How to Do Well on an Essay Exam
by David W. Boles
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Be argumentative in your thesis: “Antigone is a really neat person” is not as effective as “Antigone misinterprets her calling by choosing dishonored blood over the honor of character.” The word “because” is an excellent signpost that the argument in your thesis is next. All punctuation belongs INSIDE quotation marks. Make your thesis the first sentence in your essay. That will rivet your attention on supporting your argument as you write. When you write a sentence or finish a paragraph in your essay, refer back to that first sentence and ask yourself if what you just wrote is connected to that thesis. If not, revise what you wrote. DO NOT REPHRASE THE QUESTION IN YOUR THESIS!...