Katie DaRin: Hi! I am Katie DaRin with SMARTHINKING.com, and today we are talking about how to write a better college essay. In this segment, we will talk about research outlines and writing a thesis.
After you have chosen a topic, it is time to write your thesis, do your research, and make an outline. It is important to make your thesis first so that you know what your essay is trying to prove and accomplish. In the different types of essays there are different types of theses and in argument/persuasion essay you want to state your topic and why you believe your believes are correct. In a cause and effect essay, you want to list the causes and the effects or vice versa.
In a classification essay you want to state for large group and what the smallest classifications are. In a comparison/contrast essay you want to state that idea that you are going to compare and what their similarities and difference are.
In a Critical analysis or Evaluation essay, you want to state the following the strong points and then following weak points of your critic. In a description/illustration essay, you want to explain what you will be describing.
In the narration essay you want to state what you have learned through your experience. In your research paper, you want to state your topic and why you are making that claim. In a summary essay make sure to highlight the main idea. Once you have chosen your topic you'll need to conduct research. Some ways to do this are internet search or at the library, make sure to consult your librarian if you need help.
When researching, it is important to evaluate your sources. A few ways to do this is to make sure that it is relevant to your topic. Make sure you understand the authors point of view. Make sure that your source is credible, especially when using the internet. Look at the publication date, especially in reference to your topic. Make sure that when the piece was published it is valid to your argument, the audience that the piece was intended for, and the length. If you need 20 sources, choosing twenty 100 page articles it is probably not the most efficient use of your time.
Once you have done your research and chosen your topic you will need to create an outline. Creating an outline before you start is important because it helps to organize your paper.
There are two different outline types and you should pick the one that best fits your style. A formal outline is one and an informal outline such as a concept map, is another.
Coming up next, we will talk about revisions, your first draft, and proofreading.