ENGL000 Study Guide

Unit 5: Introductions and Conclusions

5a: Craft effective introductions and conclusions

  • What are some examples of introduction strategies to hook the reader?
  • What is a thesis statement?
  • When should your essay include a thesis?
  • What are the characteristics of an effective thesis statement?
  • What are some examples of writing devices or strategies for writing effective conclusions?
  • What are some examples of ineffective strategies to avoid when writing conclusions?

An introduction sets the expectations for the rest of an essay. It conveys the topic, tone, main ideas, and organization of your argument. The first few sentences of an essay are an opportunity to catch your reader's attention and invite them to think about your topic. A writing device or strategy that engages your reader is called a hook. When your writing includes a thesis statement, the thesis should appear in the introduction.

Effective writers end their essays with a concluding paragraph, rather than ending abruptly after they have finished making their main points. A conclusion should briefly summarize the argument made in the essay, but conclusions do more than just reiterate the thesis and main ideas. The conclusion is an opportunity to offer reader some take-aways: help the reader understand the purpose, implications, and significance of the argument.

To review, see Writing Introductions and Conclusions, Introduction Strategies, and Conclusions.


5b: Differentiate among different types of academic essays with respect to purpose and writing elements

  • What are the basics elements of expository essays?
  • What is the purpose and writing elements of narrative essays?
  • What is the purpose and writing elements of descriptive essays?
  • What is the purpose and writing elements of reflective essays?

Many of the essays college students write are some form of expository writing. Expository writing is meant to explain and inform; it is organized around a central argument, and ideas are supported with evidence and examples. College students may be tasked with writing many types of essays, each with a different purpose. Some of these types of essays will be expository in nature, while others will not be organized around a debatable claim.

Research papers are a form of expository writing. Research papers generally follow a set format, with several writing elements not commonly used in most other types of academic writing. Research papers include abstracts, literature reviews, and a section on methodology.

To review, see Types of EssaysWhat is a Research Paper?, Elements of Expository Essays, and Reflective Writing.


5c: Revise drafts to ensure effective organization

  • What strategies are there for revising your writing?

Revision is the fourth step of the writing process. Once you have completed a draft of an essay, you should review your draft for organization, message, and tone. While you revise, bear in mind the purpose and audience for your writing. Think of revision as an opportunity to re-envision your writing: try to see it again with fresh eyes.

To review, see Reorganizing Drafts and Revising.


5d: Proofread to ensure spelling and usage appropriate to different writing contexts

  • What are some strategies for effective proofreading?
  • What is the difference between proofreading and revision?

Proofreading is a distinct phase of the writing process that is different than revision.

To review, see Revising.


5e: Write well-organized analytical paragraphs in response to writing prompts

  • What is a main idea?
  • What is a major detail?
  • What is a minor detail?
  • What are the relationships between main ideas and subordinate ideas?
  • What is a topic sentence?
  • What are transitions?
  • What is the function of transitions
  • What are some examples of transitional expressions that signal different types of relationships?
  • What are the elements of a grammatically complete sentence?
  • What are two types of sentences?
  • What are some strategies for sentence variation?

To review, see Adventure of the Speckled Band Reflective Essay.


5f: Demonstrate principles of active reading

  • What is active reading?
  • What is the difference between reading actively and reading passively?
  • What are some strategies for reading actively, especially in online reading environments?
  • What are the steps of the Cornell Note-taking System?

To review, see The Adventure of the Speckled Band Quiz.


5g: Craft short essays employing a variety of organizational patterns

  • What are the steps of the writing process?
  • What are three writing elements necessary in any type of argumentative essay?

College students are tasked with writing many different types of essays. Each discipline, instructor, and assignment will have different expectations. The most effective writers know how to tailor writing skills and techniques to different writing contexts.

To review, see Essay Based on the Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


Unit 5 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • active reading
  • argumentative writing
  • compare and contrast essay
  • conclusion
  • Cornell Note-taking System
  • descriptive essay
  • expository writing
  • hook
  • introduction
  • main idea
  • major detail
  • minor detail
  • narrative essay
  • persuasive essay
  • proofreading
  • reflective writing
  • research paper
  • revision
  • sentence
  • thesis statement
  • topic sentence
  • transitions
  • writing process