Here are important strategies for organizing an essay. To organize an essay, start by writing a thesis statement that makes a unique observation about your topic. Then, write down each of the points you want to make that support your thesis statement. Once you have all of your main points, expand them into paragraphs using the information you found during your research. In general, essays have the same basic components: On the other hand, a creative nonfiction essay might wait to present the thesis till the very end of the essay and build up to it.
A compare-and-contrast essay can be organized so that you compare two things in a single paragraph and then have a contrasting paragraph, or you can organize it so that you compare and contrast a single thing in the same paragraph. Persuasive essays can have several different organizational structures: It presents the various sides and usually concludes with your thesis.
Read your assignment carefully. Determine your writing task. How you organize your essay will also depend on what your writing task is.
This is usually in the assignment or prompt. Think about your audience. Your fellow students are probably your audience in this case. The last thing you want to do is wait to start organizing your essay until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time for the multiple stages of essay planning. Write a thesis statement. Make this a unique observation, a powerful argument, an interpretation of a particular work or event, or another relevant statement that is not simply stating the obvious or summarizing a larger work.
It tells your audience what to expect from the rest of your essay. A good thesis statement is usually disputable, meaning someone might challenge or oppose your idea. Include the most salient points within your thesis statement. For example, your thesis may be about the similarity between two literary works.
Describe the similarities in general terms within your thesis statement. A good thesis will explain why your idea or argument is important. Revise your thesis statement. If in the course of writing your essay you discover important points that were not touched upon in your thesis, edit your thesis. Do research, if necessary. If your argument or analysis requires outside research, make sure you do it before you start organizing.
Librarians are trained in helping you identify credible sources for research and can get you started in the right direction. Trying a few brainstorming techniques can generate enough material for you to work with.
You just write say, for 15 minutes at a time about anything that comes into your head about your topic. Try a mind map. Start by writing down your central topic or idea, and then draw a box around it. Write down other ideas and connect them to see how they relate. With cubing, you consider your chosen topic from 6 different perspectives: Go back and change your thesis accordingly.
If your original thesis was very broad, you can also use this chance to narrow it down. Focus on more specific terms, which will help you when you start you organize your outline. Create an outline of the points to include in your essay. Use your thesis statement to determine the trajectory of your outline. For example, if you will compare and contrast two different topics, outline the similarities and the differences.
Determine the order in which you will discuss the points. Or you might choose to build the intensity of your essay by starting with the smallest problem first. Avoid letting your sources drive your organization. For example, a very common mistake in beginning essays written about literature is to reiterate the plot point-by-point, building your argument along with it. Instead, focus on the most important idea of each paragraph.
Even if you have to present your evidence in a different order than it appears in your source, your paragraph will have a better flow. Write topic sentences for each paragraph. A clear topic sentence will assist with essay organization. Devote each paragraph to discussing only the point of its topic sentence. Discussing tangential information will create a disorganized essay. Avoid statements that may be on the general topic, but not directly relevant to your thesis.
For example, compare these two first sentences: The second sentence contextualizes the fact and lets the reader know what the rest of the paragraph will discuss.
Use transitional words and sentences. Create coherence for your essay by using transitional words that connect each paragraph to the one before it. Beginning paragraphs with words such as "likewise" and "in contrast" will allow your reader to follow your train of thought.
Transitions can also be used inside paragraphs. They can help connect the ideas within a paragraph smoothly so your reader can follow them. Try the revision strategies elsewhere in this article to determine whether your paragraphs are in the best order.
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Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this: State your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why it's important to make that claim. Get Serious about Your Final Score: Order Custom Essay Essay writing is a common assignment a student can possibly get. Hardly anybody can withstand an intense pressure of tasks, let alone keeping up with short deadlines.