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The Essay Roadmap. Karen Y. Silvestri Fayetteville Technical Community College www.karenzo.wordpress.com 2010. Get a plan!. Before writing an essay, you need to plan it out. This is called PREWRITING!. What is the topic?. Let’s choose a topic to write about.

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the essay roadmap

The Essay Roadmap

Karen Y. Silvestri

Fayetteville Technical Community College

www.karenzo.wordpress.com

2010

get a plan
Get a plan!

Before writing an essay, you need to plan it out. This is called PREWRITING!

what is the topic
What is the topic?
  • Let’s choose a topic to write about.

The benefits of getting a college degree.

the thesis statement
The Thesis Statement
  • After some brainstorming about the benefits of getting a college degree, I narrow my topic down to:

Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children.

Remember that the Thesis Statement needs to be a complete sentence!

the triple point thesis statement
The Triple Point Thesis Statement
  • In order to turn my Thesis Statement into a Triple Point Thesis Statement, I must first come up with the 3 points that I will be discussing in my essay.
  • Could get a better job
  • Be a better parent
  • Feel better about myself

I have to now add these points to my thesis statement.

my triple point thesis statement
My Triple Point Thesis Statement

Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my childrenbecause I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

so far my roadmap looks like this
So far my Roadmap looks like this:

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

what s next
What’s next?
  • Now that I have my Thesis Statement and my 3 Support Points for Paragraph 1, I am ready to plan my body paragraphs.
  • First I need to form a TOPIC SENTENCE for each of the 3 body paragraphs.
  • Remember, a paragraph starts out with a COMPLETE SENTENCE that expresses the main idea of the paragraph – this is your TOPIC SENTENCE.

Let’s look at Support #1….

support 1 paragraph 2
Support #1 = Paragraph 2
  • Support 1: Could get a better job

With a college degree, I can find a better job.

  • Notice that I took the support point “Could get a better job” and turned it into a COMPLETE SENTENCE.
  • This sentence now tells the reader the MAIN IDEA of Paragraph #2.
now my roadmap looks like this
Now my Roadmap looks like this:

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

support 2 paragraph 3
Support #2 = Paragraph 3
  • Support: Be a better parent

If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

Notice that the support point “Be a better parent” is now a COMPLETE SENTENCE!

This TOPIC SENTENCE tells the reader the MAIN IDEA of Paragraph 3.

my roadmap looks like this now
My Roadmap looks like this now:

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

Paragraph 3:

Support 2 Topic Sentence: If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

support 3 paragraph 4
Support #3 = Paragraph 4
  • Support 3: Feel better about myself

Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.

  • Again – COMPLETE SENTENCE tells the MAIN IDEA of Paragraph 3.
updated roadmap
Updated Roadmap!

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

Paragraph 3:

Support 2 Topic Sentence: If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

Paragraph 4:

Support 3 Topic Sentence: Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.

what comes next
What comes next?
  • Now that you have your Triple Point Thesis Statement and your Topic Sentences, you need to provide some support points for each of your topic sentences.

Why?

  • Because recall that PARAGRAPHS need to have a TOPIC SENTENCE and at least 3 support points!
topic sentence 1 paragraph 2
Topic Sentence 1 (Paragraph 2)
  • With a college degree, I can find a better job.

Add some details and examples to form your support points (which you will later turn into complete sentences!)

What 3 things could I say to support this sentence?

support points for paragraph 2
Support Points for Paragraph 2
    • Get a less boring job
    • Have more options for jobs
    • Make more money and work one job, not two
  • Let’s add these points to the Roadmap!
slide18

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

  • Get a less boring job
  • Have more options for jobs
  • Make more money and work one job, not two

Paragraph 3:

Support 2 Topic Sentence: If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

Paragraph 4:

Support 3 Topic Sentence: Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.

topic sentence 2 paragraph 3
Topic Sentence 2 (Paragraph 3)
  • If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.
  • What 3 points will support this topic sentence?
    • Spend more time with them because I don’t have to work two jobs.
    • Get them some things they want
    • Live in a better place
    • Be a good role model for them

Remember, these points will be turned into COMPLETE SENTENCES later on in the writing process.

my roadmap now
My Roadmap Now!

