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Writing an Effective Essay A tutorial with Examples.

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1 Writing an Effective Essay A tutorial with Examples

2 Creating an Outline Write your assignment using your map or plan to guide you. As you write, you may well get new ideas or think about ideas in slightly different ways. This is fine, but check back to your map or plan to evaluate whether that idea fits well into the plan or the paragraph that you are writing at the time. Consider: In which paragraph does it best fit? How does it link to the ideas you have already discussed?

3 Planning Paragraphs For every paragraph, think about the main idea that you want to communicate in that paragraph and write a clear topic sentence which tells the reader what you are going to talk about. A main idea is more than a piece of content that you found while you were researching, it is often a point that you want to make about the information that you are discussing. Consider how you are going to discuss that idea (what is the paragraph plan). For example, are you: listing a number of ideas, comparing and contrasting the views of different authors, describing problems and solutions, or describing causes and effects?

4 Vocabulary for Good Paragraphing List paragraphs should include words like: similarly, additionally, next, another example, as well, furthermore, another, firstly, secondly, thirdly, finally, and so on. Cause and effect paragraphs should include words like: consequently, as a result, therefore, outcomes included, results indicated, and so on. Compare and contrast paragraphs should include words like: on the other hand, by contrast, similarly, in a similar way, conversely, alternatively, and so on. Problem solution paragraphs should include words like: outcomes included, identified problems included, other concerns were overcome by, and so on.

5 Paragraph Transitions Look at your plan or map and decide on the key concepts that link the different sections of your work. Is there an idea that keeps recurring in different sections? This could be a theme that you can use to link ideas between paragraphs. Try using linking words (outlined above) to signal to your reader whether you are talking about similar ideas, whether you are comparing and contrasting, and so on. The direction that your thinking is taking in the essay should be very clear to your reader. Linking words will help you to make this direction obvious.

6 Writing an Introduction Introductions need to provide general information about the topic. Typically they include: Background, context or a general orientation to the topic so that the reader has a general understanding of the area you are discussing. An outline of issues that will and will not be discussed in the essay (this does not have to be a detailed list of the ideas that you will discuss). An outline should be a general overview of the areas that you will explore. A thesis or main idea which is your response to the question.

7 Sample Introduction: It is often a good idea to use some of the words from the question in the track with the topic. Do not simply recount the question word for word. introduction to indicate that you are on

8 Writing the Body Each paragraph should make a point which should be linked to your outline and thesis statement. The most important consideration in the body paragraphs is the argument that you want to develop in response to the topic. This argument is developed by making and linking points in and between paragraphs. Try structuring paragraphs like this: Topic sentence: open the paragraph by making a point Supporting sentences: support the point with references and research Conclusive sentence: close the paragraph by linking back to the point you made to open the paragraph and linking this to your thesis statement.

9 Sample Body: As you write the body, make sure that you have strong links between the main ideas in each of the paragraphs.

10 Writing the Conclusion: This is usually structured as follows: Describe in general terms the most important points made or the most important linkage of ideas Do not include new information, therefore it does not usually contain references End with a comment, a resolution, or a suggestion for issues that may be addressed in future research on the topic.

11 Sample Conclusion

12 Tips for Formal Research Essays Avoid using the personal pronoun “I” Avoid contractions (don’t, can’t, it’s, weren’t, etc.) Use credible sources and gather a variety (books, magazines, journals, newspapers, the internet, audio books, videos, etc.) Avoid websites that allow users to edit the information Don’t over-quote! Quotes should add to your argument. They are not filler for a lack of information or adequate research.

13 Four Major Types of Essays Distinguishing between types of essays is simply a matter of determining the writer’s goal. Does the writer want to tell about a personal experience, describe something, explain an issue, or convince the reader to accept a certain viewpoint? The four major types of essays address these purposes: 1. Narrative Essays: Telling a Story In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about a real-life experience. While telling a story may sound easy to do, the narrative essay challenges students to think and write about themselves. When writing a narrative essay, writers should try to involve the reader by making the story as vivid as possible. The fact that narrative essays are usually written in the first person helps engage the reader. “I” sentences give readers a feeling of being part of the story. A well-crafted narrative essay will also build towards drawing a conclusion or making a personal statement. 2. Descriptive Essays: Painting a Picture A cousin of the narrative essay, a descriptive essay paints a picture with words. A writer might describe a person, place, object, or even memory of special significance. However, this type of essay is not description for description’s sake. The descriptive essay strives to communicate a deeper meaning through the description. In a descriptive essay, the writer should show, not tell, through the use of colorful words and sensory details. The best descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s emotions, with a result that is highly evocative. 3. Expository Essays: Just the Facts The expository essay is an informative piece of writing that presents a balanced analysis of a topic. In an expository essay, the writer explains or defines a topic, using facts, statistics, and examples. Expository writing encompasses a wide range of essay variations, such as the comparison and contrast essay, the cause and effect essay, and the “how to” or process essay. Because expository essays are based on facts and not personal feelings, writers don’t reveal their emotions or write in the first person. 4. Persuasive Essays: Convince Me While like an expository essay in its presentation of facts, the goal of the persuasive essay is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or recommendation. The writer must build a case using facts and logic, as well as examples, expert opinion, and sound reasoning. The writer should present all sides of the argument, but must be able to communicate clearly and without equivocation why a certain position is correct.

14 Resources http://instruct.uwo.ca/english/234e/site/guidelns/smplessy/smpl essyhm.html http://instruct.uwo.ca/english/234e/site/guidelns/smplessy/smpl essyhm.html http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/essa ymap/ http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/essa ymap/ http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/writing/essays/

15 Works Cited http://www.uq.edu.au/student- services/Structuring+your+assignment.html http://www.uq.edu.au/student- services/Structuring+your+assignment.html http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/types-of-essays/


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