© Damen, 2002

"Writing is not a special language that belongs to English teachers and a few sensitive souls who have a 'gift for words.' Writing is the logical arrangement of thought. Anyone who thinks clearly should be able to write clearly—about any subject at all."
William Zinsser, writing teacher and author (Writing to Learn, 1993)

G. Structuring and Organizing Your Paper

In longer papers—essays and research papers, in particular—it's necessary to structure your argument in such a way it's accessible and persuasive to your reader. That involves laying it out ahead of time in an introduction so that the reader knows where the paper is heading, and also summarizing it at the end in a conclusion which drives your point home.

Introductions and conclusions are strictly required in formal, persuasive essays and, while other sorts of papers do not necessarily have to include them, it's often helpful. In any case, whatever type of paper you're writing, you should make the flow of your thinking clear somehow. In other words, it always matters the way the facts you cite feed into your argument. In particular, pay careful attention to transitions between paragraphs. Different topics should blend together smoothly. Use the theme of your paper to link them.

24. Introduction and Conclusion

25. Rough Transitions

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