Topic:::: Gianni Versace and the influence he had on fashion in the 1990s *** Please DO NOT use biogaraphy.com Wikipedia **** **The first paragraph in your essay is the introduction. I taught my students that a good introduction unlike a picnic has an ANT. Heres how my acronym works. A is for Announcement. Announcements are meant to get your attention. Youre going to get the readers attention with an arresting fact an amusing story or some intriguing idea. N is your Need Statement. If youre writing an argumentative essay (and most of your AP Literature essays will be argumentative) this is where you prove that your topic is one worth considering. Answer this question “ why would your audience need to know about this topic? T is your Thesis. Thats the direct statement of the position you take in your essay. A convenient place to drop that thesis statement is at the end of your introduction. Pro tip “ once you have your thesis statement written take a moment to stop and write it on a sticky note. Post that note on the edge of your screen or next to your paper if youre handwriting. If youre going to take the trouble to write a rough draft of your essay you want to get as much right as possible on the first time through. The easiest big mistake to make when writing a rough draft is getting off topic. By keeping your thesis in plain sight you can ask yourself every few sentences ˜Does this support my thesis? If the honest answer is no you can quickly correct course and get back on topic. Since you planned out your topics ahead of time now you can write the body paragraphs. These are the paragraphs in the middle of the essay. If the introduction is the head and the conclusion is the tail then everything in the middle is the body. Stick to one major topic per paragraph and state that topic in a clear sentence early in your paragraph. The rest of the paragraph should contain evidence that supports the point you made in your topic sentence. Heres another pro tip: if youre writing about literature you cant just add details from the story and expect them to prove your point. You have to explain why you picked those details and how they prove your point. Thats your analysis and all the best papers have it. Keep writing your body paragraphs until youve covered all your topics. Try to avoid topics that arent going to give you a full paragraph. By that I mean if your topic can be covered in one or two sentences you probably dont need that topic or you can lump it in with another idea. As youre writing be aware of your voice. When writing academic papers its easy to fall into passive voice. Passive voice is when the subject of the sentence isnt the do-er in the sentence. Instead of saying ˜Sarah wrote her essay (active voice) youd say ˜The essay was written by Sarah. Thats passive voice and its weak. Sarah is the one doing the writing but the essay is the subject of the sentence. Weak! Even when youre writing that rough draft you can keep your ear open for passive voice and stop it before it spreads to the rest of your essay. When youre done with the body its time to draft out the conclusion. Conclusions are one of the hardest parts of the paper for me so I dont worry too much about them in the drafting phase. Generally I want to come back to my thesis to remind the reader that I proved what I set out to prove. Unless youve written ten pages you dont need to spend more than a sentence in summary. So what to do with the rest of your conclusion? Pro tip “ try synthesizing. Avoid summarizing. Youve made all these points in your paper and youve provided examples so heres your chance to explain how all those points fit together to support your thesis. At this point set your draft aside. In the ideal world where student writers never procrastinate youll have a few days before you need to do any revision. Its best to give yourself at least a day before you come back to your draft. Then youll see it with fresh eyes and youll be ready to polish it into a gem of an essay.