Documented Essay Video Lecture
If it's something that there had been lots of opinions written about, then it's not going to make a good topic for your documented essay. You can write a thesis like in your synthesis essay, where you were showing the reader something important. And then remember to use other types of body paragraphs too, such as compare and contrast or narration, or cause and effect.
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In this lesson you’re going to learn about documented essays. A documented essay is just an essay supported by documentation. That means source information. You’ve already been writing documented essays. You’re advanced argument essay used sources. And your synthesis used sources. So both of those are types of documented essay. Two other types of documented essays that you might write in a college class are the documented critical essay, which is a research paper about literature. And then also a documented research paper, which you’re going to learn more about in the next course in this specialization. Then in the capstone for this specialization, you’ll actually write a documented research paper. This is just a way to get you started and for preparing you to write that full research paper. One thing that will be different for the documented essay is that you are going to choose your own topic for this assignment. But you need to choose an interesting topic. It also needs to be complex and academic. That means you should not choose topics like sports or fashion or entertainment. Those are not complex academic topics. They might be complex, but they are not academic subjects. Think of some topic that you might study in a college course. That’s the kind of topic you should choose for this essay. And you also need to choose a topic that you can find enough sources on, probably should not be a topic that just developed yesterday. If something just developed yesterday there’s probably not enough source material on it. You want to think of something that has been around for a year or two. So that there will be some sources for you to find. But because your topic is also supposed to be interesting, don’t choose a topic that has been written about for the past 20 years. If it’s something that there had been lots of opinions written about, then it’s not going to make a good topic for your documented essay. Try to think of something that’s fresh and that you might have some new perspective on. Before you start writing, you need to plan your essay. Try to think of your thesis statement first, this will help guide your essay. You can always change your thesis later, but start with some kind of working thesis. For the documented essay, you have a choice. You can write a thesis like in your synthesis essay, where you were showing the reader something important. Or you can make it an argument. That means your thesis would need to be debatable. And since we are trying to make our essays longer to prepare for that research paper, in this essay you should try to have 5-6 body paragraphs. With your introduction and conclusion, that means your essay would be seven or eight paragraphs total. Remember that each of those body paragraphs needs to be well developed. Several of your body paragraphs will be reasons to support the thesis. And then remember to use other types of body paragraphs too, such as compare and contrast or narration, or cause and effect. And because it’s a documented essay, you of course, need to use sources. Each body paragraph should have a couple of sources. Try to have at least one source in every body paragraph. This means your essay would have five or six quotations or paraphrases. And I don’t mean you need to have five or six different sources. You could have two quotations in your essay from the same source, but you should not have six quotations from one source. You probably need to find two or three articles that you can use for this essay. The other new thing for this type of essay, is we’re going to use a works cited page. Any time you write a documented essay, you have to cite your sources. And you have to list those sources in some kind of way. Other formats have a different way of ding that. What we’re using is MLA format. And in MLA format, you write your sources in a works cited page. The works cited page is the last page of your essay. If your essay is three pages, then your works cited would be the fourth page, like it is here. If your essay is nine pages, then your work cited page would be page ten. Now work cited pages can be pretty complicated, especially if you’ve never done one before. And I’ll show you how to do that in a different video
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