writing since this prevents the writer from steering off into another topic. It also reminds the writer of the degree of the thesis and in turn, this ensures the appropriate details are being added into the essay.
4) When writing an essay, a full thesis should be followed as much as possible, but it is possible to have some leeway. The thesis should only be used as a guide since there should always be creativity in a paper. Following this guideline is great for beginning writers, but as experience racks in, it will be normal for writers to sway away from following a strict guideline.
1) An essay needs a concluding paragraph since it ties all of the middle section together. It brings the essay to a formal close, thus leaving the reader with satisfaction.
2) The introduction helps write the conclusion since the format of the two paragraphs are very similar. The introduction starts out broad and narrows down to a point (the thesis). In a conclusion, however, the thesis expands out into the broad subject used in the introduction. Therefore, the writer can look at the introduction and then use the information to help plan out the conclusion.
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3) It is likely that the introduction will have to be rewritten since the middle is not necessarily completely based off of the thesis. Ideas will frequently change throughout the writing process, thus the intro could then become inaccurate. It must be revised to fit the new middle section before the conclusion is made since it is significantly based off of the introduction.
4) The structure of a conclusion is the exact reverse as that of the introduction. It starts out at a specific point (thesis) and gradually works its way to become a vague idea. Instead of trying to prove a point in the middle, it is tying in (restating) the middle section.
5) Every time an idea from the middle is used in the conclusion, it rings a bell in the reader’s mind. The reader recognizes this statement from the essay and is thus once reminded. This will be an effect that prolongs the memory of the ideas listed in the essay.
6) A person can summarize without listing by using references to the middle text or introduction. Instead of listing the points, talk about the significant points, thus the reader is reminded and the deadly three point conclusion is not used.
7) To broaden a conclusion means to get more vague in a subject until the broad point is reached (which would be the idea used in the beginning of the introduction). The writer reviews what was stated in the preceding starting form the first sentence in the conclusion, therefore the writer begins to talk more vaguely.
1) Style in writing is similar to style in any other kind of activity since it takes time to create. Just like how athletes train to get skill and gracefulness, a writer must train to get his own expertise. Style also is what stands out to the audience. Similar to how people admire different athletes for different traits, readers will learn to respect a writer’s method.
2) It is important to learn what not to do in writing since that is how the writer gains experience. If a writer was told only what to do, he can make numerous mistakes and not even notice it, as they are abiding by the “to do” rules. He must be told what not to do in case of the multiple times that this event might take place. Just like in bowling, the person is told to roll the ball to try to knock all of the pins down. If he is not informed to not cross the line, then he could walk over it and not know the consequence until it’s too late.
3) Two rules that shall be applied to my writing is to only use third person and to never use the word “there.”
4) The use of a personal pronoun weakens a statement since it gives the reader a sense of the writer’s uncertainty such as in the sentence “I believe that animal cruelty is wrong.” If no pronoun is used, then the writer is giving a sense of command and confidence just like in “Animal cruelty is wrong.”
5) To substitute first and third person means to revise a statement so that only a third person’s point of view is used. The process usually involves cutting out the personal parts if it is substituting for a first person view and rewording if for a second person view.
6) The elimination of the word “there” forces writers to use better verbs since it requires thought to fill in the blank space. Leaving the space blank would usually mean a boring sentence. It is best filled with an action verb to give the sentence life.
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