Student Question

I have to write a reflective journal on tradition and reputation in the arts and humanities. How do I begin this essay? What should I include in my essay?

Expert Answers

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When writing an essay, the first thing you want to select is a topic. You said that you're going to be writing about "traditions and reputations" as they relate to what you're learning in your arts and humanities class. This sounds like a pretty broad topic, but it could definitely work if you handle it the right way. I would look for a few specific traditions and reputations that you've learned about in class. Then, compare and contrast them. How are they similar? How do they differ?

Start your essay off with an introduction that tells the reader what you're going to be writing about. The most important part of this paragraph is your thesis statement. This is a single sentence that tells your reader what you're going to be saying in the rest of your essay. For example, your thesis could follow the format of "Tradition 1, 2, and 3 are similar in many aspects but differ in important ways."

Then, you'll go to the body of your essay. If you used the thesis statement I included above, then you'd write a paragraph about the features of tradition 1, another about tradition 2, and a third about tradition 3. You can discuss their similarities and differences within each paragraph and/or you can add a fourth paragraph that focuses exclusively on comparisons.

Finally, tie your essay together with a strong final paragraph. Here, you'll want to restate the most important things that you said in your essay. Then, finish it off with a strong sentence that clearly states your conclusions. You can follow this format regardless of the specific topic you decide to write about. Best of luck!

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