Marijuana legalization debate: The question might be, can we avoid both kinds of insanity?

The structure of the expository essay (review/overview):

●A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

●Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

●Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

●Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

●A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

●A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it inlight of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.

From: tml —————————————————— – the case against legalization – 9 Questions about legalization —————————————————–


Sample “Thematic” Essay Starter:

Albert Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” I think that this quote perfectly sums up the marijuana debate so far in the U.S., in that to continue doing what we have been in terms of criminalization would be insane, but so would our ignoring the possible dangers of mass marketing that would be brought on by legalization. As Kevin Sabet, head of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the nation’s leading anti-legalization group, explained:
“If we were a country with a history of being able to promote moderation in our consumer use of products, or promote responsible corporate advertising or no advertising, or if we had a history of being able to take taxes gained from a vice and redirect them into some positive areas, I might be less concerned about what I see happening in this country. But I think we have a horrible history of dealing with these kinds of things” (Lopez.) What he is talking about here is what happens when advertising gets involved in selling drugs to the public. We have a track record, with cigarettes, beer, and even prescription drugs, of overselling these products to make money without considering the social harm. The question might be, can we avoid both kinds of insanity?


Use a quote to address a particular aspect of the legalization debate, such as “health” (or
moderation, or fear.) The one we did in class is “moderation.”

Tell the reader what you are going to talk about by briefly listing why this aspect is important. For example: the well being of children, patients, and the healthcare system for “health.”

State what you are going to prove in the paper (That this theme, for example, moderation, is the most important aspect of addressing it, whether or not we are for legalization.)

Body 1: Give a personal narrative to demonstrate the importance of moderation. Explain
how your personal narrative teaches a lesson about moderation

Body 2:

Explain how the lesson of your personal narrative connects to the legalization debate.

Body 3/4:

Take a quote from one of the articles you are using and explain how it relates to moderation,
as well as how it could help prove how moderation is the *key* issue here.

Conclusion: What did you prove? What larger lesson did you learn from exploring this issue in this way?

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller

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