Formulas for Composition, Chapter 2: Quick and Dirty Essay Structure

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Excerpt from my book Formulas for Composition ISBN 978-0757566370

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Formulas for Composition, Chapter 2: Quick and Dirty Essay Structure

  1. 1. © 2000-2011 Vicki Lague ISBN-13: 978-0757566370
  2. 2. Essay = Introduction + Body + Conclusion X= + +
  3. 3.  Introduce the topic  Set the context  Get the reader interested  Lead up to the thesis statement  State the thesis
  4. 4.  Lead-in Why should someone read the essay?  Thesis What point is being made in the paper?
  5. 5.  Develop ideas that support the thesis statement  Provide concrete and specific details for each supporting idea
  6. 6.  Minimum Length At least one body paragraph!  Best Length As many paragraphs as it takes to explain the thesis well!
  7. 7. Each body paragraph should include: › A topic sentence › Body sentences: facts, examples, statistics, description › As many body paragraphs as needed › New paragraphs: change of time, change of place, logical spot to break up too- long paragraphs
  8. 8.  Add more supporting ideas  Develop additional body paragraphs for one idea Note: When developing additional body paragraphs for one idea, a topic sentence is needed only for the first paragraph of the group.
  9. 9.  All topic sentences support the thesis.  All body sentences support the paragraph’s topic sentence.
  10. 10.  Elements of Coherence: › Transitional words and phrases › Transitional sentences › Synonyms › Repeated important words › Pronouns
  11. 11.  Purpose: bring essay to logical close  Length: at least two sentences
  12. 12. THE END It’s not really the end! There’s a lot more information on basic essay structure in Chapter 2 of Formulas for Composition. .

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