What makes a good essay? What is an essay? What functions does an essay perform? What features does a good essay have?
1. Criteria for a good essay Read the given example, and answer questions: What is topic of the essay? What is something important (interesting or new) that the author wants to tell us? Is there a sentence that reveals the theme? What’s the relationship between the two body paragraphs? Do the paragraphs have their own central idea? Is there a conclusion that the author makes? “the focus – the title” “thesis statement” “theme” “parallel to explain the differences” “conclusion” YES
What makes a good essay? What is a essay? A group of logically connected paragraphs. What function does a essay perform? To narrate, to describe, to explain, to argue, to define, or to classify, etc. What features does a good essay have? a title revealing the topic a theme to focus on; a thesis statement expressing the theme; closely and logically connected paragraphs with its own central idea revolving around theme; a conclusion to re-declare the theme.
A Definition a group of logically connected paragraphs, expressing one thought or one part of a thought that supports the theme of an essay Elements necessary: title, thesis statement, paragraph topic sentences, supporting details, conclusion. Procedures to achieve an effective essay.
2. Steps in Writing an essay I.Planning an essay II.Writing the first draft III.Revising the first draft IV.Making final copy
I. Planning an essay Put down all the relevant facts; listing as many relevant facts as you can by brainstorming, drawing idea cluster, etc. Think of a proper theme and deciding on the purpose; working on the title, the theme, and thesis statement Re-examining the list of details and outlining. adding relevant details; cutting out irrelevant, unnecessary, or unimportant details arranging the facts in a logical order by outlining
Outlining Two patterns: a sentence outline and a topic outline A sentence outline: made up of complete sentences; providing a more detailed plan; needing more time, but almost got the essay half done; better for a long paper. A topic outline: made up of gerund or infinitive phrases (never complete sentence); providing the focusing ideas briefly; needing less time, but more time in developing them into an essay; better for a short paper.
Elements of an outline Topic/Title Thesis (statement) Outlined paragraphs topic sentence (SO)/controlling idea (TO) for each paragraph supporting details for each paragraph (in sentences or in phrases) Conclusion
Rules for writing outlines Thesis statement in a complete declarative sentence, usually affirmative I, II, III ….; A, B, C, …; 1, 2, 3, … No mixture of outline patterns: a topic outline with noun phrases; a sentence outline with complete sentences Logical ordered headings of the same rank in parallel structures
II. Writing the first draft revising the outline if it is impracticable editing the outline by adding or cutting out ideas III. Revising the first draft Following the checklist to revise an outline on content, organization, sentences, and diction, etc. IV. Making the Final copy