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This is why the stereotypical “Five Paragraph Essay” with the introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion is such a popular way of teaching students to write – it makes sure you establish your point from the outset, state three pieces of evidence in support of it, and then bring it to a (hopefully) strong conclusion.Don’t be a slave to this formula, but feel free to use it if you’re not sure where to begin.
To begin with the end in mind, you need to follow three simple steps: Take a few moments to review the assignment and rubric with a pen and highlighter, making notes and underlining key elements the prof wants to see.
Once you know what the prof wants, you can write a one sentence reference that you can refer to whenever you feel like you’re going off course.
I can safely say that Ransom’s got his sh*t together.
On his blog, Ransom’s been writing about grammar usage and other English tips – things that are definitely useful to students.
Avoid phrases such as “I believe,” “I think,” or “you know.” Not only are these phrases inappropriately informal, but they also make your writing seem weak and wishy-washy.
If you really think or believe something, show it with “Why do teachers often counsel against using the first person in an academic paper?Compare the following two sentences and tell me which is more descriptive: Hopefully you would agree the second example is more descriptive and interesting than the first. Instead of vaguely stating that the corgi “liked” her new ball, the second example demonstrates that by describing a concrete action the corgi took.Apply this principle to your papers, and you will be lightyears ahead of most students. Prendergast, puts it, Just remember: Show the reader, don’t tell them.that the prof hands you the assignment, and it will only take 30 minutes. Let’s deal with the first one right now: Looking at what the prof wants you to do.The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for.Remember, the rubric for the course on the assignment sheet you’ve been given, you will find a general rubric in the class syllabus, or the professor will include a rubric with an assignment sheet.If the professor does not provide these things to you, don’t be afraid to ask for them.Knowing how to write about yourself is essential when applying to graduate school or filling out job applications, especially on those pesky cover letters.Talking about yourself can be uncomfortable and difficult, but it’s a skill you neglect at your peril.This isn’t always easy, particularly if the paper is long, but it’s essential that you keep your point (or “thesis” in academic terms) at the forefront of your paper at all times.Every word you write should, to some degree, further this point.