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Structuring An Argumentative Essay Properly

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Content Mistakes in Essay Writing

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Either way, you need to have a topic in mind before you get started working on your essay. Otherwise, you won't know what to write about! If you're having trouble choosing a topic, try brainstorming to reveal a topic. Jot down your thoughts until something jumps out at you, or try making a mind map. Determine what type of essay you're writing. Your essay may be a narrative, expository, or persuasive essay.

You may also be writing a research paper. While these types of writing share similarities, they also have important differences. It's important to decide which type of writing you're preparing before you get started.

In many cases, the type of essay you're writing will be determined by an assignment. If this is the case, read the assignment sheet thoroughly. If you have any questions, talk to your instructor. This step is especially important if your paper is a research paper.

Go online, head to the library, search an academic database, or read newspapers. You can also ask a reference librarian. Know which sources are acceptable to your teacher. Does your teacher want a certain number of primary sources and secondary sources?

Is your teacher picky about what's considered reliable sources? Can you use Wikipedia? Wikipedia is often a good starting point for learning about a topic, but many teachers won't let you cite it because they want you to find more authoritative sources.

Even if your teacher does not allow Wikipedia, you can still use Wikipedia articles to get a general working knowledge of your topic and find search terms. The "Works Cited" or "Bibliography" section at the bottom of the page can also be a good starting point for finding reliable sources that can provide more reputable information. However, if your teacher forbids even that much, a normal encyclopedia can serve the same function.

Take detailed notes, keeping track of your sources. Record the facts and where you got them from. Write down your sources in the correct citation format so that you don't have to go back and look them up again later.

Note cards are a great option for keeping track of information. If you don't want to use note cards, you could try a digital option! For example, you might try digital note cards for an easy solution, such as the site SuperNotecards. If you're more tech savvy, you could try a bibliographic software like Zotero. If you write a lot, you might try a writing project software, such as Scrivener. A good essay writer either includes the contrary evidence and shows why such evidence is not valid or alters his or her point of view in light of the evidence.

In your research you'll probably come across really well-written and not so well-written arguments about your topic. The bibliographies of the well-written essays can also provide you with good sources. Do some analysis to see what makes them work. What claims does the author make? Why do they sound good? Is it the logic, the sources, the writing, the structure? Is it something else?

What evidence does the author present to you? Why does the evidence sound credible? Is the logic sound or faulty, and why? Why is the logic sound? Brainstorm your own ideas. Sure, you can use the arguments of others to back up what you want to say. However, you need to come up with your original spin on the topic to make it uniquely yours. Make lists of ideas. You can also try mind mapping. Walk in your neighborhood or local park and think about your topic.

Be prepared for ideas to come to you when you least expect them. Write your thesis statement. Look at the ideas that you generated.

Choose one to three of your strongest ideas that support your topic. You should be able to support these ideas with evidence from your research. Write a thesis statement that summarizes the ideas that you plan to present. Essentially, let the reader know where you're going, why, and how you will get there.

A thesis statement should have a narrow focus include both your topic and what you plan to present. For example, "Although Eli Whitney's cotton gin ushered in a new era of American prosperity, it also widened the gap in suffering for African-American slaves, who would soon be more in demand, and more exploited, than ever.

Take the thoughts that you brainstormed and assemble them into an outline. Write a topic sentence for your main ideas. Then, underneath, make bullet points and list your supporting evidence. Generally, you want three arguments or pieces of evidence to support each main idea. In , after the cotton gin had been adopted, slaves totaled about 1.

Write the body of your essay. You do want to think about length here; don't write pages and pages if your teacher wants 5 paragraphs. However, you should freewrite to let your thoughts reveal themselves.

You can always make them more concise later. Don't use "I" statements such as "I think. Simply stating your argument with supporting facts makes you sound much more authoritative.

Instead of writing, "I found Frum to have a conservative bias," tell the reader why your statement is true: It's tempting to allow your thoughts to wander or to add additional information that seems interesting. However, this distracts from your purpose and undermines your essay. Make sure you stay on topic!

Come up with a compelling title and introduction. Your title and introduction make people want to read your essay. If your teacher is the audience, then of course your teacher will read the whole piece. However, if you're submitting to an essay contest or writing an essay for college admissions, your title and introduction have to hook the reader if you want to meet your objectives.

Skip obvious expressions such as, "This essay is about, "The topic of this essay is" or "I will now show that". Try the inverted pyramid formula. Start off with a very broad description of your topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific thesis statement.

Try to use no more than 3 to 5 sentences for short essays, and no more than 1 page for longer essays. Alternatively, you might open with an anecdote or quote that sets up the importance of your topic. Every year, thousands of unwanted and abused animals end up in municipal shelters. Being caged in shelters not only causes animals to suffer but also drains local government budgets.

Towns and cities could prevent both animal abuse and government waste by requiring prospective pet owners to go through mandatory education before allowing them to obtain a pet. Although residents may initially resist the requirement, they will soon see that the benefits of mandatory pet owner education far outweigh the costs. Summarize your points and suggest ways in which your conclusion can be thought of in a larger sense.

Answer questions like, "What are the implications of your thesis statement being true? In a sense, you are repackaging your thesis statement in your concluding paragraph by helping the reader to remember the journey through your essay. Nail the last sentence. If your title and first paragraph make the reader want to read your essay, then your last sentence makes the reader remember you.

