Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thesis and Organization from a Multi-Flow Map

After you have generated ideas on your multi-flow map, it's time to think about a thesis and organization. Both are easy to do from the multi-flow map. The thesis should incorporate the general causes and effects in the boxes and be a blueprint for the body paragraphs.

Read the following draft of my thesis statement that tells a theme about the causes and effects of the topic "cultural conflict."

In The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri claims that people who face cultural conflict caused by a separation from their familiar lifestyle end up rebelling against their traditional culture, assimilating to the new culture, or living a somewhat isolated life from the culture of power in their new society.

Did you notice how the boxes on the multi-flow map came alive in the thesis? Did you notice my cause and effect verb bank too?

You can also organize the essay right from the multi-flow map and thesis. Here are my potential body paragraphs:

1. Causes of cultural conflict on separation caused by fear and being homesick. That paragraph would have a PIE on fear and a PIE on being homesick.

2. Effect of cultural conflict being rebellion as illustrated by Gogol and Sonia.

3. Effect of cultural conflict being assimilation as illustrated by Ashoke's dress and naming of children.

4. Effect of cultural conflict being isolation as illustrated by Ashima's Bengali friends, food and clothing.

As another model to help you write your essay. Here's a draft of part of the body paragraph on isolation and Ashima with the PIE about food.

TOPIC SENTENCE - Ashima’s acute sense of cultural isolation is caused most profoundly by a sense that something is missing, even in the most familiar of things.

POINT First, as Ashima looks for comfort in the cooking from her home country of India, even the foods that she craves most are lacking in some satisfying, key ingredient.

ILLUSTRATION For example, in chapter one when Ashima, attempts to make the spicy Rice Krispies snack with peanuts and red onions that she used to buy in the streets of Calcutta, she is wishes “there were mustard oil to pour into the mix…[it] is a humble approximation of the snack sold for pennies on Calcutta sidewalks and on railway platforms throughout India.” As she tastes it from her palms, she thinks “as usual, there’s something missing” (1).

EXPLANATION Even the most familiar things that bring her comfort are only “humble” or inferior substitutes for what she misses in India. The “something missing” in the food is symbolic of the cultural isolation that Ashima feels in her life in America.

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