There’s plenty of ethos, pathos, yadda-yadda I could tell you, but I will relay the short version of a critical analysis my 9th-grade advanced writing teacher gave me. In my history of academia, it never failed me. (No, you need not limit yourself to three middle paragraphs.)
- Topic sentence (introduces your paper by telling what it’s about in a concise way)
- Anecdote (story) or Background (history)
- Transition (leads into your next paragraph – try to mix the ideas of your current and next paragraphs)
- Anecdote or Background
Point Two – Same as Point 1
Point Three – Same as Point 2
- Recapitulation… basically, go to each of your previous paragraphs and restate each of their main points to make your last paragraph.
- To finish your paper, make one last point (your “closing sentence”) that relates to your paper as a whole but hints at something in addition to what you’ve put together.
When you finish, don’t forget to
- Spell check. You can do this in Word, but if you read your paper aloud, you will likely catch more than you’d think.
- Are any paragraphs “too long”? Find where the second idea within the long paragraph starts, and press Enter.
- Does each transition make sense? Are your points linear (follow a line of thought)?
- Have you explained any and all terms? Pretend your reader knows nothing about your subject.
- Have you cited all of your sources? Are they cited correctly?
MLA: Author’s last name, Author’s first name. Title of work. Date.
This looks like: Cricket, Jimminy. Pinocchio. 19 July 2010.
Your source page must be double-spaced throughout, and your citations should each begin left-aligned with subsequent lines indented.