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How to Structure Your Essays (for the paper and exams) HIST 221 –Maria Howe I.Introduction a.Your essay needs an introduction paragraph i.The introduction needs to lay out the basic question you intend to answer. ii.You should then offer some quick answers to this question. 1.This should be a couple sentences that lay out what you will discuss in the paper. iii.Finally, your introduction NEEDS a thesis. 1.This is one sentence that states your argument. 2.Your thesis should be strong and definitive. 3.It should explicitly state what your paper will say. II.Body of the Essay a.This is the portion of the paper that builds your argument. b.The body should consist of numerous paragraphs. i.Each of these paragraphs should build one part of your argument. ii.These should be self-contained entities (meaning they each have a topic sentence and concluding sentence). iii.They should also flow into each other. 1.You need to have transitions from paragraph to paragraph.