In northern Wisconsin there is a small cabin, built years ago by my great-grandfather. The cabin rests on the shore of Bass Lake, named such despite the fact that no bass have ever actually made their home there. My father swam in Bass Lake decades ago, watched the grown-ups play cards at night, played touch football with his brothers in the yard. Today the cabin is collectively owned by the Bonsall family, including my dad, and no doubt he will one day pass along that ownership to me, and I will receive my own stake in the family heritage. When I was younger, the entire Bonsall clan would assemble at the cabin each summer, just as they always had. During those summers I swam in Bass Lake, caught my first fish in its waters, sat on the iron swing by the lake and gazed into the flames of the campfire, listening partly to the conversation between my relatives, partly to the chirping of the crickets in the woods. I heard the sound of spring rain pattering against the tent on wet summer nights, and the call of the loons on the lake on dry ones. I have rarely felt so content as on those nights at the cabin.
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The most common argumentative structure in English prose is deductive: starting off with a generalization or assertion, and then providing support for it. This pattern can be used to order a paragraph as well as an entire essay. Another possible structure is inductive: facts, instances or observations can be reviewed, and the conclusion to be drawn from them follows. There is no blueprint for a successful essay; the best ones show us a focused mind making sense of some manageable aspect of the world, a mind where insightfulness, reason, and clarity are joined.