Choosing a Topic Choosing a topic is important and can be the hardest part of an essay. Here are a few helpful tips: • Understand your assignment • This is step 1. If you understand what the assignment is asking, choosing a topic will come easier. • Choose something Interesting • You will find it easier to construct an essay if your Topic is interesting. Try to pick something challenging and meaningful so it will keep you motivated. • Brainstorm ideas • List as many as you can so you have a variety to choose from.
Review background information • Some topics may require pre-research. This step will assure you that you will stay interested throughout the writing process. • Finalize your choice • Narrow down your choices and pick what interests you the most. • It is good to choose a topic based on your strong traits in writing. Personal experiences may helpful for choosing a topic, but should be minimized when conducting supporting paragraphs.
Outline Overview Intro -Attention Getter -Thesis Body Paragraph(s) -Attention Getter/ Transition -Supporting Facts -Supporting Facts -Supporting Facts -Conclusion/ Transition Conclusion -Restate Thesis
Quote to Remember “Tell them what you are going to tell them, Tell them, Them them what you told them” -Professor Joseph Stoltz
THESIS FORMATION AND PURPOSE What is a thesis’s purpose? A thesis statement affirms your claims and what you aim to prove. A thesis statement is usually in the first paragraph and should be very specific! A thesis statement can and probably will change as your writing evolves. How to form a thesis In order for a STRONG thesis statement, there must be a lot of thought and research to compose a valid claim. When you begin, you will have a “working thesis” because as you think and write it will change. Your thesis should be able to be supported with evidence to make your argument stronger. A great thesis clearly states what you believe and plan on proving.
For example:(Expository thesis)The job of a typical stay at home mom is characterized by the time spent cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids. The essay should explain how stay at home moms spends their time cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids.(Analytical thesis)An analysis of mothers reveals one challenge facing moms: working and leaving the kids with someone else or being a stay at home mom.The essay should explain the decision process on whether one should work or be a stay at home mom. It should also include the challenges moms face with each decision.(Argumentative thesis)Stay at home moms should be required to work a minimum of 10 hours a week to increase their knowledge and experience.The essay should have a valid argument and evidence to support why stay at home moms should be required to work 10 hours a week.
Body Paragraphs Why body paragraphs are so important... They are key to arguing the truth behind the thesis. Considered the “meat” of an essay With proper organization, they engage the reader into believing the stated thesis A perfect place to include researched sources
What should be included in the body paragraphs? • Introduction/ Transition Statement • Evidence supporting argument • Evidence supporting argument • Evidence supporting argument • Conclusion/ Transition
Conclusion“Closure” The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It lets your audience know that you accomplished what you were trying to explain. Here are tips to consider: • Restate your Thesis Statement • Your Thesis Statement is the core of your essay and should be restated just incase your reader forgets your argument. • Summarize your essay • Briefly explain main/important points from your body paragraphs. It will refresh the memory and help the reader remember your explanations. • DO NOT bring up new ideas • New ideas will confuse your reader. Your Ideas should have already been stated in your body paragraphs. • Closing Statement • This part is important because you want to make sure that once you conclude your essay, your reader leaves still interested about your topic. The conclusion is the opposite of your introduction but they also share the same points. You may find it helpful to use points from your introduction, but to make sure to reword your explanation so there is no repetition.
Works Cited Page Why use sources? Avoid Plagiarism. Plagiarism is taking credit for work that is not your own idea. When you write papers in College, your work is held to the same standards of citation as the work of your professors (Harvard). The person who did the work before you deserves the credit for the work they did. Citing your sources enables your reader to dig deeper into the topic to find more information Establish credibility and authority in your topic
How to Cite your sources? • Depending on your class, your teacher may suggest a number of different formats. Popular formats include – APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian. • Helpful website that displays the various styles with examples - http://library.duke.edu/research/citing/ • Most citations should include the basic information such as: Title, author name, publication date (Writing Lab)
Creating a Citation and Works Cited Page • The body of the paper needs to have a citation that comes after the thought or quote. Even when you summarize or paraphrase a fact. The style is dependant upon the format the paper is holding to. • Be consistent with the format (don’t change mid project).
Works Cited-"Harvard Guide to Using Sources." Harvard Guide to Writing Sources. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847Writing Lab, Purdue. "Cross Referencing - Using MLA Format." Urbachc.org. Purdue. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. http://urbachc.org/Purdue_Writing_Lab_MLA.pdf"How to Make and Use an Essay Outline." BookRags. BookRags. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.bookrags.com/articles/2.html>.Stolt, Joseph. Personal Interview. 11, March 2012http://homeworktips.about.com/od/essaywriting/a/essay.htmhttp://tracy-o-brien.suite101.com/how-to-choose-a-topic-for-an-essay-a95546http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/endings.htmhttp://web.gccaz.edu/~mdinchak/101online_new/conclusions.htmhttp://www.time4writing.com/uncategorized/writing-a-good-conclusion-paragraph/