The worksheet contains the structure of a logical exposition:. Use the worksheet as an outline for the essay. Fill in each step with one or a few sentences. If you are under enormous pressure to produce several essays one on top of the other, read this paragraph; otherwise skip to the next paragraph. When the essay is finished, read it over to see whether it makes sense.
Make minor adjustments in logic. Then print it and set it aside. Just get a snack and a cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate, and come back to start the next recipe.
Ideally, give each completed essay to the most wonderful, grammar-competent friend in the world, who will proofread and correct it purely out of the goodness of her heart, because she wants nothing more than to help you out in this mad dash for the finish line.
If no one is available for this favor, proofread each essay yourself the following day, or after your next recognizable sleep cycle. But make sure each essay gets proofread thoroughly! An essay can lose a whole grade or two, or even fail outright, just for looking like a last-minute rush job.
Now, here is each step, with explanations and examples. It is vitally important to note that these steps absolutely do not bear a 1: Each step theoretically can be from one sentence to ten paragraphs long, depending on the length of your paragraphs and the nature of the topic.
This is both the topic and the driving force of the essay. Always define your terms and include a sensory picture i. Be highly descriptive in this step, because it is at this early stage of the essay that concrete language is most crucial. Example of this step: The Batman is a superhero, in a Nietzschean sense, at least, even though he has no mutant powers.
For instance, Catwoman is a thief, and the Penguin is a terrorist, and accordingly the Batman thwarts their plans: But now the Joker shows up and suddenly the Batman, himself a crime-fighter, begins to operate outside the law—e. This is a real problem, and naturally leads to a question, the answer to which is likely to be illuminating, so the essay has a feeling of purpose.
Does being a superhero make the Batman above the law? Propose a solution, or a clear path to a solution. Trying to frame an idea in a single sentence, while useful for clarity of conception, often ends up being more restricting than fruitful. It seems to be especially in response to the Joker that the Batman must take such extraordinary measures, some of which break the law.
In a different essay, laying out my thesis here might very well work fine. It depends on the essay. This is usually the main body of the paper. Generally, detailed analyses of three to five very specific, organically related items will do the trick. You should briefly outline each of these items separately on the worksheet under a , b , c , d , e. To determine the most logical shape or order, ask and answer these questions:.
Order of complexity, order of importance, and time order are three basic, logical ways of shaping ideas to help the reading audience follow the flow of thought. For example, consider the sample topic sentence, Adults returning to college face time, study, emotional, and family problems. Assuming that the order of the topic sentences in the support follows the order of ideas in the thesis, are these ideas arranged in a logical order?
Also, each of the topic sentences that could be developed from this thesis seems equally complex. So how do you determine a logical shape and order of ideas for this essay? One way is to move from the problems that affect just one person, the student, to the problems that affect the whole family emotional problems-study skills-juggling work and family-changing family roles.
Another way is to move from the problems that can be dealt with more directly to those that are more complex to deal with study skills-juggling work and family-changing family roles-emotional problems. Emphasis, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is a "special importance or significance placed upon. You emphasize main ideas when you place them at the start of the essay or the unit of support. If you place the thesis toward the start of the essay and the topic sentences toward the start of each unit of support, you gear all of the support toward proving those main ideas.
Emphasizing main ideas by placing them first is called deduction, which creates a general-to-specific structure in the essay by placing the major information first. Deduction helps you focus on an argument and create a case, as it requires you to develop support around a main point.
The Impatient Silent Twitchers form an interesting group of line-standers because of their variety. The Wristwatch Checkers are the mildest sub-group of this larger group. Their bodies remain quiet except for the one arm where that powerful necessity, the wristwatch, sits. Maybe that the electric battery in the watch emits tiny electrical impulses to the nerves Wristwatch Checkers are dangerous only in busy lines that wind back on themselves. You emphasize the method of reasoning and the particulars of the support as opposed to the main idea when you place the main ideas at the end of the essay or the unit of support.
Main ideas still remain important when you place them at the end, but you offer them more as logical outcomes than as initial arguments so the emphasis has changed. Putting the main idea at the end is called induction, which moves from specific information to general conclusions.
One example of logical order is to arrange the sentence in chronological order to show a sequence of events or the passing of time. Another is to arrange sentences in order of importance.
This tool is nothing more than an essay template; not a five-paragraph “Baker’s” essay, but a college/grad-school short essay structure based on fundamental principles of logic. I teach this method sparingly because, followed slavishly, it can hinder the highly individual, impressionable and corruptible process of the inner germination of unique ideas.
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