The elements of an essay
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The Elements of an Essay. The Introduction. Interest catcher/Hook Avoid: Questions (avoid these throughout your essay) Quotations Definitions (your ideas are key) “Imagine,” “Think” Important introductory information Thesis statement. Important introductory information.

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The Elements of an Essay

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The elements of an essay

The Elements of an Essay

The introduction

The Introduction

  • Interest catcher/Hook

    • Avoid:

      • Questions (avoid these throughout your essay)

      • Quotations

      • Definitions (your ideas are key)

      • “Imagine,” “Think”

  • Important introductory information

  • Thesis statement

Important introductory information

Important introductory information

  • The titles, authors, and genres

    • Underline or italicize the titles of longer works; shorter works go in quotation marks

    • Do not call anything a book or a story!

      • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (a science fiction novel)

      • The First Part Last by Angela Johnson (a novel)

      • “MTV’s ‘Teen Mom’ Makes for Teaching Moments” by Karen Grigsby Bates (an article)

  • Any other important background information your reader will need to know in order to understand your point

    • Pretend your reader is not 100% familiar with your topic

The thesis statement

The thesis statement

What does it do?

Where does it go?

  • The thesis statement is one sentencethat states what you are going to prove in your essay.

  • It sums up your entire argument – before you begin to argue.

  • The thesis statement is the last sentence in your introduction – your first paragraph.

The three point thesis

The three-point thesis

  • A three-point thesis makes three points: You will discuss each point in its own paragraph.

  • Since you are making a statement about the relationship between media and society in your thesis, your three points can be your three examples.

Body paragraphs

Body Paragraphs

Topic sentence: States what you are going to prove in that paragraph and refers to a thesis point

Elaborate: How does your topic sentence support your overall position?

Specific evidence: Give a quotation that supports your point.

Interpret: What does this quotation mean? How does it support your point?

Conclude: Sum it all up and reference your thesis point.

Working with quotations

Working with quotations

  • Lead ins

    • When you use a quotation, you must start off the sentence with your words and lead into your quotation – don’t just drop in your quotation after a sentence

      • Oedipus is clearly oblivious to the truth because he says, “Loxias said I was foredoomed / To make my mother my wife, and kill my father, / With my own hands shedding his blood. This the reason / Of my long estrangement from Corinth” (Sophocles 1024-1027).

      • Odysseus shows his leadership when he “drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, / tied them down under their rowing benches” (Homer 101-102).

More punctuation

More Punctuation

  • If the text you quote ends in a period, place that period after your citation. Do not put it inside your quotation marks.

  • Only include ending punctuation in your quotation if it is a question mark (?) or an exclamation point (!)

    • “You are all grammar gurus” (Krug 3).

    • “This class is great!” (Vilardi 4).

    • “OMG, why am I stuck with Ms. Krug again?” (Valente 5).



  • Citations come after your quotation at the end of the sentence

  • Citations are necessary because they give the author credit for the words you quote

  • When you quote a work of prose, use the author’s last name and page number inside the citation.

    • (Bradbury46).  Period goes after citation

The conclusion

The conclusion

  • Restate thesis

  • Sum up each body paragraph in a sentence or two

  • Leave your reader with something to ponder

What else

What Else?


  • Write using third person only

  • Write using present tense verbs

  • Proofread for misused words such as: two, to, too; a lot; their, there

  • Avoid using contractions

  • Double check for typos and spelling errors

  • Heading:

    • Upper left hand corner/double spaced

    • Your first and last name

    • Instructor’s name (Ms. Krug, obvi)

    • Class information: English 2 CP 1A

    • Date

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