All of these sentences build up to the essay's thesis statement. To get a paper off to a great start, writers should try to have a first sentence that engages their reader. This first sentence should be broadly related to the topic of the essay. After the attention getter or lead-in, writers need to gradually narrow the broad subject towards the thesis. Gradually narrowing can: provide background information, explain underlying information, describe the complexity of the issue, introduce various layers of the subject, and help transition from these more broad ideas to the narrow thesis.
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Thesis Statements. A thesis statement manages to encapsulate an essay's main argument in a succinct, one-sentence comment. Beginner writers often times find it useful to create an essay map thesis, where the thesis briefly lists the areas that will be discussed in the essay. If you know what to expect and understand how to write a five paragraph essay, you will be prepared to tackle any essay writing prompt. When you begin to write your essay for a standardized test, you must first decide what type of essay you are being asked to write.
There are many different types of essays, including narrative, expository, argumentative, persuasive, comparative, literary, and so on. The type of essay will determine your topic and thesis. Essays for standardized tests are typically either persuasive, in which you will answer a question, or literary, in which you will write about something you read.
Write an introduction that interests the reader and effectively outlines your arguments.
For standardized tests, students usually have to write a five paragraph essay, which should be to words long and include an introductory paragraph, three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. The first paragraph will introduce your topic.
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The introduction is the most important paragraph because it provides direction for the entire essay. The best way to tackle the introduction is to:.
These three paragraphs form the body of the essay. They provide details, such as facts, quotes, examples and concrete statistics, for the three points in your introductory paragraph that support your thesis. Take the points you listed in your introduction and discuss each in one body paragraph.
The Introductory Paragraph
The first style uses a list of two or more points. This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs.
This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments. In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay. In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer.
Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into.
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Good vs. In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use. One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template.
Effective Introductions and Thesis Statements
While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:. Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:. When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is. Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions.
Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence.
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