The Nuts & Bolts Of Essay Writing
Writing The Body
Students often think that the body is a free form area where they can ramble about some of the justifications for their thesis, when it is in fact the most highly restrictive portion of the essay. Great essay writers understand that each sentence and fact used in this area of the essay holds a very particular focus. Each essay must become an example of logical organizational perfection! To do this it is VITAL that each paragraph in the body is one concept that helps directly prove your thesis. This paragraph should always be a stand alone reason that does not require any further information from some other paragraph to understand. Furthermore, the same rigid structure is found within the paragraphs also. All facts used in any body paragraph MUST be a direct way to prove your paragraph’s topic correct. Any information that doesn’t help to directly prove or expand on these concepts does NOT belong in your body. For these reasons, essays are most aptly compared to proofs in your geometry course due to the highly specific nature of the organization.
Identify the main focus of the paragraph in a sentence.
Factual support for your main topic/focus.
Sum up the paragraph with some original thought or analysis.
The pathway to the next paragraph.
So How Do You Do This?
This is the main idea of your paragraph and allows the reader to understand the point you are trying to make in this paragraph. This is an absolute necessity to start out with because the reader may not understand your thought process. You would be surprised how many times I have read something and I had no idea what the student was trying to prove. A topic sentence can help alleviate these concerns.
This sentence MUST be one way that directly and clearly PROVES the thesis. Far too many students write paragraphs that are related but not a direct way to prove the point.
After the topic sentence it is your job to prove the topic sentence to be a correct way to interpret this topic in history. You must use concrete facts as a means of doing this. Each paragraph should include a minimum of 3 facts that help prove your topic sentence. Like the relationship between the topic sentences and the thesis, these facts should always directly prove the the topic sentence to be correct. Each fact should be clearly stated and be something that is easily provable if the reader does some basic research on the topic. Objective truths, such as data, are generally seen to be worth more to scholars than vague opinions, so the more concrete the factual evidence you have, the better your essay becomes.
EVERYTHING is connected
This is your time to explain the link between your 3 (or more) facts and WHY this is such concrete evidence of your point. Doing this gives you a moment to explain your thought process in the likely event that the reader doesn’t understand the connection between your facts and the topic sentence. Please understand that we are looking for evidence of original thought here! This is not the place to just regurgitate facts from the textbook, but to put your own spin on the topic at hand. Remember to focus on WHY these things are important to the point you are making.
This is the single sentence that allows you to smoothly transition from one topic to the next by briefly explaining the logical relation between paragraphs. This helps the reader understand the connection between your different paragraphs, which helps them better understand your entire argument. Please refer to the following links to give some options on this topic.