Like with most other essays, there is a certain way to write a Research Essay. Most professors who assign the essay in their course want students to make sense out of their research, to make an argument in their essay then defend it.
So, like a Persuasive Essay or an Argumentative Essay, the Research is written, at the very least, in five paragraphs, each one playing a very specific role in the outcome of the essay, which includes a Thesis Statement in the very first paragraph, the rest of the paragraphs investigating the argument and defending it. Of course, most Research Essays will require more than five paragraphs; however, the basic five-paragraph outline for writing a Research Essay will help the student-writer during the writing process.
Outlining the Research Essay’s (Minimal) Five Paragraphs One By One
I. Introductory Paragraph
A. Includes a topic sentence that will ease the reader into the essay and establish and narrow the focus for the rest of the essay.
B. THESIS STATEMENT – the argument the essay will be making, from start to finish. In the case of the Research Essay, the student-writer makes a case for one side of an issue of some sort, which depends on the course in which the assignment is given.
C. THREE MAIN POINTS that will be defending, supporting and substantiating the Thesis Statement, or the Research Essay’s purpose or main argument. Each of the following body paragraphs will expound on these three main points, one by one.
II. First Body Paragraph
A. A TRANSITIONAL PHRASE – introduces the reader to the first point that will be expounded on which will serve to uphold the essay’s main argument – such as First of all, To start off, Firstly.
B. The first bit of evidence – based on substantial research – that defends the original argument, with a logical explanation as to how the point being made upholds the essay’s argument, which is the essay’s Thesis Statement first declared in the Introduction Paragraph.
III. Second Body Paragraph
A. A TRANSITIONAL PHRASE – introduces the reader to the second point that will be expounded on which will serve to uphold the essay’s main argument – such as Next, Subsequently, Also, Secondly, Then.
B. The second bit of evidence – again, based on research – that supports the essay’s argument, with a logical explanation as to how the point being made upholds the essay’s original Thesis Statement.
IV. Third Body Paragraph
A. A TRANSITIONAL PHRASE – introduces the reader to the third and final point that defends the essay’s main argument – such as Lastly, Thirdly, Also, Finally.
B. The last bit of evidence – one more time, based on found research – that supports the essay’s argument, once again with a logical explanation as to how the point being made upholds the essay’s original Thesis Statement first stated in the introduction paragraph.
V. Conclusion Paragraph
A. A CONCLUSION on the essay’s main argument, the point it sought to argue, the argument it as a whole attempted to defend.
B. A RESTATEMENT OF THE ORIGINAL THESIS, but in a different way than stated in the introduction paragraph, as well as an enumeration of the main points that supported it and legitimized it.
C. The student-writer should perhaps conclude their essay with a few questions for their reader, ones that may offer a bit more perspective on the argument they just made and why they should consider it.
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