#11. Writing an Academic Essay (Part 3)
by Jayna Tokie Tanaka
Completing the Outline
When the outline with the thesis statement and the topic sentence for each body paragraph has been decided, the next step is to fill in the outline with data and examples which will provide the evidence for the thesis. All evidence must be from sources that can be authenticated. In a very formal paper, this is done by using footnotes for each piece of information, but because this is an exercise in learning the “form” or “structure” of an essay, all the sources can be listed at the end of the essay.
Each paragraph in the body of the essay is marked with a capital letter in the following way:
A. The various governments in the United States have so many different laws that it has become almost
impossible to control the ownership of guns by private individuals.
1. Various organizations have rated the U.S. states according to the stringency of their gun laws.
a. Guns & Ammo, an online magazine published by the Outdoor Sportsman group
1) Easiest states to own guns: Arizona, Vermont, Alaska, Utah, Kentucky
2) Hardest states to own guns: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Hawaii, California
b. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
1) Strictest state laws: California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts
2) Most lenient state laws: Kansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska
2. Arizona vs. California laws differ considerably
a. “Open carry” means that people can carry guns on their bodies where anyone can see them.
1) In Arizona, it is possible to do this.
2) In California, it is prohibited.
b. Assault weapons, semi-automatic firearm, bullet or cartridge is fired each time the trigger is pulled,
one magazine, or the case with the cartridges loaded into a weapon, has from five to 30 cartridges
depending on the weapon and its size.
1) In Arizona, it is possible to buy and own these weapons.
2) In California, the sale and ownership is prohibited.
3. Gun laws and death rates
a. Article in The Atlantic shows how strict gun laws are correlated with low death rates by guns, figures
1) Lowest gun-related death rates: Hawaii, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey
a) Hawaii, 2.5 deaths/100,000 people
2) Highest gun-related death rates: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona
a) Arizona, 19.8 deaths/100,000 people
4. Because the states of the United States (except Alaska and Hawaii) are contiguous, it is, of course,
possible to carry guns across state borders without being stopped. However, strict gun laws do seem to
help prevent many deaths where these laws exist.
The second body paragraph is about the actual number of guns in the U.S.
B. The number of guns in the hands of private owners in the U.S. is almost unbelievable when compared to
that of other developed countries.
1. The actual number of guns is disputed because of the way guns are sold.
a. Most sources say about 300 million pieces of firearms in all U.S.
b. The Washington Post has a high estimate of 357 million taking into account various means of
purchase, more than the total population of U.S., which is 317 million.
2. The U.S. has two times the number of guns per capita than the next country on the list, Yemen. The
countries which follow on this list are Switzerland (where each male citizen must perform military duty
and can keep his gun), Finland, Serbia, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
3. 1 in 3 households have guns, and although this number is shrinking, the number of guns has increased,
which means each household has more guns according to National Public Radio
a. Average number is 8 firearms.
b. Rural states have higher gun ownership, urban states have less
1) 6% of household in Delaware and Rhode Island
2) 50% in Arkansas, West Virginia, and Wyoming
4. The number of guns being produced is rising
a. Gun makers produced 10.9 million guns in 2013, twice the number in 2009
The final body paragraph will discuss the horrible consequences of this gun arsenal.
(To Be Continued)
Jayna Tokie Tanaka（ジェイナ・トキエ・タナカ）