If a gymnast does a great balance beam routine but falls on the landing, then people forget the routine. Gymnasts need to "stick the landing," and so do essay writers. Wait a day or so and re-read your essay. Get your essay done a couple of days before the due date so that you have time to go back and revise it to make it polished.

Avoid turning in a first draft that you haven't double-checked for errors. Correct errors related to grammar, punctuation and spelling. Consult a style book if you are unsure how to properly use quotation marks, colons, semicolons, apostrophes or commas. Avoid using exclamation points. Make sure you know how to use apostrophes correctly. Look for mistakes involving general punctuation. Check for run-on sentences , commas and periods inside quotation marks, as well as sparely-used dashes, colons, and semi-colons.

Remove any repetitive or unnecessary words. Vary your language with the help of a thesaurus. Also, consult a dictionary to make sure that you're using unfamiliar words correctly.

At the same time, try to keep your language short, sweet, and to the point. A thesaurus is a great tool, but don't just use big words to sound fancy. The best essays are clear, concise, and easily understood by a wide audience. Focus on writing killer verbs for sentences. Verbs communicate the action in a sentence and drive the action. A great verb can be the difference between a bland sentence and a beautiful one.

Adjectives are great descriptive words, but when used indiscriminately, they can burden an essay and make it less readable. Try to let the verbs and nouns do most of the heavy lifting before you focus on adjectives. Avoid colloquial informal writing. Do not use contractions or abbreviations e. Your essay should have a serious tone, even if it's written in a light or lyrical style.

Analyze how your essay flows. Does each sentence lead smoothly to the next? Does each paragraph flow logically to the next? Identify the needs and expectations of your audience by considering what they do and do not know about your topic. Anticipate their reactions as well.

How they might react to the information that you will be sharing with them? Will they be angry, sad, amused, or something else? Once you have developed your ideas and considered your purpose and audience, you should be ready to write a thesis statement.

A thesis should not be more than one sentence in length. Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact. Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste. In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective.

Choose a standard alphanumeric structure for an easy outline structure. An alphanumeric outline is the most common, easily recognized outline type, and each subdivision is identified by Roman numerals, capitalized letters, Arabic numerals, and lowercase letters, in that order.

You will typically have three for an essay outline: Choose a decimal outline structure to show how your ideas are related. A decimal outline is similar in structure to an alphanumeric outline, but it only uses a series of numbers to identify each subsection. Some people prefer this structure because it shows how each section contributes to the essay as a whole. Therefore, the first section would read "1. For instance, under the "1. Further subsections can be added by adding another decimal, followed by a number that corresponds to the new information.

For instance, under the first "1. Determine whether to use full sentences or brief phrases in your outline. For most outline essays, full sentences will prove more useful because they allow you to provide more thorough information.

Use parallel structures for outline sections. For example, if one section of your outline begins with a verb that uses the present tense, then the next section should also begin with a verb that uses present tense.

Coordinate section titles and subordinate subsections. Each section title should feature information that is equally important to other section titles and subsections should contain information that is less important than your main section titles. These outline section titles feature information that is as important as the first section title.

Divide each heading into two or more parts. In order to provide adequate information for each section, you will need to divide each section into two or more parts. Provide your introduction in the first section of your outline. This section should include an attention getting opening and general information about your topic.

The information you provide in your introduction outline should gradually become more specific as you progress through its subsections. A shocking fact or anecdote is a great way to start. Keep this section brief, but include the information that your readers will need to know in order to understand your paper. State the idea or argument that you plan to discuss in your essay.

Provide essay body information in the second section of your outline. The body of your essay should be the largest part of your essay, so you will want to devote at least three subsections to this portion of your outline. Do not label each point as "main point. Under each main point, you should write supporting evidence to back the point up. Give each piece of supporting evidence its own line and sub-section. Then, write out an explanation analyzing the evidence and showing how it supports your claims.

If desired, you could also include a sentence that transitions into your next major point at the end of each "main idea" section. This is not strictly necessary, though. Provide your conclusion information in the last section of your essay outline.

This section should return the reader to the general discussion brought up in the "introduction" portion. Get a perfect essay written for you by a qualified writer. You can get someone who has the skill to take over and take away your days of misery. College life is supposed to be a place of fun, and it can be difficult to have fun when you have a thousand essays to write.

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Never write an essay without a conclusion. Conclusion is essential, it is both a summary and a generalization which restates your thesis, thus, laying additional emphasis on what has been written. These points represent the most common mistakes students tend to make in terms of content while doing academic writing.

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Essay Structure Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.

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Besides focus, content is an essential part if your essay. Considering your controlling purpose, you ought to discover whether there is adequate support and whether your essay development fulfills the commitment started or implied by the controlling purpose. Going back through an essay that you've written in order to make substantive content improvements can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are.

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In between each paragraph throughout the essay you should be able to transition content clearly with logic meaning. Your essay will follow a basic structure that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. It helps to have a transition sentence for each paragraph to help readers follow the context clearly. Apr 16,  · How to Write an Essay Outline. Essay outlines provide structure and guidance for writers as they begin the drafting process. An outline should briefly summarize the intended content of your essay and organize that content in a sensible, 79%(24).