Introduction/Thesis—15 pts Hook: the very first sentence (s) of an essay, intended to grab the readers attention and stimulate curiosity or strong emotions● Think of how your topic applies to people in the real world.● Avoid falling into a “hook habit” by using the same technique (famous quote, for example) in every paper.● Avoid dictionary definitions (not very interesting)● http://toeflstar.com/?p=105 has great ideas!
Introduction/Thesis—15pts continued Thesis Statement: a sentence or sentences that provides a mini-outline of your essay ● Identify purpose (reason for writing). Ask yourself “Why is this message important for people to hear?” View examples on p.14 of 40 Model Essays *IMPORTANT: “to entertain” and “to express” must be coupled with a more specific purpose ● LIST points to be made in the body paragraphs *Keep them in the same order as they will appear in the body (this is “parallelism”)
Introduction/Thesis—15pts continued ● Provide necessary background information – include any information that might help the reader to better understand the topic for example... Historical details Significant facts or statistics Relevant current events Explanation of anything that isnt general knowledge (medical terms, legal jargon, tools, etc) Personal experience(s) that led up to your selection of this topic
Body/Development—40 pts● Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence: a sentence that identifies the main idea (point of focus) in the paragraph● All paragraphs and related topic sentences should help to develop the thesis statement● Use plenty of detail and support in the body paragraphs (a body paragraph should be approximately ½ page when typed and double- spaced)● What is “support”? Facts, statistics, current or historical events, personal life experiences, expert opinion, related quotes, etc.
Body/Development—40 pts continued ● Organize the body paragraphs. Rather than putting them in a random order, think about an order that might be most effective * http://toeflstar.com/?p=615 has great ideas ● The entire essay should be 3-5 pages long without padding (this means avoid statements that merely reword how “interesting” something is or how “wonderful” a writer is. Work to fill the body paragraphs with meaningful support) ● Educate the audience on your topic. Use only information that is truly meaningful. Avoid repeating yourself or using dull details.
Conclusion—10 pts● Show the importance of the thesis. This means answering the question “so what?” (You have communicated your message, but so what? What will this communication accomplish?) --How will this message affect readers and/or the world in which we live? --Will readers gain a better understanding of something? --Will readers change a behavior? --Will readers make a choice?
Conclusion—10 pts continued● DO NOT restate the entire introduction. Say something different to keep the reader interested.● Work to be persuasive. This is your last chance to convince the reader of your purpose, so make it count.● DO reword the thesis statement purpose and list of topics. Remember to keep those topics in the same order as they appear in the body.
Style/Coherence—15 pts● Use transitions, especially at the beginning of each paragraph after the introduction. (See section 8e in “The Writing Process” tab of The Everyday Writer for details and examples)● Use clear language. To insure this, read your paper aloud. Ask a friend to read it aloud. Anything that is even a bit difficult to understand should be revised for clarity. (See sections 25-28 in the “Sentence Style” tab of The Everyday Writer for details and examples)
Style/Coherence—15 pts continued● Use words appropriately. (See section 22 in the “Language” tab of The Everyday Writer for further explanation and examples.)
Style/Coherence—15 pts continued● Keep sentence structure concise. (See section 28 in the “Sentence Style” tab of The Everyday Writer for further explanation and examples.) --Eliminate “I phrases.” These are wordy phrases that add nothing to the topic, such as “I think”, “I feel”, or “In my opinion.” We assume this is your opinion...your name is on the paper! --avoid announcing parts of the assignment. “The purpose of this paper is...” is an announcement. Instead, begin with the actual purpose. “This paper will focus on...” is an announcement.● Use a variety of word choice. Find synonyms to avoid repetition.
Grammar/Mechanics—15 pts● Avoid general errors in grammar and mechanics. Using grammar check or having another person review for grammar errors can help. (See section 1 of the “About College Writing” tab in The Everyday Writer for the most common errors.)● Avoid pronoun reference errors and the word “you” (See section 33g of the “Sentence Grammar” tab in The Everyday Writer for specifics.)● Use correct punctuation and spelling. Activating and using “spell check” on your computer is a must.● Omit typographical errors (typos). Read carefully for this before submitting the final draft.