1. For this workshop, students should return to one of the passages from class discussion this past Thursday.
2. They should then begin developing a paragraph of their own writing around this paragraph. With their notes and/or the text When I Was a Slave, they should consider:
- Does the passage work as evidence for pre-Civil War African-American work culture?
- Does the passage work as evidence for post-Civil War African-American work culture?
- Does the passage work as evidence for pre-Civil War white supremacist culture?
- Does the passage work as evidence for post-Civil War white supremacist culture?
3. After assessing what kind of evidence they have, students should work to select a specific part of the passage for quotation and citation. They should then build a paragraph around that citation.
- They should give the reader context
- They should properly quote and cite the text
- They should paraphrase
- They should practice critical thinking.
4. As students practice critical thinking, they should think of what word, phrase, or idea best captures the passage in question. They should then use this word, phrase, or idea in a (new) topic sentence for the essay.
5. They should then examine this topic sentence and how the idea in the topic sentence could fit into a thesis statement. They should then consider how they could repeat this exercise for each of the main themes of the assignment (from step two), and therefore how they could generate a thesis statement after considering the evidence, rather than starting from a thesis statement and then searching for the evidence.