Deconstruct your essay into a simple chart!

If you have ever had trouble organizing paragraphs within your essay, try using a chart as part of your outline. Here’s how it works:

1. Create a chart with 3 columns labeled as follows:

Main point Evidence from text Interpretation/Significance

These three labels will help you visually distinguish each of the critical parts of your paragraphs. Labeling your chart in this order—starting with a main point, any relevant textual evidence, and ending with your analysis—will also help ensure your ideas flow coherently.

 

2. Identify the main arguments of your essay, and number them in the first column.

Main point Evidence from text Interpretation/Significance
1. Argument one
2. Argument two

Each row and each main point represents a paragraph in your essay. Determine all of your arguments before anything else—this will be the essential framework of your paper.

 

3. Gather relevant textual evidence or sources to substantiate each of your arguments, and make sure to include citations.

Main point Evidence from text Interpretation/Significance
1. Argument one “quote”( page number; book; author)
2. Argument two ….

Lack of textual evidence is one of the most commonly cited mistakes that students make in the writing process. Having a chart will hold you accountable in finding evidence to support each of your claims. Furthermore, including the citation in your chart will make it easier to refer back to the text when you need to as well as to create a works cited page.

 

4. The last step in creating this chart is potentially the hardest: deriving significance from your argument and evidence. Simply put, you need to show how the textual evidence connects to your initial claim, and why this connection is significant.

Main point Evidence from text Interpretation/Significance
1. Argument one “quote”( page number; book; author)  [Insert in-depth analysis of text in connection to your argument]
2. Argument two ….  

Deconstructing your essay into a simple chart can make the pre-writing and brainstorming process more manageable, especially for those of you who are visual learners. Charts are foolproof ways to organize your paragraphs, your essay, and most fundamentally, your thoughts. Try it out!

 

 

 


Post by: Miqi Cos

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