Preparing a Structured Essay

Sometimes it is difficult for students to write a structured essay. They often have such problems:

  • The main idea is in the end of the essay (Maybe it is the most popular issue in Russia)
  • A student starts to write and then goes away from a theme
  • A writer repeats the same idea again and again
  • A student doesn’t know about what he/she wants to write and then engages in empty talk
  • A writer just says everything that he/she has

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Thesis Statements


One of the first tasks you need to perform when preparing to write a new paper is deciding what kind of argument you want to make. Even if the piece you are writing is explanatory or exploratory rather than making some kind of proposal or arguing about the cause of a thing, your project needs to have some kind of point that it is making. You need to give your reader a reason to read your writing and to care about your topic. Often the way we identify this essential point is by writing a working thesis statement, which may go on to serve as the primary claim of your paper (note that thesis, claim, main point and argument are used synonymously in this handout)but will also serve as your motivation to write the paper.

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Writing an Introduction to an Argument-Driven Essay

Writing an introduction should come near the end of the composition process, because it is difficult to introduce something well until you know exactly what it will be and how it will appear in its final form. When done at the right time, however, introductions are not difficult to craft effectively. One way to do so is to address your topic immediately, establish, common ground with your intended readership, point out a motivation or need for your argument and then state your principal claim. Introductions to academic essays frequently adhere to such a formula, which can be summarized as: Common Ground -> Problem Statement + Context -> Thesis Statement.

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CV and Cover Letter Basics - Workshop Materials

The files and samples distributed at our WCC Workshop in March are located here

Applying for Graduate School: General Strategies


The purpose of this article is to help you begin thinking the way you need to think before you start pitching yourself to various graduate programs. In addition to providing a set of strategies you should adopt as you research programs and begin writing your cv and statement of purpose, this article discusses the important differences between BA/MA and PhD programs and what that means for your application.

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