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WRI 1100 -- Online Library Instruction

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Introductory Writing

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WRI 1100 -- Introductory Writing

This course guides students in the process of improving writing skills. Through individual and peer group work, the course offers instruction in writing as a revising and editing process in order to create an effective thesis statement and cogent paragraphs. The balanced written pieces will comprise a required portfolio.

Basic Essay Structure

1. Introduction
The first paragraph sets the tone for the entire essay (longer essays may have two-paragraph introductions.)
It should catch the reader's attention right from the start and make them want to continue reading. 

The Introduction provides background on the topic and includes a Thesis Statement  which should focus your point of view about the topic. The thesis statement is usually the last sentence of the introductory paragraph (but not always.)

2. Body

The body of the essay includes at least three paragraphs, but often more than that. The body should support the thesis statement and offer opposing viewpoints to strengthen your argument. Each paragraph starts with a Topic Sentence, which is the controlling idea of the paragraph.  

3. Conclusion

The conclusion reminds the reader of the main idea without restating the thesis, and ends with a broad view of the topic or a suggestion. Do not introduce new ideas or analysis here.

Here are a couple of good academic sites on essay writing: 

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Harvard College Writing Center

Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic can be one of the hardest parts of writing a paper. The resources listed here can help you:

  • Brainstorm topic ideas
  • Find background information on your topic
  • Explore related concepts in order to refine your topic and create keywords for research
  • Narrow or broaden your topic to formulate an appropriate research question

Helpful Tips

Check out this helpful video on choosing a topic from NCSU Libraries.

Online Resources

There are many online resources to help you improve your writing skills. Check out these resources for writing tips, citation help and more!

Writing Commons

Writing Commons

A peer-reviewed, Open Access textbook for research and writing at college level. Chapters designed to help students improve their writing, critical thinking, and information literacy


Writing Spaces

Writing Spaces

A series of Open, peer-reviewed books and essays presenting unique views, insights and strategies for successful writing. Written by teachers for undergraduate students.


UNCThe Writing Center: UNC Chapel Hill

Writing tips and tools from UNC Chapel Hill. Includes dozens of articles and videos on writing style, grammar, citation and more!


Harvard Writing Center

Harvard College Writing Center

Strategies for academic writing from the Harvard College Writing Center. Numerous articles with practical advice on the fundamental elements of academic writing.


OWL PurduePurdue University Online Writing Lab

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University is full of resources and instructional materials to help students with general writing, academic, college applications, citation and more.



Hemingway Editor

Learn to write like Hemingway! This fun app will help you make your writing more readable by highlighting needless words, dense passages and other stylistic faux pas.


Academic Enhancement Center

The Academic Enhancement Center at St. Francis College offers support and help to all SFC students. They offer workshops, tutoring, mentoring and other academic programs that help with the transition to the demanding workloads and complex assignments that are part of college life.

Contact Information

Room 3002 / 718-489-5226