I am having trouble writing an essay using a flow chart. Can anyone help me, or give me advice on how I should work with this?I have my thesis, but I don't even know if it is good enough: "I like...

I am having trouble writing an essay using a flow chart. Can anyone help me, or give me advice on how I should work with this?

I have my thesis, but I don't even know if it is good enough: "I like the song Question Exsisting because of the lyrics, how it combines different tones to get the tempo, and the rhythm of the song." Please help!

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ophelious's profile pic

ophelious | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I suppose my first question for you would be: "Is there a reason why you have to use a flowchart to organize your writing?"  Unless you have to for some reason, I would consider another organizational tool. Flowcharts are generally used to demonstrate a process. They show the steps that are taken to achieve a goal, or (like a "Choose Your Own Adventure Story") they show the result of different choices that could be made.  Based on your thesis idea I don't see that a flowchart style graphic organizer is going to be of much use to you.

Much better, in your case, would have been a standard Star, Cloud, or Spider diagram. Of course, these are mostly useful when developing your thesis statement and the points you want to illustrate. You already have passed that step.  Your goal now is mostly in organizing what you are going to be writing about.

In your case, you want to write about the song "Question Existing" by Rihanna. Your perspective seems to be that you think it is a good song.  This, though, is not a very strong statement.  It is enough to go with for an essay, but probably a real snoozer of one.  You need a bit more "punch."  Try something like this: "The lyrics of the song 'Question Existing' by Rihanna set a good example for today's young women."  In this example, you would quote examples from the lyrics that support this thesis.  You would need three examples from the song (one for each paragraph of your essay) and you would spend each paragraph explaining the meaning of the lyric.

Don't like that one?  Try this: "The lyrics, rhythm, and tempo of Rihanna's song 'Question Existing' blend together to form an example of excellent songwriting."  This is more in line with the spirit of your original thesis, but personally, I would shy away from this one.  Unless you have an extensive background in music, quantifying and explaining terms like "rhythm" and "tone" and "tempo" can be very difficult.

So, in short, my advice to you would be to ditch the flowchart as an organizational tool and focus your thesis on an aspect of the song that you can easily discuss.  Best of luck to you, and let me know (or post another question) if you need more help!

jdoarsinkfield's profile pic

jdoarsinkfield | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

You have opened up three areas for discussion here:  the lyrics, the combination of different tones to get the tempo, and the rhythm of the song.  Your flow chart should start with Question Existing at the top, and then have three branches--lyrics, tones/tempo, rhythm.  The branches below should include components of each area: Why do these lyrics speak to you?  Are there specific lyrics that speak more strongly to you than others?  What about other songs by the same singer--do they affect you in the same way?  Are there other songs by others that speak to you in the same way?

Talk about the tones/tempo: What emotions, feelings do they inspire?  Are they high or low?  fast?  medium, slow? easy listening or death metal?

Then finally rhythm: Is this a dance song?  Is this a great song to listen to on a rainy day?  after a breakup? or is it a great way to start the day?  How does it make you move?  Or how does it allow you to sit and not move at all?

Your thesis is fine, but you need to figure out how, with imagery, you can compel the reader to understand why you feel the way you feel about that song.

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