How to Write an Essay on WikiLeaks

This article describes steps that one may take in order to write an essay on the controversial WikiLeaks website and organization.


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    Familiarize yourself with the controversies and history surrounding WikiLeaks. Read news articles. Sometimes news sites will have a place below the article for user comments. It can be informative to read through some of them because they can offer a layman's perspectives and opinions.
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    Decide what kind of stand you will take. Will the essay be informative? Will you argue your opinion and try to convince people that you are right? Will you argue for an opinion that you don't really care for? This last choice is a good way to open your mind and expand your horizons. You may also not be given a choice and have the type of essay given to you by your professor.
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    Come up with a thesis statement'. This isn't difficult. It just involves taking a stand or stating what you hope to accomplish. For example (don't use these - come up with your own):
    • Wikileaks has damaged the credibility of many powerful nations.
    • Wikileaks has benefited mankind through the disclosure of shady foreign policy wranglings.
    • WikiLeaks provides many people with insight into diplomacy between great nations.
    • Bradley Manning's actions in disclosing classified documents to Wikileaks were shallow and misled.
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    Decide who your audience will be. Is your teacher or professor going to be the only one to read this essay? Will you be addressing a group of peers? Your tone and respectfulness can make or break your argument. Maintain your tone by being consistent with the way you are addressing your audience, or you may seem wishy-washy. Stay true to your thesis.
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    Begin assembling reading material and references that support your thesis. You want to look for works that are academic or respected sources, such as journals, periodicals, and respected press articles. Blogs, Wikipedia, and personal websites generally do not qualify as reliable sources. Google Books is a good place to begin searching. Also, there are online journal websites that may give free access to information, but most require some sort of membership. Wikipedia, although unacceptable as a source, can be a great stepping stone to building your formal sources.
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    Get a library card. You will be required to get physical books most likely and you don't want to be stuck without a means of acquiring them at the last minute.
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    Begin reading your reference material and taking notes on things that you find important and that support your views. You may also include notes on opposing views, so that you can be better armed to defend your opinion.
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    Decide how your essay will be structured. In academic environments, this may be dictated to you. A good thumb-rule to use is "tell them, tell them what you told them, and then tell them again". That is, introduce the reader to what you will be writing about, including stating your thesis, then make each point with support, and finally, conclude by restating what you have covered. Be sure to explore the different ways of structuring an essay.
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    Some assignments require the references to be formalized and approved before writing begins. In this case, assemble your bibliography page in the format approved by your organization, professor, or teacher. Typical styles include MLA or APA. The Rules for Writers handbook is an awesome resource for learning how to cite sources.
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    Write an outline (or first draft, if your professor doesn't require an outline). This will nail down the structure of your essay. Start with the introduction and simply list each point you will cover. Longer essays may require multiple paragraph introductions, so don't feel that you have to keep it to one paragraph. Move on to the body supporting paragraphs. Include your source citations. Finally, write your conclusion paragraph(s) by stating what you have already covered.
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    Write your Wikileaks essay final draft. Review the criticisms, corrections, and advice that your professor has given you and incorporate them into your writing. Flesh out each paragraph with your further thoughts on each point. Read a paragraph out loud to a friend or family member and have them ask questions. Answer those questions in writing.
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    Assemble the essay. Use a protective cover and a title page if required. Be sure to include the bibliography page.
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    Turn the essay in and enjoy the fruit of your labor: an easy "A"!


  • Do not plagiarize. Read and understand what plagiarism is and is not. It's not worth losing your job or getting expelled from school over. Plagiarism is a crime.

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Categories: Wikis | Web Writing and eBooks