If you can do this, then your essay is a success, if not, then you have a lot of work to do. The first steps in writing a descriptive essay will lay the groundwork for the entire piece.
If you fail in the prep work, the finished product will be less than excellent. Similarly, it is the quality of prep work-the brainstorming, prewriting, drafting, revising-that makes some papers stand out as excellent.
It is a common mistake for students to want to start editing their papers before they have substantially revised them. Before you start to stress over individual words and punctuation marks, give your paper a critical read.
Does your claim hang together in such a way that an educated reader can follow it? Elegant phrasing and multi-syllable words will not make up for weakness in the development of your argument. Identifying six major weaknesses Six major weaknesses can doom your paper to mediocrity or worse: A too-broad thesis statement Inadequate or unfocused topic sentences Writing off-subject Failing to anticipate objections An inadequate conclusion The checklist below can help you discover whether your paper suffers from any of these errors.
Ask yourself whether all of the following statements are true of your paper. My subject is limited enough for adequate treatment for this length of paper. My thesis statement is a discussable point and is in the form of a declarative sentence.
I have used specific, focused topic sentences to support my thesis statement. All my sentences directly or indirectly support my thesis statement-I have not digressed or written "off the subject.
I have anticipated the major objections to my thesis and have tried to address and overcome them. My closing paragraph restates the thesis if necessary and draws conclusions based on the points I have already discussed in my paper.
If any of these statements are not true, read ahead to find explanations and suggestions that may help. The too-broad thesis statement Many papers fail largely because the writer attempts to write on a subject so broad that he simply cannot adequately address it.
Narrow down the topic to one that interests you, and for which source information is available, and that you can discuss adequately in the length assigned.
The following sentence might have a legitimate place in a paper as part of an introduction, perhapsbut it would fail as a thesis statement because it is too broad for a typical three- to four-page paper: In American schools, there are many kinds of acceptable dress codes and classroom behaviors.
The phrase "American schools" includes pre- elementary, intermediate, and high schools; public and private colleges; technical schools; adult schools; schools with and without uniform requirements; schools in conservative Midwestern towns and those in diverse urban areas; religious schools; progressive schools—too many schools, too many populations of students to discuss all at once.
Many urban-area public schools are weighing the advantages and disadvantages of requiring students to wear uniforms, and quite a few are deciding that uniforms are the way to go for several reasons. The poorly formulated thesis A thesis should treat a discussable point-that is, a topic that merits discussion because more than one point of view is sane and plausible.
While it is possible, for example, to support the following statements, the resulting paper would likely not be very interesting because the points are not discussable: A dog is a four-legged domestic mammal.
A friend is someone who is always there for you. Humans need oxygen to live.
|Step 1: Choose a topic||Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers.|
Reformulated, these statements can become more discussable and interesting: Dogs are smelly, dumb, destructive eating machines, and I couldn't live without mine.
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An essay outline denotes how you’ll structure your paper. You can (and should!) make changes along the way. You can (and should!) make changes along the way.
But you want to get everything written down so that you can refer to . Essay Outline Worksheet Author: Brian Davis Created Date: 2/18/ AM.