1. Develop a strong thesis. As you write and think your way through your first draft, you may discover a powerful thesis that hadn’t occurred to you when you started writing. If so, revise your introduction to include the thesis in it.
2. Give an example. Consider including a compelling account of a person or group of people affected by the human rights or social justice issue you’ve selected. You may want to place this account at or near the beginning of your submission to help your readers see the issue in human terms.
3. Provide specific evidence. Strengthen your argument with facts and data.
4. Address counterarguments. If other people take positions contrary to yours, acknowledge their most powerful argument or arguments. Then, explain why their position isn’t as good as yours.
5. Include a reference list. Use sources that readers will find to be credible.
6. When you’ve made your case, stop. Longer isn’t necessarily better.
7. Discuss your ideas and drafts with others. Conversations with professors, family members and friends can help you develop your ideas and sharpen your presentation.
8. Come to the Writing Center. Drop in or make an appointment online for any of the Writing Center's three locations: Belk Library, Multicuiltural Center, and Koury Business Center.
Emory University Professor Hiram Maxim visits Elon University on March 10 to lead a timely discussion on writing and critical thinking.