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Few scenarios are as daunting for students than facing a blank piece of paper when they know it has to be filled with an essay for a school assignment. Writing from scratch is a significant challenge for many students. But there’s no reason to fear it – a little structure and a few tips will go a long way in facilitating your task so much that you could even start to enjoy your writing process.
One of the things that make essay writing so intimidating is that it seems too open a field, too many possibilities, so the simple decision of where to start becomes itself a difficult one. Well, there is a useful and straightforward strategy to start. Just start at the beginning, with your essay’s structure. The structure is your friend on this, as it will provide you with a path to follow and you will no longer feel lost in the wilderness. Your essay on the Civil Rights movement (or on any other subject, for that matter) must include three sections: introduction, body and development and conclusions.
Since your topic is going to be civil rights, it’s natural (even necessary) that you will talk about its history and most memorable moments and main characters. That is the kind of information that fits into the body of the essay. This subject is about the concrete and abstract events and customs that brought forth the discrimination of people of particular skin color, the fight against discrimination, the struggle for equal rights. Its final developments allowed the cause to triumph over the established institutional segregation, thus giving remedy to the unfairness trespassing upon everybody’s’ most elemental human rights.
At the start of your essay, you will present your topic to your readers. In the introduction’s final sentences you will state your essay’s thesis. To state your thesis means to let your readers what is the subject you’re about to develop and how you are going to approach it in the rest of your text. Here’s an example of an introduction to an essay on this subject.
Civil Rights and the American experience
The American struggle for civil rights is discussed very frequently even today with particular emphasis on the things the activists did during the 1960s to ensure the equality of rights and opportunities that the black population was lacking compared to their white colleagues. Names that always come up in this discussion are such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X. The activist leaders who affected progress by civil disobedience and boycotts. They made sure that the civil rights struggle went all the way to achieve equality before the law for African Americans as well as opportunities comparable to those of their white peers in the economic realm. The high point in the American Civil Rights struggle came on March 1963 as the march called “Jobs and Freedom” arrived in Washington D. C. promoting equality in rights and job chances. At the time, employment rates were one of the most egregious signs of inequality. Two white men held a job for every black man. That meant that the unemployment rate for blacks was 10% while it was 5% for whites. So, there is a side to the Civil Rights achievements that people often ignore: it boosted the economy and brought into the labor force a massive amount of people that had been ignored previously. This shows us that fighting evils such as discrimination, racism, and segregation can help everybody by pushing the economy forward.
In the body, you will make a case for the topic you previously declared as your aim in the introduction. Give a significant explanation, use evidence that is relevant to the facts and your point, use vivid examples to illustrate your point. Ever point you make will have a paragraph of its own and you will join them through the common thread of ideas that will run along your whole essay because each will be connected to the main idea.
Look at this sample of a body paragraph for a civil rights essay:
Civil Rights in the US brought about the economic advancement of the black American citizens. This movement’s achievements created an economic middle class comprised of black American citizens which were previously either unknown or disproportionately small. This was made evident in 1974 when Time magazine published an article entitled “Race: America’s Rising Black Middle Class.” The article explained how the developments of the 1960’s continuously improved the development of the economic status in the American black community. The results brought forward by the Civil Rights movement came in the form of several new enacted laws that replaced previous perceptions and beliefs in the general public in the country. Growth became the new popular priority. Those same new laws expanded economic opportunities and job availability for black Americans that were, at last, well paid, at least comparable in wages with jobs that the members of the white community could obtain. Black Americans started to show up in more jobs than before – jobs like managerial positions that were previously just not available to them. Employers changed as well as they slowly altered their positions to encompass all races and be inclusive. It was also crucial that black citizens gained a way to attain a better quality of education that was also previously unavailable for them and that, in turn, increased their chances for economic well being. These results became apparent in the 1970s as the new legislation and federal actions gave the black community a voice that could be heard just as loudly as the voice of white America.This is why the outcome of the civil rights movement benefited everybody in the country, not only the colored community. The improvement in economic conditions was beneficial and felt by everybody, regardless of their race, because the economy expanded. The most recognized achievement was, of course, leaving behind (at least in principle) the ideas of racial discrimination and segregation. As the national industrial apparatus started taking in more black employees, the American workforce grew dramatically. This imparted extra momentum to the country’s economy and fueled unprecedented growth. Black families became able to send their kids to good schools, even to college. South Carolina, for instance, grew its labor market from 5% to 20% regarding the black population joining the workforce in 7 years. This created capital and wealth. The long-delayed entrance of the black workers into the economy created a steady ascent for the whole country’s economy. Last but not least, the Civil Rights movement developed the American democracy into a state of strength it never knew before. That opened the way for Indian Americans, Asian Americans, and the LGBT community to move forward and fight for their rights as well as they were now a political entity with a voice, culture and economic influence. That allowed them to express their complaints in powerful ways.
Your conclusion is supposed to show your readers what your general idea is on the given subject, the civil rights movement in this case. You’ll do this by reviewing all the points you made in each paragraph (the conclusion is not where you bring forward new information, that’s what you use the body for). And then you finish by a statement that wraps everything in a single, neat, package.
Here’s a sample for a conclusion:
Summing up, the American Civil Rights Movement was the correct way to manifest the opposition of the black community against oppression, racism, segregation, inequality. Job opportunities were in the mix but not the only factor by any means and it benefited the whole country in the end. They achieved a leveling of the field for everybody, they advanced democracy, and they made black citizens, at last, peers to their white compatriots.