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  • [EVENT] Truth? Lies? Which one!?

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    Truth? Lies? Which one!?

    To all contestants of the Genius League!

    Get Truth or Lie Cards and exchange them to the identical Boxes!

    Event Period:

    After Maintenance on 3/30 ~ Until Maintenance on 4/6 PDT/UTC/GMT

  • #2
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    • #3
      I used to use a fairly rigid outlining method for my essays, and then fill in the blanks from there.

      Help me do my homework

      I've only ever applied this method to literary analysis essays, but it could work with any essay where you're citing a source to argue a point about something. Fair warning: this is going to be a long answer. First, you need your thesis. The thesis is the foundation of your essay, and you can't make your outline without knowing what point you're going to argue and what evidence you'll use to argue it. In the traditional five-paragraph essay, you'll need three points to make up your body paragraphs. To construct your thesis, simply make your point followed by the evidence you'll present in your paragraphs in the order you'll write those paragraphs. Here's an example thesis outline, and an example of that formula put to use: In Author's Novel, the behaviour of Character A is used to symbolize X through 1, 2, and 3. In particular, Joseph Conrad utilizes Kurtz’s Intended and Kurtz’s African mistress to symbolize the Victorian idea of the contrast between civilization and savagery through their differing appearances and mannerisms, as well as through their roles in the eyes of the more prominent male characters and the narrative itself. The latter example is from a bit of a compare-and-contrast literary essay, but you’ve got the point I’m arguing (the use of the characters to symbolize Victorian ideas about civilization), and the three pieces of evidence I’ll be using to argue it (their looks, their actions, and how male characters in the novel and Conrad himself view them). Once you have your thesis, you need to structure your body paragraphs. The nice thing about these is that you can structure them all in the same way. For each body paragraph, find yourself three points. You’ll want to make an assertion, find a quote from the source work for evidence, and then explain how the quote proves your assertion is true. Do that three times for each paragraph, so it winds up looking like this: Topic Sentence 1A) Assertation 1B) Evidence 1C) Explanation 2A) Assertation 2B) Evidence 2C) Explanation 3A) Assertation 3B) Evidence 3C) Explanation Concluding sentence/lead-in to next paragraph This method of structuring your paragraphs allows you to keep your information and your thoughts on the topic extremely well-organized. A well-organized essay is immediately a better essay. Let’s look at an example of an assertion-evidence-explanation text block (the whole paragraph would be a bit much). The assertion is in italics, the evidence is bolded, and the explanation is in regular text: On the most basic level, the Intended is a European woman, whereas the mistress is African. The Intended is “pale” and looks as if she has an “ashy halo” about her when Marlow first encounters her, contrasting with the mistress’ “tawny” skin (Conrad 99, 118, 119). Their races provide the framework for what they symbolize: civilization and savagery as opposites━ despite the fact that the presentation of a white woman as the symbol of the civilized and a black woman as the symbol of the savage is a racist overture at best. According to the attitudes of the time, a properly-behaving white woman would certainly represent the trim and tame aesthetic of civilized European countries, whereas a black woman would be a symbol of all that is wild and terrifying about lands unconquered by the empires of Europe. That’s just one point in that essay, and the rest of the paragraph has two more. I spent most of my words on the explanation portion, and went for more than one sentence with it. If you need more than one sentence to make your explanation clear, use more than one sentence. If you need to wax poetic and get real deep into the metaphors and symbolism or the science or the history or whatever you’re writing about, do it! Getting deep into your subject matter is a good thing. Do this for three points, and you’ve got yourself a well-argued paragraph. Do that for three paragraphs (or more), and you’ve got yourself the body of an essay. But what about the conclusion and introduction? When I write my essays, I always save the introductory paragraph for last (other than the construction of my thesis). How can you introduce an essay you haven’t written yet? Once the body paragraphs are done, head to your conclusion. For my essay conclusions, I use a sort of triangle method — start specific, end broad. Your conclusion is where you tell the reader why all the stuff you just said matters. Start with the specifics of your source work, and branch out into why it’s relevant on a real-world level. Here’s an example concluding paragraph: Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness is heavily based on the theme of civilization and savagery from a Victorian perspective, and Kurtz’s women ━ his Intended and his mistress ━ form their own representation of this theme through their opposing appearances, behaviours and emotions, and the differing ways male characters within the narrative (and the narrative itself) perceive them. The ideals regarding the polar opposites that are civilization and savagery during the Victorian era were vastly different from what those ideals are today, and Heart of Darkness reveals some of those antiquated Victorian values. Despite the fact that our ideals as a global culture have changed through the centuries, the question of what defines civilization and savagery still hangs within our collective consciousness, and no one work of literature can hope to form a definitive answer. However, any work can explore the idea, and pieced together, literature throughout history can help us create a picture of what it means to be civilized, and what it means to lack civilization altogether. I start by pretty much restating my thesis. That makes a good topic sentence. It’s been a while since the thesis came up. Then, I branch out into how the novel reveals antiquated Victorian values, and then I go on a spiel about how global ideals have changed since then, and how literature throughout history relates to the meaning of the very concept of civilization. It definitely follows the specific-to-broad method. Start with the specifics of your thesis, then branch out into real-world stuff. If you wanna get fake deep, get fake deep, but make it seem like you know what you’re talking about. A lot of essay writing (at least in the context of literary analysis) is based on pretending to be way deeper into your source text than you actually are. Then, there’s the introduction. The introduction is (surprise!) the polar opposite of the conclusion. It follows a reverse triangle — start broad, get specific. Your thesis statement will be the last sentence in your introductory paragraph, because it’s the most specific thing you’ve got in your arsenal of information. Talk about real-world stuff to draw the reader in, relate it to your general subject matter, and then get specific with your thesis. Here’s yet another example: Civilization and savagery are powerful symbolic opposites, and the question of where to place the line between them has haunted humanity since time immemorial. Throughout our history, various authors have devoted literary works to the theme of the duality between civilization and savagery, prodding at the idea that there may not be a line between the two at all. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is no exception━ the dichotomy of civilized culture and savage culture is a central theme in the 1899 novella. In particular, Joseph Conrad utilizes Kurtz’s Intended and Kurtz’s African mistress to symbolize the Victorian idea of the contrast between civilization and savagery through their differing appearances and mannerisms, as well as through their roles in the eyes of the more prominent male characters and the narrative itself. I start by shooting the idea of the dichotomy between civilization and savagery — that’s pretty abstract stuff. Then I get into authors and literature, which is what my subject matter is. Then I bring up the novel I’m actually writing about, and then I give ’em my thesis to make things concrete. From abstract to real-world, from ideas to information. Ta da! Once you follow all these steps, you should have yourself a decent essay. It might still need some work (the essay I used as an example got a good amount of editing), and it’s always a good idea to get other people to look over your work, but you’ve got the bones of a good essay, and it’s a lot easier when you have the bones well organized. If your ribs and tibia and femur aren’t where they should be, it’s a lot harder to put the flesh on the bones and really make your essay read well. Note: The essay used as an example was written entirely by me, using this method. I’m not going to link the essay, because plagiarism is bad. If you hate Heart of Darkness and can’t imagine the agony of writing an essay on it, my sympathies are entirely with you, and no matter how much you hate it, I probably hated it more. Good luck and God bless.

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      • #4
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        Last edited by willothewisp; 11-30-2021, 05:50 AM.

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