Goal To understand how paragraphs and essays are related. To understand the basic steps in composing an essay.
The steps in writing a paragraph are similar to the steps in writing a good essay. After you brainstorm a suitable topic for an essay or paragraph, you think about an introduction, supporting ideas, and a conclusion. For an essay, an important step is to make an outline. Here is an outline of "The Most important Invention in the Past Century" that you just read. Reread the essay before you read the outline. Then compare the essay information with the outline to help you understand its organization better.
I. Introduction (Paragraph 1)-Many important things have been invented in the past century, but the most important was the discovery of antibiotics. II. Body (Paragraph 2 )-Hundreds of years ago, millions of Europeans died from bubonic plague. III. Body (Paragraph 3)-Medicine was limited until the invention of penicillin in the early twentieth century. IV. Body (Paragraph 4)-Antibiotics are currently used for a variety of ailments. V. Conclusion (Paragraph 5)-The invention of antibiotics promoted good health and longer lives.
Varying Your Vocabulary Vocabulary is a key part of good writing. The level of vocabulary that you use is an indication of your English proficiency. Better vocabulary often favorably influences the reader's opinion of your writing. Note that the vocabulary in the outline is not always the same as the vocabulary in the essay. VARIETY is important! In your essays, try to use synonyms, phrases, and sometimes whole sentences to say the same information in a different way. Avoid repeating the same vocabulary.
We learned that the most important part of any paragraph is the topic sentence. The first paragraph of an essay has a similar sentence that is called a thesis statement. It tells the reader what the essay is about. The thesis statement also indicates what the organization of the essay will be. The thesis statement is usually the last sentence in the introduction paragraph. Find and reread the thesis statement in "The Most Important Invention in the Past Century:' (Answer: "All of these inventions have been very important to humans, but the one that has been the most important in improving people's health over the centuries is the discovery of antibiotics.")
Now read these examples of thesis statements. 1. Three things make traveling to Southeast Asia an unforgettable experience. 2. Serving in the military offers not only professional advantages but also personal benefits. 3. Computer literacy is one of the fastest growing needs for young adults. 4. The person I most respect and admire is my aunt Josephine. As you can see, the topics for the essays with these thesis statements range from serious subjects to personal stories. The thesis statement that you write will depend on the assignment that your teacher gives you.
Essays need Supporting Ideas just like paragraphs. Writers should have two or three ideas that support the thesis statement. Each of these ideas will eventually become a separate paragraph. Asking a question about the thesis statement is a good way to come up with material for supporting paragraphs. Remember that it is important to provide specific examples and details within the paragraph.
Here are some questions to ask and ideas to develop about the thesis statements you read above. 1. Three things make traveling to Southeast Asia an unforgettable experience. Question: Why is it an unforgettable experience? Ideas to develop: The people are very friendly; there are beautiful places to see; the food is incredibly delicious.
2. Serving in the military offers not only professional advantages but also personal benefits. Question: What are these advantages and benefits? Ideas to develop: Professional advantages: a full-time job with good benefits, vocational training. Personal benefits: a sense of pride in serving your country, developing maturity
3. Computer literacy is one of the fastest growing needs for young adults. Question: Why is the need for computer literacy so important? Ideas to develop: Computer literacy is essential for advanced studies (college or university), for the workplace, and for life in general (banking, buying and selling, etc.).
4. The person I most respect and admire is my aunt Josephine. Question: Why do you admire her so much? Ideas to develop: She taught me about hard work; she loved me unconditionally; she always gave me excellent advice.