So, you've finally sat down to write your essay that is probably due very soon. You're staring at the blank screen thinking to yourself: "Why do I have to do this?!" You're probably having a bunch of other thoughts that you're welcome to share with me and my readers. Let's face it: you have the Acquired White Page Fear Syndrome.
I hear you because I've been there. I've found out for myself that the hardest part of writing an essay is writing that first sentence. So, what is the cure?
The Power of Three:
Write your essay in 3 steps
- Write your Thesis Statement
- Write your Body
- Do the Power Proofread
To Write your Thesis Statement:
- Choose your Subject
- Choose the Verb
- Come up with Three Supporting Points (Yes, the Power of Three again)
1. Your subject is essentially what your essay is about.
Here's an example of a Thesis Statement:
Video gaming benefits the players' health.
What is the Subject of this sentence? In other words, what is this sentence about? It's about Video Gaming. Note that it's not just about video games or the players. It's about the act of playing video games specifically.
2. The Verb simply describes What the Subject Is or Does.
In this example, the Subject is Video Gaming. So, what does it do, according to the thesis statement? It benefits the players' health. So, the verb is 'benefits.'
Now that you have the Subject and the Verb (and, in this case, the Object as well, which is 'the players' health), your Thesis is done. But a Thesis is only the main part of the Thesis Statement. In order to complete the Thesis Statement, you need to do Step 3:
3. Come up with Three Supporting Points (Yes, the Power of Three again).
So, instead of being stuck thinking of what to write next, here is a great way to make your essay creativity explode:
Come up with 3 Supporting Points to support your Thesis. What can they be? The easiest thing to do is to just think of your thesis as an answer to a question. So, if the aforementioned thesis is the answer, then what would be the question?
How does video gaming benefit the players' health?
In which ways does video gaming benefit the players' health?
And since you are using the Power of Three, here's your answer:
Video gaming benefits the players' health in three ways.
Okay. Do you see where this is going? Now you have a nice little structure forming. And all you have to do is to come up with three ways that video gaming can benefit the players' health. Here are just some of the ideas:
Video Gaming can benefit health in the following ways:
- It improves hand-eye coordination
- It provides a relief from stress
- It burns calories
Wow! I can't believe I just came up with three health benefits of video gaming! And I did it without doing any research. And it took me about a minute. Now, if you're writing a research paper, then you better go on the Internet and do a simple search to validate these claims. However, if you're just writing for a writing class, such as English 101, then chances are that your professor or instructor doesn't care if you've done your research and only cares about the quality of your essay.
And now - your complete thesis statement:
Video gaming benefits the players' health in three ways. First, it improves hand-eye coordination. Second, it provides a relief from stress. And finally, it burns calories.
And that's your first paragraph. Now, depending on how many pages your essay needs to be, just focus on a section at a time and provide some evidence. I'll show you how to do just that in another article.
So, do you see how the Power of Three can help you write your first few sentences? Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or comments.
Philip Saparov taught college-level composition at the City University of New York. Today he focuses on making essay writing quick, easy, and fun for college students all over the world.
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