Shaping College Writing Paragraph And Essay

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It’s a simplified version of academic writing that requires you to state an idea and support it with evidence.

Setting a limit of five paragraphs narrows your options and forces you to master the basics of organization.

” She does a little brainstorming, and she says, “Well, in class, my professor talked about the economy, politics, and slavery.

I guess I can do a paper about that.” So she writes her introduction: A civil war occurs when two sides in a single country become so angry at each other that they turn to violence.

In a classic five-paragraph essay, the first paragraph starts with a general statement and ends with a thesis statement containing three “points”; each body paragraph discusses one of those “points” in turn; and the final paragraph sums up what the student has written.

The five-paragraph model is a good way to learn how to write an academic essay.This handout will help you figure out what your college instructors expect when they give you a writing assignment.It will tell you how and why to move beyond the five-paragraph essays you learned to write in high school and start writing essays that are more analytical and more flexible.” because the last sentence in the paragraph only lists topics. Her first sentence is general, the way she learned a five-paragraph essay should start.But from the professor’s perspective, it’s far too general—so general, in fact, that it’s completely outside of the assignment: she didn’t ask students to define civil war.If you’ve seen a lot of five-paragraph essays, you can guess what Alex will write next. ” Then she will decide how to organize her draft by thinking about the argument’s parts and how they fit together.Her first body paragraph will begin, “We can see some of the different reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War by looking at the economy.” What will the professor say about that? After doing some brainstorming and reading the Writing Center’s handout on thesis statements, Alex thinks of a main argument, or thesis statement: Both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, but Northerners focused on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their rights to property and self-government.Every sentence in Alex’s new introduction leads the reader down the path to her thesis statement in an unbroken chain of ideas. You’ll find more about the thinking process she goes through in our handout on organization, but here are the basics: first, she decides, she’ll write a paragraph that gives background; she’ll explain how opposition to tyranny and a belief in individual liberty came to be such important values in the United States.Then she’ll write another background paragraph in which she shows how the conflict over slavery developed over time.High school students are often taught to write essays using some variation of the five-paragraph model.A five-paragraph essay is hourglass-shaped: it begins with something general, narrows down in the middle to discuss specifics, and then branches out to more general comments at the end.

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