Tutor profile: Rachel W.
What should an introduction paragraph look like?
An effective introduction paragraph has four main elements: an opener that grabs the reader’s attention with a fact, questions, quote, or anecdote/narrative that is relevant to the topic; background information that provides the reader with context about the subject; a narrowed focus that introduces the complexity or controversy around the subject/issue; brings in some of the topics that will be discussed in the body paragraphs; and finally, concludes with a thesis, which outlines the focus of the paper.
What is close reading, and how do I close read a work of literature?
Close reading means focusing on significant details and patterns in a text so that we can come to a deeper understanding of that text's potential meanings. Begin by reading for comprehension: what is happening (plot), who is involved (characters), and what patterns do you see (mood, word choice, setting, etc.)? Then, read with a pen in hand: underline quotes, write brief comments, take note of important themes, and circle words you don’t know to look up later. Finally, using the observations and evidence you've collected while reading carefully, make a claim about something the text is doing for and/or saying to its readers.
What are the different parts of a thesis statement, and how do I write one?
A thesis statement is, at its core, a roadmap for your reader. You want to tell any potential readers exactly where your paper is beginning, where it will go, and where it will end up. A strong thesis consists of three parts: an observation, a claim about that observation, and support for the claim. First, start by choosing a narrow, not broad, topic. Then, decide what observation (or opinion) you have made on the topic that you want to write about. Next, make an assertion/claim about the observation you have made. Finally, tell your readers what evidence you will present to support your claim.
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