Top Ten Tips on Essays 1. Use the essay format of an introductory paragraph, one
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Top Ten Tips on Essays
1. Use the essay format of an introductory paragraph, one paragraph for each main point, and a concluding paragraph. You probably will need at least 600 words to complete your essay, and perhaps as many as 1000 words. Organize those words by using the essay format.
2. State the purpose of your essay clearly in the introductory paragraph. You need a thesis, a theme, a guiding purpose. What is your argument? Tell the reader about it in the introduction.
Support each main point with details or examples. Tie each main point to the goal of the essay that you stated in your introduction. Cite your sources as you use them to support your main points.
3. Use transitions to guide the reader from point to point. Make it a smooth ride for your readers.
4. Tidy things up with a conclusion that summarizes your main points as they related to your argument. Be sure to list your references in APA format at the end of your essay. You do not need to double-space your references or use hanging indents since this is hard to do in Blackboard, but include the necessary information in APA format.
6. Run a grammar and spell check.
7. Let the essay sit for awhile and then go back for proofreading and editing. Don’t turn in your first draft.
8. Don’t plagiarize. Be sure to give credit to the sources of your ideas.
9. Use your own words. Avoid lots of quotes. Indeed, you probably don’t have to quote at all unless the quote is a memorable phrase.
10. Have something to say. Don’t just fill in words to make your essay long enough. With these things in mind, go ahead and select a topic below and get started!
Historians sometimes like to figure out what motivated a leader at the time of a big decision. The motivations might be immediate – something happens and a leader has to respond, or an opportunity is present and a leader wants to take advantage of it. Other times, motivations are in the personal history of a leader – something shaped this person’s early life, or the leader holds life-long values which guide decisions. Perhaps a leader might not even be fully aware of motivations – the cultural or societal forces which guided the person seem almost automatic or too powerful to go against. Look for a decision that deserves to be explained more. Your job is to inform us about a decision-maker at a particular point in history and the motivations which were brought to bear on that leader at that time. Tell us what happened, but more importantly, tell us why.