The Critical Lens Essay should have at least Five Key Paragraphs:
• An Introduction Paragraph, which includes a general topic sentence, followed by a strongly asserted Thesis Statement – which is the statement put forward as the essay’s argument, the premise for the rest of the essay – and the points that will be used to defend and validate this argument.
• At Least Three Body Paragraphs, which serve to support and effectively defend the Thesis Statement. Each paragraph will, one at a time, address the three main points that defend the argument, or the Thesis Statement.
• A Conclusion Paragraph – ties the paper together; it also announces that the essay and its argument have come to a close, in order to solidify its argument.
Format for Writing a Good Critical Lens Essay
1. Introduction Paragraph – the first paragraph introducing the essay, which includes a strong, engaging topic sentence:
• Most importantly, it includes a Thesis Statement – the paper’s argument that will be maintained throughout the essay, which is generally a sentence or two declaring the student’s argument.
• The student-writer should generally list the three main points that they will use to ultimately defend their original Thesis Statement. By not starting off in this way, the student-writer leaves the reader in the dark about the purpose of their essay and what it will seek to explain, which leads to a low grade on the assignment.
2. Three Body Paragraphs – the (minimum of) three paragraphs that support, evidence, explain and illustrate how the Thesis Statement is true and viable.
• Each body paragraph should generally begin with an appropriate Transitional Phrase – First of all, Secondly, Thirdly, Lastly – to indicate to the reader that a new point (meaning one of the three main points) is being examined, put forth and expounded. Again, every body paragraph will be defending the Thesis statement, each one focusing on just one point at a time.
• Also, before each body paragraph’s main point is illustrated in full, the student must remember to restate their Thesis – but not verbatim as it was stated originally in the Introduction Paragraph; it should be paraphrased or said in a different but also similar way – to keep the reader’s focus on the argument being made and put forth as true in the essay.
3. Conclusion Paragraph – serves to tie the paper together so that the reader better understands and follows its argument; this helps to make sure that the reader is ultimately convinced that the paper’s argument is valid and correct because it was thoroughly defended and therefore believed.
• This final paragraph summarizes the essay, from its original Thesis Statement to its supportive three main points (which were illustrated and expounded on in the body paragraphs, each point being addressed one paragraph at a time).
• The conclusion paragraph of the Persuasive Essay also, generally, begins with a transitional phrase to indicate the conclusion of the essay. Lastly, In conclusion, To sum it up, and Ultimately are the most appropriate ones to use in this case.
• This paragraph may end with the reader offering a counter-argument for their essay, one that may get the reader considering all possible angles, points and issues pertaining to the argument’s focus.
• Also it may benefit the reader if the student-writer were to pose additional questions or points that maybe weren’t addressed in their essay, but would ultimately gets the reader considering other issues, as well.
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