Use what you learned about critical thinking to analyze the effectiveness of one of the arguments in Empire of Illusion.

(you have to write thesis statement and send it to me before 9pm today, and finish the whole essay before 9pm at Thur)

Thesis Statement (you have to write it and send it to me before 9pm today)

  • You must have a clearly stated, one sentence, argumentative thesis statement that states:
    • Your topic (the specific argument you are analyzing—you are not writing about the entire book)
    • Your argument (how effective or ineffective you believe it is)
    • Two/three reasons that support why the argument is either effective or ineffective
  • Examples:
    • Hedges’ argument that the entertainment industry dilutes American public discourse and discourages critical thought is ineffective because he fails to account for the growing popularity of media that encourages and requires critical thinking.
    • Hedges effectively argues that America no longer lives up to its promise of a free and equal democratic society since he prophetically reasoned eight years ago the causes of America’s current decline: a free press being used as a mouthpiece for misinformation, a congress that promotes the interests of corporations and the very richest citizens, and a populist movement that centers around a “demagogue” elected as president.
    • Hedges’ argument on how critical, positive happiness and psychology are illusions is inefficient and weakened because he provides too many irrelevant supporting resources, generalizes these resources with fallacies, and makes equivocations about the importance of different definitions.
    • Hedges effectively argues that elite American universities are forgoing the creation of critical thinkers in society by pointing out the benefits that universities reap from being funded by corporations and following their agendas, obscuring “learning” to thwart questioning the system, and demonstrating how the products of these schools continue mindlessly to perpetuate a “dead system”.

Essay Requirements

  • Each body paragraph must start with a topic sentence that tells readers what that paragraph will develop/cover (should pertain to your thesis statement).
  • Each body paragraph should start and end with your thoughts – never research.
  • A body paragraph should range between five and eight sentences – it should never be a page in length.
  • Not only will you include research in your paper, but you must explain, analyze, and comment on each quote, summary, or paraphrase you incorporate into your essay – your critical thinking!
    • AXES:
      • Assertions – statements which present points of view.
      • eXamples – specific passages, scenes, events, or items which inspire these points of view.
      • Explanations – statements which reveal how the examples support and/or complicate the assertions.
      • Significance – statements which reveal the importance of the analysis to our personal and/or cultural concerns.
  • You will never include research without analyzing it.
  • You will always need to show readers how or why your analysis is significant.
  • Your conclusion should not merely function as a summary of your entire essay.
  • You are required to use proper MLA citation format for both in-text citations and a works cited page.
  • You will not receive credit if you do not follow MLA citation guidelines.
  • If you plagiarize ANY part of the essay, you will not receive credit.
  • Must include a minimum of 2 acceptable outside sources (NEVER Wikipedia)
    • Academic databases for example
  • Your essay must be FOUR pages (minimum).
  • If you do not meet the length requirement, you will not receive credit.
  • You will upload all drafts and the final paper to
  • Your essay will need to score in the GREEN category to receive credit.
  • Formatting: Times New Roman, 12pt. font, double spaced.
    • No extra spacing allowed – at the beginning of the essay or between paragraphs
    • No headers or footers

And there is also a sample essay.

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