If you have not created a working thesis please go immediately to prewriting and create one.

Your working thesis should have within it a "mini-blueprint" for development. It should state your position and direction. Look at the following sample thesis.

"Few people consider the literary giant, William Shakespeare, and the modern film director, Steven Spielberg, in the same venue, but both men use violence, sexually explicit material, and formulaic plot patterns to draw the masses to their respective seats."

The perspective of the writer is apparent; the writer will discuss the similarities of Shakespeare and Spielberg, although the authors live and work in vastly disparate time periods. The writer will most likely begin by introducing the writers and their time periods and follow the introduction with the thesis. However, introductions and conclusions can be written after the development of the body of the paper. Simply write the thesis and then begin your draft. You can work with beginnings and endings during the revision stage of process, if you choose.

After the introduction and thesis, the writer will begin by developing both Shakespeare and Spielberg's use of violence. The writer has a number of options for development. She can begin by describing one of Shakespeare's most violent plays, Macbeth. She will want to document specific scenes and quote specific lines from the play to demonstrate this violence. For example, the writer can point to the scene in the play where Macbeth's orders to destroy Macduff's family are carried out. The writer should then cite lines from the scene to give the reader a clear understanding of the play; "Not in the legions/Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn'd/In evils to top Macbeth"(4.3.55-57).

It is important to understand that each paragraph of development should have one main idea. This idea should be fully explored and have specific examples to prove the assumption in the paragraph.

The second paragraph can go a number of ways. Depending on the length of the assignment, the writer can explore yet another facet of violence in Shakespeare, or a new aspect of violence such as verbal assault, or the king's role in ordering violent acts. If the paper is a shorter investigation, then the writer may want to move into a discussion of one of Spielberg's films and demonstrate the violence in, for example, Jurassic Park. The writer would then document certain scenes from that film along with lines of dialogue.

The next paragraph then discusses the kinds of sexually explicit material Shakespeare employs in, for example, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The following paragraph delves into Spielberg's The Color Purple and documents the types of sexuality within that film. At this point the writer realizes that because both writers are prolific he wants to limit the number of works he will discuss. He reviews his thesis and rewrites it as follows:

Although William Shakespeare and Steven Spielberg write and produce in vastly disparate time periods, both men use violence, sexually explicit material, and formulaic plot patterns in Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jurassic Park, and The Color Purple to draw the masses to their respective seats.

Note that this is still a working thesis, but now the writer has added additional direction for the reader; he will discuss only four works.

The final part of drafting this thesis involves dissecting formulaic plot patterns. The writer now knows that he will deal with star-crossed lovers as well as big animals that hunt humans. After the writer finishes the discussion of the third aspect of the thesis, he has a first draft. Revision follows.

Submit a draft for comments through the student portal.

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