Chapter 9: Towards the Well-Researched Paper
FIRST STOREY: Occupy Wall Street’s Facebook page showcases that users of the page have a difficult and often frustrating time discussing, and perhaps linking, global events to events and concerns that are more local, and perhaps personal, to them. This is demonstrated by the comments under the post “From #Ferguson to #Gaza #BLM,” wherein discussion of the event leads to participants calling each other names like “idiots” and angry confusion over how the Black Lives Matters is related to the Middle East (ex. The post “What the hell does BLM have to do with geopolitics in the Middle East?”).
Our first storey has provided us with the key evidence we will be examining in our argumentative essay. As in the close reading, our essay should be evidence-based, which means we must examine this material as closely as we did the article we analyzed earlier in the course. Dedicate some paragraphs to exploring the evidence closely. The beginning of our essay’s body might look something like this:
Paragraph 1: Examine and discuss the comments in terms of their statistical make-up (i.e., what proportion of the comments are dedicated to local problems, and what might that tell us?).
Paragraphs 2 & 3: Examine and discuss particular key comments (those related, in this case, to the name calling or questions/confusion linking Black Lives Matter to the Middle East) in terms of their specific content and phrasing.
Paragraph 4: In contrast to the comments discussed above, examine the elements in the comments section that break away—or appear to try to break away—from local concerns in order to deal with larger implications.
Research-Related Considerations: Examine and discuss the evidence above in terms of external research on the larger problem you are exploring.
When we return to the concept of research in the next section, we will discuss some of the things we might do with it. Maybe it will get a dedicated paragraph of its own. Maybe it will be spread throughout the three paragraphs. However, for now, remember that we must ultimately look at our evidence in terms of supporting material. This material will not pull us away from our examination of our evidence; it will give us insight into the evidence we are discussing.