Writing Papers

Students too often put off a written assignment, considering it a chore too formidable to approach until the last minute. As a result, grades inevitably suffer. Writing is not a talent reserved for a select few, it is a skill that can be learned. Planning and organization are its essentials. With these, plus effort and practice, a student can improve his writing ability. Suggested below is a guide to organized writing. Use this outline in writing class assignments, test essays, and term papers.

1. Introduction - Opening Paragraph

   a. Begin with a general statement.

   b. Narrow it down to the controlling idea (for thesis statement).

2. Body - Three Developing Paragraphs

  In each paragraph:

   a. Use transitions (repetition of key words and ideas) to connect paragraphs together.

   b. Develop the topic sentence with details, definitions, illustrations, comparisons, and
      contrasts.

   c. Conclude the paragraph with a summary of the main idea.

3. Conclusion - Finishing Paragraph

   a. Restate the thesis.

   b. End with a general statement finalizing the discussion.

This information has been copied, with permission and some revisions, from the Virginia Tech server to ours, to allow faster access from our Web site. We encourage you to explore the original site via the links at top and bottom of this page.

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