Essay writing guidelines

ESSAY WRITING GUIDELINES

Advice is given in every book, pamphlet or Internet site designed to help writers.  You don’t have to take the advice.  Sharpening your own mind by reading good literature and becoming more analytical is all you have to do.  It’s about style and logic.

 

WHAT IS AN ESSAY?

Paragraph one 1. Begins with a topic sentence that introduces a general theme. 2. Follows the topic sentence with sentences that narrow the focus of the theme, so that it is less    general. 3. Introduces the author of the text you are writing about. 4. Introduces the title of that text. 5. Narrows the discussion of the topic by identifying an issue or problem. 6. Finishes by making a debatable claim (a thesis statement). Body paragraphs 1. Begin with topic sentences that clearly relate to the topic, issue or problem that was identified in the introductory paragraph. 2. Include sentences that elaborate on the issue or problem discussed in the introductory paragraph, and demonstrate a clear connection to the thesis statement. 3. Include a sentence(s) that make a claim about the topic, issue, or problem. 4. Include a quote from the text(s) you are analyzing that supports your claim. 5. Include your interpretation of that quote, which explains how you arrived at your conclusion, and demonstrates a clear connection to the thesis statement. Body paragraphs use the One, Two, Three Rule, which is:

1. Make a debatable claim. 2. Support the claim with a quote. 3. Explain the connection between your claim and the quote. The concluding paragraph

1. Begins with a topic sentence that clearly relates to the topic, issue or problem that was identified in the introductory paragraph. 2. Includes sentences that make a connection to points from the introductory and body paragraphs.  These points now serve to close your argument. 3. Includes a summary of these points that clearly demonstrates the focus of your thesis statement. 4. Includes a final comment (conclusion) that points out the larger significance of your argument.[i]

 

 

VERBS: Smith noted…

 

In a long paper, it’s easy to run out of inspiration when you have a series of authors noting, stating and explaining.  Here are some other verbs that may be helpful. APA wants the authors “noting” in the past tense.

 

 

 

Noted

Stated

Considered

Discussed

Explained

Suggested

Differentiated between

Posited

Linked

Described

Intimated

Dismissed

Presented

Identified

Interpreted

Conducted

Stressed

Emphasized

Reflected

Focused

Commented

Observed

Reported

Recognized

Investigated

Responded

Compared

Contrasted

Outlined

Provided

Proposed

Advised

Summarized

Concluded

Presented

Established

Reviewed

Determined

Agreed

Believed

Defined

Recommended

 

“Make ‘em laugh; make ‘em cry; make ‘em wait.”

Charles Reade, advice to an aspiring writer.

 


[i] Adapted from http://www.englishdiscourse.org/5.paragraph.essay.format.html