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5.5: Key Takeaways

  • Page ID
    56416
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    • A thesis statement is your interpretation of the subject, not the topic itself. It should be specific, precise, forceful, confident, and is able to be demonstrated.
    • A strong thesis challenges readers with a point of view that can be debated and can be supported with evidence.
    • Topic sentences express the main idea of a paragraph combined with the writer’s attitude or opinion about the topic, using engaging vocabulary.
    • Topic sentence placement depends on the interaction between the purpose of the paragraph, the content, and the audience. In most academic essays, the topic sentence is placed at the beginning of a body paragraph.
    • Transitional words and phrases help organize ideas in a paragraph and show how these ideas relate to one another.
    • Always be aware of your purpose for writing and the needs of your audience. Cater to those needs in every sensible way.
    • Remember to include all the key structural parts of an essay: a thesis statement that is part of your introductory paragraph, three or more body paragraphs as described in your outline, and a concluding paragraph. Then add an engaging title to draw in readers.
    • Use your topic outline or your sentence outline to guide the development of your paragraphs and the elaboration of your ideas.
    • Generally speaking, write your introduction and conclusion last, after you have fleshed out the body paragraphs.
    • A strong opening captures your readers’ interest and introduces them to your topic before you present your thesis statement.
    • The funnel technique for writing the introduction begins with generalities and gradually narrows your focus until you present your thesis.
    • The conclusion should remain true to your thesis statement. It is best to avoid changing your tone or your main idea and avoid introducing any new material.
    • Closing with a final emphatic statement provides closure for your readers and makes your essay more memorable.

    This page titled 5.5: Key Takeaways is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Athena Kashyap & Erika Dyquisto (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .