Presentation on theme: "How to format an essay. Introduction Begins very broadly; talks about something general to get the reader’s attention. Often starts with a “hook.” Begins."— Presentation transcript:
How to format an essay
Introduction Begins very broadly; talks about something general to get the reader’s attention. Often starts with a “hook.” Begins to get specific about halfway down. What appears at the “point” of the triangle?
Thesis statement Tells the reader the focus of your paper. Should make a clear, strong statement. Should encompass the main points that you’ll be writing about. Since there are three body paragraphs, make sure the main idea of each body paragraph appears in your thesis.
The Body Paragraph: Layout Topic Sentence –Major Support 1 Minor Support 1 Minor Support 2 –Major Support 2 Minor Support 1 Minor Support 2 –Major Support 3 Minor Support 1 Minor Support 2 Clincher
The Topic Sentence One sentence. Should clearly support the thesis statement. Must be supportable. Should cover the main point of the paragraph.
Major Supports One sentence. Must be supportable, NOT a self-evident fact. –“Christopher does not like brown and yellow.” –“One thing that makes Christopher’s life difficult is the fact that he does not like brown and yellow.” Must clearly support the topic sentence. Try the “because” test: –Topic Sentence because Major Support
Minor Supports The Minor Supports are the part of the paragraph where you use evidence from the book to support your ideas. May be more than one sentence. The FIRST MINOR mentions a specific example from the book, like something a character says or does.
Minors Continued The SECOND MINOR analyzes the example. This means that after you give the example, you explain HOW it supports the major. Make sure you tie it back in to the topic sentence to keep your paragraph focused.
Clincher The clincher is where you “wrap up” your paragraph. You never want to end on an example; always remind the reader what your main point was.
Some grammar and style basics Don’t use first person (I, we, us) or second person (you) in a formal essay. Verbs should be in present tense. –“Christopher would get upset whenever somebody touched him” –“Christopher gets upset whenever somebody touches him”
Let’s try writing an outline for a sample essay. Thesis: You treat me like a kid even though I’m very responsible, and I want to work together to figure out how I can have more freedom. There are three main ideas in this thesis statement, so it lends itself clearly to a five- paragraph essay.
Topic sentence: you treat me like a kid. Major (reason the topic sentence is true): You are too controlling Minor (Specific example supporting the major): I have a curfew of 9:00 Minor (How the example supports the major and ties to the topic sentence) This micro- managing of my time makes me feel like you don’t think I’m mature enough to handle being out late.
Topic Sentence: You treat me like a kid. Major: You don’t trust me. Minor: Last week, you wouldn’t let me go over my friend’s house because her parents weren’t home. Minor: It feels like you don’t trust me to make grown-up decisions.
Topic sentence: You treat me like a kid. Major: You don’t listen to me like an adult. Minor: When I explained why I wanted to stop taking violin lessons, you told me that I’d thank you later. Minor: I felt like you weren’t treating my opinions like they mattered.
Clincher You don’t act like I’m mature or like my opinions matter, which is the same way you’d treat a kid. The clincher takes aspects of the ANALYSIS of your paragraph, and ties it back to the topic sentence.
Next two body paragraphs Thesis: You treat me like a kid even though I’m very responsible, and I want to work together to figure out how I can have more freedom. What are the other two main ideas in this essay?
Next two topic sentences I’m very responsible I want to work together to figure out how I can have more freedom. With your partner, come up with three reasons (majors) that would support each of those topic sentences. What examples would you use to support them?