Chapter 11: Editing and Evolving the Thesis and Outline
The last chapter focused on developing your essay’s body with your research in mind. In developing your paragraphs you must consider what kind of research furthers the analysis of your primary evidence and facilitates your entry into the larger academic discourse represented by your primary example. The following self-evaluation will help you review and evaluate how well you integrated secondary sources into your body paragraphs.
Answer “yes” or “no” to each question below. If you answer “yes,” give yourself one point. If you answer “no,” be sure to revisit your body paragraphs and rectify your problematic use and integration of your secondary source(s). Your final scores will be a mark out of five (four “yes” responses = 4/5).
1. Did you let your sources speak without manipulating them into supporting your desired reading of the primary evidence?
2. Did you let your sources speak without taking their argument out of context to prove your own conclusions?
3. Did you actively direct the purpose of the scholarly conversation with sources by NOT citing large chunks of text in place of your own interpretation of the primary evidence?
4. Did you discuss citations by contextualizing the author’s arguments before trying to apply them to your reading of your primary evidence?
5. Did you use secondary sources to advance and complicate your reading of the primary example AND not as a substitute for your own analysis and interpretation of the primary evidence?