Thursday, October 11, 2007

4.0--The Essay

A. Here’s the problem:

You’ve been taught a great deal over the last several years about what makes a strong paper. The challenge is that each year the bar is raised another few inches. Expectations are even higher now that you’ve reached senior year. Our new goal is to make sure you’re doing college level writing, a challenge which means you’ll have to raise your level of thought and effort accordingly.

B. What to do:

Stop thinking of an essay as something that can be put together according to formula, a recipe of one part introduction, three parts body, and one part conclusion. Be more organic in your approach. Think of the essay according to its original meaning, from the French essayer, as an attempt to explain an idea or an interpretation. Identify the point you are attempting to prove, choose the most effective strategy to advance your interpretation, and end with a strong, clear statement that reinforces, rather than repeats, your original point. The exercises in this chapter are designed to help you better achieve that goal.

C. Chapter Outline:

4.1 Concise openings
4.2 Thesis statements I
4.3 Thesis statements II
4.4 Transitions II
4.5 Endings I
4.6 Endings II