Essay basics


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Essay basics

  1. 1. Essay Basics<br />
  2. 2. 1. Include a formal outline:<br />Thesis statement<br />2-4 related topics<br />3 or more supporting details for each topic<br />
  3. 3. 2. Assign an appropriate title:<br />No underlining, quotes or italics. Just center the thing and move on!<br />Relates to the subject matter<br />Tells the reader how broad the topic is (think like Goldilocks—just right) <br />The Internet—too broad<br />Parental Block: Technology and Discipline—YES!<br />
  4. 4. Avoids announcing the assignment.<br />My Opinion about Global Warming (NO)<br />A Comparison of Men and Women (NO)<br />Avoids using another author’s title.<br />“Sleep Debt and the Mortgaged Mind” is the title of an essay written by Dement & Vaughan, <br />not you! <br />
  5. 5. 3. Use present tense verbs: <br />See sample in LLBrief, p. 29, sect. 4C<br />Use “describes,” “defines,” “argues,” “recalls”<br />For example…<br /> “In the article ‘Searching for a Home,’ Whitt Brown explains (NOT “explained”)shelter procedures.” <br />
  6. 6. 4. Include transitions between paragraphs: <br />There are two ways of doing this:<br />Work a transitional phrase into the first sentence of each paragraph.(see list in LBBrief p.56-7, sect 6B)<br />*Don’t fall into the trap of using the same 3-4 favorite phrases in every essay. Please do not torture your teachers by using the tired old “…last…in conclusion” pattern.<br />
  7. 7. 2. Include a topic from the previous paragraph in the first sentence of this one. For example: <br />Body paragraph one of an essay defending video games looks like this:<br />Video games are an excellent way to improve hand-eye coordination. Researchers are becoming interested in this connection, and several studies have yielded interesting results. For example, an Ohio state poll of high school students revealed that over eighty percent of gamers reported an improvement in fine motor skills in related courses like typing class, computers, visual arts and physical education. Those who play video games regularly tend to do be better at fixing things, driving, construction and crafts as well. There seems to be no limit to the positive influences gaming can have on one’s small motor skills in other areas of life. <br />
  8. 8. We just finished a paragraph about hand-eye coordination, so we mention that in the beginning of body paragraph two, like this:<br /> Hand-eye coordination is not the only skill that is improved through playing video games. Gamers also tend to be better at strategic thinking than those who do not indulge in this hobby. <br />
  9. 9. 5. Include a thesis statement in the introduction: <br />Make sure to LIST all body paragraph topics.<br />6. Incorporate quotations smoothly:<br />introduce each quotation with a signal phrase <br /> (Writing & Reading…p. 41-3)<br /> “Television time should be limited” (NO)<br /> According to Greg Smith, “Television time should be limited.” (YES)<br />
  10. 10. 7. Restate the thesis in the conclusion<br />Yep, this means list those body paragraph topics again! <br />
  11. 11. True or False?<br />OUTLINE<br />outline must include the thesis statement<br />outline needs 5-7 related topics<br />Outline needs at least 3 supporting details per topic<br />outline must include transitions<br />outline needs 2-4 related topics<br />outline needs at least 5 supporting details per topic<br />outline must include a signal phrase<br />
  12. 12. Title<br />title should relate to the subject matter<br />Title should be much broader than the essay’s topic<br />title should announce the assignment<br />“An Essay about Plastic Surgery” is a good title<br />“Language” is a good title<br />title should avoid announcing the assignment<br />title should incorporate titles of all outside sources used<br />title should tell reader exactly the size of the essay’s topic<br />
  13. 13. Verbs & Transitions<br />When quoting another work, always use past tense<br />Use a variety of transitional phrases<br />The only way to transition is using transitional phrases<br />Transitions should be placed at the beginning of all body paragraphs<br />memorize 3 useful transitional phrases and use them in each essay to avoid confusion<br />the first sentence of your introduction should include a transition<br />
  14. 14. Thesis statement, Body, Conclusion<br />a thesis statement should be at least 3 sentences long<br />all quotations should be introduced with a signal phrase<br />All quotations should include transitions<br />conclusion should restate the thesis statement list<br />conclusion should be included in outline<br />a thesis statement should list all body paragraph topics<br />