Tutor profile: Maggie M.
What is the easiest method of providing a good organizational flow in an essay?
Although your gut instinct may be to organize your paper chronologically or by most to least important ideas, don't feel hung up trying to decide an organizational style. The key to writing a well organized essay is through topic sentences and key words. By beginning each paragraph with one to two sentences that summarizes the argumentative purpose of that paragraph, you tell your reader what you hope to prove and what that paragraph does to strengthen your thesis. Furthermore, look to repeat key words in your topic sentences that you use in your thesis. For example, a paper discussing the theme of love and betrayal in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" should repeat these phrases in topic sentences to keep the reader focused on your major points.
How can you maximize your understanding of a difficult piece of literature without having to reread?
As classic pieces of prose and poetry can be difficult to read, sometimes the ability to reread isn't always an option due to various time pressures. However, you can maximize your ability to understand the work if you first take a genuine interest in the work; look for something about the piece that interests you and will grab your attention. Then focus on transition words as these words will signal to you that the author is either continuing with a past idea or moving their argument in a new direction. Do not be afraid to look up words that you don't know as this will deepen your understanding of the text. Lastly, try to find a key theme or idea that you understood from the work, as this theme can serve as a potential essay topic moving forward. Do not feel that you have to understand the work perfectly! These works have been studied by scholars for years without coming to perfect agreements, so your teachers will be more impressed by insightful comments on a topic that you genuinely took an interest in.
What is the function of a thesis in an argumentative essay?
Consider your thesis as the statement that guides your essay. As the thesis traditionally comes at the end of your introduction, the thesis tells your reader exactly what you will argue, and your thesis will be a touchstone for the rest of your paper. The ability to successfully prove that statement through each body paragraph and convince your reader that your thesis has been effectively argued is the hallmark of a successful paper.
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