Elements of Essay

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Introductions serve a number of purposes. As it is the first part of your essay your reader will encounter, and as you will want your reader to cointinue reading, choose introductions that grab attention. Certainly introductions serves to introduce your reader to the central ideas expressed in your essay. In this regard, good introductions will provide the background information necessary for making sense of the argument provided in the body of your paper. Most importantly, introductions serve to frame the argument that the essay proposes. Good introductions will impart to your reader the main point of your paper. So. . . a good introduction will: 1. get your reader's attention,

2. provide background information, and
3. state a thesis.
In the body of your essay you will provide the defense for claims offered in your introduction. There are two issues to keep in mind here: transition and organization. Making outlines will help you keep a logical organization for your paper. When you have a number of points to make in an essay, you should consider the order in which you present those points--this order is the outline of your paper. Equally important, as you move from idea to idea, you will want to keep your reader's attention focused on why the information you present is relevant to the main point of your essay. Transitional sentences do this. When you move to a new idea, start your paragraph with a sentence or two informing your reader (1) the content of the new subject and (2) why this information is important to your thesis. A good body will: 1. defend the central claim of your essay and

2. use transitional sentences
Of course, the conclusion will be last thing your reader will encounter. Because too many of us have short attention spans, and because you want your reader to learn something from having read your essay, you will want to adopt conclusions that drive home the central...
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