1. The introduction is often considered the most important part of your paper. Its main purpose is to sell your topic to the reader and grab their attention, making them want to read more.
Avoid starting your paper with “I am going to write about…” and “I want you to know about…”
Instead of starting with these sentences, just jump into the topic! The reader should understand what the paper will be addressing without you having to tell them.
2. Your thesis statement should present the argument to be discussed. It should be specific and doesn’t necessarily need to be concise. Examples of thesis statements are below.
Topic: Siberian Tigers
Example 1: In Russia, Siberian Tigers do not have a safe habitat in which to live.
Example 2: Siberian Tigers should be protected because they are being killed at alarming rates.
Example 3: Due to the ever increasing amount of poachers in the eastern region of Russia, Siberian Tigers are facing extinction, and their habitat needs to be protected.
The first example is a weak thesis statement. Although it addresses the topic to be discussed, it doesn’t necessarily present an argument or draw the reader’s attention into the paper. The second example is better, but it is not specific enough. The third example is the strongest because it not only explains the need for protection of the habitat, but it helps the reader understand that poachers are the main cause for putting the tigers at risk of extinction.
3. Remember, not everyone will be interested in your paper. You will have readers that will agree with you and some readers that disagree. Make sure you are consistent with your side of the argument, and don’t sway back and forth in order to please both sides. Jumping from side to side will make your paper seem weak and confusing.
Example 1: Human cloning is helpful to the scientific community because it opens possibilities of creating organs for patients that are in need of these vital tissues. It should not be allowed for research because human lives are affected. However, it could be helpful in the long run.
This example shows that jumping from one side to another can make it difficult for the reader to understand your point of view. It is okay to acknowledge how the other side feels, but you want to keep your own point of view intact.
Example 2: Human cloning is helpful to the scientific community because it opens possibilities of creating organs for patients that are in need of these vital tissues. Although some might argue that it should not be allowed because human lives are affected, human cloning could be very resourceful in the long run.
This example successfully balances how to explain the other side’s viewpoint while still remaining strong in your initial argument. You want to make sure to follow your statements with quotations and evidence of researchers in the field of your topic that can make your argument stronger.
4. Keep terminology consistent throughout your essay. The type of language used depends on the type of essay you are writing. Pay attention to the assignment given. There are general rules for writing essays, but assignments for class often have specific guidelines that need to be followed.
Do not stray away from your side of the argument. Your language should be strong and concise. It is okay to have personal judgment, but also support your argument with evidence from research and/or scholarly resources. Strong argumentative papers will address the opposing side’s views and have claims against them. Avoid using first person pronouns (I, me, we, us, etc.) unless otherwise stated in the assignment instructions.
Example 1: Some Christians feel that abortion is wrong because it is considered murder of a human being.
Incorrect: I am a Christian, and I feel that abortion is wrong because I consider it murder of a human being.
Example 2: Many Americans would argue that the U.S. government should not bail out any more companies in order to boost its economy.
Incorrect: We, as Americans, feel that the government should not bail out any more companies in order to boost our economy.
It isn’t necessary to state how you feel necessarily. You should argue from a point of view, which could include a large group of individuals. By taking yourself out of the argument, and by supporting your argument with evidence and scholarly sources, you will be enabling the reader to have an objective opinion about a certain issue.
The reader should be entertained with your writing. Personal narratives can be both humorous and emotional. You should find a way to establish a connection with the reader so that he or she remains interested. The language should be very personal and first person pronouns are inevitable.
Tenses are crucial in this type of writing. Be consistent in your writing, whether it’s in past, present, or future tense.