Learning how to write well takes time and experience, and is generally learned through a trial and error process.
Paragraph Development Examples
Hoping to save you some common mistakes, here is a general guideline and some helpful tips on how to research effectively, what different essay sections should include, and how to present a strong argument. Keep in mind, that this is most relevant for social science papers. Links are provided throughout to selected handouts from the writing center. These statements are absolutely false, and the quicker you can change your mentality away from them the better.
You should ask yourself this question during your brainstorming, researching, writing, and editing phase to make sure that the answer is always yes! When beginning your assignment you should:. Some general things to keep in mind when doing your research is to be careful to stay on topic and always double check with yourself that the research is relevant to your essay. That means not going too broad, but staying focused on your topic and recognizing that just because something is interesting does not mean that it is necessarily relevant to your argument.
Start with class resources and then move to library resources. Sometimes, using a certain number of class readings is a requirement. Make sure you comply with it. It is also a good idea when defining concepts to use class sources and material. It is a great way to get a better idea of different topics, concepts, people, and trivia, but not acceptable for an academic paper.
Students also tend to fall in the two categories of doing too much research or too little research.
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Doing too much research can definitely give you a better understanding of the broader issue of your topic, and this can be noticed in your writing. However, you can fall into the trap of adding things that are not necessarily relevant to your topic, resulting in a larger paper then the assignment requires. Doing too little research on the other hand, might not give you enough information on the topic and make for a shorter paper.
Also remember, that not all sources you read will be useful, it takes time to find really good sources you can use for your paper. For a social science paper between pages you generally should read at least 10 relatively good sources. Be prepared to go back and research further while you are writing, in order to fill gaps in your arguments. You also might need to find more supporting evidence to present a more convincing claim.
Writing an outline is invaluable to help organize your thoughts and the structure of your essay informally, in order to check strengths and relevance of arguments, consistency with thesis, and flow. It will help you to pick up contradictions and weaknesses in your arguments before you start writing and it keeps you from going off-track.
This is also a good stage to check with your professor or TA. You can meet with them in person or e-mail them your outline and thesis to get feedback. Essay Structure: Introduction The main point of an introduction is to capture the attention of the reader and draw them in. This is why your first sentences should be well thought-out to engage and interest the reader.
Always think of an introduction as an upside down triangle. It should start broad and become more narrow and specific. There are different things to include in your introduction, depending on the size of your paper. Since many students are confused about what an introduction should include, here is a general guideline to get you started.
Methods of Paragraph Development by celia carballo on Prezi
Also accept that if you write your introduction first, you will probably have to re-write it or at least tweak it depending on how the rest of your paper turns out. There are important stylistic guidelines you should follow in the body of your paragraph. For example, you should try and use the same terminology as you find in the literature in order to sound more professional and scholarly. You should also ensure that there is transition and flow between each paragraph and between each argument. Try to explain specifically and clearly how each argument relates to your thesis to make sure your essay sounds more cohesive.
Also remember that paragraphs are limited to one idea and should also make a clear point that connects to your argument and thesis. Avoid using overly complex language and words. Ask your professor or TA to suggest a couple of well-written articles that you can learn from. Warrant is a fancy term that basically shows the relevance of the claim. It is the principle that lets you connect reason and claim.
It is the logical connection between a claim and a supporting fact or evidence. Sometimes, that logical connection will be clear and obvious, where no explanation from the writer is needed. More often though, the writer needs to supply the warrant, explain how and why a particular piece of evidence is good support for a specific claim. This will tremendously improve the clarity of your writing and will help people outside your discipline to better follow and understand your arguments.
It shows you have done extensive research and you have a good understanding of the topic in question. If relevant and important, you should also address counterargument you cannot refute and concede to them. You might paraphrase this example i. In all these cases, of course, you would properly credit your source.
You simply state your thesis, then offer reasons why the statement is true, supported by evidence from your sources. You can advance as many reasons for the truth of your thesis as needed; but save the most important reason s for last, because the end of the paper is what will remain most clearly in the reader's mind. STRAWMAN: When you use the strawman technique, you present an argument against your thesis, but immediately afterward you show that this argument is weak or flawed. The advantage of this technique is that you demonstrate your awareness of the other side of the argument and show that you are prepared to answer it.
The strawman argument first presents an introduction and thesis, then the main opposing argument, a refutation of the opposing argument, and finally a positive argument. Instead, it concedes that the opposition has a valid point but that, even so, the positive argument is the stronger one.
This method is particularly valuable when you know your reader holds the opposing view. When you compare, you consider similarities. When you contrast, you consider differences. By comparing and contrasting, you perform a multifaceted analysis that often suggests subtleties that otherwise might not have come to your attention. A criterion is a specific point to which both of your authors refer and about which they may agree or disagree. The best criteria are those that allow you not only to account for obvious similarities and differences between sources but also to plumb deeper, to more subtle and significant similarities and differences.
Introduce essay, state thesis. Summarize passage A. Introduce Criterion 1. View on Criterion I. Passage A's viewpoint. View on Criterion 2. Passage B's viewpoint. Summarize passage B.
How to Write a Definition Essay
You should also make sure that each paragraph clearly explains or supports your thesis. Finally, you should make sure that your conclusion clearly emphasizes your thesis and gives a sense of completion to your essay. It is easy to stray from your subject and thesis when you write, just as it is easy to stray in conversation. In writing, however, you can always return to your writing, look at it in a new way, and change it so that each paragraph in the body clearly supports and explains the thesis.
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