Sample Academic Essay - Iowa State University
Academic Writing Service - Academic Essay Writing
Do you frequently find yourself struggling with theintroduction to your essays? Do you not know how to begin theessay? Do you find yourself searching for a generalizingstatement that will get things going, and trying to find adelicate balance between BS'ing and saying somethingmeaningful? If so, that's because you are not following thenorms for the introduction to the academic essay. Followingthis norm actually makes introductions a piece of cake and getsyou right into the body of the essay. Here is the norm:
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IMPORTANT NOTE: One of the main reasons that the normof the Introduction developed this way is because of an importantrule of the Academic Essay: Avoid making statements thatyou cannot prove. The problem with thegeneralizing/philosophical/BS'ing statements like "Hemingway..."and "The Western..." is that they cannot be proventhrough reasoned discourse. Moreover, to even try and do sowould require voluminous amounts of discourse for something thatis not even your thesis: what you actually ARE setting out toprove. As a result, the genre of the Academic Essay hasevolved into the above norm. It still meets anintroduction's purpose of orienting the reader, it just does soin a very specific manner.
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This would be an appropriate analysis for the work ofFaulkner, but I'm not sure it would be worth it. To beginwith, it is not clear what the writer has to gain in terms ofproving BOTH of these aspects of the work rather than just theone. Instead, with this complex thesis, there are going to belong sections of the essay where half of what needs to be provedwill be left suspended while the other half getsdiscussed. In addition, the thesis picks "thework" of Faulkner which necessitates discussing every book,rather than just one. Thus it is that an importantconvention of the academic essay is that:
The impossible thesis statement is a kind of corollary ofthe banal thesis statement insofar as you want to stay away fromit. Rather than saying something which is evident ormeaningless, however, the impossible thesis statement putsforward something which cannot reasonably be proved, as a resultof there being no agreed upon or stable criteria from which torender conclusions. Examples of impossible statementsabound, but the one most related to this course would be "ThePlague is great art," or "The Plague isthe most realistic of all Camus' novels." In eachcase, there is no stable criteria. Take the firstone. What distinguishes between "good" art and"great" art? Furthermore, the essay would not beable to point to a stable definition of "art", aconcept that art historians, artists, and cultural critics havebeen arguing over for centuries. The latter thesis has asimilar problem since "realistic" is not a stableconcept with firm criteria.