with 8 Research Resources
The samples below are papers by students, unless specifically noted. They are examples of "A" level undergraduate writing or entry-level professional work. To get a better idea of how this type of paper is written, you will want to look at all the samples. Then compare the samples to each other and to what the "Basics " part of this chapter says.
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If you do not have time to read every sample below, word for word, then use a form of skim reading: read the entire introduction and conclusion paragraph of a sample, and then read just the first and last sentence of all the other paragraphs in the sample. This method of skimming often provides an understanding of the basic contents and of the paper's form or structure. Another method of faster reading is to choose just one or two of the samples that are most like the paper you will be required to write; then read, either fully or using skim reading as described here.
Unless otherwise noted, sample papers do not necessarily meet all requirements an individual instructor or professional supervisor may have: ask your instructor or supervisor. In addition, the samples single spaced to save room; however, a proper manuscript given to an instructor or supervisor normally should be double spaced with margins set at or close to 1" unless another format has been requested.
Sample One: Basic Thesis with Three Examples
SPECIAL NOTES: The assignment for this thesis paper required descriptions of the author's personal experiences as examples supporting her basic argument. She uses the first-person "I," preceded by phrases such as "for example," which is allowed when an author uses her own personal examples.
Inver Hills Community College
Eng 99, Refresher English
Paper #7, Thesis with Examples
© by Maureen Hoye
Alcohol: Emotionally Life Altering
by Maureen Hoye
Drinking alcohol before the age of eighteen is not healthy. I am not speaking of the physical damage that it may cause, but rather the emotional turmoil that may occur. Consequences are always inevitable and may change a persons life forever. To drink underage because it is seen as cool is not reason enough to risk changing ones life forever.
Consequences Involving Adults
First, drinking before the age of eighteen brings emotional consequences involving parents, teachers, and other adults, along with the possibilities of getting in trouble with the law. Once the choice to drink while underage is made, it opens life up to more difficult decisions later on.
For example, one Saturday night in the middle of winter, we planned a party on Buck Hill. We called such events kegger parties while I was in high school: a social interaction for those who wanted to drink and could go where the beer was available. We partied until the keg was gone, and all the rest of the alcohol that was around was cashed. I could not drive home; I could barely climb the hill to the car, much less drive. I got home safely anyway, and before curfew. I was freezing, though, and I thought, What better way is there to warm up but with a hot bath? I made it past Mom and Dad, stumbled up the stairs, and started my bath.
The next thing I knew, my mom was shaking me awake. I discovered I had passed out in the bathtubso much for making it past Mom and Dad. I got in a lot of trouble. I definitely learned from the experience.
Ability to Remain Safe from Others
Second, drinking alcohol may affect peoples ability to make sound decisions affecting themselves emotionally. While under the influence of alcohol, most people find their ability to think rationally leaves them, especially those who are under age and are not prepared for the feelings alcohol can bring out. A decision given to us to make while drunk may have a negative emotional outcome, compared to the outcome from making that decision while we are sober.
For example, I was at a club dancing with my friends on a Sunday night. We found some guys willing to buy our drinks, even though we were under age. So we danced and flirted with the guys and they continued to buy us drinks. They had other plans on their mind, ones that we were not ready to satisfy. With each drink they bought us, our ability to realize what the guys truly wanted decreased.
Luckily enough, we had a friend, the driver, who was sober, and watched our backs. If it had not been for her ability to make a clear decision, I would hate to think about what would have happened, and the emotional consequences.
Third, other peoples lives can change emotionally forever by someone of any age who gets drunk. The type of change depends on how everyone affected makes his or her decisions. However, whether in a good or a bad way, the change may influence peoples lives forever.
For example, a drunk driver hit my sister in-law, nephew, and niece. They were simply driving home from daycare in the middle of the afternoon. The drunk driver thought the stop sign did not apply to him. Before my family knew it, they were spinning around a light post. They went to the hospital, and my sister-in-law had to spend the night there. My mom and dad picked up my niece and nephew from the emergency room and brought them to our house, where my sister and I slept downstairs with them to help them feel safe.
They all survived the accident in good health, thankfully. But their lives have been forever changed because of the decision made by the gentleman who drove drunk. I also cannot easily imagine my own life without the event of a drunk driver hitting someone so close to me.
