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Ch 5: Constructing an Essay

About This Chapter

The lessons in this chapter can help you better understand various methods and practices for creating an effective essay. This study resource can help you gain course credit, make up for missed class time or prepare for an exam.

Constructing an Essay - Chapter Summary

From brainstorming to writing a thesis statement, this chapter covers everything you need to know about writing an essay. You'll study how to organize and outline your material, create a compelling argument and craft a strong essay body. In addition, the chapter can help you develop a sense of the best words to choose to set a certain tone. These video lessons take about eight minutes to review on average, and you can jump to specific topics within the lesson using the Timeline. The self-assessment quizzes can be used to measure what you have learned and mark your progress through the chapter. After you complete these lessons, you should be able to:

  • Define brainstorming and use effective brainstorming techniques
  • Outline and organize your essay
  • Understand what a thesis statement is and how to write one
  • Develop an essay introduction that captures your reader's attention
  • Write a strong argument and essay body
  • Choose the right words and establish the tone of your essay
  • Use transition sentences effectively

12 Lessons in Chapter 5: Constructing an Essay
What Is Brainstorming?

1. What Is Brainstorming?

You may have been told that it's important to brainstorm before writing an essay. This video explains why it's well worth your time to make brainstorming part of your writing routine.

Techniques for Brainstorming Great Ideas

2. Techniques for Brainstorming Great Ideas

Great essays are made up of great ideas. Finding those great ideas is the first critical step on the road to writing a terrific essay. Learn some popular and effective brainstorming techniques that will work whether you have an hour or two weeks to write your paper.

Essay Organization and Outline Building

3. Essay Organization and Outline Building

Creating an outline before writing an academic essay doesn't take that long to do and can greatly improve the quality of your essay. This lesson covers the basics of how to put together an effective outline that will cover all of the right points.

How to Write an Outline

4. How to Write an Outline

Whether it's a doctoral thesis or high school essay, outlining is crucial to writing success. This lesson emphasizes the importance of outlines and specifically addresses the three most common outlines for writers to utilize.

What is a Thesis Statement?

5. What is a Thesis Statement?

Before we can talk about how to write a great thesis statement, you need to be able to identify a great thesis when you see one. Contrary to what you may have been taught, a thesis is so much more than just the last sentence of the opening paragraph of an essay.

Thesis Development: Steps and Instructions

6. Thesis Development: Steps and Instructions

One of the most important components of a successful academic essay is a strong thesis statement. Learn how to construct an effective thesis statement for a persuasive essay by watching this lesson.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

7. How to Write a Thesis Statement

Find yourself confounded by thesis statements? Writing an excellent thesis statement doesn't require magic or luck, but it does require a few key elements we'll lay out for you in the lesson that follows.

Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

8. Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

We'll look at the importance of the introductory paragraph and engaging your audience through the use of attention getters, a bridge, and an arguable thesis. Three of the most common attention getters are specifically defined, and examples are provided in this lesson.

How to Write a Great Argument

9. How to Write a Great Argument

Many times our writing must not just be informative but it must also be persuasive. One of the best ways to be very persuasive is to use a great argument. Learn six steps you can follow to write a great argument.

How to Write a Strong Essay Body

10. How to Write a Strong Essay Body

This video will show you how to achieve unified, coherent body paragraphs in your essays. By creating well-developed body paragraphs, your essays will be cleaner, sharper and earn you a better grade!

How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

11. How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

In this video, we will discuss how word choice sets the tone for your essay. This includes letting the reader know if you are angry, happy or even attempting to refrain from bias. These tools bring your 'voice' into your writing.

How to Write and Use Transition Sentences

12. How to Write and Use Transition Sentences

Like a road map, transitions guide readers through your essay. This lesson examines the way writers transition between sentences, within paragraphs and between paragraphs to make for a smooth reading experience.

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