Essays handbook english fundamentals

But recent research is beginning to unlock some of the mysteries. Sales nearly tripled in and are on track to nearly double this year, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a trade group. Chernova, Mitsubishi is the latest in a long line of automakers to slash prices on an electric car, the unpronounceable, unfortunately named i-MiEV. Tuttle, Will, You can use your thesis statement to state your main claim—the central point of the essay—but you also can use it to forecast the supporting claims that will explain and illustrate the main claim.

Social media are useful tools for social movements. This thesis statement, while it could be the main claim of an essay, does not hint at the path you will follow to explain and illustrate your claim. Here the general claim about social media has been made more specific as you have introduced particular examples of social media and occasions when these media proved to be significant.

You have given your readers a clearer picture of what the essay will be about. While your main claim should guide the entire argument, key ideas included in the thesis statement can be used in topic sentences to guide your paragraphs.


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In the above outline, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are used to divide the body of the essay into three main sections, and then those sections are subdivided into Egypt and the United States. Alternately, you could divide the body of the essay into two main sections—one for Egypt and the other for the United States—and then subdivide by Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The resulting outline would look like this:. Either of these outlines would be a clear progression from the thesis statement and would help the reader to see how each key idea furthers the main claim.

A thesis statement that includes key ideas is a useful way to guide organization in both written and oral communication. They are well prepared for what will be covered in your speech and will be more likely to follow your argument. Conversely, if you promise these details and skip something, you are likely to confuse or disappoint your audience.

As with a personal essay, a body paragraph in an argument should be organized around a single point or supporting claim that furthers the thesis, should be fully developed with evidence such as an illustration or an example , should contain a transition from the paragraph that precedes it, and should prepare the way for the paragraph that will follow it.

Many authors use the PIE format to structure their essays. However, the mere fact that you believe something is not an argument in support of a position. If your goal is to communicate effectively, you must provide valid explanations and sufficient and relevant evidence to convince your audience to accept your position. If you cannot, it may be time to modify that position. Any essay should provide illustrations for each of its points, but it is especially important to provide reliable evidence when preparing an academic argument.

Evidence can also stem from secondary source material or data books, journals, newspapers, magazines, websites or surveys, experiments, statistics, polls, and other data collected by others. Writers and speakers are generally most successful with their audiences when they can skillfully and appropriately balance these, including the appeal to logos, which refers to the evidence and reasoning presented in support of a thesis.


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In appealing to the reasoning ability of the audience, an author or speaker might use a combination of different types of evidence, such as anecdotes, accepted facts, case studies, statistics, and experiments; analogies and logical reasoning; and citation of recognized experts on an issue. How much of such evidence and reasoning is enough?

Higher Education

This question is not always easy to answer. You cannot rely on intuition or on any formula. Rather, you need to become a careful, skilled judge of the quality and quantity of evidence and of the reasoning offered in support of claims. In addition, the answer to how much evidence to present will depend upon what kind of argument you are trying to make. To review ethos, logos, pathos, and kairos, return to the Approaches to Written Argument assignment and read the answers to these questions:. Mapping or diagramming your arguments may help you judge whether you are adequately supporting an appeal that depends upon evidence and reasoning.

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Applying the STAR Criteria— S ufficiency, T ypicality, A ccuracy, and R elevance—is one such technique for assessing whether your argument has sufficient depth and clarity. The evidence you are considering as potential support for your claims may be related in some way to the issue you are discussing, but you must ask yourself whether it actually serves to prove your claims or to disprove the claims of those who disagree with your assertions—in other words, whether it is relevant. College instructors should let students use cell phones in class.

Neither your argument nor your claims focus on the use of those devices. However, in cases where specific information about cell phone use is unavailable, this related material might still provide useful information.

10 Important Essay Writing Skills You Need to Know

You may be able to argue by analogy, suggesting that student use of laptops or tablets may parallel student use of cellphones. Republican; right vs. Such divisions do make information easy to digest and categorize. In academia and in the professional world, however, people strive to unearth the complexities in every argument.

Writing Your Essay

Every issue you will encounter in these settings is multifaceted—many-sided—and will prompt more questions than answers. A primary way in which academics and professionals make sense of this complexity is through writing.

As John C. Bean has argued, writing helps us to develop our critical thinking skills and communicate our ideas effectively p. These two skills are essential in every discipline and profession, so it is important that you begin to develop them early on in your college career.

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The following sections will provide you with some principles for engaging complex subjects in writing by answering the following questions:. Strong critical thinking skills help you to make better decisions personally and professionally. Your critical thinking skills will be put to the test every day of your life, whether you are preparing a proposal at work, deciding which candidate to vote for, or choosing which type of car to buy.

It is in your best interest, then, to develop your critical thinking skills as much as possible. In addition to the personal and professional benefits, thinking critically also has social benefits. Frequently, you will find yourself in positions where you may wish to convince people that your ideas are worth considering.

How to write a good essay

You may speak or write to encourage a transformation in your community or to help others better understand an issue you find significant. Regardless of whether you want to find alternative sources of energy, explain the role of gender in popular culture, or improve parking on campus, you will need to communicate effectively, showing that you understand the topic at hand and illustrating how your ideas contribute to the conversation.

In order to understand an issue thoroughly, you will need to analyze the different facets of the issue: namely, the facts of the issue and what is at stake and the people involved in the conversation,. You will need to identify their various opinions, the reasons given for those opinions, and the attitudes and beliefs that underlie those opinions.

Usually, any complex topic features multiple stakeholders : people who have an interest in or are affected by the outcome of decisions revolving around the issue. One of your goals as a student or a professional will be to identify the main parties involved. As you read a text, ask yourself:. When trying to identify the different people involved in an issue, it can be very helpful to take notes on the people or groups cited by the author.

Write down what each person or group says about the topic and compare their positions. Since news first broke about the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, people began wondering how something so horrible could happen. Falco, It is relatively easy to determine the stakeholders in the above quotation. The rest of the article lists the opinions of experts, who argue against a link between those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and violence.

Often a writer or speaker expects her audience to share a particular belief or attitude.

In fact, assumptions frequently are implied instead of being directly stated. What is the author assuming here? Who might they be? When identifying the facts of an issue, a good place to start is with recently-published sources that strive to be as objective as possible. For more on evaluating sources for their accuracy and relevance, see the sections of this Handbook that answer these questions: How can you use STAR to assess appeals to logos? After you find several sources that meet proper standards for reliability and accuracy, look for aspects of the issue on which all or most of your sources agree, or try to find those aspects that nobody contests.

Writing in Different Genres

The information that you gather as a result of this process will help you construct a baseline that you can use as you examine and evaluate the arguments of people with various positions on the issue. Sometimes, writers can be very straightforward, leaving little room for mistaking or overlooking what is at stake. Writing about how a scandal involving the British banking system can affect her audience, Denver Business Journal writer Heather Draper declares,. Draper, While Draper clearly states that a problem in one part of the world can affect a community thousands of miles away, other writers are less explicit.

During that time, he served as the English department chair and worked on several district-wide projects, including a writing-across-the-curriculum program and a K writing sequence. He has studied the works of James Moffett, Ken Macrorie, Linda Reif, Nancie Atwell, and many other contemporary educators dealing with writing and learning.

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