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When you write an essay or research paper, you are never simply transferring information from one place to another, or showing that you have mastered a certain amount of material. That would be incredibly boring—and besides, it would be adding to the glut of pointless utterance. Instead, you should be trying to make the best possible case for an original idea you have arrived at after a period of research.
Depending upon the field, your research may involve reading and rereading a text, performing an experiment, or carefully observing an object or behavior. By immersing yourself in the material, you begin to discover patterns and generate insights, guided by a series of unfolding questions. From a number of possibilities, one idea emerges as the most promising.
You try to make sure it is original and of some importance; there is no point arguing for something already known, trivial, or widely accepted. Thesis and Development. The essay's thesis is the main point you are trying to make, using the best evidence you can marshal. Your thesis will evolve during the course of writing drafts, but everything that happens in your essay is directed toward establishing its validity.
A given assignment may not tell you that you need to come up with a thesis and defend it, but these are the unspoken requirements of any scholarly paper. Deciding upon a thesis can generate considerable anxiety. Students may think, "How can I have a new idea about a subject scholars have spent their whole lives exploring?
I just read a few books in the last few days, and now I'm supposed to be an expert? We can't possibly know everything that has been, or is being, thought or written by everyone in the world—even given the vastness and speed of the Internet. What is required is a rigorous, good faith effort to establish originality, given the demands of the assignment and the discipline.
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It is a good exercise throughout the writing process to stop periodically and reformulate your thesis as succinctly as possible so someone in another field could understand its meaning as well as its importance. A thesis can be relatively complex, but you should be able to distill its essence. This does not mean you have to give the game away right from the start.
Guided by a clear understanding of the point you wish to argue, you can spark your reader's curiosity by first asking questions—the very questions that may have guided you in your research—and carefully building a case for the validity of your idea. Or you can start with a provocative observation, inviting your audience to follow your own path of discovery.
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The Tension of Argument. Argument implies tension but not combative fireworks. This tension comes from the fundamental asymmetry between the one who wishes to persuade and those who must be persuaded. The common ground they share is reason.
Your objective is to make a case so that any reasonable person would be convinced of the reasonableness of your thesis. The first task, even before you start to write, is gathering and ordering evidence, classifying it by kind and strength.
You might decide to move from the smallest piece of evidence to the most impressive. Or you might start with the most convincing, then mention other supporting details afterward. You could hold back a surprising piece of evidence until the very end. In any case, it is important to review evidence that could be used against your idea and generate responses to anticipated objections. This is the crucial concept of counterargument.
If nothing can be said against an idea, it is probably obvious or vacuous. And if too much can be said against it, it's time for another thesis.
5 Must-Dos For Outstanding Essay Writing
The first sentence of this paragraph should include the reverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the second paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional concluding hook that signals the reader that this is the final major point being made in this paper.
This hook also leads into the last, or concluding, paragraph. This paragraph should include the following:. A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essay. It is not the only format for writing an essay, of course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind, especially as you begin to develop your composition skills.
It is used here with his permission. Conclusion: Concluding paragraph: This paragraph should include the following: an allusion to the pattern used in the introductory paragraph, a restatement of the thesis statement, using some of the original language or language that "echoes" the original language. The restatement, however, must not be a duplicate thesis statement.
This final statement may be a "call to action" in an persuasive paper. A Sample Paper 1 Stephen King, creator of such stories as Carrie and Pet Sematary , stated that the Edgar Allan Poe stories he read as a child gave him the inspiration and instruction he needed to become the writer that he is.
The introductory paragraph includes a paraphrase of something said by a famous person in order to get the reader's attention. The second sentence leads up to the thesis statement which is the third sentence. The thesis statement sentence 3 presents topic of the paper to the reader and provides a mini- outline.
The topic is Poe's use of visual imagery. The mini- outline tells the reader that this paper will present Poe's use of imagery in three places in his writing: 1 description of static setting; 2 description of dynamic setting; and 3 description of a person. The last sentence of the paragraph uses the words "manipulation" and "senses" as transitional hooks.
In the first sentence of the second paragraph first paragraph of the body the words "sense" and "manipulation" are used to hook into the end of the introductory paragraph. The first part of the second sentence provides the topic for this paragraph--imagery in a static scene. Then a quotation from "The Tell-Tale Heart" is presented and briefly discussed.
The last sentence of this paragraph uses the expressions "sense of feeling" and "sense of sight" as hooks for leading into the third paragraph. Note that in the second paragraph "feeling" came first, and in this paragraph "sight" comes first.
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The first sentence also includes the topic for this paragraph--imagery in a dynamic scene.
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