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- Research: Pick a topic and research it. Use the Internet and the library.
- Analysis: After analyzing your research, clearly define the claims and write out the reasons and evidence. Look for gaps, weaknesses, and strengths in the topic.
- Brainstorming: Your assignment will require insights of your own. Ask yourself questions and answer them. Always try to answer the "why"? Why is this important?
- Thesis: Your thesis statement is your main point, summed up in a cohesive sentence that tells the reader where you're going and why.
- Outline: Sketch out your essay before writing it. Make sure each argument/paragraph somehow ties to your thesis statement (this keeps the essay unified).
- Introduction: The introduction hooks your reader in. Make sure you state an issue in the topic, and lead into your thesis that answers that issue.
- Paragraphs: Each paragraph should be a single idea that supports your thesis statement. Begin the paragraphs with topic sentences and support your idea with evidence. End your paragraph with a sentence that relates back to your thesis statement.
- Conclusion: At the end of your essay, you need to write a conclusion that summarizes your main argument (each can be a sentence long). End your conclusion with a memorable quotation, sentence, call of action, or an interesting twist in logic.
- Citing and Referencing: Make sure all borrowed ideas and quotations are correctly cited within the essay and on the Bibliography page.
- Editing: Make sure you proofread your work a few times. Get someone to read it and make suggestions. Fix any grammar, spelling, or citation mistakes. Make sure your essay flows well.
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