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Organize and Connect ENG 101
Methods of Organization • Emphatic Order • Chronological Order • Spatial Order
Transitions: Transitional Words • A good essay must use transitions within paragraphs and especially between paragraphs to preserve the logical flow of the essay. An essay without good transitions is like a series of isolated islands; the reader will struggle to get from one point to the next. Use transitions as bridges between your ideas • Go to page 83 in your text
Other transitional devices • Repeated words • Pronouns • Synonyms
Introductions • Attract the reader’s attention • Provide background information/establish context • Present a thesis statement • (Indicate a plan of development—preview main points in order you will discuss them)
Common Methods of Introduction • Begin with a broad, general statement of your topic and narrow it down to your thesis statement. • Start with an idea or a situation that is the opposite of the one you will develop. • Explain the importance of your topic to the reader
Common Methods of Introduction • Use an incident or brief story • Ask one or more questions • Use a quotation
Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph: • Apologize. Never suggest that you don't know what you're talking about or that you're not enough of an expert in this matter that your opinion would matter. Your reader will quickly turn to something else. Avoid phrases like the following: • In my [humble] opinion . . .I'm not sure about this, but . . . • Announce your intentions. Do not flatly announce what you are about to do in an essay. • In this paper I will . . . The purpose of this essay is to . . . • Get into the topic and let your reader perceive your purpose in the topic sentence of your beginning paragraph. • Use a dictionary or encyclopedia definition. • Dilly-dally. Get to it. Move confidently into your essay. Many writers find it useful to write a warm-up paragraph (or two, even) to get them into the essay, to sharpen their own idea of what they're up to, and then they go back and delete the running start.
Some other considerations about introductions: • Try writing your introduction last. • Don't be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. • Pay special attention to your first sentence. • Be straightforward and confident.
Conclusions • Include a restatement of thesis • (Summarize main points in reverse order) • Draw conclusions
Common Methods of Conclusion • End with a summary and final thought • Include a thought-provoking question or series of questions • End with a prediction or recommendation.