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Parts of an Essay
introduction ATTENTION GRABBER 1. Quote – A quotation from an important politician, wellknown author, or famous person can be a good way to grab your reader's interest. *Best used for literary analysis or persuasive essays. EX: Writer Ernest Hemingway once said, 'When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. '
2. Statistic – An interesting statistic related to your topic can be a powerful way to show your reader why your essay is important. *Best used for research papers and expository essays. EX: According to the CDC, 'The probability of a first marriage reaching its 20 th anniversary was 52% for women and 56% for men in 2006 -2010. '
Story - A personal story or anecdote (a short, interesting story based on true events) can be a good way to show your reader how your topic affects people. 3. *Best for personal essays and essays on controversial topics. EX: On September 10 th, 2014, Barack Obama plans to address the nation regarding the threat of ISIS. Because of the United States’ hesitancy to become involved, its Middle Eastern allies are wary of Obama’s strategy to handle the emerging crisis.
Background information A BRIEF summary which provides the reader with the necessary foundation to fully comprehend the essay. Thesis A statement that clearly details the purpose of the essay. An ESSENTIAL part of the essay. Always the last sentence of the introduction paragraph.
Introduction paragraph The famous mathematician Albert Einstein once said, “Someone who has made no mistakes has never tried anything new. ” For instance, while working for Raytheon, Percy Spencer stood next to the Magnetron with a chocolate bar in his pocket. This mistake led to the discovery of the microwave oven, which speeds up the heating process of beverages, snacks, and meals. According to the article, “How a Melted Bar of Chocolate Changed our Kitchens, ” it took more than 20 years, a lot of patience, and many mistakes before Raytheon perfected a microwave oven that people could use and could afford” (Paragraph 17). Consequently, errors are essential to discovery because they help people gain knowledge and lead to new creations.
Introduction paragraph According to 19 th century Scottish author Samuel Smiles, “We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery” (“A Series of Quotations about Error & Discovery” Paragraph 23). For instance, Percy Spencer was standing beside the Magnetron when he realized that the bar of chocolate that he had in his pocket had melted. This scientific breakthrough led to the creation of the microwave oven. As a result of this innovation, people are able to cook their food more rapidly. Consequently, errors are a main component of discovery because they help individuals gain wisdom and lead to new findings.
Body paragraph Transition – To begin, In addition, Moreover, Furthermore (See List in Writing Section) Point – Topic sentence that CONTROLS the main idea of the paragraph. If it’s not stated in the POINT, it doesn’t belong in the paragraph. Evidence – Specific examples from the text that support the point. More than one piece of EVIDENCE can be used in the paragraph as long as it supports the POINT. Explanation – Make connections. Discuss the specific use of the evidence. WHY is the evidence IMPORTANT? CLOSING SENTENCE – Begin the closing with a transition to signify the end of the paragraph. The closing sentence should thoughtfully wrap up the paragraph, providing a big picture idea.
Consequently, errors are a main component of discovery because they help individuals gain wisdom and lead to new findings. To begin with, people become more knowledgeable when they make mistakes. According to the article “In Praise of Careful Science, ” “The typical role of a mistake in science is not to lead to a brilliant invention, but to teach a scientist how to do better next time” (Source #3, Paragraph 22). Performing blunders prevents one from repeating these wrongdoings. In addition, mishaps help people succeed. In conclusion, knowledge can be exchanged and benefit society.
Furthermore, inaccuracies allow one to uncover new findings. For example, the article “Lost Cities, Lost Treasures” states that “both men discovered great things at the site: ancient axes, household items, and jewels. Together, they did prove there had been an ancient city called Troy” (Source #1, Paragraph 8). Critics may argue that Schliemann and Calvert caused irreparable damage to the site; however, their findings were valuable and fundamental to historical education. Their discovery provided insight to the rich history of ancient Troy. Therefore, blunders are a key part of the learning process.
*ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS ONLY Counterclaim: Every argumentative essay needs a counterclaim. A counterclaim provides the other side of the argument. This is to be included in the second body paragraph. COUNTERCLAIM SENTENCE STARTERS While opponents may argue -------; nevertheless, it is clear that ________. A common argument opposing this idea is -------; yet, ______. Critics may claim -------; however, this is easily disproved because _____. It is often thought that ------; on the other hand, _______.
YES NO Saves time Limits self-expression School looks organized Uncomfortable/Inconvenient Promotes safe environment Behavior Prevents inappropriate attire Insecurities Minimizes THESIS: bullying Therefore, Waste money Saves money Benefits school financially Behavior /Limits Distractions THESIS: Therefore, students should be obligated to follow a standard dress code because it promotes a safe learning environment and prevents students from wearing inappropriate attire. COUNTERCLAIM: While opponents may argue that forcing students to adhere to a dress code limits self-expression; nevertheless, it is clear that student uniforms prevent inappropriate
Conclusion paragraph Transition – Therefore, To sum up, As a result, Consequently (See List in Writing Section) Restated thesis – Try to vary sentence structure and word choice. *YOU SHOULD NOT COPY YOUR THESIS. Big picture/real world connection – This is the most important part of your conclusion and should be 2 -3 sentences. How does this relate to the real world? Why should people care? Think of answering the question – so what? CLOSING SENTENCE – Begin the closing with a transition to signify the end of the paragraph. The closing sentence should thoughtfully wrap up the ENTIRE essay.
CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH In essence, mistakes and discoveries work in partnership to advance society. These advancements enhance and facilitate life. Consequently, mistakes are beneficial because they often produce positive outcomes. As 19 th century English writer Martin Farquhar Tupper illustrates, “Error is a hardy plant; it flourisheth in every soil” (“A Series of Quotations About Error and Discovery, ” Paragraph 24).
WRITING DON’TS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Do not use contractions (don’t, won’t, can’t, etc. ). Do not use first or second person. (I, ME, MY, MINE, YOUR, YOURS) Missing or unclear thesis, AG, BI, and/or PEE CHAIN. Thesis that doesn’t follow parallel structure. Do not announce – I will tell you, Now you know, the book says, etc. Bad grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Do not restate the prompt. Conversational language. No questions (no one is writing back) No made up statistics (unless it's a research paper with citations) No restating the prompt No plot summarizing (it goes off topic) No onomatopoeia (it's not a narrative nor a poem)