But Alex’s professor doesn’t want it. She underlines the very first two sentences, and she writes, “This is too general. Get to the point.” She underlines the next and sentences that are fourth and she writes, “You’re just restating the question I inquired. What’s your point?” She underlines the sentence that is final after which writes when you look at the margin, “What’s your thesis?” because the very last sentence when you look at the paragraph only lists topics. It does not make an argument.
Is Alex’s professor just a grouch? Well, no—she is trying to instruct this student that college writing isn’t about following a formula (the model that is five-paragraph, it’s about making a disagreement. Her first sentence is general, just how she learned a five-paragraph essay should start. But through the professor’s perspective, it’s way too general—so general, in fact, she didn’t ask students to define civil war that it’s completely outside of the assignment. The third and fourth sentences say, in a lot of words, they just restate the prompt, without giving a single hint about where this student’s paper is going“ I am comparing and contrasting the reasons why the North and the South fought the Civil War”—as the professor says. The final sentence, that ought to make an argument, only lists topics; it does not start to explore how or why something happened.
You can guess what Alex will write next if you’ve seen a lot of five-paragraph essays. Her first body paragraph will begin, “We can see some of the different reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War by taking a look at the economy.” What is going to the professor say about that? She may ask, “What differences can we see? What part of the economy are you currently referring to? How come the distinctions exist? Exactly why are they important?” buy essay After three such body paragraphs, the student might write a conclusion that says much the same thing as her introduction, in slightly different words. Alex’s professor might already respond, “You’ve said this!”