Notes from Research Essay

Hi all,

As I was grading essays, I decided to compile a list of comments that I found myself making: 

  • Don’t let the evidence dominate each paragraph – don’t summarize

  • Remember to communicate the “so what” of your research claim. Remind your audience why your research matters!

  • Define sections and subsections of analysis.

  • Remember to start with a topic sentence and not with evidence or a question

  • Thesis statement at the end of the introduction should still be specific to your topic even if it is an “open” thesis

  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main claim of the paragraph.

  • Don’t forget to include transitions! Although you can have subsections in your essay, each with a different focus, don’t forget to provide a clear and logical transition between them

  • Remember to introduce quotations (and when to include a block quotation)

  • Try to get a mix of resources throughout the essay – don’t rely primarily on one source throughout the paper (or even in one paragraph)

  • Remember to evaluate sources for credibility, audience, purpose and context – look for bias

  • Remember to consider your diction, tone and style as you write and revise
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