Do you want to be a fast writer? Do you want to write effectively? Does it take you hours to think of what to write and when you get something on paper, and then you tear it off? Well, if you’re interested in writing faster, more effectively and efficiently, then you have come to the right place.
Any piece of writing, regardless of its genre, has to be composed of the following sections: Introduction (with a thesis statement), Body (with Supporting Paragraphs), Conclusion (Summary of previous).
Now depending on the type of your piece of writing, the contents of your Body and Conclusion will be different. However, the Introduction’s style will more or less stay the same, giving the audience a brief idea about the topic’s background and the topic itself while outlining the thesis statement.
According to the “Tips and Techniques on Writing Better” research, the Single Biggest Mistake Students Make When Writing Essays is their inability to formulate clear and concise thesis statements.
Allow me to take this research finding and generalize it a little. The most common mistake people make while writing any document or paper is missing the core point or purpose of their writing, in other words: the Thesis statement.
The Thesis statement is the single statement (or 2) that outline the core of the paper; its focus and direction. That’s probably why we will deal with it as a separate step in the writing process.
For instance, if you were writing an economic report, then no personal opinions are to be incorporated in it, but rather statistics, mathematical calculations and extrapolations only. Whereas, if you were a Systems Analyst writing as System or Software Requirements Specification Document, then you will outline all your client’s requirement in the system and your expert’s opinion as to how the final solution or system will be structured and on what technology it should be based.
Look at the sentence once it’s written – is it clear enough? Let someone read it and explain to you what he/she understand from it. Re-iterate this step until the thesis statement is clear enough to your target audience.
In an effort to point out how the thesis statement and introduction are parts of every piece of writing, we will hereby depict a few examples:
When writing a business proposal, your introduction would focus on the product or service your activity will be based on, but also your thesis statement has to be clear in your mind before you begin to write. The thesis statement here would be where you state the product/service you’ll discuss, its importance, market relevance and significance.
While writing an economic report, your introduction takes your audience through the most recent relevant economic changes (recession/prosperity), the current trends and international market impact, etc. and reaches to the thesis statement. The thesis statement would again be clear enough to sum up what the report is aiming onto elaborating on, achieving or establishing.
The 3rd example we’ll discuss is writing for the web. Although a little different from writing to newspapers or research institutes in the real (off line) world – in terms of audience and your power to attract their attentions – the foundation prevails. You still have to think of a brief introduction that would grab your reader’s attention and a thesis that would intrigue him to read the whole article.
Another technique is to imbed the thesis statement right at the beginning of the introduction and work backwards (events and background information wise) through the introduction. However, the former discussed technique (thesis in the last 3rd of the introduction) is the more common one.
To add to the steps above, there are a few pointers that when practiced, will lead to even better quality of writing.
The Keys to Effective Writing – Tips for Tackling Your Essays and Papers – [CollegeBoard]
Tips and Techniques on Writing Better – [Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL)]
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