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Published byChester Dalton Modified over 7 years ago
If you do not write well, you must train yourself to become an articulate writer. Remember that writing is a skill, not a gift! Those who write well have a plan attack. You too can write well, if you take the time to organize and plan. The following seven-step technique will help you accomplish your goal of learning to write well and to prepare you for college.
Read the question carefully. Make sure you understand the question. Underline key words and phrases. Make a decision on the direction you are going to take in answering the question.
Jot down notes, key words, facts and phrases that relate to the topic of your essay. Sort and group notes and words together under possible topics. Eliminate unrelated facts and phrases. Make an outline of the points you want to cover in your answer.
Define and refine your personal opinion on the given topic. Are for or against the statement or question presented? Do accept, reject, or qualify the proposed argument? You must take a stand, and define your thesis! An essay without a thesis is not only boring but also bound to fail.
Your introductory paragraph is probably the most important paragraph in your essay. You need to answer these two questions for the reader, "What is the question?" and "What is the author's opinion on the question?"
Sentence #1 - Open your essay with a general statement about the topic. Ex. Introduce the Topic, 3 G’s, Conquistador, etc. Sentence#2 - Narrow your focus with a more specific statement. Ex. Give a specific statement about your Explorer or Topic. Sentence#3 - This should be your thesis statement. In a very clear fashion, state your personal opinion on the topic selected. Design this statement so that it leads into the specifics of your introduction and essay. Ex. Christopher Columbus was the most influential explorer in History.
Sentence #4 - This sentence should set up the three topics, point, or opinions you are going to use in proving you thesis. List the topics in the order in which you are going to discuss them in the body of your essay. Remember to place you weakest topic in the middle of #2 slot. You want your first and last body paragraphs to be strong. Ex. He was the first explorer to reach America, he led to other Spanish explorations, and he brought back knowledge of the New World’s resources to Spain. Sentence #5 - This is the concluding sentence of your introduction. State your opinion (if you have not done so already) if that is what the question asks. Otherwise sum up your introduction and state direction you will be taking in your essay. Many explorers led to the colonization of the New World, but none as influential as Columbus and his accomplishments.
You should have at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph should address one of your topics in you introduction. Go in order as you listed in your introduction. Use strong, sustained topic sentences. You are out to impress the reader with your knowledge of history. Do not be repetitious. Stick to your outline. State your points clearly. Support your arguments with facts. Remember to add your own ideas and factual material when they relate to the topics; no opinions here! Make sure your last sentence in each paragraph gracefully leads into you next paragraph, provide a smooth transition between paragraphs.
In order, to successfully write you are concluding paragraphs re- read your introductory paragraph. Your conclusion should bring the reader back to original question and to your thesis. Open your paragraph with a few general statements about your topic. Your thesis should then be reintroduced, not repeated. Restate your three topics and what they prove and support. End your paragraph with a strong conclusion; this is important. If possible, you should end your conclusion with a strong conclusion with an indication of the applicability of your thesis to other situations. Leave the reader with the impression that you proved something of general significance. DO NOT SUMMARIZE EVERY POINT YOU HAVE MADE, AND DO NOT INTRODUCE NEW MATERIAL!
Read over your concluding paragraph and then your introductory paragraph. Make sure they are supportive of each other and that they do not contradict each other. In other words, make sure they agree! Check for spelling, punctuation errors and make sure you made a smooth transition between paragraphs.
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