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Essay on Black History

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Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:02 am
leslieloo says...

Hi, guys! I'm writing an essay on Black History for my World Civs class and I am having trouble writing it. I have written the introduction, but I don't know what else to add to it. It's supposed to be a ten-page essay and it's not due until April (thank goodness! :D) All I have is one paragraph. Here's the essay:

From Harriett Tubman to President Barack Obama, African-Americans have impacted this nation for centuries. Although, others perceive this ethnic group as "uneducated" or "ignorant". Why? Everyone in this nation is a human being, so why must they be treated so poorly? Is it because of the color of their skin? The way they speak? Their choices of clothing?

So, what should I add or change to the paragraph? Also, please give me tips on how to make this a well-written essay.

Note: Just to let y'all know, this is a college work, but if you are not in college, yet, it's fine. I will accept any tips, regardless of how old you are.
Whatever you've been told, you're worth more than gold.

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Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:36 am
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niteowl says...

Hm...what I see here is a decent hook for an introduction, but not much else. In many cases, it's actually a good idea to write the introduction last, once you've come up with a thesis and write your body paragraphs.

If I were writing this, my first step would be to come up with a thesis statement, where you tell the reader (usually at the end of the intro paragraph) what your main points are going to be. Based off of what you have, I might say something like "African-Americans have been treated poorly in American society because of X, Y, and Z." Then you would expand upon X, Y, and Z in your body paragraphs.

For the body paragraphs, you need to do research. The issue of race in society is complicated to say the least, and something you thought was relatively simple could actually turns out to be much more complicated than you realized. This means you may end up changing the focus of your thesis statement, which is totally okay at this stage.

Look up credible sources, especially peer-reviewed journal articles. You can find these through databases like JSTOR (assuming your university has access to such databases-check with the library) or Google Scholar. Use a citation manager like EndNote or EasyBib to keep track of the papers you use and make sure to cite them in your professor's preferred format.

Once you've written the body paragraphs, you can work on the conclusion and the introduction. The introduction goes from a broad focus to your narrower thesis statement (much like what you have), while the conclusion goes from a re-worded version of the thesis statement back to a broader view. In the conclusion, you can also bring up what gaps you found in your research and make suggestions for what future work on the topic should focus on.

Hope this helps!
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Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:30 am
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Tecumseh says...

You have a good introductory sentence, but the rest of your beginning paragraph needs structure, including your opening paragraph. It really ought to end in a thesis statement, that is, a sentence that if the person read NOTHING ELSE and got NOTHING ELSE out of your 10 pages of hard work, they'd carry that with them.

A thesis statement has to assert what the topic of the rest of the paper is. To make one, pick something that you believe to be true, like,

"You should eat bananas."

Okay, 'you should eat bananas' is my takeaway statement. If the reader read NOTHING ELSE, at least they'd get the idea of what was so important about this essay. Eat you some bananas.

But, let's help make it memorable by coming up with a reason why this is important!

"You should eat bananas because they are healthy."

That's better! Now let's turn that B grade thesis into an A grade thesis by being specific:

"You should eat bananas because they have a wide arrange of health benefits such as aiding digestion and helping the body to fight cancer."

Now I have a thesis statement. Because I was specific, because I mention aiding digestion and fighting cancer, that means that I will have some blueprint for my essay, too. I can make the next few paragraphs about how and why bananas aid digestion, and also dedicate some paragraphs to why/how bananas play a role in fighting cancer.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:42 pm
Kale says...

What strikes me the most about your introduction is how informal it is. Depending on the kind of essay you're writing, that could be a good or bad thing, but generally, veering away from informality is a safer option for college-level essays.

You also have a sentence fragment with 'Although, others perceive this ethnic group as "uneducated" or "ignorant".'

I think it would really help us to know what your topic is more specifically, what type of essay you are writing (informative, persuasive, etc.), and what your stance is on it.
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