Constructing an essay
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Introduction. Constructing An Essay. Thesis. Body . Thesis. Conclusion. Topic. The subject matter of the essay. What are you writing about? For the Purposes of this lesson our topic/question will be: Which pet is better, Dogs or Cats?. What is a Thesis?.

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Constructing An Essay

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Constructing An Essay






  • The subject matter of the essay. What are you writing about?

  • For the Purposes of this lesson our topic/question will be: Which pet is better, Dogs or Cats?

What is a Thesis?

  • The thesis is your argument/opinion.

  • It should be one sentence.

  • It is developed through consideration of your topic/question.

Strong Voice

  • Your thesis statement should be just that; a statement.

  • A thesis is strong when there is conviction behind the writer's voice.

  • There is no doubt behind the statement.

    Which Statement Is Strongest?

    1. Cats are kind of better than dogs.

    2. I think cats are better than dogs.

    3. Cats are better than dogs.

    4. Cats might be better than dogs.

The Introduction Looks like the top ½ of an Hour Glass

Opening Statements




Note: Avoid using first person.


  • The introduction should begin general and end with your

  • thesis statement.

  • For our essay, for example, we may begin by talking about

  • pets in general and end by stating that cats are better than

  • dogs.

The BodyThe Middle of the Hour Glass: The Bulk of the Essay

  • Depending on the length of the essay, the body can have anywhere from 3 paragraphs to 300 paragraphs.

  • This is where the thesis statement is supported with evidence or proof.

  • Each paragraph generally contains a different support for the thesis.

A Paragraph in The Body

Each paragraph has a specific structure:

State: A sentence about why your thesis is true.

Restate: A rewording of the first sentence.

Prove: Your evidence. This is usually a quote

or paraphrase from a text.

Explain: A sentence or two explaining

how your proof supports your thesis


Tie-In: Tie in the proof with your previous

paragraph and the thesis

Preparing the Body

  • Preparing the body involves organizing the evidence for your thesis.

  • First you find x amount of items that support your thesis. (This depends on the length of the paper)

  • Then order them from strongest (1) to weakest support.

  • The most convincing way to structure your body is to begin with your second strongest argument. (Save the best for last)

  • Then arrange the support from weakest to strongest.

Let’s Try!

Cats are independent

Cats are clean

Strongest 1.




Weakest 5.

Cats are smart

Cats are pretty.

Cats are lovable

Is this the order in which you placed the arguments?

Strongest 1.




Weakest 5.

Cats are independent

Cats are clean

Cats are smart

Cats are lovable

Cats are pretty

The ConclusionThe Bottom Of the Hourglass





  • The purpose of the conclusion is to summarize your paper.

  • It begins with a re-wording of the thesis statement.

  • Then restate your support in the order that it appears in the essay: 25431.

  • Ideally the restatement of each support would be one sentence.

  • The last line of the conclusion should be a general thought about the topic (the zinger)

  • Or...possible further considerations.



Now it’s your turn!

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