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Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an what to write an essay about writer.
In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing. You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think — and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five. Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure:.
Though it may seem formulaic — and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay. You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.
The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position this is also known as the "thesis" or "argument" on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that. Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations "no man is an island" or surprising statistics "three out of four doctors report that…". Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay.
Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about. Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper. In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four personal letter of recommendation for a family member in length.
If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit! Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question:.
Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible. The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it.
At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or How to write a narrative essay introduction. Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.
The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis. For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point as in the case of chronological explanations is required.
The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph. A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "LeBron James" is not enough, however.
No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant.
Even the most famous examples need context. The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them.
To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life in general or event in particular you believe most clearly illustrates your point.
Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis. The importance of this step cannot be understated although it clearly can be underlined ; this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place. Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective.
Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together.
For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly.
Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over.
You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: the first few words. These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing.
Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another.
In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another. Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them.
Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features.
While it does not need to be too long — four well-crafted sentence should be enough — it can make or break and essay.
Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition "in conclusion," "in the end," etc. After that you should immediately provide a restatement of your thesis statement. This should be the fourth or fifth time you have repeated your thesis so while you should use a variety of word choice in the body paragraphs it is a acceptable idea to use some but not all of the original language you used in the introduction.
This echoing effect not only reinforces your argument but also ties it nicely to the second key element of the conclusion: a brief two or three words is enough review 2000 sat to new sat the three main points from the body of the paper. Having done all of that, the final element — and final sentence in your essay — should be a "global statement" or "call to action" that gives the reader signals that the discussion statement letter sample come to an end.
The conclusion paragraph can be a difficult paragraph to write effectively but, as it is your last chance to convince or otherwise impress the reader, it is worth investing some time in. Take this opportunity to restate your thesis with confidence; if you present your argument as "obvious" then the reader might just do the same.
Although you can reuse the same key words in the conclusion as you did in the introduction, writing essays pdf not to copy whole phrases word for word. Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible.
Although it may seem like a waste of time — especially during exams where time is tight — it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay. This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas — rather than simply the first ones that come to mind — and position them in your essay accordingly. Your best supporting idea — the one that most strongly makes your case and, simultaneously, about which you have the most knowledge — should go first.
Even the best-written essays can fail because of ineffectively placed arguments. Sentences and vocabulary of varying complexity are one of the hallmarks of effective writing. When you are writing, try to avoid using the same words and phrases over and over again. If you are asked about "money," you could try "wealth" or "riches.
In the end, though, remember that good writing does not happen by accident. Although we have endeavored to explain everything that goes into effective essay writing in as clear and concise a way as possible, it is much easier in theory than it is in practice. As a result, we recommend that you practice writing sample essays on various topics.
Even if they are not masterpieces at first, a bit of regular practice will soon change that — and make you better prepared when it comes to the real thing. Back InternationalStudent. Sign in to Your Account Done. Sign in. Don't have an Account? Register Now! Want to see sample essays? Check out our Sample Essay section where you can see scholarship essays, admissions essays, and more!
DO — Pay Attention to Your Introductory Paragraph Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible.
DO — Tie Things Together The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. DO — Be Powerful The conclusion paragraph can be a difficult paragraph to write effectively but, as it is your last chance to convince or otherwise impress the reader, it is worth investing some time in.
DO NOT — Copy the First Paragraph Although you can reuse the same key words in the conclusion as you did in the introduction, try not to copy whole phrases word for word. Taken together, then, the overall structure of a five paragraph essay should look something like this: Introduction Paragraph An attention-grabbing "hook" A thesis statement A preview of the three subtopics you will discuss in the body paragraphs.
First Body Paragraph Topic sentence which states the first subtopic and opens with a transition Supporting details or examples An explanation of how this example proves your thesis Second Body Paragraph Topic sentence which states the second subtopic and opens with a transition Supporting details or examples An explanation of how this example proves your thesis Third Body Paragraph Topic sentence which states the third subtopic and opens with a transition Supporting details or examples An explanation of how this example proves your thesis Concluding Paragraph Concluding Transition, Reverse "hook," and restatement of thesis.
Rephrasing main topic and subtopics. Global statement or call to action. Essay Writing Center. Get the International Student Newsletter! I consent to the storage of my personal data so that International Student can deliver the monthly newsletter and other relevant emails to me.
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Learning how to write an essay is crucial to admissions and scholarship decisions.
How to Write an Essay About Any Book in English Class: Part 1
These step-by-step tips on how to write an essay can guide you through the process so you can write a masterpiece regardless of topic or essay type. Read on. 10 Steps to Write a Brilliant Essay. Choosing a topic for an essay. The fact that you need something to write about is obvious and undeniable. Dig deep! Give yourself time. Structure your thoughts. The thesis statement is the root of everything. Just do it. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Perfection. We have the largest collection of essay topics and ideas. Find + Essay writing topics for students, college students, kids and students from grade 6, 7, 8.