A good title attracts the readers’ interest, and it helps announce the tone of the essay. An informal or humorous essay, for instance, might have a catchy, funny title. Never substitute a mere label, such as “Abortion” or “Essay One” for a meaningful title.
Basic rules with Titles: a) Your title should not be underlined, put in quotation marks, bolded, italicized, nor should the font be larger than the standard font; b) Capitalize the first, last, and important words of your title. Generally, do not capitalize such words as “an, and, a, the” or prepositions, unless they appear as the first or last words of the title; for example, “The End of an Era.”
II) Introductory Paragraphs Lead-ins: Before writing the thesis sentence, an introductory device called a lead-in is utilized. The lead-in: a) catches the readers’ attention; b) announces the subject matter and tone of the essay; and c) sets up, or leads into, the presentation of the thesis and essay map. (See attached Appendix, “List of Lead-ins”)
Basic rules with Lead-ins: a) the lead-in only introduces the thesis. After the lead-in, add a connecting sentence or phrase before the thesis; b) keep the lead-in brief.
Thesis Sentence: The thesis sentence declares the main point of the essay by a) announcing the subject of the essay; b) stating the writer’s opinion; c) stating or implying the writer’s purpose in the essay (arguing a position, moving people to action, etc…). Everything in the essay should support the thesis. A thesis asserts one idea only. Never express the thesis in the form of a question. Never use the first person “I, me, my” when expressing the thesis.
The Essay Map: This is part of the Thesis or it follows the Thesis in a separate sentence. It introduces the major points to be discussed. The Essay Map predicts the organization of the essay.
Sample Introductory Paragraph:
Knowing that one needs help and making the steps towards getting that help is the first step towards success. This is very true for many college students who find themselves struggling with their studies. Whether it be an Algebra class or a Literature class, every student needs extra help that the professor alone cannot provide. This is where the Study Skills Center comes in to save the day. The Study Skills Center is an excellent place for students to receive help with basic courses. The Center’s numerous free services, well-trained tutors, and variety of supplementary learning materials can often mean the difference between academic success and failure for many students.
III) Body Paragraphs
The Topic Sentence: The first sentence of the body paragraph. It asserts the main idea of the body paragraph
Paragraph Development: The information in each paragraph must completely explain, exemplify, define, and support the topic sentence. A typical paragraph must have at least 3 examples to support the topic sentence. A paragraph can have more than 3 examples as well.
Paragraph Length: There is no set length for a paragraph (a paragraph can be more than 4 sentences in length). If you find yourself writing a paragraph that is growing far too long—well over a typed page—look for a logical place to divide the paragraph and start a new paragraph, but write a topic sentence that announces it is continuing the discussion from the previous paragraph.
Paragraph Unity: All of the information in the paragraph must relate to the topic sentence.
Paragraph Coherence: All of the sentences in the paragraph must flow together in a clear, logical manner. To