The answer is your thesis statement. Unlike thesis statements, topic sentences can be questions that your paragraphs answer. A topic sentence presents the main point for a paragraph and gives your readers a clear idea of what the individual paragraph is about. Ideally, your topic sentences should relate to your thesis statement. A topic sentence should contain a single idea or topic that you can answer in one paragraph.
The thesis statement and supporting topic sentences work together to map out your paper, guiding your reader to your final conclusion. Marsha Ford has been a professional writer for over 10 years. Ford has published articles in print and online venues, including Energy of the City and Mexico Travel, and has authored books including "Six Sigma for Small Businesses.
Need to cite a webpage? Download our chrome extension. How to Cite. The Rewrite. How to Make an Essay Flow. How to Start a Paragraph in an Essay. An essay plan is a crucial step on the path to writing a successful essay. A plan is also a great summary document that you can submit to your instructor to ask for feedback and direction whilst working on your essay. The key to writing a persuasive essay is to demonstrate mastery of both sides of the argument, debate, or proposition. You persuade your audience both by making a convincing case for your side of the argument and by providing convincing rebuttals to counter-arguments from the other side.
By giving a fair hearing to both sides of the argument, you demonstrate both the depth of your understanding and an ability to evaluate the merits of both sides of a debate and draw a conclusion based on the weight of evidence. An essay outline gives a sense not only of what your main arguments are, but how they fit together. The outline itself is essentially a set of headings and subheadings under which you categorise the main ideas and arguments you want to explore in an essay.
For further advice, we like this useful guide to creating essay outlines. For more on dissertation proposals, this in-depth guide is packed full of advice and information. You should discuss this question with your instructor or supervisor. But again, ask your instructor or supervisor for suggestions of journals to submit to, and be prepared to take reviewer feedback constructively, and to revise your paper numerous times before it ends up in print. Find out more about getting your work published in our article Dissertation writing: publishing a dissertation.
The structure of a body paragraph should mirror the structure of your essay as a whole. A well-constructed essay transitions almost seamlessly between paragraphs, with transition sentences used as a rhetorical device to help convince your reader that your arguments relate strongly and coherently to each other.
The five-paragraph essay is a standard format of essay often required of first-year undergraduate students.
But know this: the principles on introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions discussed in this post and elsewhere on our blog apply just as well to five-paragraph essays as to longer-form pieces. The general rules of good essay writing still apply.
Developing Strong Research Questions | Criteria and Examples
Your introduction starts out with broad statements about the field before narrowing its focus to your specific argument. Our guide How to structure an essay has lots more advice and information on introductions and conclusions. It catches a lot of people out, and for good reason. You must always agree — at least a little bit — with the idea and have reasons for it, and be able to say why you disagree with it too if you do.
The correct use of punctuation demonstrates a mastery of grammar in English or whatever language you happen to be writing in and to anyone who cares about language and is invested in its proper use spoiler alert: this includes anyone who is likely to be grading your essays! A reflective essay is a tricky feat to pull off. It requires that you synthesise academic research and personal experience, usually by asking you to comment on how one has impacted the other — and sometimes both at once! See The complete guide to writing a reflective essay.
One goal you should be aiming towards in higher education is to make your writing move beyond reading like that of a new and inexperienced student, and towards that of a seasoned academic. One way you can do this is through better use of vocabulary. But how does one improve their academic vocab? In a word: read. The best way to learn the phrases, habits and devices that are common in academic writing is to read widely and deeply, but also with discipline. And do pay close attention to turns of phrase and ways of positioning arguments that regularly crop up in academic writing.
This guide: Essay writing skills: how to build your vocabulary has some great advice if you would like to learn more. Plagiarism is a cause of great anxiety among undergraduate students, largely because university instructors and departments are much better at issuing threats and dire warnings than they are at actually defining what plagiarism is.
One of the most important ways to avoid plagiarism is to be a disciplined note-taker. Take a look at our guide, Playing by the rules: avoiding plagiarism in essay writing , if you want to ensure you steer clear of plagiarism in your work. Essays live and die by the strengths of their arguments. The perfect argument is one that is original enough to sustain interest, but robust enough to be supported by evidence. Ask these questions about your argument:. See Essay writing tips: a strong argument.
Elements of a Thesis Statement
The leap in expectations is quite considerable, as you go from demonstrating you have a good grasp of the core concepts of your discipline to being expected to produce writing of a standard matching that of seasoned academics, or not too far below. A more in-depth and insightful answer can be read in our guide: How to write a Masters essay: Masters essay writing tips.
For example, there are some people — especially in the sciences — who think you should never refer to yourself in an essay using I, me or my, etc. For others, navigating around these rules is wholly unnecessary and produces awkward, cumbersome prose.
How to Write a Good Thesis Statement: Great Tips + Examples!
For extra guidance, see 10 academic phrases to use in your essay. By briefly recapping on your body paragraph arguments and highlighting the ways they support your thesis, you can help to convince a sceptical reader of the validity of your position. For more helpful advice on writing a great conclusion for your essay, read Your essay conclusion: how to conclude an essay well. It is always beneficial to have a second set of eyes assess your work for any errors or omissions and many students choose to contact editors to help with the final editing and proofreading of their work.
Professional editors hold the relevant expertise to guide you on the correct path to creating a discussion section that is perfectly structured, formatted and ready for submission, helping you to achieve a high result.
Our answers to the top 25 essay writing questions. How do you write an academic essay?
Can you start an essay with a quote? How do you reference an essay? There are three basic types: Footnotes e. MHRA, Oxford : Citation information for each quote is referenced by a numbered superscript note in the text, and appears in a separate section at the bottom of the page.
Spaces & events
Parenthetical e. Numbered e.
Vancouver : Each source is assigned a number the first time it is cited, and thereafter each subsequent citation of this source is referenced using the same number. Keep reading below for more questions and answers on Oxford and Harvard referencing, 4. What is Oxford referencing? Whenever you quote or paraphrase a source in the body of your text, you insert a footnote, which has two parts: A superscript number in the body of your essay, indicating the note the reader should seek out.
What is Harvard referencing?
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