Your Argument Part Three: Strategy
that you've done some good analysis within your paragraphs,
it's necessary to examine how they fit in to the goal of
your overall paper.
Avoid Chronology - When looking at your paper as a
whole, it is much better for your paragraphs to relate according
to a process of thought, rather than of chronology. If it
seems as though your paragraphs are divided according to
the order of your source (In other words, "first
this happens," then "this happens," then
"and finally...”), there's a good chance you're
lapsing into plot summary.
Ordering according to thought process
- Here's where your highlighting becomes useful again.
Follow each of the ideas you developed throughout the text
individually. If you highlighted in different colors, make
all your pink highlights one section, your blue highlights
another, and your yellow ones a third. In this manner your
writing flows in an ordered progression, but according to
the development of an argument, rather than recapitulation
of the text.
Make your paragraphs build off of each other -
It's best to try to arrange your paper in a manner that
grows increasingly more specific. In subsequent paragraphs,
try to refer back to what you mentioned in previous ones,
and explain how your current subject extends or re-examines
it in a new light.
Transitions - In order to give your paper unity
and flow, it's important to always make smooth transitions
between paragraphs. Consider the relationship between the
two paragraphs, and use it as a way of moving from one to
the other. You might address a similarity in argument, by
saying "In a similar manner...", "This
argument may be allied to "subject B" in terms
of... ", "Likewise... ", or "The
idea of X recurs again with respect to... " To
express a dissimilarity, you might use "In contrast...",
"On the other hand... ", or "Nevertheless".