How to Survive NES

Materials from our workshop on survival skills for first-year students can be found in this Google Drive folder

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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