What is a dissertation?

The dissertation consists in conducting a personal and reasoned reflection based on a literary problematic resulting from the French program. To develop his argument, the candidate relies on the texts available to him, on the “objects of study” of the first class, as well as on his reading and personal culture.

The above topic gives one of the main characteristics of the dissertation: it is a “development argued”, which relies in this case on specific texts and literary knowledge – and artistic – of candidate.

To this end, you must of course work regularly during the school year. There is no question, for this difficult exercise, of improvising the day of the exam. To analyze the dissertation subject, it must be re-read several times. Identify the keywords, locate the important expressions and the possible overtones: you can then problematize the subject, that is to say, to formulate the problem posed by the subject. Write down your ideas on a rough draft and find examples. This phase of the dissertation design is naturally very important: it is the foundation of your assignment. Do not hesitate to re-read the subject regularly: you will avoid the off-topic. Remember the literary knowledge acquired during the school year: this knowledge will provide you with valuable examples when writing the dissertation. Now classify your ideas and examples, and make sure they have a connection to the topic. Make a plan: There are different types of plan: the dialectical plan (thesis, antithesis, synthesis / overtaking); the analytical plan (description of a situation or explanation, analysis of the causes or illustration, analysis of the consequences or commentary); the thematic plan (reflection on one (or more) notion (s), it is a question of answering progressively the question of the subject by presenting various arguments in an orderly way). It is advisable not to adopt a “blueprint”: strive to build a plan that responds to the topic and provides relevant ideas and examples. The dissertation must be clear, well argued and logical. For this last aspect, it goes without saying that it is important to link the different parts (as well as the different paragraphs making up each of them). To do this, the least important arguments are presented in a general way, and the most important arguments at the end. This is where the dissertation meets the rhetoric: your goal is above all to convince your reader by providing him with arguments and judicious examples that respond to the subject in a coherent way. Also you will lack credibility and your dissertation will not be successful in the following cases: the ideas you are exhibiting have little or no relation to the subject (or there is no link between your different paragraphs and / or your different parts – even if you use logical links improperly); the examples you choose do not illustrate your words (arguments); the arguments and examples you propose are not presented in a logical order, that is, when your reasoning is not progressive; your dissertation does not respect the rules of this academic exercise: there are, for example, only two “big” parts or only two sub-parts in a part (in this case, the different parts of your assignment are not balanced). Some writing tips: Do not write in the first person (I): it is indeed customary to use a “we of modesty” or the indefinite pronoun. We also advise not to mix on and us. Write your introduction and your conclusion on your draft, the development of the assignment is directly written to the own. If the plan you have built is solid, you should be able to write your introduction and conclusion before the body of duty (development). The title of a work, since your dissertation is handwritten, stands out. One writes therefore: Each of your paragraphs must express a developed idea and several examples, as far as possible.

Do not hesitate to use (exact) quotes if they are relevant: you show that you are able to mobilize your knowledge and exploit it with insight. Make sure you comment on your quote, otherwise it loses all its value. Use quotation marks for quotes and for poem titles

Introduction It is essentially composed of: An “introduction” (or “hook” or “primer”): this is a general sentence (and not a general one (cliché)) having a link with the subject. For example, evoke the literary and / or historical context – in short, the point is to interest the reader. From a quote from the subject: if the quote is too long, rephrase it. Now briefly express your problem in the form of one (or more) question (s): in what is the subject poses a problem? Of the announcement of your plan. The plan you have chosen necessarily answers the problem you have proposed. The announcement of your plan is done with elegant sentences: avoid heavy statements like “in a first part, we will be interested in … then, in a second part, we will analyze …”. Your sentences must be fluent.

The development It consists of three parts. Each of these parts consists of three subparts, which are composed of several paragraphs. Each paragraph begins with a paragraph, and we skip a line between the different parts, as well as between the introduction and the first part on the one hand, and between the last part and the conclusion on the other hand. Do not name your parts or subparts. Write elegantly and clearly. Look after your style: you must use all your writing skills; you will demonstrate that the subject interests you. If your essay plan is well structured and you use strong arguments and examples, strive vigorously to present them in a neat language.

When you have finished writing the development, reread. Many times if you know that you often make mistakes. The conclusion It is the result of your demonstration (you answer the problem) and usually presents: A summary of your remarks: it is about taking stock of your dissertation, by briefly expressing the conclusions that you reached. The answer to the problematic proposed in the introduction must be provided.

An “opening”: it is a question of proposing to the reader an enlargement of your reflection without addressing quite another subject. Do not resort to a flat formula (common place, proverb, etc.), but rather to an extension of your reflection in relation to the subject that has been given to you.

The argument

Reminder of the object of study in first class

The question of Man in the genres of argumentation from the sixteenth century to the present The objective is to allow students to access the anthropological reflection that carries the kinds of argumentation to lead them to reflect on their own condition. This helps to give meaning and substance to a truly humanistic formation. […] Corpus: A long text or a set of texts having a strong unity, from the 16th century to the present day, at the teacher’s choice, studied in its composition and development as well as in its writing: essay, speech, pamphlet, collection of maxims or thoughts, fables or satires, excerpts from writers’ correspondence, persuasive narrative text, etc. One or two groupings of texts to broaden and structure students’ literary culture and to problematize their reflection in relation to the subject of study concerned. […] In relation with the languages and cultures of Antiquity, and from a humanistic perspective of knowledge of sources, a choice of texts and documents allowing to find in ancient works the roots of questions and representations concerning the condition of the man. […]