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Tutoring For Your Needs • Passion For Education

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May 222011

What is the most important component of a well-written essay?  An essay includes a variety of elements, all of which are important and make a well-written essay stand out to potential readers.  The most important component to any essay is the thesis sentence.

The thesis sentence is one of the hardest and most important elements of an essay that students need to understand.  Typically, it is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph and it tells the reader exactly what the essay is going to be about.  In my experience of grading essays, there is a remarkable difference between essays that have a thesis and those that do not.

Essays that do not have a thesis lack structure. They usually wander all over the place often including information that is not related to the essay topic.  It seems the reason for including information that does not address the topic is that when lacking a thesis, the author has no direction. An essay without a thesis is not guiding the reader to come to a conclusion on the topic, one way or the other.

Essays that do have a thesis sentence provi fode structure.  The reader and the writer know what the essay is about and can easily develop an understanding of the points being made.  Every paragraph is then trying to provide evidence that supports the thesis sentence.  Therefore, it actually becomes difficult to get off-topic in your writing.

The best way that I have come up with to teach students to write an essay is to have them figure out their thesis sentence first. In order to write the thesis the student must decide what the question is; every essay is trying to answer a question.  Sometimes the question is written out for the student and other times the student needs to figure out or decide what the question is.  Next, I ask my students to answer that question the best they can in one sentence.  This one sentence will then become their thesis sentence, which I always have them put at the end of their introductory paragraph.

Every subsequent paragraph then provides information to support their answer to the question presented.

Developing a strong thesis sentence is the most important component to a well-written essay.  The thesis leads to everything else in the essay and provides the backbone to your writing.  Develop a strong thesis and you are well on your way to becoming a successful essay writer.

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