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The Elements of An Excellent Essay
Title Introduction Thesis Statement Body Paragraph 1-3 Conclusion
Introduction Also called the introductory paragraph.
The first paragraph in an essay. It includes the thesis, most often at the end of the paragraph. Begin with a sentence that captures the reader’s attention Give background information on the topic Enhance the paragraph with an interesting example, Surprising statistic, or other “hook” Include the thesis statement
Body Paragraph A middle paragraph in an essay.
It develops a point you want to make that supports your thesis. Begin with a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph and relates it to the thesis statement Fill with well-organized examples, quotations, comparisons, analogies, and/or narration May end with a transition
Body Paragraph 2-3 Begin with a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph and relates it to the thesis statement Fill with well-organized examples, quotations, comparisons, analogies, and/or narration May end with a transition
Conclusion Also called the concluding paragraph.
The last paragraph in your essay. It may sum up your ideas, …reflect on what you said in your essay, …give more commentary about your subject, …or give a personal statement about the subject.
Conclusion (cont.) Your conclusion is ALL commentary and does NOT include concrete detail. It does NOT repeat key words from your paper and especially NOT from your thesis and introductory paragraphs. It gives a finished feeling to your whole essay.
Conclusion (cont.) May pose a question for future thought or suggest a course of action Include a detail or example from the introduction to “tie up” the essay. End with a strong image or a bit of wit.
Thesis A sentence with a subject and opinion. (opinion = commentary)
This comes somewhere in you introductory paragraph and most often at the end.
Thesis States the main idea of the essay
More general than the supporting material May mention the main point of each of the body paragraphs
Concrete Details ~ CD Specific details that form the backbone, skeleton, framework, or core of your body paragraphs. Synonyms for concrete detail include facts, specifics, examples, descriptions, illustrations, support, proof, supporting evidence, quotations, paraphrasing, or plot references. Insert your own lesson or slides that explain these or other synonyms that you may use for CD. Prepared by Melissa Freeman
Writing a Thesis A thesis is a general sentence with a subject and an opinion (commentary). Example: Australia is the best country of all for a vacation. In this sentence, Australia is the subject. The rest of the sentence tells the writer’s opinion, or commentary, about it—that it’s the best country for a vacation.
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