Now that your planning stage is complete, you can begin writing your draft. Be careful as you quote, paraphrase, and summarize. Your writing should be organized, developed, accurate, and original.
As you write your introduction, think about the information your reader needs to understand your topic so they feel ready for the thesis when they read it. For example, imagine the following thesis at the end of an introduction paragraph about sleep deprivation. What information would help a reader understand the general topic so he is ready for the thesis?
TH: Sleep deprivation has many physiological and immunological effects.
Some key information might include a definition of sleep deprivation, how common it is, who suffers from it, or why people suffer from it. Now read the introduction paragraph that follows and look for the information that the author included to introduce the general topic and give background knowledge.
Example: Introduction Paragraph
Do you know anyone who is tired all of the time? Our bodies need rest, and while scientists aren't exactly sure why we do, it is certain that we do. People who consistently sleep less than 6-7 hours each night are considered sleep deprived (Carter, 2014), and this issue affects a lot of the population (Drix, 2017) including working professionals, young mothers, and students (Andrews, 2016). Working professionals may say they need every extra minute to finish a project for work, mothers are constantly awakened by their children, and students have many responsibilities to balance to complete all of their assignments. However, cutting out time for sleep is no small matter. There are serious effects that come from not sleeping enough consistently. Sleep deprivation has many physiological and immunological effects.
Writing has cohesion when the ideas logically flow from one to the next. Writing paragraphs that have good sequencing will help your readers understand your ideas more clearly. Sometimes you will have a clear order that relates to time. Sometimes the order is more flexible and there is not one perfect way to sequence the sentences.
One way to improve the cohesion of your writing is by using cohesive devices properly. There are many types of cohesive devices: pronouns, adjectives, determiners, prepositions, conjunctions, repeated words, transition words, etc.
Some cohesive devices show certain relationships between ideas, like showing contrast or a cause/ effect relationship.
|Another||Another reason to use public transportation is that it is reliable.|
|Also||Public transportation is also reliable.|
|Besides||Besides being efficient, public transportation is reliable.|
|In addition||In addition to being efficient, public transportation is reliable.|
|First, second, etc.||Second, public transportation is reliable.|
The two sports share both a wide fan base and a name.
|Likewise||The two sports share a wide fan base. Likewise, they share a name.|
|Similarly||The two sports share a wide fan base. Similarly, they share a name.|
|However||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell. However, DNA isn't.|
|In contrast||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell. In contrast, DNA isn't.|
|On the other hand||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell. On the other hand, DNA isn't.|
|Whereas||Whereas RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell, DNA isn't.|
|Yet||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell, yet DNA isn't.|
|Thus||Excessive stress weakens the body, thus making it easier to get sick.|
|As a consequence||Excessive stress weakens the body. As a consequence, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|therefore||Excessive stress weakens the body. Therefore, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|as a result||Excessive stress weakens the body. As a result, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|consequently||Excessive stress weakens the body. Consequently, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|An example of||Squats are an example of exercises that strengthen our muscles|
|For instance||Many exercises strengthen our muscles. For instance, squats are an...|
|To illustrate||Many exercises strengthen our muscles. To illustrate, consider how your muscles are strengthened when you do an exercise like squats.|
Exercise 1: Brainstorm background knowledge for an introduction
What does the reader need to know before they encounter any of these thesis statements in an introduction paragraph?
TH: Smart investments in both people and resources lead to success in business.
TH: Stereotypes can lead to racial discrimination.
TH: A poor diet and excessive stress cause attention problems in school.
Exercise 2: Write a conclusion
Read the following introduction paragraph for an essay about causes of airplane accidents. Write the conclusion paragraph (or explain what you would write to a partner).
Technology advances in aviation have made flying safer nowadays. The construction materials have been tested and proven to be durable. The mechanics have been improved for maximum efficiency and precision. Even the passengers receive more extensive safety training before takeoff. However, there are some accidents that can't be controlled for in every situation. It has been found that human errors are responsible for 70 percent of airplane accidents ("Human Factors," n.d.). Mechanical errors, memory problems, and intentional violations are the most common human causes of aircraft accidents.
Exercise 3: Identify logical order of sentences
Each of these sentences combine to make a paragraph. Write a number by each sentence A-E to show a logical order for sequencing the supporting sentences.
