Intro: Idea for introduction Thesis



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Skeleton Draft: The purpose is to create a detailed outline that will make the actual writing of the paper very easy. Once you’ve created a good skeleton draft, you should be able to stay focused and specific in your rough draft. Here is the format your skeleton draft should take:



  1. Intro: Idea for introduction

Thesis (the following is only a general suggestion): In The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson uses ___[aspect of style]__ in order to __[create some effect/accomplish his purpose]__.


  1. B

    Please remember that the number of body paragraphs will depend on your content. You might have two, you might have five. Let what you have to say drive the construction of the paper!


    ody ¶ 1
    : Topic Sentence

Evidence 1: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis

Evidence 2: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis




  1. Body ¶ 2: Topic Sentence

Evidence 1: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis

Evidence 2: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis




  1. Body ¶ 3: Topic Sentence

Evidence 1: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis

Evidence 2: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis




  1. Body ¶ 4: Topic Sentence

Evidence 1: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis

Evidence 2: Quotation or paraphrase (citation).

 Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis





  1. Conclusion


Sample Skeleton Draft: This is a fairly well done skeleton draft (in terms of organization/amount of information. It has conceptual problems, such as trying to tackle too much in one paper, and not having enough support –especially when so much actually exists in the book!). As you can see, this is almost the entire paper right here, with only some explanation, transitions, etc. left out. I really don’t care so much what the formatting looks like. I want at least this amount of information.
TentativeTitle—Uncertainty in Uncertain Times: Creating Fear in The Demon in the Freezer



  1. Intro: Mention publication date and increasing concern about the threat of terrorism after 9/11. Also, the need to educate and warn the public about the possibilities.

T
Effect/Purpose

Aspect of style
hesis :
In The Demon in the Freezer, Richard Preston tries to alert his readers to the looming threat that bioterrorism poses. As part of his plan to get the public to take the matter seriously, Preston creates apprehension in the reader by using diction that creates uncertainty and by employing short, startling sentences in strategic places.


  1. Body ¶ 1: Preston frequently uses word choice to stir up the readers’ feelings of uncertainty and anxiousness regarding the whereabouts of, and therefore our control over, smallpox.

E
Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis
vidence 1
: “The variola vault […] may be disguised. You might look straight at the vault and not know that your eyes are resting on the place where half the word’s smallpox is hidden. There may be more than one variola vault. There may be a decoy vault […] it could be disguised to look like a janitor’s closet […] it may be kept in mirrored form: there may be two freezers, designated the A freezer and the B freezer. The A and B freezers (if they exist, which is unclear) would each contain identical sets of vials.” (Preston 80). [emphasis mine]

 Preston himself—although he has researched the whereabouts of smallpox extensively—is uncertain (and emphasizes his uncertainty through the repetition of “may be” and “might” and “could” etc.), and this uncertainty is transferred to the reader



E
Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis
vidence 2:
Experts worry about “chemical and biological weapons that some countries might or might not have” (Preston 83). [emphasis mine]

 Again, the use of the hypothetical approach (“might or might not have”) highlights what is unknown. The fact that even experts don’t know who has what is disconcerting. The word choice causes a kind of disquiet in the readers, making them feel insecure and afraid, especially as the events of 9/11 were fresh in their minds.




  1. Body ¶ 2: Beyond just highlighting the uncertainty about the international control of smallpox, Preston uses diction to make the readers question and fear the unknown possibilities of the virus itself.

Evidence 1: Smallpox “just might have a little unnoticed reservoir somewhere in rodents” (Preston 59).


Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis


The word “might” again indicates uncertainty, and this uncertainty is unsettling to readers who would like to think that experts have a firm grasp of the possibilities of something as deadly as smallpox. The word “might” forces the reader to ponder the possibilities for himself, which in turn causes him to realize that he is not informed enough to know the true answer—thus serving a double function (not only to generate uncertainty, but to force the reader to appreciate just how little he knows).

Evidence 2: Quotation of scientist who says “‘our vaccines might not protect us’” against a bioengineered virus (Preston 101).


Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis


Preston causes the readers fear when he gives them the opinion of a smallpox expert who says that our only defense against a bioterrorism attack might not be enough. This uncertain diction (“might”) makes the reader afraid enough that he is likely to stay engaged in the text, read on, and become more educated about the issue.


  1. Body ¶ 3: Preston also uses short or abrupt sentences, often at the end of chapters, to unsettle the reader.

E
Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis
vidence 1:
Hensley lab accident section ends with “It is believed that a single particle of Ebola virus introduced into the bloodstream is fatal” (Preston 118).

 Violent departure in syntax/tone from previous paragraph—surprises the reader and then suggests ambiguity (not a statement of fact here, but something “some” scientists believe).



Evidence 2: “Then, out of nowhere, came a discovery that shook the smallpox experts to their cores” (Preston 126).

 This is the last sentence in the chapter, but contains no explanation or hint of what this discovery was. This sentence is a total departure from the previous chapter’s style. It creates suspense, but also is disconcerting to the reader, who is unsure about what or why something happened.



Evidence 3: “It was impossible to say what variola would do” (Preston

1
Tie to Topic Sentence/Thesis


43).

 Not a particular word choice here, but the whole sentence creates uncertainty. This effect is intensified because the sentence is far shorter than those around it, and because it comes at the end of a chapter, where the reader is left with nothing but this disturbing sentence to ponder.




  1. Conclusion: Through his syntax and diction choices, Preston creates a feeling of unease in the reader. Generally, people dislike uncertainty, and it causes fear. Preston plays on this fear to capture the reader’s attention and impress upon him the gravity of the threat of bioterrorism.


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