Page One in an Essay Abounds in Pitfalls for Errors

So that we all avoid any issues, here are the most common page one problems in order of appearance:

  • Pagination appears in a header and is in the same font as the rest of the essay.
  • Titles get centered but have no extra spaces above/below.
  • In the heading, don’t have Essay 1 listed.  Also avoid having Essay 1 as the title.
  • Avoid assuming audiences don’t know what rhetoric or irony are.  Only define terms you believe they may not know or whose wording is important to set forward and use.
  • Make sure the first body paragraph features a topic sentence (somewhere . . . but usually first) that relates directly to the proving of your claim.  Too often, we begin with the first “thing” of interest in the chapter or summarize the chapter in ways that don’t obviously further the thesis’ proving.
  • Articles or essays are not novels or stories, so don’t misidentify the title, misspell the author’s (or my) name, or neglect to indicate which topic you’re analyzing.
  • Why it matters is called exigency in writing.  Convey some sense of why it matters that we understand your thesis.