What shapes the way a person sees the world, thinks, feels, and acts? Choose a character from Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred and examine what forces act most formatively upon him or her.

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Essay 4: Causal Claim

The prompt:

What shapes the way a person sees the world, thinks, feels, and acts? Choose a character from Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred and examine what forces act most formatively upon him or her.

Essay structure:

The first part of your paper should describe your character as they are toward the end of the novel. You need to see how your character “ends up” and then think about what actions and events in the book caused them to end up that way. Even in this descriptive section, you should think of your paper as an argument. Description is not always neutral, and can cause contention. For example, one reader might identify the character Sarah’s central personality trait as submissiveness, while another might argue that it is loyalty to her family. Either description would require strong evidence and eloquent warrants explaining why the text supports that position.

This section of your paper should be about a page in length. At the conclusion of the descriptive section, you should articulate your thesis statement. The thesis should argue how an interconnected network of causes (not an arbitrary x, y, and z structure) shape your chosen character. The second part of the essay should then pr.ve the thesis. You should write a series of paragraphs that prove claims about how the various causes identified in your thesis shaped your character. You should dedicate 1-2 paragraphs to each cause, depending on what you have to say about each and what evidence you have to support your claim. discussing interconnected causes, your paragraphs will not have arbitrary relationships to one another.

 

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