Tag: guide to essay writing

Simple Guide to Writing a Basic Essay – Part 2

According to Simple Guide to Writing a Basic Essay – Part 1, when deciding to write an essay we should consider three important things: subject, target reader(s) and purpose. Also, we recognized the main four types of essays and we became aware of the three components of every essay which are the introduction, the body and the conclusion. We have tackled only the introduction in part 1. Here are some information about the other two components.

2. The body of an essay:

The body of an essay is the part between the introduction and the conclusion. It contains as much as information about the subject of the essay. It contains one paragraph at least but you can write more paragraphs depending on the subject and the amount of information you have about it. The body should give examples, evidence and more details.

Each paragraph in the body should include the following sentences:

  • Topic sentence: to tell the reader what the paragraph is going to be about.
  • Detail sentence: to tell the reader more about the subject. Each paragraph can have many detail sentences which should include examples and evidence.
  • Concluding sentence: to wrap up what have been already said in the paragraph and to prepare the readers for the next paragraph.

3. The end of an essay – The conclusion:

Just as every essay has a clear beginning, it should have a clear ending, too. It is the last paragraph which is known as the conclusion and which makes sound finish to the essay.

The concluding paragraph typically has two parts:

1. The summary statement: which restates the thesis sentence in a fresh way to reinforce the main idea of the essay.

It is very important to start your concluding paragraph with a summary statement because it helps the reader to recall the ideas you have expressed in the essay.

To write a good summary statement, you should look again at the thesis sentence and try to rephrase it without repeating the key words and phrases in the thesis sentence because you don’t want your summary statement to sound repetitive and boring. Using the thesaurus is a good way to find more interesting words with the same meaning.

Here is an example of a thesis sentence and a summary statement in an essay on “Toyota Corolla”

Thesis sentence: Many people prefer buying “Toyota Corolla” because of its competitive price, fuel economy, and high resale value.

Summary statement: reasonable price, low miles per gallon, and the attractive resale value make the popularity of “Toyota Corolla” in today’s market.

2. The clincher: which is the final thought that should create a good and lasting impression on the reader. It is also referred as the “closer” as it is your last opportunity to connect with the reader. To make a good clincher, you should return to the technique you used when writing the “hook” in the introduction. Here is a list of clinchers:

  • Finish the story you told at the beginning.
  • Ask a controversial question.
  • Use another quotation related to the opener one.
  • Make a prediction or recommendation based on the facts you presented.

Revise your essay:

Revision makes you consider which ideas to add or delete and which words or phrases to change to make your essay sound better. You should make sure that every word, sentence and paragraph makes sense to the reader. Here are three areas you should examine to improve the content and style of your essay:

  1. Clarity: is the essay clearly and logically written.
  2. Unity: do all the paragraphs relate to the central idea of the essay.
  3. Coherence: do the ideas flow smoothly.

Proof read your essay:

Whereas revision focuses on improving the content of the essay. Proof reading deals with recognizing and correcting errors. These errors can relate to capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar.

Last-minute tips:

  • If you have time, set your essay aside for a while and then come back to it later. You will notice ways to make your essay better, and you will see more errors to correct.
  • Read the essay aloud to yourself. Often you will hear errors that you may not catch while reading silently.
  • Have a friend to read your essay and give you his/her feedback about errors, confusing parts and suggestions for improvement.

Simple Guide to Writing a Basic Essay – Part 1

Although there are many topics and purposes for writing an essay, your essay will have the same format and the basic structure. This article will guide you to the things you should consider and the necessary steps that you should follow to write a simple basic essay.

There are three important things you should consider when you decide to write an essay: subject, target reader(s) and purpose.

1. Subject:

Most of the times, the subject of the essay will be given to you. If it’s not, you should write about what you know.

2. Target reader(s):

Many times, your target reader will be your teacher but other times your target readers will be your peers, parents, employers, newspaper editors or the community.

Your target readers determine what to write in your essay and how to write it. So before you start writing, you should consider the following:

  • The interests and perspectives of your readers.
  • Selecting the topic that is relevant to your readers if it is not given to you.
  • Using language and examples that are appropriate to your readers.

3. Purpose:

Considering the purpose means you determine why you are writing the essay and what type of essay you are writing. Each type has certain uses and styles. Here are the main four types of essays:

1. Narrative essays: Telling a story.

In this essay, you tell a story about a real-life experience and involve the readers by making the story as vivid as possible.

2. Descriptive essays: Painting a picture.

In this essay, you describe a person, place, object, …etc. and communicate a deeper meaning through the description using colorful words and sensory details.

3. Expository essays: Writing only facts.

In this essay, you present a balanced analysis of the topic. You explain or define a topic using facts, statistics and examples. This kind of essay includes the comparison and contrast essay, the cause and effect essay, and the “how to” or process essay.

4. Persuasive essays: Convincing me.

In this essay, you try your best to convince the reader to accept your point of view or recommendation. Here, you should use logic, examples, expert opinion and sound reasoning. You should also present all sides of the argument and communicate clearly why a certain point of view is correct.

Structure of the essay:

Every essay has three components: a beginning, middle and an end. The beginning is the first paragraph which is called the introduction. The middle is called the body of the essay. It often consists of three or two paragraphs. At the end of the essay there is a final paragraph which is the conclusion of the essay.

1. The introduction:

The first paragraph of the essay or the introduction has two main purposes: to attract the reader’s attention and make him/her want to read more, and to prepare the reader for the direction that the essay is going to take. The introduction usually has two main parts:

1. The dramatic opener or the hook:

It pulls the reader to the essay. It grabs his/her attention. It is often a short sentence that frames your essays. Here are some examples of some hooks:

  • (Question) What is more valuable than gold? (an essay on friendship).
  •  (Imperative) Look into the heavens and count the stars if you can. (an essay on outer space).

2. The thesis statement or topic sentence:

It states the main idea of the essay. It is one or two sentences at the end of the introduction that tells the reader what your essay is about. Here is an example of a thesis statement about friendship: Having good friends is great as they make life enjoyable.

Here is an example of the whole first paragraph of an essay on “friendship”.

What is more valuable than gold? “A good friend” is my answer. Having good friends is great as they make life valuable and enjoyable.

To Be Continued …

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