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  Weekly Feature (April 24, 2005)

The Essay: Part Two
Jennifer's Weekly Feature


The Essay Part II

Welcome to Part II of “The Essay”. Following are some tips you may want to consider when writing your essay. The Essay Part One dealt with the first three, Select, Audience, and Brainstorm, of the SABOC essay writing steps. This time we deal with Order, and the next weekly we’ll look at the Communicate step.

4. Order

But before we take a look at essay order, let’s quickly go back to last month’s first step, “Select”. The question I asked then was: “What do you do if no topic appeals?” Let’s answer that now. You don’t need to be inspired by a topic to write about it – you just need to produce several main points and interesting support.

So try this: Brainstorm them all, briefly. Three minutes times three or four topics amounts to roughly ten minutes, so even in test conditions there is time to do this. Then choose the topic you have the most ideas listed for. Good luck!

*Format: Format is extremely important and is the first element looked at by teachers for marking.

Introductory Paragraph:

Must have three sentences at least, from the general first statement to the paper’s focal point, your thesis statement, in which you clearly set the direction, or topic, for the paper.

Body Paragraphs:

Main Point Order:

Four ways you can order your “sandwich” body paragraphs are: spatially, chronologically, climactically, or randomly. These paragraphs exactly and specifically support your thesis statement. Each body paragraph follows the order of the points listed in your thesis statement (if you have detailed these in your thesis statement.)

For example, in the essay “The Wonders of Ice Cream”, the thesis was my blueprint for the order of my supporting body paragraphs. Also, each body paragraph must have a topic sentence, support and a concluding sentence which links it to the next paragraph.

Concluding Paragraph:

Your conclusion follows the reverse order of your introduction. The first sentence restates your thesis in different words, so you’ll need your thesaurus! The second sentence is a more general, less specific sentence about the topic, and the third is the most general of all.

Here, at the end of your essay, is the place for you to leave an impression on the reader: state your opinion, offer an appropriate quote, or pose a question. These last add interest value to your paper, give your reader something to take away and think about and usually raise your mark as well!

Here's a sample topic and essay for you:
Topic: What is your favourite dessert?  Explain why.

 The Wonders of Ice Cream

Dessert is the most wonderful part of a meal.  I have never met anyone, from any part of the world, who did not like dessert best. The best dessert is ice cream because it tastes delicious, is liked by almost everyone, and it can link us to happy childhood memories.

First, ice cream tastes better than any other food.  What food can rival its creamy smoothness, or the delicious feeling of this soft, cold dessert as it slips down your throat?  I don’t know of any other food that feels as good and clean in your mouth, or of any other food that comes in as many mouth-watering flavours.  At some stores, you can choose from over 30 flavours!  In fact, today you can even get ice cream with protein in it, as the soy ice creams have.  Who knows?  Ice cream may soon be a complete meal on its own!

Second, while it may not yet be a complete meal on its own, it can be served after almost any meal for everyone likes it.  It can be a common thread between strangers.  Whether you have important out-of-town guests, or are just entertaining family and friends, ice cream is the perfect after-meal treat.  Vanilla ice cream is at home at any important dinner.  Family and friends, on the other hand, are sure to like Neapolitan, a happy mix of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  Even fussy, hard-to-please eaters are sure to be tempted by this universal dessert!  Ice cream is certain to please everyone, and it can link us to happy childhood memories.

Third, many of us have happy childhood memories linked to ice cream. In my family, it was used as a reward when my sisters and I were especially good, and it was the best part of the birthday meal.  It was even used as a comfort when some small thing had gone wrong.  One day, for example, I thought I would just check to see if that dull, grey-brown stove element was as hot as my parents had always told me it was, and I cautiously reached up to touch it.  Needless to say, they were right.  Ouch!  To make me feel better, out came the ice cream.  For good things and bad, ice cream was, and still is, the best choice.

Ice cream is a wonderfully tasty dessert food that has universal appeal, and links us to happy memories.  It is the perfect ready-made dessert and is available in so many good flavours.  I’m hungry!  Are you?

View The Essay Part One or The Essay Part Three


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