Paper Writing Guidelines
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Paper Writing Introduction
- Paper length should be between 750 and 1,000 words.
- Students should write their papers with an argumentative thesis; that is, the point of their paper should be a response to a question. The discussion questions in each workbook lesson are an excellent starting place when choosing your thesis “question” to answer.
- While a beginning student should focus on finding a topic with a question he can coherently answer in a basic essay format, the student with more writing experience is encouraged to write papers following the classical paper structure, interact with secondary sources, and learn to cite quotations using footnotes.
- If following the classical paper structure, use these guidlines:
A classically-structured paper follows the six-part divisions developed by classical rhetoricians: Exordium, Narratio, Divisio, Confirmatio, Refutatio, and Peroratio.
- The exordium is what we would commonly call the introduction.
- The narratio is your opportunity to give some background on the topic.
- The divisio will usually be the shortest part of your paper; here you enumerate the arguments you will present.
- In the confirmatio, you will develop these arguments. This is generally the largest portion of your paper.
- In the refutatio, you will anticipate the arguments that could be (or have been) raised against your position.
- Lastly, you will use the peroratio to recap your arguments (likely not necessary with a short paper) and conclude with a flourish.
Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric
Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric is not a formal writing curriculum, but rather equips writers with tools for persuasive communication, both written and oral. The skills learned in this course will directly impact writing such that it is an excellent companion for any formal writing curriculum. It is a full year of study if taken alone, or can be used over two years alongside a writing curriculum (two-year optional schedule included).
Short Tips for Writing Short Essays
Short Tips for Writing Short Essays is a fantastic short booklet to keep handy for writers of every age.