Essay Writing Fundamentals

The Argument/Persuasion “Question”

Analysis questions or prompts present specific requirements that define the essay’s content and purpose. In order to effectively answer the question, one must learn to correctly “R.E.A.D.” the question. Follow these steps below as a guide:

  • Recognize the main SUBJECT that is required to be analyzed.
  • Evaluate the genre of writing and analysis task your PURPOSE for writing.
  • Analyze the direct or implied OCCASION and intended AUDIENCE.
  • Determine and define the key terms in the prompt that should be in your response.

Sample Prompt: Cell phones have changed the way we live our daily lives.

Whether we are chatting with a friend, checking our email, posting on social media, or facetiming a friend; it’s hard to imagine not having our cell phone handy. Write an essay explaining how cell phones are necessary and helpful in today’s society. Make sure to include evidence and explanation to support you claim.

Answer The Question: Your Objective

After “exploring” the techniques of text, novel, poem, etc.; it’s time to make a clear and concise statement that answers the question. This statement is composed from your “R.E.A.D.” analysis of the prompt and your understanding of the subject. This statement will define the purpose for the paragraph.

SAMPLE PROMPT : Cell phones have changed the way we live our daily lives. Whether we are chatting with a friend, checking our email, posting on social media, or facetiming a friend; it’s hard to imagine not having our cell phone handy. Write an essay explaining how cell phones are necessary and helpful in today’s society. Make sure to include evidence and explanation to support you claim.

BASIC ELEMENTS OF A STRONG THESIS
How to make your thesis T . O . P . S .

Topic: A clearly defined topic that matches the subject of the prompt.
Objective: A writing objective/opinion that matches the genre & task/purpose of the prompt.
Preview: A preview of how the writer will achieve their objective for the paragraph.
Specific: The “point” statement must state the writer’s specific, unique viewpoint. (not just repeat the language of the prompt).