The Writing Process
1. Consider your AUDIENCE:
Who is going to be reading this?
a. Peers – blog, email
b. Magazine/Newspaper – think about level of comprehension of audience c. Women’s Issues – how does gender play a role in how you write? d. Sports – think about using exciting verbs and adjectives e. Children – modify style and content for children
2. What is your PURPOSE?
a. To entertain
b. To educate/inform
c. To defend a position/persuade
3. Select a TOPIC – limit what you will discuss and explore a. Compare/contrast two characters from paired summer books (one fiction, one non-fiction) their backgrounds, traits, experiences, fates
4. Develop THESIS
a. The focus of the paper/essay or main idea
b. The main argument or assertion in sentence format
a. Directed thinking
b. Gathering facts, details, examples, quotes – these provide support to convince readers of your argument or thesis
6. Revise and finalize THESIS – complete and clear statement
7. Develop OUTLINE
a. Your “road map” for the essay
b. Preparation helps you maintain focus within essay
8. PARAGRAPH WRITING/DRAFTING/DEVELOPMENT
9. PARAGRAPH REVISION/EDITING
a. Content (depth of thinking)
c. Sentence structure
d. Diction (word choice)
10. PUBLISHING: FINAL DRAFT
An expository essay which is 4 to 5 paragraphs in length should follow these guidelines.
Paragraph #1: Introductory paragraph
1. The first few sentences should introduce the general topic in an interesting way. You may try an opening quote, or a question, or an interesting fact or idea. 2. Next, if it an essay about a book, introduce the characters and book title as well as author. Add some pertinent information like setting and a very brief summary of the book (a sentence or two). 3. Then, insert the THESIS statement which can run between1-2 sentences. A strong thesis statement expresses the main argument that your essay will try to prove. This is similar to the opening statement that an attorney makes at the beginning of a trial that tells exactly what he/she will attempt to prove in court. You state a fact that you believe to be true and the reasons for your belief. The rest of the essay (or trial) goes on to prove the thesis by presenting supporting argument, evidence, or proof (examples, quotes).
Paragraph #2: A supporting (body) paragraph –its purpose is to present the first supporting idea. 1. Begin with a TOPIC SENTENCE which states the first (or one) main point or supporting idea of the thesis. 2. Then you will show one example of this idea or point followed by a quote that supports it. The quote should be surrounded by quotation marks and followed by the page reference in parentheses. 3. Next, you will present another example of this idea or point followed by a second quote. The quote should be surrounded by quotation marks and followed by the page reference in parentheses. 4. Conclude the paragraph with a sentence or two that either summarizes or emphasizes the point you are making in this paragraph. The final sentence can also provide a transition to the next paragraph or point. Transitional words and phrases can be use.
Paragraph #3: A supporting (body) paragraph. This paragraph should present the second supporting idea or point. Follow the same steps or formula of paragraph 2.
Note: In a five paragraph essay there would be a third paragraph of support, followed by the fifth paragraph which would be considered the final, concluding paragraph.
Paragraph #4 or 5: Concluding paragraph. The job of this paragraph is to restate or emphasize the thesis that you tried to prove. 1. Begin witha topic sentence. Do not introduce any “new” ideas. 2. This paragraph is your last chance to make or emphasize the main point. Do not repeat previous...
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