Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many "to be" verbs as possible. A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning. Original: "Society is..." (who is this "society" and what exactly is it doing?), revised: "Men and women will learn how to...," "writers can generate...," "television addicts may chip away at...," "American educators must decide...," "taxpayers and legislators alike can help fix...". Original: "the media", revised: "the new breed of television reporters," "advertisers," "hard_hitting print journalists," "horror flicks," "TV movies of the week," "sitcoms," "national public radio," "Top 40 bop_til_you_drop..." Original: "is, are, was, to be" or "to do, to make", Revised: any great action verb you can concoct: "to generate," "to demolish," "to batter," "to revolt," "to discover," "to flip," "to signify," "to endure...".
This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. It does not tell the reader where you are heading. A reader of this weak thesis might think "What reasons? How are they the same? How are they different?" Ask yourself these same questions and begin to compare Northern and Southern attitudes (perhaps you first think "The South believed slavery was right, and the North thought slavery was wrong"). Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation_why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? You look again at the evidence, and you decide that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld the Southern way of life. You write: While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions.
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