Basic Essay Structure (Logical Division of Ideas)IntroductionBody ParagraphsConclusion
The IntroductionAn introductory paragraph has 2 parts: General statement • Introduce the general topic of the essay. • Capture the reader’s interest. Thesis statement • States the specific topic. • May list subtopics or subdivisions. • May indicate the pattern of organization. • Is normally the last sentence in the introductory paragraph. A conclusion (concluding paragraph)
Types of IntroductionsFunnel Introduction: Begins with one or two general sentences about the topic. Sentences become increasingly focused on the topic. Ends with your thesis statement.
Types of IntroductionsAttention Getting Introductions:Dramatic, Interesting, or Funny StorySurprising Statistics or FactsHistorical Background
Thesis StatementThe Thesis Statement:is the most important sentence in theintroduction.states the specific topic of the essay.sometimes lists the subtopics that will bediscussed in the body.sometimes indicates the pattern oforganization that the essay will follow.
Thesis Statement:Is the most important sentence in theintroduction.Native Americans have made many valuablecontributions to modern U.S. culture.The large movement of people from rural tourban areas has major effects on cities.
Thesis Statement:Sometimes lists the subtopics that will bediscussed in the body.Native Americans have made many valuablecontributions to modern U.S. culture,particularly in the areas of language, art,food, and government.The large movement of people from rural tourban areas has major effects on a city’sability to provide housing, employment, andadequate sanitation services.
Thesis Statement:Sometimes indicates the pattern oforganization that the essay will follow.When buying a used car, use these fourstrategies to get the best price.There are several differences between anurse practitioner and a physician’sassistant.
Thesis Statement:Common Thesis Statement Pitfalls.Problem 1: The thesis is too general.Problem 2: The thesis makes a simple announcement.Problem 3: The thesis states the obvious
Thesis Statement:The thesis is too general.Too general: A college education is a good investment.Improved: A college education is a good investment for four reasons.Too general: Lasers are very useful.Improved: Lasers have several applications in industry and medicine.
Thesis Statement:The thesis makes a simple announcement.Announcement:I am going to write about sports injuries.Improved:Avoid sports injuries by taking a few simpleprecautions.
Thesis Statement:The thesis states an obvious fact.Obvious fact:The internet is a communicationsuperhighway.Improved:The explosion of the internet has had bothpositive and negative consequences.
Logical Division of IdeasKeys to a logical division of ideas:Divide your topic into subtopics and discusseach subtopic in a separate paragraph.Write a thesis statement that indicates alogical division.Use transitions between paragraphs to guideyour reader from one paragraph to the next.
Logical Division of IdeasGood Thesis Statements:Native Americans have made valuablecontributions to modern U.S. culture infour main areas.Native Americans have made valuablecontributions to modern U.S. culture,particularly in the areas of language, art, foodand government.
Transitions Between ParagraphsLinking paragraphs with transitions helpsyour reader to see how subtopics arerelated. Transitions may be:A single wordA phraseA dependent clause that repeats orsummarizes the preceding paragraph.
Transitions Between ParagraphsTransition WordsOne way an angry driver may react is tocut off another motorist. (+ supportingsentences)Another way is to tailgate the other car.(+supporting sentences)
Transitions Between ParagraphsTransition PhrasesIn addition to cutting off and tailgatingother cars, aggressive drivers often userude language or gestures to show theiranger. (+ supporting sentences)
Transitions Between ParagraphsTransition ClausesAlthough law enforcement authorities warnmotorists against aggressive driving, thenumber who act out their angry impulses hasnot declined. (+ supporting sentences)