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Week 3 Discussion Board

Week 3 Discussion Board

Let’s practice writing body paragraphs! I would like you to think about the three readings from this week and come up with an argument about one of them. Your argument should focus on what you believe is the main point of one of the readings (why did Professor Wood assign a particular reading?) For example, maybe you think that the primary purpose of The Tale of Heike is to espouse Buddhist teachings. In this case, the significance of this argument would be that Professor Wood assigned this reading in order to teach you about Buddhist beliefs. You could also compare the three accounts in “The Cities of the Zanj and the Indian Ocean Trade” and formulate an argument based on how the account corroborate or contradict each other. These are just ideas. Your argument does not need to be complex, but feel free to be creative. You DB assignment for this week is to write a body paragraph focusing on your argument about one of the readings. A body paragraph is like a mini-essay. You paragraph should contain the following elements:

1. Topic sentence: …actually this can be multiple sentences, but they should a.) briefly introduce the topic, the title/author of the source you will be working with, and historical context; b.) explain your argument about one of the readings.

2. Evidence: Evidence: Cite at least 2 pieces of textual evidence to support the point that you are making. At least one of these should be a quote. Please introduce the quote with a signal phrase (according to Ibn Battuta, “Quote”) — otherwise the quote is just floating there without context. As a rule of thumb, quotes should be in the middle of your paragraphs. Don’t start or end a paragraph with a quote. Please use an in-text citation after quoting or paraphrasing.

3. Analysis: Elaborate on the argument that you made in your topic sentence. Offer your own ideas that logically connect your topic sentence with your evidence. Remember, the connection between the topic sentence and evidence is not self-evident to readers, so it’s important to explain the connection. Explain what the quote means, and why you think the quote proves your point.

4. Significance: Statements of significance answer the question “So what?” If this were a larger essay, this would be the part where you explain why the point made in the paragraph relates to your thesis. For our purposes here, your significance will be: “Professor Wood wanted to teach us about [your topic/argument.]”

I would strongly recommend reading over the Quote Sandwich document and the TEAS Argument Paragraphs document. The first explains how to introduce and integrate a quote into a paragraph. The TEAS document explains the general structure of a body paragraph. You can find these documents in the Research and Writing Resources module. The goal of this activity is to introduce you to introducing evidence in order to make an argument. As I said last week, you are going to be writing a persuasive essay. This is not the same as summarizing (or ‘info-dumping’) a topic, so let’s flex those argumentative muscles!