All freshmen at my high school were required to take and pass a course on writing essays. We had to learn a basic structure, how to choose and research a topic, how to form arguments (the pros and the cons) and juxtapose them, and how to write a thesis statement.
I excelled at the process and did so well on my college entrance exam that I got to skip Freshman English at Washington State University (WSU). The things that have really stuck with me are the fail-proof structure and placement of the thesis statement.
∇ – Start with a few generalities and end with the thesis statement.
≡ – Body of one or more paragraphs supporting your argument point-by-point and countering as needed.
Δ – End with the thesis statement and an overview of your conclusion.
The many graduating classes of Kelso Senior High School own their freshman English teachers a debt.