Presentation on theme: "Tips to Writing Essays Beginning & Ending Thesis Statements & Support Revising & Editing."— Presentation transcript:
Tips to Writing Essays Beginning & Ending Thesis Statements & Support Revising & Editing
Ways to Begin an Essay 1. Explain the context of your topic: What are the positions that led you to write on the issue? What is the background of the topic? 2. State your thesis: Begin by bluntly stating your position; follow with arguments 3. Forecast your organization: Outline the different supporting points you will make in the body
Ways to begin an essay, cont. 4. Connect your topic to readers’ interests or values: Establish common ground by finding something that everyone can appeal to 5. Start with something that will interest the reader: Perhaps use a catchy quote that relates to your topic, a shocking statement, or a statement that makes the reader think
Ways to begin an essay, cont. 6. Start with an anecdote: Provide a brief story or narrative that brings a topic to life 7. Ask a rhetorical question: Open with a question that makes the reader think about the topic
Ways to end an essay 1. Restate your main point: Summarize the central idea and supporting points 2. Discuss the implications of your argument: What does everything you have written mean from this point on? 3. End with an anecdote: Perhaps relate the anecdote back to one you used in the introduction
Ways to end an essay, cont. 4. Refer back to the beginning: If you used something that connecting your topic to the readers’ interests, refer back to it – if you asked a question, answer it 5. Propose a call to action: Offer a solution by enticing readers to make some sort of change or actually doing something
Thesis Statements Thesis Statement – A thesis statement is the central argument you are making in your essay. It introduces the topic and presents the writer’s attitude, opinion, idea, or point about that topic. ~ The Internet has led to new kinds of frustration in everyday life.
Examples of Thesis Statements, cont. ~ Living in the city has certain advantages over living in the suburbs. ~ A honeymoon is perhaps the worst way to begin a marriage. ~ TV evangelists use sales techniques to promote their messages. ~ My husband and I have several effective ways of disciplining our children.
Tips to Writing Thesis Statements 1. Write statements, NOT announcements Announcements: ~ The subject of this paper is…. ~ I will discuss…. ~ __________ is the concern of the essay… ~ I am going to tell you….
Tips to Writing Thesis Statements 2. Avoid statements that are too broad: ~ Disease has shaped human history. ~ Insects are fascinating creatures. ~ Men and women are very different. INSTEAD: ~ In the mid-1980s, AIDS changed peoples’ attitudes about dating. ~ Men and women are often treated differently in the workplace.
Tips to Writing Thesis Statements 3. Avoid statements that are too narrow: ~ The speed limit near my home is sixty-five miles per hour. ~ A person must be at least thirty-five years old to be elected president. INSTEAD: ~ The speed limit near my home should be lowered to fifty-five miles per hour. ~ The requirement that a person must be at least thirty-five to be elected president is unfair.
Tips to Writing Thesis Statements 4. Make sure statements develop only ONE idea: ~ One of the most serious problems affecting young people today is bullying, and it is time more kids learned the value of helping others. ~ Studying with others has several benefits, but it also has drawbacks and can be difficult to schedule. INSTEAD: ~ One of the most serious problems affecting youth is bullying. ~ Studying with others has several benefits.
Supporting Points Support your central idea with specific arguments that back up your main point: THESIS: The neighborhood grocery store is poorly managed. SUPPORT: 1. The checkout lines are always long. 2. The aisles are dirty and under stocked. 3. The employees are unhelpful and even rude.
Supporting Points, cont. THESIS: Many companies use annoying practices to increase sales. SUPPORT: 1. Junk mail 2. Spam email 3. Telemarketers/Rebates/Infomercials
Reasons to Revise 1. Sharpen your focus: Does your thesis make a clear point? Is there sufficient support for your thesis? Are there any parts that do not support it? Did your introduction provide background/context? Did your conclusion provide a sufficient summary?
Reasons to Revise, cont. 2. Revise to strengthen the argument: Are your claims unconvincing? Do you need more examples? Do you need more detail? Do you need more research? 3. Revise for organization: Is anything out of place? Do you have transitions? 4. Revise for clarity: Is your title clear and catchy? Is your thesis clear? Will your audience understand your main points?
Reasons to Edit 1. Edit your paragraphs: a) Does your paragraph focus on one main point? b) Do you have a topic sentence? c) Does every sentence relate? d) Is there enough detail? e) Are there appropriate transitions?
Reasons to Edit, cont. 2. Edit your sentences a) Is each sentence complete? - Capitalization/Punctuation b) Active voice or passive voice? - The choir sang “Amazing Grace.” – Correct - “Amazing Grace” was sung by the choir. – Incorrect c) Vary your sentences - Sentences should be different lengths - Sentences should have different forms – simple, compound, compound-complex
Reasons to Edit, cont. 3. Edit your words: a) Make words specific. “I went to class.” – Incorrect “I went to A&P” – Correct b) Do not use clichés: Overused phrases such as “like the plague,” “live and learn,” “go with the flow.” c) Do not use stereotypical or sexist language