Presentation on theme: "Guidelines for Writing a Basic Essay"— Presentation transcript:
1 Guidelines for Writing a Basic Essay A step by step guide through the essay writing process…
2 The basic structure of an essay is the same regardless of the purpose… You may be writing an essay to argue a particular point of viewYou may be writing an essay to discuss your researchYou may be writing an essay in an examination
3 Order of Tasks Decide on, research & organise your topic Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideasWrite your thesis statementWrite the body of the essayWrite the introductionWrite the conclusionProof-read and edit
4 Defining the PurposeThink about the type of essay you are expected to produceWhat is the purpose?Is the essay persuasive?Is the essay explanatory?Is the essay based on your own research?
5 Gathering the Information Brainstorm topics of interest and/or specific points of view (i.e. arguments for and against; opposing view points)Identify possible sources of information and key ideas/questionsGather/record information for later analysisUse the “trash and treasure” method of information evaluation
6 Organise your IdeasThe purpose of an outline or diagram is to put your ideas on paperConsider the linking of ideas and information in the context of the “whole” essay – do not at this stage decide on a point of view, until you have weighed up all the evidence
7 Planning with a Diagram or Concept Map Begin your diagram with whatever shape you want in the middle of the pageWrite your topic inside the shapeFrom the central shape draw 3-5 lines out into the page and place a circle (or other shape) at the end of each lineIn each of these shapes write the main ideas on your topic, or the main points you want to makeIf you are trying to persuade you want to write your best argumentsIf you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be dividedExpand on your diagram from each main idea until you have included supporting ideas and information
8 Planning using the 5 Paragraph Essay Outline Begin by writing the topic or essay question at the top of the pageWrite the Roman numerals I, II, and III with a reasonable space between each, in the margin of the pageNext to each Roman numeral, write a main idea, or main point you want to makeIf you are trying to persuade you want to write your best argumentsIf you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be dividedUnder each Roman numeral, write A, B and CNext to each letter write the facts or supporting information for each main idea
9 Writing the Body of the Essay Each body paragraph will have the same structureWrite down the main ideas (in sentence form)Write down the supporting points for the main idea, leaving 4-5 lines under each pointUnderneath each point write the elaboration for each supporting point. Elaboration can be further description, explanation or discussion
10 Writing the Introduction The introduction should be designed to attract the reader’s attention and identify the essay’s focusBegin with an attention grabberAdd one or two sentences to lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement (the purpose of your essay)Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement
11 Writing the Conclusion The conclusion brings closure to the readerThe conclusion should sum up your pointsThe conclusion should provide a final persective on your topicAll a conclusion needs is 3-4 strong sentences, that simply review your main points (do not exactly reproduce them from your essay), or briefly describe your feelings or findings from the topic.Sometimes an anecdote or quotation can be an appropriate ending to your essay, if used wisely and well
12 The Finishing TouchesReview your essay after an adequate time frame – try to look at it with fresh eyesCheck your spelling, grammar and punctuationCheck the order of your paragraphs (they should be in order of most important point to least important point)Check the instructions – did you complete the requirements of the assignmentCheck your content – does it make sense? Is it logical? Do the sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly from one another?