A paper should begin with an introduction that states a clear and focused thesis. If a primary source is to be discussed in the paper, the author’s name and the work’s title need to be included in the introduction.
Body paragraphs should focus on and develop aspects of the thesis stated in the introduction. The process of development can make use of many approaches: analysis, logical argument, and explanation. Transitional words and phrases need to be used between sentences and paragraphs. It is wise to begin a paragraph with a topic sentence which is a one-sentence summary that tells readers what to expect as they read on. Just keep in mind that these developing paragraphs need to include three things: statement, evidence, and amplification.
Conclusions take many forms, but they should generally leave the reader with a sense of completion and resolution. The conclusion of a paper calls for expansion and/or speculation on the implications of the analysis.
All sources used in papers, whether directly quoted or paraphrased, must be documented in the manner required by your instructor. Documentation styles and manuscript formats include MLA (Modern Language Association system used by many English and humanities journals); APA (American Psychological Association system used by many social science, natural science, and medical journals); and The Chicago Manual of Sytle used by most history and some humanities journals.