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How to Write an Essay

How to Write an Essay

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How to Write an Essay

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  1. How to Write an Essay

  2. The Five Paragraph Essay You may remember learning about this type of essay before, but here is a review.

  3. The five paragraph essay consists of five complete paragraphs. • The first one being the introduction • Second, third and forth reserved for the main body • The last being the conclusion.

  4. Let’s getstarted... • You will want to take some notes.....

  5. The all important Introduction • The introductory paragraph is the place in which the writer introduces the reader to the topic. It is important to make this a clear and limited statement. This is where the writer grabs the reader's attention. Because of its purpose, it is often the first sentence of the paragraph. It is followed by three subtopics that develop the thesis. • This can be done in a variety of ways....

  6. Way #1 • Historical review:Some topics are better understood if a brief historical review of the topic is presented to lead into the discussion of the moment. Such topics might include "a biographical sketch of a war hero," "an upcoming execution of a convicted criminal," or "drugs and the younger generation." Obviously there are many, many more topics that could be introduced by reviewing the history of the topic before the writer gets down to the nitty gritty of his paper. It is important that the historical review be brief so that it does not take over the paper.

  7. Way #2 • Anecdotal:An anecdote is a little story. Everyone loves to listen to stories. Begin a paper by relating a small story that leads into the topic of your paper. Your story should be a small episode, not a full blown story with characters and plot and setting...If you do it right, your story will capture the reader's interest so that he or she will continue to read your paper. One caution: be sure that your story does not take over the paper. Remember, it is an introduction, not the paper.

  8. Way #3 • Surprising statement:A surprising statement is a favorite introductory technique of professional writers. There are many ways a statement can surprise a reader. Sometimes the statement is surprising because it is disgusting. Sometimes it is joyful. Sometimes it is shocking. Sometimes it is surprising because of who said it. Professional writers have honed this technique to a fine edge. It is not used as much as the first two patterns, but it is used. •

  9. Way #4 • Famous person:People like to know what celebrities say and do. Dropping the name of a famous person at the beginning of a paper usually gets the reader's attention. It may be something that person said or something he or she did that can be presented as an interest grabber. You may just mention the famous person's name to get the reader's interest. The famous person may be dead or alive. The famous person may be a good person like the Pope, or he or she may be a bad person like John Wilkes Booth. Of course, bringing up this person's name must be relevant to the topic. Even though the statement or action may not be readily relevant, a clever writer can convince the reader that it is relevant. •

  10. Way #5 • Declarative:This technique is quite commonly used, but it must be carefully used or the writer defeats his whole purpose of using one of these patterns, to get the reader's interest. In this pattern, the writer simply states straight out what the topic of his paper is going to be about. It is the technique that most student writers use with only modest success most of the time, but good professional writers use it too. •

  11. Your introduction also needs to state the three main subtopics of your paper, without going into detail.

  12. Now that that’s done lets take a look at what you should never put in an introduction!!!

  13. Never.... • Apologize... never suggest that you do not know what you are talking about by using sentences like... In my [humble] opinion . . .I am not sure about this, but . . .

  14. Never.... • Announce your intentions....never state out right that you are about to write an essay. In this essay I will.... In my paper I will talk about.... The purpose of this essay is to...

  15. Never.... • Use a dictionary or encyclopedia definition.... According to Merriam-Webster's WWWebster Dictionary,a widget is . . .

  16. Never.... • Dilly-dally. Get right to it. Sometimes it is useful to write a paragraph to get yourself started, but once you have finished your paper all the unnecessary parts need to be taken out.

  17. The last line in your introduction alsoneeds to move the reader completely from your introduction to your mainbody. This is where your thesis statement comes in. It answers the question that the topic asks.

  18. Okay now that theintroduction is done take aminute to shake out yourwriting hand.... • Three.......... • Two.......... • One......

  19. Next comes the Main Body... • The main body is made up of three paragraphs.....

  20. Paragraph #1 • This is where you restate Subtopic One. You follow this with your First Supporting Detail or Example, your Second Supporting Detail or Example and then your Third Supporting Detail or Example.

