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The First and Second Steps in Essay Writing
John Hsiaoon 19 August 2013
Transcript of The First and Second Steps in Essay Writing
Step 1: Begin with a Point, or Thesis
Step 2: Support the Thesis with Specific Evidence
> Understanding Thesis Statements
> Writing a Good Thesis 1
> Writing a Good Thesis 2
An effective essay is centered around a thesis, or main point, that the writer would like to express. Thesis statements must be included in the introductory paragraph.
A good thesis statement should do two things:
1) Tell the readers the essay's topic(s).
2) Present the writer's attitude, opinion, idea, or point about that topic.
Composing an essay takes many important steps before the writing begins.
The topic is
composing an essay.
The writer's main point is that
composing an essay
takes many important steps before the writing begins.
The internet is a valuable academic tool.
The topic is
The writer's main point is that
is a valuable acedemic tool.
To start a good thesis a writer needs a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow.
The topic should be narrow enough so the writer can write a five hundred word essay.
To get an essay thesis started one must:
1) Find a subject
2) Limit that subject
3) Develop the thesis statement off the limited subject.
The goal, when developing a thesis statement, is to start with a general subject and narrow that subject into a thesis statement.
> How to Limit and Focus Your Thesis
One way to limit a topic is through clustering.
If there is a topic that is much too broad for a short paper, cluster ideas around the topic as a way to limit it to a more simplified topic that you know about or are more interested in.
Can be done anywhere
Can run with others
Good for heart
No special skills needed
Lots of fun
Can be expensive- must join gym/ pool
Requires special equipment
Great aerobic exercise
Can be dangerous
Four Tips to Writing a Good Thesis
The subject of this paper will be my parents.
This sentence is
a thesis statement but an announcement of a topic.
The announcement does
make a point about the parents but only gives the writer's general subject.
each struggled with personal demons.
This sentence is the correct way to writing a thesis because if consist of a
1) Write Statements, Not Announcements
Disease has shaped human history.
This statement may be a thesis but it is much too broad. It will take a book's worth of words to cover this thesis
Not Too Broad
In the mid-1980s, AIDS changed people's attitudes about dating.
This statement gives a limited subject so the main point is not too broad and does not require more than an essay to cover the thesis.
2) Avoid Statements That Are Too Broad
3) Avoid Statements That Are Too Narrow
The speed limit near my home is sixty-five miles per hour for several reasons.
This statement does not give enough room for three supporting statements to be given because the thesis is much too narrow and does not require any support.
Not Too Narrow
The speed limit near my house should be lowered to fifty-five miles per hour for several reasons.
This example is a thesis statement that is broad enough to require support for an essay.
4) Make Sure Statements Develop Only One Idea
More Than One Idea
One of the most serious problems affecting young people today is bullying,
it is time more kids learned the value of helping others.
This statement contains more than one idea. It would make more sense to give each of these ideas their own essay to discuss the topic.
Just One Idea
One of the most serious problems affecting young people today is bullying.
This statement keeps the first idea and removes the second idea so the thesis can be clearer to the readers.
After formulating a clearly stated thesis the second step is
to support the thesis with specific reasons or details. To find support
write down a brief version of your thesis idea
then work out and jot down the three points that will support the thesis.
> The Importance of Specific Details
> The Importance of Adequate Details
Each supporting point must be developed with specific details
There are two reasons specific details are valuable
Details excite the reader
Details serve to explain a writer
In a strong paragraph
sharp details capture the reader
s interest and enable the reader to share the writer's experience
Aim to make your own writing convincing by providing detailed support
One of the most common problems in students
writing is inadequate development
To avoid this problem
you must provide enough specific details to fully support the point in a body paragraph of an essay
You need more than one or two sentences of specific details to support your point or your paragraph will be undeveloped