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2.1: Introduction

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    What will we learn in this chapter?

    In this chapter, we will learn how to organize the major parts of a customary U.S. academic essay: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. We will also build more cohesion and connection between the parts of an essay in order to make it clear and persuasive for a reader.

    Why do we need to do this?

    When you get assignments in college, you need to know what your instructors and classmates are expecting. They will be looking for a certain pattern of organization that has specific customs that are different from other types of writing and also different from academic writing customs in many other languages. For example, the custom for U.S. academic essays is to divide your essay into several paragraphs that are several sentences each, to write your main idea clearly as a strong thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph, and to begin each body paragraph with clear topic sentences rather than with evidence. If you were writing a newspaper article, or an essay at a university in a different country, the expected order might not be the same. If your readers don't see your ideas where they are looking for them, they may not understand your ideas as clearly, or misjudge your writing skills. Once you learn this structure, you will be able to use (or even change) it for your own purposes. Understanding the customs of this structure also helps you as a reader, because you can more easily follow other writers' ideas.

    What theme will this chapter focus on?

    In this chapter, we will be looking at why people form stereotypes and why they are problematic (see Figure 2.1.1 for art protesting stereotypes). We will also look at "stereotype threat", which is how people are affected by the stereotypes other groups have of them. We will also explore how stereotypes affect people's experiences in different jobs, such as women working in the fields of science and engineering.

    Stenciled street art with the message Break the Stereotype
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): "break the stereotype" by wippetywu is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Learning objectives

    In this chapter, you will learn to

    • identify the parts of essay structure customary in U.S. academic environments.
    • write a strong introduction with an effective thesis statement.
    • organize body paragraphs using topic sentences, evidence, and analysis.
    • write a strong conclusion.
    • use cohesion strategies to clearly connect sentences and paragraphs.

    Licenses and Attributions

    CC Licensed Content: Original

    Authored by Susie Naughton, Santa Barbara City College. License: CC BY NC.

    This page titled 2.1: Introduction is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gabriel Winer & Elizabeth Wadell (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .

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