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Sample Thesis Statement and Outline for Essay #1

Rough thesis statement:

While most people may be inclined to believe that one’s political views are the result of deep personal introspection and critical thought, more often than not, one’s personal circumstances play the single biggest role in shaping one’s political ideology.

Rough Body outline:

Time and place
Time in human history
Cultural influences and norms
Social status
Socioeconomic status
Racial/cultural/ethnic status in multiracial societies stratified by race, culture, or ethnicity
Family upbringing
Essay #1: Government
In a well-developed, thesis driven essay of no fewer than 750 words (the rough equivalent of 3, typed, double-spaced pages), respond to the following prompt:

The prompt:
Consider our readings and discussions thus far on the texts in our “Government” module (Jefferson, Lao-tzu, Yoo, and Machiavelli). Using at least two of these readings as evidence, discuss and analyze how one’s political ideology is a product of the historical/cultural environment in which one lives (personal circumstances, religious views, family climate, national identity, gender/sexual identity, etc. can all apply here as well). In other words, how does our culture, our national identity, and current events influence our opinions on government, its role in the lives of the governed, etc; conversely, another way to think about this assignment is to ask and answer the following question: How can we analyze a system of government to infer its architects’ cultural, social, and/or historical circumstances? Be sure to use concrete examples from your cited sources and analyze those examples to show how they support/prove your thesis.

MLA style throughout (do your best if you are not yet familiar with MLA style)
750 words minimum (roughly, don’t bother counting)
Paragraphs focused around your own ideas
Textual evidence used to support your own claims
Close analysis of textual evidence
Sophisticated interparagraph transitions (transitions that express the relationship between paragraphs, as discussed in class)




http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1232/1232-h/1232-h.htm chapters XV, XVI AND XVII

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