TRIAC: Thesis, Restating the thesis with Key Terms, Illustration, Argument, Conclusion.
ESSAY TEMPLATE. Here’s a detailed TRIAC template you can use to develop your essay drafts:
PARAGRAPH 1 Thesis: . . . . a general introduction to your topic, ending with a . . . THESIS STATEMENT: Write it here— topic plus a point
PARAGRAPH 2 Still part of your thesis—now give a little detail about what you are going to talk about, and break it down into, let’s say, three sections or topics. So . . . include your three KEY TERMS write them here —Key Term 1 Key Term 2 Key Term 3.
PARAGRAPH 3 TOPIC SENTENCE WITH KEY TERM 1 write it here. Now you are getting into the body of the essay—the section that is made up of “I-‐A’s”— Illustrations and Arguments (or comparisons, scenes, anecdotes, explanations). Start this paragraph with a topic sentence, stating what you’re going to talk about—mentioning KEY TERM 1. Keep each paragraph focused on its own Key Term.
“Let’s first look at how K–T 1 effects . . .” for example. Remember to support what you say with evidence or detail. Each paragraph will have illustrations and argument.
Be ready to include another paragraph here—call it 3 (a)—if you need to develop ideas.
PARAGRAPH 4 TOPIC SENTENCE WITH KEY TERM 2 write it here Here you deal with Key Term 2. Again, start with a topic sentence declaring your direction, and use Key Term 2 in it. Illustrate the term (with examples), and argue (or explain, or describe) your point, position, concept, or scene.
Be ready to include another paragraph here—call it 4 (a)—if you need to develop ideas.
PARAGRAPH 5 TOPIC SENTENCE WITH KEY TERM 3 write it here. Another topic sentence built around Key Term 3. State where you are going with this part of the argument and how it’s related to the points you’ve made above.
(Are you happy with the order of your paragraphs? Is the order logical and effective?) Be ready to include another paragraph here—call it 5 (a)—if you need to develop ideas.
CONCLUSION Now you sum up what you’ve said and argued for—or what you’ve learned in a personal story—by referring to the general sweep of your essay. Then mention the Key Terms, what you’ve demonstrated with them, and state your thesis statement again—to show you’ve proved it, made it credible, recognize the lesson you’ve learned or realization you’ve made.
Remember that the number of explanatory paragraphs in the “body”) will vary with the number of aspects you choose to deal with (three to seven) and the detail of that development. Begin your essay with a strong thesis statement that declares what you are going to write about and what you are going to say about that topic ( a “what” and a “so what”). Then state what aspects of the subject you are going to write about and prove.
Strategy for Success: Begin with your second-‐strongest point as Key Term 1. Use your weakest point in the middle of your essay as Key Term 2. Finish with your strongest point as Key Term 3.