Bob Cropf

Writing a good class essay

In 1 on February 17, 2009 at 10:17 AM

The elements of a good essay for this class are fairly simple to learn. Once you know them you can apply them over and over again. To a large extent, they apply to the class paper and further down the road, the comps as well.

    Structure

A good essay begins with a thesis statement. This is where you state as precisely as you can what it is that you intend to write about in the essay. Use a hierarchical structure (i.e., first state the most important point you wish to make, then the second most important point, etc.) in the thesis, which can be several sentences long.

The body of the essay follows the thesis. In this section, you will marshal the evidence you will use to prove your assertions, which you made in the thesis. The evidence is your collection of facts, data and observations–which should be referenced–that support the major points you intend to make. There should be a logical flow to the argument you are making. In other words, when you organize this section, the evidence backing the major points come first followed by the secondary ones, etc.

In the conclusion, you restate in briefer form your thesis and summarize the main points you made previously in the body. This is the last opportunity you will have to drive home your points.

If you cite any article, books, etc. these are put in a references section at the end after the conclusion.

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