Chapter 2: Evidence
Following the information-gathering stage described in Chapter 1, the essay blueprint is the next step toward purposeful writing. The essay blueprint is NOT a summary (nor should it be confused with the essay roadmap, to be discussed in Chapter 4). Drafting an essay blueprint is an exercise that demonstrates clear understanding, meaningful citing and concise paraphrasing of the text’s argument. In this sense, the essay blueprint is as much a reading comprehension exercise as it is an organizational exercise. Your thorough understanding of the text you are analyzing will determine the structure of your essay and its validity.
When drafting the blueprint, be sure the evidence you use reflects accurately the content of the original text you are analyzing. In an analytical essay you must combine different ideas, theories, and facts to construct a coherent argument. In your blueprint you should consider the purpose and lay the groundwork for the analytical essay you will be writing.
A good blueprint should distill the main points of the other writer’s work and organize them in a way that best suits your analytical reading. Keep your future essay in mind as you construct your blueprint, and remember that your essay should lead your reader through the same analytical process you went through to arrive at the claim you are making.
Before we start constructing the blueprint, let’s watch Video 2.1: The Blueprint. This video describes some of the habits, or “Don’ts,” we want to avoid when taking an analytical approach to an article. This lecture uses David Bollier’s “The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge,” so have your diagnostic essay handy.