Reference no: EM13843510
This unit's readings describe theories, insights, and skills that the writers have developed through personal experience, research, and reading. They are experts in their fields, and their essays are designed to teach.
In order to teach a reader anything, you have to convince the reader that you know what you're talking about, and you have to support the points that you make with specific facts, examples, and anecdotes. These short "illustrations" come from your experience and research.
In Essay #2, you will demonstrate that you are an expert in one area and teach your reader something specific about your area of expertise. It must be an area in which you have hadpersonal, first-hand experience (as opposed to an area that you've researched thoroughly or learned about from someone else). Although every essay you read in this unit will demonstrate the writer's familiarity or expertise in some area, some are better examples than others of the kind of essay you'll be writing. One good model is Nancy Mairs' "On Being a Cripple," in which she teaches us what she has learned about living with a disability. Another good model is Brent Staples' "Black Men and Public Spaces," in which he uses many examples from his own experience to support his theories.
The thesis of your essay will be what you want to teach your reader. You may choose to teach one major point, as Petrunka does in his essay about the tarantula and Milgram does in his essay about obedience. In this case, your thesis statement will be a statement of that one point. On the other hand, you may choose to make a series of points, as Staples and Mairs do. If so, your thesis statement may be a list of these points or a more general observation that summarizes all of them.
Use a variety of illustrations--facts, examples, and at least one anecdote--to demonstrate that what you say about your topic is true. Remember, you can make a new subject interesting to an uninitiated reader only if you provide plenty of "specifics."