Posted: April 23rd, 2016

Whats the best kind of pet?


Essay Maps

An essay map is simply a “road map” of an essay, and is usually “attached” in some way to a thesis statement. If I were to add a “because” to the example above, adding three or so reasons, I would be creating an essay map. Let’s take another topic as an example:


Research Question: What’s the best kind of pet?

Thesis: Dogs are the best pets

Thesis plus essay map: Dogs are the best pets because they are protective, loyal, and fuzzy. (Sorry about the “fuzzy” part. Another reason didn’t pop into my head, and all I need you to do is get the point of this anyway, so I didn’t see the need to stress my brain). ÂÂ


The essay would then be organized according to the “map” I provided above. The first section of the body of the essay would deal with dogs’ protective instincts and why that is a benefit to owners. The next section would discuss and support the notion that dogs are more loyal than other common pets. The third section would argue the benefits of ‘”fuzziness” and establish that dogs, indeed, are fuzzy. Note that the “sections” to which I refer are not necessarily single paragraphs. It might take several paragraphs to fully argue the first issue (protectiveness), while the fuzzy angle would probably not take up as much space. The task at hand determines how much you will write and how much support you will need.

This is our “mini research” assignment — the last paper of the term. The essay should be 4-8 pages long, argumentative, and include some research. It must use MLA documentation style. Basic MLA formatting rules apply: 1” margins all around, heading with your name, my name, class and date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page, a centered title (not underlined, put inside of quotation marks, colored, or in any other way different from the body text), 12-point Times New Roman font, etc. It will also be accompanied by an issue proposal (worth 50 points) and a works cited page, also worth 50 points.


Chapter 16 (pages 267-301) deals specifically with writing the research paper, and is mandatory reading. Page 301 lists some potential general topics that you can use, but note the “exceptions” list below. All of the topics listed on page 301 need to be narrowed down considerably. You are not restricted to those topics. When developing your topic, think in “should/should not” terms. For example, instead of thinking, “what is the impact of high tuition costs on higher education,” think “tuition costs should be lowered because doing so will allow greater access to higher education.” The “should” will force you into an argumentative position, and will prove helpful. You can choose any topic narrow enough to be fully argued in fewer than 8 pages. That page limit forces the exclusion of the following (you CANNOT write on any of the following topics):

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