NATS 1775 Lecture Notes - Thesis Statement

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
York University
Natural Science
NATS 1775
thesis statement (what you are trying to prove)
mapping statement or statements (what and how you will argue)
topic sentences (sentences that introduce your topics)
2. The Structure of an Essay
2.1 Title
Your title should reflect the THESIS or central argument of your essay. Avoid
repeating the TOPIC as assigned (or selected).
2.2 Opening Paragraph
Begin with a statement about the general TOPIC and proceed to your particular
THESIS and approach to it. This structure will orient your reader. Avoid giving
a summary of what is to follow. Summaries are best left to conclusions. Avoid
writing about your essay; write only about your subject. (In other words, avoid
such statements as: "In this section I shall discuss x." Simply discuss x.)
2.3 Body
The middle section of the essay should be divided into carefully connected
paragraphs, each consisting of four to eight sentences. Avoid overly long or
short paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one major point, and must be
related logically and grammatically to the preceding and following ones. Use
connecting words (such as: however, therefore, in addition, nevertheless, and so
on) to ensure smooth and clear transitions between points and paragraphs.
Make sure that the argument progresses in a manner that is both coherent and
convincing. Never apologize. Avoid too such statements as "in my opinion,"
since the entire essay is assumed to be your opinion -- that is, an opinion based
upon and supported by material from the texts.
2.4 Conclusion
Since the argument has built up to your strongest point, your conclusion should
begin with what your argument proved -- your THESIS. A brief and reworded
summary of your main points could follow for emphasis, but a plodding
repetition should be avoided. End with an "opening outwards" to the general
implications of your findings, remembering that the reader should be left with a
feeling of your conviction, not your doubt or hesitation.
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