This week

First, many of your topic sentences were not specific enough. What does the research tell you?

For instance, one group is researching the question “Is enough being done to prevent sexual assault in the military?” That’s a fine question.

The topic sentences, though, don’t tell me what each paragraph is going to be about. For instance, one topic sentence is “How is the reporting system working?” What I want is a statement telling me what the research says about how it has been working. The topic sentence could be changed to “The reporting system does not seem to be working well” or “The reporting system is well-intentioned but often ineffective” or “The reporting system is overall pretty good, but it needs a few changes.” All of those tell me what direction the body paragraph will take.

Another topic sentence is “What is the view on these problems from inside the military?” A better topic sentence would be a statement telling me what the research says. For instance, the topic sentence might say “The military does not think there is a problem” or “The military realizes there is a big problem and has not done enough to fix it” or “The military realizes there is a problem and is working hard to fix it.”

But pretty much all of you need to make your topic sentences more specific, especially if I wrote the word STATEMENTS on your paper.

With that in mind, I would like to see revised topic sentences Wednesday. If you have any questions about due dates, check the “Calendar” link at the top of the page.

This week is dedicated to writing a first draft. You have four hours in the computer labs to do so. I need you to bring your best draft to class next Tuesday. Over the four-day weekend, I would like you to polish your draft, and have people read your paper to help you make it better. You will have three days in class to revise next week. Remember, this one counts, so use your time wisely and make this paper as good as it can be.

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