Good writing is not just about presenting information in an organized way such as an essay or research paper with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.  It is about persuading your reader that you are right.  In the case of an academic paper, the body paragraphs each must have a proof point (a topic sentence), and the content of each of the body paragraphs must include information that shows that the proof point is accurate.  There are a number of ways to achieve this goal.

This section covers how to critically evaluate your writing with some general information in Proving the Thesis - General Principles and then goes on to explain logical thinking in Proving the Thesis - Logic and problems with logic in Proving the Thesis - Logical Fallacies and Appeals. Rhetorical modes such as description, definition, cause and/or effect, and compare/contract can be used to help prove the thesis.

The same principles are applied when you are evaluating someone else's presentation whether it is a potential source for a paper or simply reading a news article.  Even what is called a documentary - which presumably is the truth - should be critically evaluated.


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