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Concluding or Transitional Sentence

A sentence that concludes each body paragraph; should restate topic sentence idea and can transition into new idea of next body paragraph.  A concluding or transitional sentence can also be placed at the end of the introduction.

Concrete Detail

A specific reference to a particular event or detail in the literature.


Introduces the quotation or concrete detail.  Informs the reader where in the story the quotation occurs.

Major Support

Focuses on one important aspect of the topic.


A passage copied exactly from another text, enclosed in quotation marks, and cited properly (see page 10).

Topic Sentence

States the main point to be argued/proved in the paragraph.


A word or phrase used to logically connect two or more ideas, sentences, or paragraphs.

For Essays:

Interest Creating Device (ICD)

Used at the beginning of an essay to attract the attention of the reader.  It must be relevant to the essay's topic/thesis.  It must be smoothly transitioned, through analysis or explanation, into the thesis (see Conrad example on page 25).

Statements of Organization (SofO)

Three separate sentences placed in the introduction (in a five-paragraph essay with three body paragraphs) which function as the arguable topic sentences of the body paragraphs.  Statements of organization should relate to each other and should work together to argue thesis.

Thesis Statement

An essay's controlling idea.  It is both arguable and provable.  It is more than simple observation.