How to Write a Focus Paper

In a focus paper, you must take a stance and make your point known to readers, compelling them to climb aboard. Essays of this type are argumentative in nature and are intended to inform readers of a truth and entice them to side with you. To ensure that your paper accomplishes these lofty goals, carefully craft your essay, taking care to include the requisite parts as your compose your written work.

Choose an argumentative topic. Select something for which you can find evidence and about which you have some pre-existing knowledge.

Research the topic. If at all possible, research before officially declaring your topic to your professor or teacher, as you may find, upon researching that there isn't sufficient information to support your planned argument.

Select an argument. Use the information you gathered while making this decision to ensure that your evidence supports the stance.

List supports for the argument. List these on a sheet of paper, creating a reference for yourself as you write your essay.

Write an introduction containing a thesis statement. Introduce the topic in the first several sentences of your introduction, and clearly state your argument in the final sentence, the thesis statement.

Compose body paragraphs containing supports. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that clearly states the support, then elaborate upon each support in the sentences that fill the rest of the paragraph.

Write a conclusion. State your thesis in the conclusion, reminding readers of the argument you were making in your essay. Finish strong with a few declarative sentences in which you re-state your most compelling arguments.

Cite your sources. Use APA or MLA style as your instructor requires when creating these sources to ensure that your finished essay is in alignment with the project requirements.


APA (American Psychological Association), and MLA (Modern Language Association) styles are sets of rules that govern presentation of citing sources in scholarly works.

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