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

  • Get a less boring job
  • Have more options for jobs
  • Make more money and work one job, not two

Paragraph 3:

Support 2 Topic Sentence: If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

  • Spend more time with them because I don’t have to work two jobs.
  • Get them some things they want
  • Live in a better place
  • Be a good role model for them

Paragraph 4:

Support 3 Topic Sentence: Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.

what did you notice about the last slide
What did you notice about the last slide?

There were FOUR support points instead of only THREE!

  • You may have four, five, or even ten support points when you are prewriting.
  • When you go into your REVISION stage, you will choose only the most important points for your paragraph.
  • I recommend you choose 3-5 points at the most or your paragraph may become too cumbersome for your reader.
topic sentence 3 paragraph 4
Topic Sentence 3 (Paragraph 4)
  • Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.
  • What are at least 3 points that we can make to support this topic sentence?
    • Get respect from others
    • Respect myself because I achieved an important goal
    • Go on to achieve other goals
slide23

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

  • Get a less boring job
  • Have more options for jobs
  • Make more money and work one job, not two

Paragraph 3:

Support 2 Topic Sentence: If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

  • Spend more time with them because I don’t have to work two jobs.
  • Get them some things they want
  • Live in a better place
  • Be a good role model for them

Paragraph 4:

  • Support 3 Topic Sentence: Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.
  • Get respect from others
  • Respect myself because I achieved an important goal
  • Go on to achieve other goals
let s finish up the roadmap
Let’s finish up the Roadmap

What is the final thing we need to add to our roadmap?

a conclusion
A CONCLUSION!

What are some good ways to conclude your essay?

  • Use a transition like: surely, as you can see, without a doubt, it is clear, certainly, clearly, obviously, indeed, most would agree that…
  • Summarize your essay and restate the thesis.
  • Challenge your reader to take your information and do something with it.

POSSIBLE POINT FOR CONCLUSION (paragraph 5): It won’t be easy, but worth the time and effort involved.

we did it
We did it!

The finished Essay Roadmap…..

Drum Roll

please!

slide27

Paragraph 1:

Thesis Statement: Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

Paragraph 2:

Support 1 Topic Sentence: With a college degree, I can find a better job.

  • Get a less boring job
  • Have more options for jobs
  • Make more money and work one job, not two

Paragraph 3:

Support 2 Topic Sentence: If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent.

  • Spend more time with them because I don’t have to work two jobs.
  • Get them some things they want
  • Live in a better place
  • Be a good role model for them

Paragraph 4:

Support 3 Topic Sentence: Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself.

  • Get respect from others
  • Respect myself because I achieved an important goal
  • Go on to achieve other goals

Paragraph 5:

Most would agree that finishing my college degree will not be easy, but as you can see, it will be worth it.

slide28

Now that you have a roadmap to guide you, writing the essay is a

SNAP!!

Just turn all your points into complete sentences, add some good specific details, sprinkle in a few examples, and you have an

ESSAY!

slide29

Getting a college degree will help me build a better life for me and my children because I could get a better job, be a better parent, and feel better about myself.

With a college degree, I can find a better job. A degree will help me find a less boring job. In addition, I will have more options when seeking employment. I will be able to work just one job instead of two or three, and I will make more money.

If I had a college degree, I could be a better parent. I would be able to spend more time with my children because I do not have to work two jobs. I could also get them some things they want because I would have more money. Once I have a good job, we can live in a better place. Finally, my having a college degree makes me a a good role model for them.

Having a college degree helps me to feel better about myself. When you get respect from others, it makes you feel good inside. Also, I will respect myself because I achieved an important goal, and it will encourage me to go on to achieve other goals.

Most would agree that finishing my college degree will not be easy, but as you can see, it will be worth it. My children will be happier because I can provide for them and be a good role model for them. Most importantly, finishing this goal will make me feel good about myself which will reflect on my role as a parent. So, what are you waiting for? Look into getting a college degree today and start building a better future for you and your children!

This is an essay in progress. Notice that it still needs details added to the paragraphs. The final paragraph (#5) and Paragraph #3 are complete!