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Guidelines for Writing a Basic Essay

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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 view You may be writing an essay to discuss your research You 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 ideas Write your thesis statement Write the body of the essay Write the introduction Write the conclusion Proof-read and edit

4 Defining the Purpose Think about the type of essay you are expected to produce What 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/questions Gather/record information for later analysis Use the “trash and treasure” method of information evaluation

6 Organise your Ideas The purpose of an outline or diagram is to put your ideas on paper Consider 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 page Write your topic inside the shape From the central shape draw 3-5 lines out into the page and place a circle (or other shape) at the end of each line In each of these shapes write the main ideas on your topic, or the main points you want to make If you are trying to persuade you want to write your best arguments If you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be divided Expand 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 page Write the Roman numerals I, II, and III with a reasonable space between each, in the margin of the page Next to each Roman numeral, write a main idea, or main point you want to make If you are trying to persuade you want to write your best arguments If you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be divided Under each Roman numeral, write A, B and C Next 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 structure Write down the main ideas (in sentence form) Write down the supporting points for the main idea, leaving 4-5 lines under each point Underneath 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 focus Begin with an attention grabber Add 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 reader The conclusion should sum up your points The conclusion should provide a final persective on your topic All 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 Touches Review your essay after an adequate time frame – try to look at it with fresh eyes Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation Check 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 assignment Check your content – does it make sense? Is it logical? Do the sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly from one another?

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