Research Part Three: Writing

You have conducted research and written an annotated bibliography.  Now, let’s put it all together.


  • Begin with an attention-getter (quote, story, joke, statistic, etc.).  Stories work well to establish why you are interested in this topic.
  • Summarize the issue of the essay:  State your topic.
  • Funnel toward a thesis statement—the last sentence of your introduction should state your position and presents an overview of your main points.  Many students want to wait to ‘reveal’ their thesis at the end of their papers:  DON’T DO THAT!!! Tell me up front what you’re writing about:
    • This essay will examine the effects that sleep and love have on the brain.
    • There are many pros and cons to both duck and deer hunting including X, Y, and Z.  Ultimately though, ______ hunting is best.
    • Two main wrestlers in the WWE are Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. I am going to explain their history, their gimmicks, their storylines and prove why _______ is the better WWE wrestler of the two.
  • More advanced writers should try to create a more complicated introductory structure by making the attention-getter its own paragraph and the preview with thesis a second paragraph = double-paragraph-introduction-all-the-way-across-the-sky!


  • Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that states your main point.  Your topic sentence should reflect one of the main points in your thesis.
    • Sleep affects how the brain learns and stores information.
    • The benefits to duck hunting are _______ and ________.
    • Two main events led CM Punk to become a WWE wrestler are ____ and ____.
  • Provide support in the form of quotes from your sources.  You must have at least one quote per main point / paragraph.  You must use each of the two types of quotes at least once. When you first introduce an article or webpage, begin with your descriptive summary.
    • According to the National Geographic article “This Thing Called Love,” by Lauren Slater many chemicals are responsible for how we experience love.  Serotonin is a primary chemical responsible for how we react to love.   Researchers conducted studies and found that “love and obsessive-compuslive disorder could have a similar chemical profile” (Slater 38). This explains why….
    • “Deer or Duck Hunting” by James Orville examines the difference between deer and duck hunting.  In the article, the author states that “deer hunting isn’t as cold or wet as duck hunting” (Orville 1).  Duck hunting is wet because…
    •   “Legend of the American Dragon” by Anthony Benigno is about blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.  According to the article, Daniel Bryan began his wrestling career competing in the Ring of Honor (ROH) for ten years (Benigno 1).  The ROH is….
  • Explain the importance of the quote in relation to the main point of the paragraph.  Don’t assume your reader will just “get it” when you plunk a quote in your paragraph.
  • Parenthetical Citations for electronic sources: give the author’s last name & the page number can be “1” unless it is a PDF or other document with specific page numbers (Borger 1).  If no author exists, give an shorten version of the page title followed by page number (“Research Part Three” 1).
  • Explain how this main point supports the overriding thesis of the essay.


  • Summarize the thesis and how the main points have “proved” the thesis to be true.
  • End with an exigency: the “Jerry Springer Final Thought” of the essay.  Answer the “so what?” question  (i.e. tell the reader what s/he can learn from reading your essay).
  • Make a final persuasive claim.

Works Cited: