Montgomery College Germantown Campus

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Recipe for an Academic Essay

I.                  Introduction
a.      Hook
b.      Background information
c.       Thesis + main points or blueprint

II.               Body Paragraph
a.      Topic sentence that clearly reflects first main point
b.      Supporting detail
c.       Source material integrated with signal phrase and in-text citation
d.     Your analysis of source material (Explain to the audience how the source material supports your main point. Don’t assume the audience “gets” it or that the source material will speak for itself.)
e.      Concluding sentence that summarizes main point & transitions to next main point

III.            Repeat body paragraphs as many times as necessary. Make sure the number of body paragraphs matches the number of main points from the introduction. If writing a compare/contrast essay, for example, make it clear through the topic sentence if the same main point will be discussed in more than one body paragraph.

IV.            Conclusion
a.      Summarize main points
b.      Restate thesis (DO NOT repeat the thesis word-for-word)
c.       “So-what?” statement for audience (food for thought—why does this essay matter?)

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