TOPIC SENTENCE: Robots are becoming more advanced with advances in technology.
- _______ NASA has robots in space that “are performing tasks with sub-millimeter precision” (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2015, para. 3).
- _______ Today’s robots are very powerful.
- _______ On the other hand, the robots of twenty years ago were not able to do as much or make such exact movements.
- _______ In addition to being powerful, today’s robots are also very precise.
- _______ Robots in the United Kingdom, for example, were strong enough to harvest five tons of barley from a farm run by robots last year (Pultarova, 2017).
CONCLUDING SENTENCE: With the amazing advances we have seen recently, it is very likely that robots will continue to improve and become capable of doing even more.
Exercise 4: Insert a sentence
The numbers represent places that the bolded sentence could be inserted into the paragraph. Choose the most logical place to insert the bolded sentence.
1 Everyone experiences stress. 2 Some of these causes include health, relationships, life changes, and conflicts between your beliefs and your values. 3 Regardless of the cause, everyone should understand stress because they will have to know how to handle it. 4
Even though all people have different lives and circumstances, stress is universal because it has so many different causes.
Exercise 5: Identify misplaced sentences
Read the original paragraph. Underline sentences that seem to be out of place. Then compare the original to the revised version.
The skin is one of the most important lines of protection that the human body has against infection. If a germ makes it past the skin, the body has several mechanisms in place to destroy it. For example, the body uses white blood cells to find and destroy germs that enter the body (Tigner, A. et. al., 2022). These mechanisms don’t always work quickly enough to prevent people from becoming sick, but they do begin fighting the bacteria or virus and help people recover. In order to become infected, either bacteria or viruses have to enter the body. The skin prevents this from happening most of the time, as we encounter thousands—if not millions—of germs every day. Thus, the skin is one of the best ways to protect the body from germs because it blocks the majority of them.
The skin is one of the most important lines of protection that the human body has against infection. In order to become infected, either bacteria or viruses have to enter the body. The skin prevents this from happening most of the time, as we encounter thousands—if not millions—of germs every day. If a germ makes it past the skin, the body has several mechanisms in place to destroy it. For example, the body uses white blood cells to find and destroy germs that enter the body (Tigner, A. et. al., 2022). These mechanisms don’t always work quickly enough to prevent people from becoming sick, but they do begin fighting the bacteria or virus and help people recover. Thus, the skin is one of the best ways to protect the body from germs because it blocks the majority of them.
Exercise 6: Revise for cohesion
Revise the paragraph for cohesion.
The languages spoken in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are one evidence of their distinct cultures. On one side of the island, they speak French, while on the other side they speak Spanish. The indigenous people of the island originally spoke Taíno (Poole, 2011). Spanish and French were imported. France and Spain both established colonies on the island, bringing their languages with them. Due to these new influences, most of the native Taino language was conquered. There are a few words of Taíno that remained in Spanish and even found their way into English, like hurricane, hammock, and barbeque (Poole, 2011). Both sides of the island are certainly distinct because they now have different languages.
Exercise 7: Identify connectors
Read the groups of sentences and think about what cohesive devices would most effectively combine the research into a paragraph.
The following research comes from an article by Watson & Cherney (2021). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind of cohesive device could you use?
- Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning.
- Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving.
- Various sleep cycles play a role in consolidating memories in the mind.
- If you don't get enough sleep, you won't be able to remember what you learned.
The following research comes from an article by DiSalvo (2017). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind of cohesive device could you use?
- Controlling your breathing calms your brain.
- Breathing regulates your blood pressure.
- Counting breaths taps into the brain's emotional control regions.
- The rhythm of your breathing affects memory.
- Controlled breathing may boost the immune system.
The following research comes from an article by Jacobs (2017). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind of cohesive devices could you use?
- To give someone a business card, a Japanese business person will hold the card with two hands as she passes the card to the The card should be studied and discussed as part of the conversation.
- When an American business person passes a business card to another person, they do not hold it with two hands, and they may not even have a card with Many millennials prefer to have business contacts go to their LinkedIn profiles. Failure to present a business card is not offensive in American culture.
CC BY: This work is released under a CC BY license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you properly attribute it.