Drinking alcohol at any age impairs a persons judgment. There is a sound reason that our government, our parents, and the adults in our life have made the decision to have a drinking age and to have that age be twenty-one. Drinking changes peoples lives emotionally, both while they are under the influence and by the decisions of those around them who are drinking. People may make some decisions the same whether under the influence or not. However, some decisions can be changed in an instant when peopleourselves or othersare intoxicated and do not have full control.
Sample Two: Advanced Thesis Using Personal Stories
The assignment for this thesis paper required descriptions of the author's and/or others' personal experiences to support its basic argument. The author developed these descriptions using narrative storytelling conventions: use of the five senses, the five W's of journalism (who, what, where, when, and why/how), and people speaking about their experiences.
The paper has some of its parts labeled (which should not be done in a formal academic paper unless an instructor requests it). The thesis sentence and three main topics are underlined. In addition, the stories' uses of the 5 W's of journalism--who, what, where, when, and why/how--also are labeled.
This thesis essay, like the one above, uses the first-person "I" pronoun. This is allowed when using examples or stories from the writer's own experience.
University of Minnesota
EngC 1021, Intermediate Expository Writing
Personal Experience Thesis
© by Angela Wilda
The Undervalued Second Language
by Angela Wilda
A year ago [when] at work, [where] Victoria Mercado [who] gave me a first-hand account [what] of migrant farm work. She wanted to educate me [why] about inequalities that continue to be maintained today. She said, "My parents worked in the fields picking crops. We were given a dank, [smell] one-room house to stay in during the harvest. The tractors would rattle [sound] the shack as they rolled by outside. At sunrise, [sight] we would start picking the vegetables, separating out those that were soft, [touch] or overripe. We would work through the day until the dirt and sweat clung to our lips." [taste] This story of courage would have been impossible if I did not speak a second language. The ability to speak a second language has a variety of benefits. It can help bridge cultural gaps, be advantageous in the workplace, and also give us a better understanding of not only our native language but language in general.
Bridging the Gap
First, the ability to speak a second language helps bridge cultural gaps. creating a more united society. Often, we think of
other cultures in terms of what we have assimilated from them, disregarding how different they have become from the original. For instance, in Ireland, they do not celebrate St. Patricks Day by dyeing everything green and hosting drunken parades with leprechauns and pots of gold. These events do more to destroy cultures than to celebrate them. One way to preserve cultural idiosyncrasies is by speaking a second language. When I learned to speak Spanish, I also learned a great deal about Spanish-speaking cultures.
One way I learned about these cultures was through their literature. Literature is a key to the way a culture thinks, feels, and behaves. By reading works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I gained insight into the customs and societies of Colombia and Mexico, where Marquez was born and raised. His works are rich in description, practically bringing you to the lush, heady atmosphere of Central America. The dust from dirt roads, the aroma of fresh baked goods, and the bustle of the local market are all vividly portrayed in his writing. In addition, by reading Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate ) in Spanish, I learned about magic realism. This is a beautiful writing style that I never would have discovered without the ability to read Spanish.
My second language also taught me about a variety of customary festivals. Two such festivals are El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), which honors the annual return of relatives that have passed away, and La Posadas (The Inn-Seekers), a pre-Christmas event that observes the wanderings of Mary and Joseph before the birth of Jesus.
Finally, speaking Spanish allowed me to learn about Mexican folk medicine. I learned from friends and coworkers about home treatments passed on through generations for a variety of ailments, as well as the religious and spiritual bases for such treatments. While at work [where] one day, [when] a group of us [who] were talking [what] about home remedies, because Rose Zapata complained [why] that she had a nagging cold. Marialissa Villalobos told her, "When I would get a chest cold [touch]. my grandmother would take me into the kitchen and tell me to sit down in a chair and lean my head back. Then she would roll a piece of paper into a cone and place it in my mouth. After saying a Mexican prayer, she would light the paper on fire, let it burn for a few seconds, and then blow it out, drawing the spirits that were making me sick out of my body."
Araceli Gomez told a similar story and then added, "Whenever I had a stomachache, my mother would have me lie down on the kitchen table. Then she would press down on my stomach and move my tripas (guts) around a bit. She told me that one of my organs had moved from where it should be, and that I had a stomach ache because it needed to be moved back where it belonged."
Interactions with people from Spanish-speaking countries and reading the literature from them taught me a great deal about the traditions of these cultures. It also gave me a clear picture of how our cultures interact and co-exist.
