Introductions thesis statements conclusions topic sentences and quote introductions
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Introductions, Thesis Statements, Conclusions, Topic Sentences, and Quote Introductions. (and other tips for writing your paper). Introduction. Begin with a general statement. Mention titles of works of literature and authors’ names Give a brief (no more than a sentence) overview of the story

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Introductions thesis statements conclusions topic sentences and quote introductions

Introductions, Thesis Statements, Conclusions, Topic Sentences, and Quote Introductions

(and other tips for writing your paper)


Introduction

Introduction

  • Begin with a general statement.

  • Mention titles of works of literature and authors’ names

  • Give a brief (no more than a sentence) overview of the story

  • Provide a thesis statement as the last sentence.


Start with general narrow to thesis

Start with general; narrow to thesis.

  • General, universal statement

  • More specific—titles and authors, brief overviews of stories

  • Most specific—thesisstatement


Sample introduction

Sample Introduction

Flood stories are a common archetype in many cultures. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian myth, and Genesis, a Hebrew story, both include an account of a great flood brought to the earth in order to destroy all of humankind. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, a character named Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh about a story of a great flood which he survived by building a boat. From the book of Genesis, “Noah and the Flood” features a righteous man selected by God to build an ark in order to survive the great flood. These two stories have many similarities and differences as displayed in the ark-builders, the gods, and the interactions between the two.


Topic sentences

Topic Sentences

  • The first sentence of each body paragraph should state the main idea of the paragraph. This sentence is the topic sentence.

  • The topic sentence should correspond with the blueprint of your thesis statement.

  • After stating the main idea, give quotes from the text that support your main idea.


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Begin by restating the thesis statement in a new way.

  • Restate the main points that supported your thesis statement. This could be a quick list of the blueprint or evidences you included in the body paragraphs.

  • End with an insightful conclusion or another universal statement.


Recap thesis arguments evidence then add new conclusion or insight

Recap thesis, arguments, evidence; then add new conclusion or insight.

  • Restate thesis statement in a new way.

  • Restate arguments and evidences.

  • End with conclusion or insight

  • NOTE: Never include new evidence in conclusion.


Introducing quotations

Introducing Quotations

  • Never let a quote stand alone in your paper as a complete sentence (or as an incomplete sentence).

  • If your quote is not introduced, it will seem disconnected from your own writing, and it will break up the flow of your sentences.

  • There are three main ways to introduce quotations.


A introduce a quote with an explanatory phrase followed by a comma

A. Introduce a quote with an explanatory phrase followed by a comma.

  • You must use this method when there are first person pronouns in the quote. You will also use some verb such as “says,” “believes,” “recalls,” etc.

  • You should also use this method if the quote has character as a speaker. Use the explanatory phrase to tell who is speaking, to whom, and in what context.


Introduce a quote with an explanatory phrase followed by a comma

Introduce a quote with an explanatory phrase followed by a comma.

  • Examples

    After the flood, God says to Noah, “Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood” (174).

    While trying to convince Gilgamesh to have no mercy, Enkidu says, “The strongest of men will fall to fate if he has no judgment” (21).


B introduce a quote with a complete sentence and a colon

B. Introduce a quote with a complete sentence and a colon.

  • Appropriate when there are no first person pronouns in the quotation or when you are quoting the narrator.

  • Example

    Enkidu’s dream reveals the pessimistic afterworld of the Sumerians: “There is the house whose people sit in darkness; dust is their food and clay their meat” (23).


Introductions thesis statements conclusions topic sentences and quote introductions

C. Introduce a quotation by making the quote part of your own sentence without using extra punctuation (besides quotation marks).

  • After the serpent takes Gilgamesh’s plant, he “sat down and wept” (32).

  • Utnapishtim tells his wife to “bake loaves of bread” to mark the days Gilgamesh sleeps (30).

  • Notice that there is also no comma after “bread” or “wept.”


Introductions thesis statements conclusions topic sentences and quote introductions

C. Introduce a quotation by making the quote part of your own sentence without using extra punctuation (besides quotation marks).

  • Utnapishtim tells his wife that “all men are deceivers” (30).

  • Notice that the word “that” makes it unnecessary to use a comma in the quote introduction.


Other punctuation notes about quotations

Other punctuation notes about quotations

  • Use ellipses to indicate deletions from quotes.

  • Example

    God decides to flood the earth because it is “filled with lawlessness” (45).


Other punctuation notes about quotations1

Other punctuation notes about quotations

  • Use brackets to indicate additions or slight changes regarding nouns (when pronouns have unclear antecedents) or tense (if you want to keep your writing in present tense).

  • Example

    God decides to destroy the earth with a flood because “the earth is filled with lawlessness because of [the men]” (45).


More notes about quotations

More Notes about Quotations

  • Avoid including very long quotations.

  • Use single quotation marks for a quote within a quote.

  • Never begin or end a paragraph with a quote.


Forbidden phrases

Forbidden Phrases

  • It says

  • This paper

  • I, you, we, us, our, your (unless in a direct quotation)

  • Quote

  • Excerpt from the text

  • Genesis says

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh says


Mla format

MLA Format

  • Double-spaced throughout

  • Times New Roman

  • 12 point font

  • 1 inch margins

  • Heading in upper left corner

  • Page numbers and student’s last name in upper right corner

  • Title that is centered but not underlined, in italics, in bold, etc.


Mla format1

MLA Format

  • Heading in upper left corner

    • Student’s first and last name

    • Teacher’s name (Mrs. Garcia)

    • Class name (English II Honors)

    • Due date (9 October 2009)


Mla format2

MLA Format

  • Page numbers in upper right corner

    • Go to View

    • Header and Footer

    • Hit Control R

    • Type your last name and one space

    • Click on the number symbol icon (#). It’s the first icon in the toolbar.

    • Click Close.


A few more tips

A few more tips…

  • Use present tense when writing about literature. Literature never dies!

  • Avoid plot summary. Organize material logically, not chronologically.

  • Use transition words to add to logical flow.

    • In topic sentences

    • Between pieces of evidence

    • In first sentence of conclusion


Transition words to indicate examples

Transition Words to Indicate Examples

  • For example

  • For instance

  • In particular

  • Specifically

  • One example of

  • Notably


Transition words to indicate similarities

Also

Compared to

Like

Similarly

Likewise

As well as

In addition to

By comparison

In the same way

Transition Words to Indicate Similarities


Transition words for conclusions

Transition Words for Conclusions

  • To finish

  • In brief

  • In other words

  • To summarize

  • To close

  • Finally

  • Clearly

  • Thus


Transition words to indicate contrast

Although

Conversely

However

Neither

As opposed to

Despite

But

In spite of

Rather than

By contrast

On the other hand

Nevertheless

Transition Words to Indicate Contrast


Transition words to indicate cause effect

Because of

Therefore

Brings about

Gives rise to

Owing to

As a result

Consequently

Since

Thus

Because

Due to

So

For

Makes possible

Transition Words to Indicate Cause-Effect


Introductions thesis statements conclusions topic sentences and quote introductions

Created by Sarah Garcia on September 23, 2008.


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