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Essay Writing and the "Big Picture"

Essay Writing and the "Big Picture"

Author: Mackenzie W

Define "big picture" scale as it is related to essay writing.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi everyone. I'm Mackenzie, and today we're learning about essay writing and the big picture. Are you the type of person who likes to see things on a large scale? In this tutorial, we'll learn about claims, support, and the big picture of essay writing. And we'll discuss outlines, paragraphs, revising, and editing.

When we approach a piece of writing, it's important for us to keep in mind that piece of writing is being driven by a thesis. The thesis of the piece of writing is one clear, concise, single statement that tells us what the overall purpose of that writing is. And we're trying to support that thesis throughout the writing. We do that by using claims and support. The support could be evidence, logic, rhetoric, or other forms of information that we include in the body paragraphs of the writing.

Supporting the thesis is actually important in all of the stages of the writing process. Whether it be drafting, revising, editing, we always have to think about what the thesis is, what we're trying to support, and we have to decide if our writing is in fact supporting the thesis. That's the main goal of the writing. It's important for us to keep in mind that our other goal of our writing, other than supporting the thesis, is to have an end product that is a coherent, unified flow of ideas. And of course, that flow of ideas all relates back to the thesis. Keeping this big picture idea in mind helps us to guide us through writing, because it gives us a better idea of what the writing is supposed to be like.

When we are working on creating a piece of writing, we're going to have an outline that guides us through the writing. An outline is simply a list of your ideas in the order that you want them. The outline will have a working thesis to remind us of what the general goal is of our writing. It will have an organizational plan for the paragraphs and the claims that we're making. It will tell us what ideas are being discussed when, and it may even include additional pieces of support and other details to remind us of what we wanted to talk about within our paragraphs.

Having a solid outline is important, because it helps to provide a map to show us where to go when we are drafting the piece of writing. And it helps to show us the big picture idea. It shows us exactly what the writing in its entirety is going to look like. When we begin writing our piece of writing, we're going to do so using paragraphs. And it's important to keep in mind that every paragraph is going to have one single claim or a main idea that's being expressed within the paragraph.

That idea is going to be communicated using a topic sentence, which is one sentence that tells us what the claim is or the idea is in that paragraph. Think of the topic sentence as a miniature thesis for your paragraph. It tells the reader what the paragraph is going to be about. And that topic sentence relates to the overall thesis of the piece of writing. The rest of the sentences in that paragraph relate to the topic sentence, and they support the topic sentence. They are pieces of evidence, logic, data, information, reasoning, that all help to support the main idea being made in that paragraph. And therefore, they all help to support the thesis of the piece of writing.

If the connection between the ideas and the paragraph itself, and the thesis isn't clear, it's important that the writer makes them clear. Because we need to be able to express the ways in which our paragraphs are clearly related to our thesis. Everything has to support the thesis. It's important to keep the big picture in mind. That all of the paragraphs relate back to the thesis. That's the big picture. It's easy to get lost in the details of a paragraph. So keeping in mind that each one of our paragraphs helps to support the thesis allows us to see the big picture of the writing itself.

After we have drafted a piece of writing, it's our job to revisit the big picture to think about revising and editing that writing. The big picture is that we're always trying to decide if we have supported our thesis well enough. First, we're going to look at the essay as a whole. Does the entire essay relate back to the thesis. Then we can start to look at the individual paragraphs. We look at the topics and the topic sentences of those paragraphs. Do they support that thesis? We look at the support within each paragraph. Does the support relate to the thesis? Do we have other claims, ideas, other pieces of evidence, logic, reasoning, that we should include if the thesis is not well supported enough?

And we think about the organization of the paragraphs that we've included and the ideas within those paragraphs. Is everything organized in such a way that it clearly supports the thesis in the best possible way. If not, are there other ways for us to organize our ideas so that the thesis is better supported? Again, going back to the big picture, it's all about making sure the thesis is supported.

In this tutorial, we learned about claims, supports, and the big picture of essay writing, and we discussed outlines, paragraphs, revising, and editing. See things on a larger scale. I'm McKenzie. Thanks for listening.