Multi-Paragraph Essay Terms

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Essay
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A piece of writing that gives the author’s thoughts (commentary) about a subject
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Prewriting
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The process of creating an outline, organizing the concrete details that will be used, and writing the thesis statement. Only once this is completed should a student begin their actual essay.
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Introduction
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The first paragraph in an essay. It includes the thesis.
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Grabber
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The first sentence(s) of an introduction paragraph. It “grabs” the reader’s attention and makes them want to read the essay by beginning with an interesting quote, anecdote, statistic, startling statements, or fact, that is related to the main idea of the essay.
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Background Information
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The 2-3 sentences that come after the Grabber in the Intro. Paragraph. When writing an analytical essay, this always includes the title, the author and a brief summary of the piece of literature being analyzed. When writing a research paper, this always includes a brief explanation of the topic being researched.
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Thesis
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A sentence with a subject and opinion. It is the one to two sentence statements that explains exactly what the author is attempting to prove throughout the entire essay.
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Body Paragraphs
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Where the main ideas presented in the Thesis Statement are explored in detail. Contain both evidence to support ideas (CDs) and the author’s explanation and/or opinion of the evidence(commentary).
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Topic Sentence
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The first sentence in each body paragraph. This must have a subject and opinion for the paragraph—a mini-thesis.
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Concrete Details
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Specific details that form the backbone of your body paragraphs. These are the “proof” or evidence for the ideas presented in the thesis and topic sentences. Includes facts, specific examples, descriptions, statistics, quotations, paraphrased quotes, and/or plot references. These ALWAYS need citation.
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Commentary
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The author’s opinion or comment on the concrete details. They explains how the CD’s prove the ideas from the thesis and/or topic sentence. There must always be two sentences minimum.
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Transition
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Words, phrases or an entire sentence that helps the reader of the essay move from one idea to the next.
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Concluding Sentence
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The last sentence in a body paragraph. It contains only commentary, restated the opinion of the topic sentence.
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Concluding Paragraph (conclusion)
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The last paragraph of an essay. It sums up/reflects upon all of the main ideas presented in the essay and ends by making a connection to the real world. It answers the questions: so what? why is this essay significant? It never contain Concrete Details.
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Restated Thesis
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The first sentence of your conclusion paragraph. States the exact same ideas as the thesis statement, but in a new, different way.
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Reflection
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The 2-3 sentences after the restated thesis. It summarizes the main ideas form each body paragraph.
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Clincher
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The last sentence of the conclusion paragraph that brings a finished quality to your essay by explaining how all people, society, etc. relate to the information presented within your essay. The “ah-ha” moment when the reader understands the connection of the author’s ideas of the “real world”.
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Parenthetical citation
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Giving credit to the source from where the information was obtained.Different sources are cited in different ways. This is necessary in order to avoid plagiarism.
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The act of taking some else’s thoughts or ideas and presenting them as your own.
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Works Cited
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The last page of an essay that contains a list of all sources cited within an essay in alphabetical order.

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