The Writing Continuum. While it may be tempting to think of the writing done for paper one as completely unrelated to any other writing you’ll do at GT, think of all types of prose falling onto a “writing continuum.”. On one end of the continuum, we have “open form” prose. Open form
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The Writing Continuum
While it may be tempting to think of the writing done for paper one as completely unrelated to any other writing you’ll do at GT, think of all types of prose falling onto a “writing continuum.”
On one end of the continuum, we have “open form” prose.
This side of the continuum is less concerned with getting a specific point across as much as it is with sharing an event or experience, conveying an emotion, telling a story, etc.
On the other end of the continuum, we have “closed form” prose.
Closed form Open form Thesis-driven prose
This side of the continuum is more concerned with delivering a point and proving that point through research, evidence, logical arguments etc. All points in closed-form prose directly advance central thesis. This prose is very rigidly structured. (Ex. “There are three reasons why windpower is untenable: A, B, and C.” One paragraph is dedicated to each of these three reasons.)
Most forms of writing fall somewhere in between these two extremes on the continuum.
Closed Implied thesisprose Open
Sometimes writers imply a thesis/argument. The persuasive purpose of the paper is still there, but the position the author is trying to convince her or his audience of is not explicitly stated, and may often be complex.
Authors chose their form based on their purpose for writing, their choice of topic/type of argument, and the audience whom the author imagines is going to read the text.
ClosedDelayed thesisImplied thesisOpen
When authors employ a delayed thesis style, the thesis statement is still made explicit for the reader, but is not stated until after some if not all of the evidence has been presented. Authors chose this form for very controversial topics or if they imagine a very skeptical audience.
You’ll note that what seemed to be the defining element for the essay type was the thesis statement.
What is a thesis? Is it all that different from a topic? What is a thesis statement supposed to do? Where should it go?
What is the difference between a topic and a thesis?
While a topic also might forecast the direction for the rest of the document, topics do not take risks because they do not engender disagreement.
Also, while topics may hint at surprising information, they do little to create tension if they do not show how that new info changes how a given idea should be viewed.