Essay Key Terms

In an essay, too, key terms are the scaffolding of the essay's argument; without them, the essay will not be clear.In all contexts, it's important that you define your key terms because their meanings aren't always clear.Task words direct you and tell you how to go about answering a question.

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Most often, you do not know what your thesis will be until you've written a few drafts, and even then, your thesis is still developing. Other words for a thesis are conclusion, hypothesis, claim, main idea and promise.In addition, the body of an essay connects these ideas.Depending upon the kind of essay required, the argument format (or goals) change (see description of Kinds of Essays below).Many writers merely list ideas and their evidence, rather than linking one to the next.In such essays, the order of the ideas or premises has no logical relationship.To test whether your idea is arguable, ask yourself if more than half the class would disagree with your thesis. If your thesis is specific, this means that your thesis is text specific.In other words, if you can apply your thesis to many texts, your main idea is not specific enough.A topic must be declared in the title and/or opening paragraph. Your thesis is the main and controlling idea of an essay which is both arguable and specific.[Note that your thesis can be more than one sentence.] Arguable means that the idea can be discussed and debated.The ideas which develop out of and from your thesis and the evidence which backs up or "talks" to these ideas compose your argument.These supporting ideas and evidence may also be called premises or points.


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