I. Step 4: Final Essay: Use Your Summary Information To Write an Opinion Paper on Your Topic
A. Introduction (suggested length: one to two paragraphs)
1. You must introduce your topic and address its importance with regards to the course, your group, and the required readings.
2. Generate a thesis statement: take a position on your topic; create an argument.
B. Body (suggested length: three to five paragraphs)
1. Organize your summarized information in a way that helps support your argument.
2. Write in clear and succinct paragraphs, making sure each paragraph flows logically and connects your ideas back to your introduction.
3. Use chronological order and themes as an organizing tool for the flow of ideas.
C. Conclusion (suggested length: two paragraphs)
1. Analyze your topic’s significance by looking at how your topic relates to the whole (the group).
2. Reassess your opening thesis statement:
a. What conclusions did you reach concerning your topic?
b. How did your research help you understand your group’s historical experience?
Careful organization demands the presentation of a logical progression of ideas. Your emphasis must be on creating an argument. This is not simply a paper about how you “feel.” You must be able to defend a position, an argument, with hard data. The purpose in writing is not merely to describe. It is to explain historical process.