The focus how to write essay such an essay predicts its structure.
It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. Thus your essay’s structure is necessarily unique to the main claim you’re making. A typical essay contains many different kinds of information, often located in specialized parts or sections. Even short essays perform several different operations: introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don’t. It’s helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. If they don’t, your thesis is most likely simply an observation of fact, not an arguable claim.
The first question to anticipate from a reader is «what»: What evidence shows that the phenomenon described by your thesis is true? To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. This «what» or «demonstration» section how to write essay early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. A reader will also want to know whether the claims of the thesis are true in all cases.
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The corresponding question is «how»: How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you’re making? Typically, an essay will include at least one «how» section. Your reader will also want to know what’s at stake in your claim: Why does your interpretation of a phenomenon matter to anyone beside you?
This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering «why», your essay explains its own significance. Structuring your essay according to a reader’s logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay’s ideas via a written narrative.
Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. State your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why it’s important to make that claim.
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