This week, the students worked to define the essay and then give
practical advice on its parts. The results from the two classes are
Simple and short so it is understood quickly.
Specific and clear. Specifically connected to the essayís main
Short and interesting. My Garden. My Gardening Skill. A Gardening
Short, interesting, and fancy. Short phrase, not
sentence. Clear and concise. (condensed, like soup) Attractive,
to make the reader want to read the essay. Capitalize all words
except the small words (a, the, an, for and so on). Or, capitalize
the whole word. A topic is not a title! A title should be an honest
label of the contents of your particular essay.
Write the title as your last job.
Not too general and not too narrow compared to the body
Should contain a thesis sentence that conveys the main,
controlling idea of the essay and is generally found at the final
Donít give away too much. Save the details for the body.
Introductions are general compared to the ideas in the essay,
but related directly to the ideas in the essay. Donít give away
Put a thesis statement in the paragraph. This is the most important
sentence of your whole essay and needs to be the most carefully written.
Thesis is the essay topic sentence.
Body paragraphs (3)
Examples, descriptions, and details are needed. Should contain
a concluding sentence.
Topic sentences are strongly related by idea to the concluding
Put your second best paragraph first. Put your best
paragraph last. Put your weakest in the middle.
The body supports the thesis and gives examples that support the
thesis. The body is the meat of the sandwich. Body paragraphs are
standard design paragraphs: topic sentence, detailed examples, and a
concluding sentence. Make it easy for the reader to follow you
from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph (transitions).
Keep to one topic in one paragraph. Each of these topics relates
directly to the thesis.
Conclusion is approximately the same size as the introduction.
Often contains a final opinion or prediction related to the
Concludes or summarizes the body ideas without exactly repeating
Restate your thesis as the first sentence of the conclusion.
At the very end you could give a suggestion, give an opinion, make a
prediction and so on. Summarize the ideas of the body, without
repeating everything point-by-point.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Lots of useless sentences.
Use only sufficient sentences to convey the ideas. Be careful of
I have no ideas!
Take more time to think. Go for a walk! Read more; experience more; know
more. Be curious about everything.
Missing ideas in the conclusion sentence.
Check it again to be sure.
How to start?
Always a problem. Write whatever comes into your head in the first
draft. Write the whole essay as a single, huge paragraph. Break all the
rules! The structure can be adjusted later and repeatedly.
Organizing all this stuff is difficult.
So, donít try to be too organized at the beginning: brainstorm or
write ideas down or write vocabulary or write a huge long paragraph
without any breaks. Donít try to write a fully formed essay from
Sentence structures inside the body paragraphs can be
For any sentence or idea, many ways exist to express it. Try a few!
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