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Essay Structure for Honors and Advanced Placement Writing

It is critical that all elements of this outline be present in formal papers.

MLA format required. See template on www.taravangeons.com

I. Introduction

a. Begin with a topic sentence that introduces a general theme

b. Follows the topic sentence with sentences that narrow the focus of the theme so

that it is less general.

c. Introduce the author of the text you are writing about

d. Introduce the title of the text (s)

e. Narrow the discussion of the topic by identifying an issue or problem. In other

words, introduce your thesis.

f. Finishes by making a debatable claim / thesis statement (a debatable point/claim)

g. Road map your paper. What three examples are you going to use to support/prove

your thesis?

1.

2.

3.

II. Body Paragraph One

a. Topic Sentence #1 with a transition from previous paragraph to this paragraphing

linking the ideas


b. Concrete detail #1 (your proof from the text itself where you will weave a

quotation with your own words) Write out your example and find a quotation to

help support your point with the page number.

c. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

d. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

e. Concrete detail #2 (your proof from the text itself where you will weave a

quotation with your own words) Write out your example and find a quotation to

help support your point with the page number.

f. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

g. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

h. Concluding Sentence – tie together the topic of this paragraph to your thesis. In

other words, how does this paragraph prove your thesis? You must constantly

bring the reader of your essay back to your thesis in this concluding sentence.

III. Body Paragraph Two

a. Topic Sentence #2 with a transition from previous paragraph to this paragraphing

linking the ideas

b. Concrete detail #1 (your proof from the text itself where you will weave a

quotation with your own words) Write out your example and find a quotation to

help support your point with the page number.

c. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

d. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)


e. Concrete detail #2 (your proof from the text itself where you will weave a

quotation with your own words) Write out your example and find a quotation to

help support your point with the page number.

f. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

g. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

h. Concluding Sentence – tie together the topic of this paragraph to your thesis. In

other words, how does this paragraph prove your thesis? You must constantly

bring the reader of your essay back to your thesis in this concluding sentence.

IV. Body Paragraph Three

a. Topic Sentence #3 with a transition from previous paragraph to this paragraphing

linking the ideas

b. Concrete detail #1 (your proof from the text itself where you will weave a

quotation with your own words) Write out your example and find a quotation to

help support your point with the page number.

c. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

d. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

e. Concrete detail #2 (your proof from the text itself where you will weave a

quotation with your own words) Write out your example and find a quotation to

help support your point with the page number.

f. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)

g. Commentary (explanation in your own words of your concrete detail)


h. Concluding Sentence – tie together the topic of this paragraph to your thesis. In

other words, how does this paragraph prove your thesis? You must constantly

bring the reader of your essay back to your thesis in this concluding sentence.

V. Conclusion

a. Begins with a topic sentence that clearly relates to the topic, issue, problem that

was identified in the introductory paragraph.

b. Sentences that make connections with, or revisits, points from your introductory

paragraph and your body paragraphs. These points now serve to close your

argument.

c. A synthesis of these points that clearly demonstrates the focus of your thesis.

d. A final comment, or intellectual conclusion of sorts that points out the larger

significance of your argument.

VI. Works Cited

a. A separate page that lists all the texts that you referenced/quoted in your paper.

b. This should be done in MLA format without question.