  21. It also needs to contain... • the strongest argument, most significant example, cleverest illustration, or an obvious beginning point.

  22. Next you use a... Transition to lead into your second paragraph.

  23. Paragraph #2 • This is where you Restate Subtopic Two. You follow this with your First Supporting Detail or Example, your Second Supporting Detail or Example and then your Third Supporting Detail or Example.

  24. Italsoneedstocontain... • the second strongest argument,second most significant example,second cleverest illustration, or anobvious follow up the first paragraphin the body.

  25. Transition again....

  26. Paragraph #3 • This is where you Restate Subtopic Three. You follow this with yourFirst Supporting Detail or Example, your Second Supporting Detail or Example and then your Third Supporting Detail or Example.

  27. Italsoneedstocontain... • the weakest argument, weakestexample, weakest illustration, or anobvious follow up to the secondparagraph in the body.

  28. Transition One more time....

  29. And then...

  30. Your Conclusion “Finally, the fifth paragraph is the summary paragraph. It is important to restate the thesis and three supporting ideas in an original and powerful manner as this is the last chance the writer has to convince the reader of the validity of the information presented. Because the purposes of the first and fifth paragraph are so similar, some writers construct them at the same time. They will edit them, as necessary, as they do with each and every part of the essay.”

  31. Your conclusion needs to have the following... • An allusion to the pattern used in the introductory paragraph, • A restatement of the thesis statement, using some of the original language or language that "echoes" the original language. (The restatement, however, must not be a duplicate thesis statement.) • A summary of the three main points from the body of the paper. • A final statement that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end.

  32. GoodThingsToKnow...

  33. You need to always fullyunderstand what you are expected to do....if in doubt, ask the teacher.... • You also need to decide if your paper is suppose to be a general overview on the topic or answer a specific question.

  34. Next comes the Brainstorm...

  35. By now you should all know the basic ideas of the brainstorm....but just incase.... images/inspiration- Brainstorming.gif

  36. And how do I cite my sources again????

  37. In a bibliography!! A bibliography always starts on a new page. The title is centered. Double-space between title and the first entry. Each entry begins flush with the left margin, and is then indented half an inch. Entries are single-spaced, with a blank line between entries. Alphabetize the list by author.

  38. An Example...

  39. From a book... Author (s). Title of book. Place of Publication.Publisher. Date.

  40. From the Web... Author (s). “Title of Article”.Title of Book. Date (of the article). Publisher. Date (you got the information). Other information (web site).

  41. Newspaper or MagazineArticle Author (s). “Title of Article”. Title of Periodical. Date.Page.

  42. If you use another source check out how to cite it here.....

  43. But what if I want to use a quote but I do not want to plagiarize?

  44. Use an In-text Citation An in-text citation allows you to use a quote from any source, in your essay, without plagiarizing some one’s work. What you need to know is how you do is an example....

  45. ...while looking at the moon in the sky does not cause the same amount of damage to the eyes that the sun does it does however cause the eyes to “...close and open very fast allowing limited light to get to the inner eye....” (Authors last name Page number.) Therefore you will probably get bored before you ever went blind. The next thing to consider is the fact that the…

  46. Things to Remember... • If the quote is more than four lines long, then it must be written as follows: Your essay is being written here and then you... “...want to put a quote in that is more than four lines of test long. You need to indent it like this, and cite it the same way as you do a short quote. The four lines would be four lines of typed text” (Baker 2) You also need to remember that a quote over two lines is always single spaced even when your paper is doubled spaced.

  47. You should also always number your pages. How you do this depend on how your teacher likes it done. In most cases the teacher wants the page number in the top right hand corner. You may also include your last name before the number if you so desire, but never put “page” before the number.

  48. Just in case you missed it... Most of this information can be found on the following web page:

  49. And to answer the age old question of... Why do we have to write essay papers????

  50. Writing is a part of everyday life, especially if you are planning to attend university, community college or any post secondary school. You will be asked more than once to write an essay in any of the above mentioned forms of schooling. They do not give you a second chance to make up a paper; the better you know it now, the better off you will be then. And do not forget, there is an essay on your Exam!!!