Becoming a Better Employee
Second, the ability to speak another language can be a clear advantage in the workplace. Staff members can be more useful to their employers when they are able to speak a second language. From the employers standpoint, it gives their product or services a larger customer base. This makes the employee more valuable and a greater asset. From the employees standpoint, it makes them more useful to their employers. It may increase their chance for a raise or other promotion. I have been able to train Spanish-speaking employees to perform jobs in environments that would have been unattainable without my help. Without an employee capable of training them, they would be relegated to jobs with low pay, requiring little skill.
However, the advantage is not strictly professional. As an employee able to speak a second language, I am able to assist customers that are otherwise disadvantaged as consumers. They may be unaware of sales or promotions, due to the inability to read the return policy at a store, or understand the fine print of a contract. The ability to overcome this language barrier is invaluable in a work situation.
At work [where] one day, [when] a customer [who] was bent over a sleek, [touch] new [sight] stereo. [what] I heard a small pop, [sound] and a curl [sight] of acrid [smell] smoke escaped the stereo. I approached the customer and asked, "Is there some way I can help you?" He replied, "I want to buy this stereo, but I cant seem to make it work." [why] I knew that a staff member had tested it earlier that day, so I went to the production area to find him.
"Are you busy, Ken?" I asked. "I need some help explaining to a customer how to make a stereo work." He followed me back to the customer and I began translating for them while Ken showed the customer how to connect the stereo.
Without my help, the customer might have thought that the stereo did not work, and my company might have lost a sale. Also, he never could have received any personal service without my ability to communicate with him. The ability to speak Spanish makes me a more useful employee, not only to my employer, but also to customers who deserve the same level of service despite the presence of a language barrier. [Best Point]
Putting Language in Perspective
Finally, a second language can give us a better understanding of our native tongue, and of language in general. English has its roots in several languages. When someone learns a second language, he or she is usually able to find similarities between English and their second language, allowing them a better understanding of both. Personally, knowledge of Spanish has made me more aware of the roots of English words. Spanish is a romance language, and English takes a large portion of its roots from Latin as well. Understanding these similarities helps me decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words in both English and Spanish through their root words.
Last Thanksgiving, [when] my family [who] was gathered [what] in the living [300 w.] room [where] after a rich meal. We were letting our stomachs [touch] settle [why] before succumbing to my mothers mouth-watering [taste] array of pies, whose aromas were slowly wafting [smell] into the room. Their golden crusts and fillings [sight] were practically calling [sound] to us through the room, but we were just too full to tackle them.
My mother had recently received a letter from my grandmother, who always included interesting newspaper clippings. In this letter, she had included an expert-spelling test. A test of sixty words had been given to eight hundred editors and professors, and not a single person got all of them right. The newspaper printed the twenty words that had been most frequently misspelled by the experts. My mother thought it would be fun to take the quiz while we all waited for dessert. Because I had two language references to count on, I got the most right in our family. Words like inoculate, rarefy, pavilion, and consensus all have Spanish correlatives because of their Latin roots. Because of these language relations I was able to deduce their spelling more readily than the other members of my family.
In addition, learning Spanish increased my understanding of grammatical structures. Finding similarities and differences between the construction of English and Spanish makes me more aware of the structure of language in general. I am able to analyze writing in English based on the grammar of Spanish, and vice-versa. This gives my language skills a greater scope and frame of reference. Without a basis of comparison, I would not be able to think as critically about my native tongue. [Best Point] Many people undervalue these useful skills.
At one point, [when] my [who] store [where] conducted surveys [what] to gauge customer satisfaction [why]. However, there were Spanish-speaking customers unable to participate. I approached a woman with a shock [sight] of smoky-smelling [smell] hair, and asked if she would like to participate. She replied with a shrill, [sound] toothless [sight] giggle and nodded her head. She continued grinning while answering my questions, tickled [touch] with the attention. When I finished, she held my forearm and told me she had never taken a survey before. Then she patted my hand and planted a salty kiss on it. [taste] Communicating with people from different cultures gives us the opportunity to touch the lives of others, and share their knowledge and experience. Many people appreciate that learning a second language has a variety of benefits. They understand that it can bridge cultural gaps, be advantageous in the workplace, and give us a better understanding of our native language.