Start with necessary general information—describe the issue, define key terms/concepts.
Choose your words for your purpose and audience—why are you writing and for whom?
The last (or next-to-last) sentence of your intro paragraph should be your thesis statement:
a specific claim that answers a question, takes a stance on an issue, or expresses an interpretation. In your thesis, or in another sentence directly following it, you
should briefly outline the organization of your paper—what points will you
make and in what order will you make them?
Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence
that suggests the content and scope of the paragraph.
The topic sentence should remind the reader of why
the paragraph is relevant and how it’s related to
the thesis. You may need more
than one paragraph to make
Don’t let the reader fall through
Cracks between ideas, paragraphs, or
sentences. Use transitions to lead the reader along.
Each point should be a mini-hourglass. Make a claim
in your topic sentence and follow the claim with supporting
evidence. Keep reminding the reader of how each point relates
to your thesis by using key words from your intro/thesis. You determine
how many points you have to make and how many paragraphs you need to
make each point. Don’t follow an arbitrary organization; create a logical one!
The conclusion should remind the reader of how all of your points relate to your thesis. What
have you proven? Why does it matter? Broaden back out to show the relevance of your essay in
a larger context. How does what you’ve said relate to other discourse surrounding your topic? Re-member that the conclusion to your paper has within it the conclusions that you have come to in the process of writing your paper. These should match the thesis or focusing statement that you presented in your opening paragraph. This is not the time to change your thesis but give your paper firm footing.
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