How to write an essay - Introduction Answer the question...

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Introduction Answer the question you are asked (or respond to the prompt, if it is not phrased as a question), providing your thesis. It may be tempting to raise other issues, but stay on task. Demonstrate understanding of the question. Provide context by giving a brief background to the events and time period you will consider – for example, a question on the causes of World War I might start with the Assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and then explain that this was the catalyst for war, but that other factors must be examined. Iif necessary, clarify any key concepts that are mentioned such as Marxist, Propaganda or Education. Signpost the reader through your essay . In other words, give a very brief overview of how you plan to prove your thesis. What arguments or issues will your raise Main body of essay Start each paragraph with an argument: this is the POINT you are making ( analysis). If you read the first sentence of each paragraph when you have finished, you should find that you have a summary of your case. Proceed to EXPLAIN this point using EVIDENCE (including quotes from historians). The more specific this evidence is, the better. Then, you want to LINK your argument back to the thesis from your introduction. This will ensure that your essay is driven by analysis, not narrative . Your essay will probably have three arguments ; two is not enough to support a thesis and if you have more than three it will be difficult to prove in such a short space. It is fine to have the paragraphs start: First, … Next, … Lastly, … Conclusion Answer the question ( and restate the thesis ) while Showing how your factors link together Showing how it depends on where / when / at whom you are looking You may decide to challenge the question if it is one where that works. You do this by addressing assumptions in the question - E.g. “Why did the League of Nations only last 20 years?” suggests that this is a dismal record; you could make the point that the surprising thing is that it lasted so long as this given all the overwhelming problems it faced. Go beyond the question to broaden the argument . E.g., when asked why the allies won the war, the conclusion may end with a statement that states that although the war had ended, the Allies and Central Powers have a new set of problems – peace treaties, new states in Central Europe, end of empires in the East, etc.
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