Your examples and cited references to the course materials and external sources are the “evidence” to support your topic sentence assertions, which support your thesis statement (which answers the essay question). Remember, a thesis with no supporting evidence is in fact nothing more than an opinion. Instead, your thesis must contain a specific assertion and each paragraphs must provide evidence, examples and facts with your own original analysis to convince the reader that your argument is in fact sound and compelling. Demonstrate your points and use critical thinking to develop your ideas. Be sure to use external references for a top score. Many excellent sources are found under “Resources,” in the “Supplemental Readings” folder and can make your research efforts much easier. Ask questions if you have any now, and you are free to start on your esay work as early as you like–indeed, using each week’s readings and forum assignment to add evidence and discussion to the draft essay is a good technique to use so that you do not have to build the entire essay in the week it is due. Know what the essay question is now and address your forums with that goal and the essay target in mind (two birds, one stone). You will need to read the 9/11 Commission Report, use the supplemental readings and videos, and perform additional research to get the highest possible grade.