The Elements of an Excellent Essay



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The Elements of an Excellent Essay

  • Some reminders for you as you begin composing your persuasive essay.

Before you begin…

  • ASK YOURSELF:
    • What is my purpose? (persuasion)
    • What tone do I want to convey?
    • Who is my audience?
    • ** Keep these questions in mind as you write – always!

Don’t forget to use:

  • FORMAL LANGUAGE!
      • No Contractions!
      • No “I”
      • *** Also use your persuasive strategies throughout. Rhetorical Questions, repetition, parallelism.

TITLE

  • Conveys the main point of the essay in 10 words or fewer.
  • A creative way to attract the reader’s attention and interest.
  • Capitalization rules always apply!.
  • Do NOT simply state the subject!

The Introduction

  • Captures the reader’s attention.
  • Can give background information on the topic.
  • Enhance the paragraph with an interesting example, surprising statistic, or other “hook.”
  • Include the thesis statement. Thesis statement MUST be the last sentence in your introduction.

Thesis Statement

  • States the main idea of the essay. It is a road map for your paper. It sets the expectation for your piece.
  • It is specific, but restricted, and should be unified.
  • More general than the supporting material.
  • May mention the main point of each of the body paragraphs.

Thesis continued…

  • It is usually one sentence long and found within the introduction.
  • It must be an arguable point.

Any student who would like me to read a draft of their introduction with thesis statement may submit one to me by Wednesday morning. After that, you’re on your own…

Body Paragraph 1

Body Paragraph 2

  • Begin with a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph and relates it to the thesis statement.
  • Use transitions within paragraph.
  • Fill with well-organized examples, quotations, comparisons, analogies, and/or anecdotes.
  • End with a transition statement.

Body Paragraph 3

  • Begin with a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph and relates it to the thesis statement.
  • Use transitions within paragraph.
  • Fill with well-organized examples, quotations, comparisons, analogies, and/or anecdotes.
  • End with a transition statement.

Conclusion

  • “Echo” the thesis statement without simply repeating it.
  • 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 (loop)
  • End with a strong image or a bit of wit. Leave a lasting impression!

MLA FORMAT

  • 12 point font
  • Times New Roman
  • Double-spaced
  • *** You received a handout on this information along with how to appropriately cite sources.
  • MINIMUM of 3 in-text citations. Each source must be used one time.


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