11The thesis states how you are going to prove your central idea or the reasons for the opinion in your central idea.
12You must make a reference (a hook) to your central idea in your thesis; however, do NOT quote directly from the central idea.
13The points you will use to prove your central idea must be stated in your thesis in the order you will present them.
14The three points in the thesis should also be in parallel structure.
15The thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction.
16Sample Thesis: To improve academic achievement, Harlan High School should expect more not only from students, but also from the teachers and administrators.
17The paragraph is a series of sentences developing one topic.
18The Topic SentenceThe topic of a paragraph is stated in one sentence. This is called the topic sentence.
19The rest of the paragraph consists of sentences that develop or explain the main idea. Through the centuries rats have managed to survive all our efforts to destroy them. We have poisoned them and trapped them. We have fumigated, flooded, and burned them. We have tried germ warfare. Some rats even survived atomic bomb tests conducted on Entwetok atoll in the Pacific after World War II. In spite of all our efforts, these enemies of ours continue to prove that they are the most indestructible of pests.concludingsentence
20A topic sentence may be developed by giving details. Developing a ParagraphA topic sentencemay bedevelopedby givingexamples.A topicsentence maybe developedby tellinganincidentA topic sentence may be developed by giving details.
22Each detail sentence should be accompanied by commentary. Commentary is your explanation of how a specific detail supports the central idea.
23When you write commentary, you are “commenting on” a point you have made.
24Synonyms for commentary include Analysis Interpretation Insight Evaluation Explication Discussion Speculation
25Commentary is a difficult skill to master because all the opinions and interpretations must come from you. Teachers cannot supply the information you will need to write commentary. It is up to you think of some original, individual statements to make about your details and examples.
26NO COMMENTARYDriving in the fog to Sacramento was a frightening experience. No signs were visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank. In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog was so thick that I couldn’t read the exit sign until I started passing them. To make matters worse, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty miles per hour for the next thirty minutes, and none of us were allowed to pass him. When I finally reached Sacramento that day, a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind.
27COMMENTARYDriving in the fog to Sacramento was a frightening experience. No signs were visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank. I panicked at the thought of being stranded alone in a strange place. I kept hoping to see a station materialize in the fog and couldn’t make up my mind what to do.In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog was so thick that I couldn’t read the exit sign until I started passing them. I realized I had driven on for hours, dreading the never-ending blurring lines on the horizon. I had
28been expecting the weather to lift suddenly and let me get back on schedule.To make matters worse, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty miles per hour for the next thirty minutes, and none of us were allowed to pass him. It was as though an invisible force field had been thrown up behind the patrol car. No one felt brave enough to dare going around him, and so we sulked behind him for what seemed like hours. When I finally reached Sacramento that day, a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind.
29No Commentary Saturday morning cartoons are often criticized by public officials because of their violence and themes. Critics complain about coyotes jumping off cliffs, of dogs and cats blackening each other’s eyes, and Martians spying on earth and making plans to destroy it. These same animals battle over birds, carrots, or the right to a hole in the ground. Finally, when the fights are over, the most violent person often gets food, toys, or candy as a reward. Children’s programming needs to be changed to avoid the messages that do nothing but harm those who watch them every week.
30Commentary Saturday morning cartoons are often criticized by public officials because of their violence and themes. Critics complain about coyotes jumping off cliffs, of dogs and cats blackening each other’s eyes, and Martians spying on earth and making plans to destroy it. This violence may be realistic, but there is no accompanying realistic blood, pain, or mutilation. These scenes emphasize destruction and winning through physical harm to others. These same animals battle over birds, carrots, or the right to a hole in the ground. The theme of these actions - - greed and selfishness - - is not appropriate for young children. The wrong values are encouraged and
31children do not see any examples of peaceful resolution to problems children do not see any examples of peaceful resolution to problems. Finally, when the fights are over, the most violent person often gets food, toys, or candy as a reward. The idea that showing greed or inflicting pain is rewarded in any way, large or small, is a subtly distasteful message. If children see this behavior being successful on television, they have no reason not to try it themselves. Children’s programming needs to be changed to avoid the messages that do nothing but harm those who watch them every week.
32Unity in the Paragraph main idea Every sentence in a paragraph should support the main idea expressed in the topic sentence.main ideasentencesentencesentencesentence
33The concluding or clincher sentence Restate the topic sentence in different words.A clincher sentence or concluding sentence clinches the point made in the paragraph.It summarizes the paragraph.
34Coherence in a Paragraph Stick to the point: The ideas have a clear and logical relation to each other.Put details or examples or incidents in logical order.432chronological1in relation to each otherin order of importance
35Connecting Sentences Within the Paragraph Transition wordschronological orderfirstmeanwhilelaterafterwardsfinallyobjects in relation to one anothernext toin front ofbesidebetweenbehindin order of importancehoweverfurthermoreas a resultin factyet
36Types of Paragraphs The narrative paragraph The persuasive paragraph. tells a storyThe persuasive paragraph.tries to convince the audienceThe descriptive paragraphdescribes somethingThe expository or explanatory paragraphgives information or explains something
39WRITING CONCLUSIONSA conclusion provides a thoughtful end to a piece of writing; unfortunately, many conclusions are little more than summaries of what has already been said.
40One of the first things a reader remembers after having read a piece of writing is the last words the writer uses. For that reason, a writer should understand and take advantage of the power of an effective conclusion. Effective conclusions are particularly important in persuasive essays since they are the last chance the writer has to convince the reader. The following is a collection of suggestions for writing effective conclusions.
41Use a summary statement rather than phrases like the following: "In summary...," "To conclude...," "To summarize...," or "In closing...." These are too obvious and vague to be effective. Use a transitional phrase which summarizes a point in your essay instead. A sample summary statement is as follows: "As we have seen, poverty is a known contributor to crime; therefore, it should not be discounted when considering ways to prevent crime."
42Avoid:* Ending with a rephrased thesis statement that contains no substantive changes.
43* Introducing a new idea or subtopic (although you may end with a provocative question).
45* Concluding with a sentence tacked on to your final point.
46* Apologizing for your view by saying such things as "I may not be an expert" or "At least this is my opinion."
47Attempting to make up for an incomplete structure * Attempting to make up for an incomplete structure. (If you say you will discuss four books, but only attempt a complete discussion of two books, do not try to cover the remaining texts in a concluding paragraph. In such a situation, it's best to limit your paper to topics you can realistically cover.)
48REMEMBER: Your conclusion should be analytical and insightful REMEMBER: Your conclusion should be analytical and insightful. DO NOT REGURGITATE on your reader by repeating yourself.