These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine. Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility. It is important to use only trustworthy sources in an academic essay, otherwise you will damage your own credibility as an author.
There are several things that you will need to consider in order to determine whether or not a source is trustworthy. The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject. For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor.
If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy. Think about whether or not this author has adequately researched the topic. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy. Think about whether or not this author has presented an objective, well-reasoned account of the topic. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument?
If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice. Once you have gathered all of your sources, you will need to read them.
Use the same careful reading strategy that you used when you read your primary source s. Read the sources multiple times and make sure that you fully understand them. Take notes while you read your sources. Highlight and underline significant passages so that you can easily come back to them.
As you read, you should also pull any significant information from your sources by jotting the information down in a notebook. Develop your tentative thesis. Once you have developed your ideas about your primary source and read your primary sources, you should be ready to write a thesis statement. You may find it helpful to use a multi-sentence thesis statement, where the first sentence offers the general idea and the second sentence refines it to a more specific idea.
In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective. The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay. For example, here is a multi-sentence thesis statement about the effectiveness and purpose of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road is effective because it turns this pattern on its head.
Instead of following the expected progression, the movie offers an action movie with multiple heroes, many of whom are women, thereby effectively challenging patriarchal standards in the Hollywood summer blockbuster.
Develop a rough outline based on your research notes. Writing an outline before you begin drafting your essay will help you to organize your information more effectively. You can make your outline as detailed or as scant as you want. Just keep in mind that the more detail you include in your outline, the more material you will have ready to put into your paper. Or, you may want to use an informal "mind-map" type of outline, which allows you to gather your ideas before you have a complete idea of how they progress.
Begin your essay with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic. Your introduction should immediately begin discussing your topic. Think about what you will discuss in your essay to help you determine what you should include in your introduction. Keep in mind that your introduction should identify the main idea of your critical essay and act as a preview to your essay. Provide background information to help guide your readers. Providing adequate background information or context will help to guide your readers through your essay.
Think about what your readers will need to know in order to understand the rest of your essay and provide this information in your first paragraph. This information will vary depending on the type of text you have been asked to write about. A conference of English professors needs less background info than a blog readership. Use your body paragraphs to discuss specific components of your text.
Rather than trying to talk about multiple aspects of your text in a single paragraph, make sure that each body paragraph focuses on a single aspect of your text. Your discussion of each of these aspects should contribute to proving your thesis. Provide a claim at the beginning of the paragraph. Support your claim with at least one example from your primary source s. Support your claim with at least one example from your secondary sources.
Develop a conclusion for your essay. Your conclusion should emphasize what you have attempted to show your readers about your text. There are several good options for ending an academic essay that might help you decide how to format your conclusion. For example, you might: Summarize and review your main ideas about the text. Explain how the topic affects the reader.
Explain how your narrow topic applies to a broader theme or observation. Call the reader to action or further exploration on the topic. Present new questions that your essay introduced.
Set aside your paper for a few days before revising your draft. By taking a break after you have finished drafting your paper, you will give your brain a rest. When you revisit the draft, you will have a fresh perspective. It is important to begin writing a paper far enough ahead of time to allow yourself a few days or even a week to revise before it is due. If you do not allow yourself this extra time, you will be more prone to making simple mistakes and your grade may suffer as a result.
Give yourself sufficient time to do a substantive revision that clarifies any confusing logic or arguments. As you revise your paper, you should consider multiple aspects of your writing to make sure that your readers will be able to understand what you have written. Consider the following questions as you revise: What is your main point? How might you clarify your main point? Who is your audience? Have you considered their needs and expectations?
What is your purpose? Have you accomplished your purpose with this paper? How effective is your evidence? How might your strengthen your evidence? Does every part of your paper relate back to your thesis? How might you enhance these connections? Is anything confusing about your language or organization?
How might your clarify your language or organization? Have you made any errors with grammar, punctuation, or spelling? How can you correct these errors? What might someone who disagrees with you say about your paper?
How can you address these opposing arguments in your paper? Complete your paper by carefully proofreading a printed version of your final draft. Read your paper out loud to make sure that you have identified any typos, grammatical errors, wordy or incomplete sentences, and other minor mistakes that may negatively affect your grade. Once you have identified any minor errors, revise your paper and print a fresh copy to turn in.
If you have used any textual formatting in your paper, you may wish to save it as a PDF file to preserve your formatting. Sample Critical Poetry Essay. The first paragraph should state the background or the introduction of the essay topic. Write using three sections. The first is the background or introduction; the second is the body of the essay where you state your case arguing for or against the essay you read; and the third is the conclusion or ending paragraph.
The conclusion or ending paragraph restates the initial thesis of the essay and recaps your critique. This is the most important paragraph, since it is the last paragraph the reader will see. Not Helpful 0 Helpful Third-person is the best choice for making the essay feel authoritative and assertive. Not Helpful 1 Helpful Summarize the content of your essay and outline the main objective. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 7.
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