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Strategies for Essay Writing - Harvard Writing Center
The links below provide concise advice on some fundamental elements of academic writing.

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Continue until youve mapped out your essay. Often, however, you will want to summarize your source more fully so that readers can follow your analysis of it. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make.

That is, you are framing an approach to your topic that necessarily eliminates other approaches. What makes a good opening? You can start with specific facts and information, a keynote quotation, a question, an anecdote, or an image. Begin your next sentence like this to be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is.

It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. But whatever sort of opening you choose, it should be directly related to your focus. Structuring your essay according to a readers 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.

Then say why thats the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. And whether you focus your essay by posing a question, stating a thesis, or combining these approaches, by the end of your beginning, readers should know what youre writing about, and orienting readers, locating them in your discussion, means providing information and explanations wherever necessary for your readers understanding. Readers who dont have the information they need to follow your discussion will get lost and quit reading.

In order to engage readers and establish your authority, the beginning of your essay has to accomplish certain business. The funnel opening (a variation on the same theme), which starts with something broad and general and funnels its way down to a specific topic. Begin each of the following sentences like this the next thing my reader needs to know is.

The length should be proportionate to the length and complexity of the whole essay. The focus of such an essay predicts its structure. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description. Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. Thus your essays structure is necessarily unique to the main claim youre making.


Essay Structure - Harvard Writing Center - Harvard University


Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a ...

Essays help Harvard

Beginning the Academic Essay - Harvard Writing Center
The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process.
Essays help Harvard Heres an example from an essay about memorial hall. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. One typical critic, Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what. Although there are guidelines for constructing certain classic essay types (e. The easiest way to do this is to map the essays ideas via a written narrative. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a . What are we talking about here, political revolution or a new brand of soft drink? Get to it. The funnel opening (a variation on the same theme), The essays topic does not exist in a vacuum. This what or demonstration section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction, This means you should avoid two types of openings the history-of-the-world (or long-distance) opening, which aims to establish a context for the essay by getting a long running start ever since the dawn of civilized life, societies have struggled to reconcile the need for change with the need for order.
  • Strategies for Essay Writing | Harvard Writing Project


    It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a readers logic. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. This what or demonstration section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Although there are guidelines for constructing certain classic essay types (e.

    Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one. In other words, the order in which you accomplish the business of the beginning is flexible and should be determined by your purpose. Here youre anticipating your answer to the why question that youll eventually flesh out in your conclusion. In answering why, your essay explains its own significance. Be wary of paragraph openers that lead off with time words (first, next, after, then) or listing words (also, another, in addition).

    Because essays are essentially linearthey offer one idea at a timethey must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. ). The fullness of your idea will not emerge until your conclusion, but your beginning must clearly indicate the direction your idea will take, must set your essay on that road. Structuring your essay according to a readers 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. Readers who dont have the information they need to follow your discussion will get lost and quit reading. For instance, if youre writing a five-page essay analyzing a single text, your beginning should be brief, no more than one or two paragraphs. 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. If the text is well known, your summary, for most audiences, wont need to be more than an identifying phrase or two , shakespeares tragedy of star-crossed lovers destroyed by the blood feud between their two families, the minor characters. The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. What are we talking about here, political revolution or a new brand of soft drink? Get to it.

    Strategies for Essay Writing: concise advice on some fundamental elements of academic writing.

    Writing Resources - Harvard Writing Center

    Harvard Writing Resources Strategies for Essay Writing: These concise explanations provide advice on some fundamental elements of academic writing.
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    Clear, direct beginnings rarely present themselves ready-made they must be written, and rewritten, into the sort of sharp-eyed clarity that engages readers and establishes your authority. One typical critic, writing in the  , feared that the novel might fall into the hands of youth, leading them to dwell on things that only matured persons can understand, and promoting unholy imaginations and unclean desires (150). It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. Be as direct and specific as you can be. Try making your map like this state your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why its important to make that claim Buy now Essays help Harvard

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    Here youre anticipating your answer to the why question that youll eventually flesh out in your conclusion. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. There is still the further question of how to start. But be forewarned it shouldnt take up much more than a third (often much less) of your finished essay. Does the business of the beginning have to be addressed in a particular order? No, but the order should be logical.

    Even short essays perform several different operations introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. Begin your next sentence like this to be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is Essays help Harvard Buy now

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    Then say why thats the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. And whether you focus your essay by posing a question, stating a thesis, or combining these approaches, by the end of your beginning, readers should know what youre writing about, and orienting readers, locating them in your discussion, means providing information and explanations wherever necessary for your readers understanding. This what or demonstration section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. The length should be proportionate to the length and complexity of the whole essay. The commemoration of those students and graduates who died for the union during the civil war is one aspect of this alumni message to the future, but it may not be the central idea Buy Essays help Harvard at a discount

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    It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinishedor, worse, as pointless or insular. Then say why thats the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. Supplying the necessary information to orient your readers may be as simple as answering the journalists questions of who, what, where, when, how, and why.

    What makes a good opening? You can start with specific facts and information, a keynote quotation, a question, an anecdote, or an image Buy Online Essays help Harvard

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    Background material (historical context or biographical information, a summary of relevant theory or criticism, the definition of a key term) often appears at the beginning of the essay, between the introduction and the first analytical section, but might also appear near the beginning of the specific section to which its relevant. Be wary of paragraph openers that lead off with time words (first, next, after, then) or listing words (also, another, in addition). Then say why thats the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. Further analysis of memorial hall, and of the archival sources that describe the process of building it, suggests that the past may not be the central subject of the hall but only a medium Buy Essays help Harvard Online at a discount

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    Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts dont. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a readers logic. What makes a good opening? You can start with specific facts and information, a keynote quotation, a question, an anecdote, or an image. If your essay is an argument about state-mandated prayer in public schools, dont start by generalizing about religion start with the specific topic at hand.

    This means you should avoid two types of openings the history-of-the-world (or long-distance) opening, which aims to establish a context for the essay by getting a long running start ever since the dawn of civilized life, societies have struggled to reconcile the need for change with the need for order Essays help Harvard For Sale

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    Although they dont always signal trouble, these paragraph openers often indicate that an essays thesis and structure need work they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text (in the case of time words first this happens, then that, and afterwards another thing. It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description. The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. This will start you off on answering the what question.

    For instance, in an essay about the first amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, the context may be a particular legal theory about the speech right it may be historical information concerning the writing of the amendment it may be a contemporary dispute over flag burning or it may be a question raised by the text itself For Sale Essays help Harvard

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    Essay maps are flexible they evolve with your ideas. Your beginning should introduce the essay, focus it, and orient readers. If the source text is brief, such as the first amendment, you might just quote it. Does the business of the beginning have to be addressed in a particular order? No, but the order should be logical. A snappy quotation that doesnt help establish the context for your essay or that later plays no part in your thinking will only mislead readers and blur your focus.

    The easiest way to do this is to map the essays ideas via a written narrative. Clear, direct beginnings rarely present themselves ready-made they must be written, and rewritten, into the sort of sharp-eyed clarity that engages readers and establishes your authority Sale Essays help Harvard

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