Essays & Research Papers

  • Summaries
  • Thesis Statements
  • Transition Words
  • Counterargument
  • Conclusions

Summaries

The ability to summarize clearly and concisely is important to many writing tasks. This quick guide offers some hints to help you summarize effectively.

Summary          Sample Summary

Thesis Statements

A strong thesis statement is key to any successful essay or research paper. This guide explains what a good thesis statement is and identifies many common problems with them.

Thesis Statements

Transition Words

We often hear that a good paper flows well, but what does that mean? Among other things, it means that the author employs clear, logical transitions between the elements of an argument. This handout offers a list of useful transition words organized by logical function to help your paper flow.

Transition Words

Counterargument

The strongest arguments acknowledge possible objections and offer counterarguments. This guide can help you anticipate opposition to your own argument and respond effectively.

Counterargument

Conclusions

A strong conclusion can be the most difficult part of a paper to write. This guide can make the process just a little easier.

Conclusions

Outside Resources

What Is a Good Argument?  This page briefly discusses the features of a strong argument, including a narrow focus and a scholarly tone. Its focus is on papers for literature classes, but the information it offers applies to many subjects. It also offer links to help on related topics.

Writing in Specific Fields:  Each academic discipline has its own writing conventions; familiarity with these conventions can help you clarify your goals and improve your chances of success. This page offers links to brief guides about writing in the fields of history, philosophy, English, and psychology. 

 

 

Organizing Your Argument:  This page offers comprehensive information to help you develop your thoughts and outline your paper.





Logic & Argument:
  Most essays or research papers you write in college must make an argument that relies, at least in part, on logic. This page can help you understand the components of a strong argument and evaluate the validity of your own logic (or someone else's). If your paper uses logic to convince an audience, this could be an important resource for you.

Literary Terms:  This page defines numerous terms used frequently in writing assignments and discussions of literature. If the terminology used by your instructor or your written sources is confusing you, this page might help.



Rhetorical Analysis:
  Whenever a writing task requires that you read critically or evaluate a source, you'll need to recognize and analyze the strategies the author uses to appeal to the audience, a process is called rhetorical analysis. This brief guide explains the components of rhetorical analysis and how to apply them effectively.