How to Begin an Essay

Topic sentence is one sentence that states what will be proved in your paragraph. It includes the title of the piece of literature and its author.

General statement, major statements, major reasons are referring to a one-sentence subtopic of the topic sentence. For example, if your topic sentence states that University of California, Los Angeles is a great university to attend for your future, your three major reasons could mention the great professors, the variety of classes, and/or the resources available to students. You could not mention the parties or the food because these ideas do not support the topic sentence. Make sure to begin each major statement with a transitional word or phrase such as first, next, and finally. These transitions will become more sophisticated as your writing skill improves.

Good and effective writers take the time to find the best quotation for each example. Each quotation should exemplify the major it supports. For example, if your major states that Joe Bruin is a kind person, you quotation should give an example of his kindness. The quotation you select may be part of the narration; in other words, it need not be in quotation marks in the story or article. Remember to cite the page number for each quotation. Use the following format: “__________” (Page#). If the quotation ends in a question mark or exclamation point, use the following format: “__________?” (Page#). Short quotations are usually more effective than longer ones. Avoid quoting dialogues.


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