Essay format paragraph

But be forewarned: it shouldn't take up much more than a third often much less of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description. The corresponding question is "how": How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you're making?

Typically, an essay will include at least one "how" section.

Essay body paragraphs - OWLL - Massey University

Call it "complication" since you're responding to a reader's complicating questions. This section usually comes after the "what," but keep in mind that an essay may complicate its argument several times depending on its length, and that counterargument alone may appear just about anywhere in an essay. This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis.

It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering "why", your essay explains its own significance. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular.

Mapping an Essay. Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure.

Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea. Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material.

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Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this:. Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. It is not a contract, though—the order in which the ideas appear is not a rigid one. Essay maps are flexible; they evolve with your ideas.

5 Paragraph Essay Principles

Signs of Trouble. A common structural flaw in college essays is the "walk-through" also labeled "summary" or "description".


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Walk-through essays follow the structure of their sources rather than establishing their own. Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one. Be wary of paragraph openers that lead off with "time" words "first," "next," "after," "then" or "listing" words "also," "another," "in addition". Although they don't always signal trouble, these paragraph openers often indicate that an essay's thesis and structure need work: they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text in the case of time words: first this happens, then that, and afterwards another thing.

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Use effective paragraph structure to explain and support your thesis statement.

Drop-In Hours. English Grammar and Language Tutor. Until then, these suggestions can be helpful. Use the following graphics as a tool to organize your paper with one main idea in each box. Use as many pages and boxes as needed. Paragraphing Length Consistency Summary: The purpose of this handout is to give some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs. Paragraph Balance. Unbalanced Paragraphs. Graphics to Help with Balance and Organization.


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