English Skills, Chapter 18 by John Langan
Writing an Essay English Skills, Chapter 18 by John Langan
What is an essay? An essay is simply a paper of several paragraphs, rather than one paragraph, that supports a single point. An essay is described in the dictionary as a short analytical, descriptive, or interpretive piece of literary or journalistic prose dealing with a particular topic, especially from a personal and unsystematic viewpoint. In an essay your subject should be treated more fully than they would be in a single paragraph paper.
Three parts of an Essay Introduction – introduces the topic/ subject/ or event to be discussed in the essay. Body – the body of the essay presents the supporting evidence in various paragraphs. Each paragraph supports the essay thesis in an organized manner through paragraph development. Conclusion – the concluding paragraph brings all these ideas throughout the essay together in a logical way.
The Introductory Paragraph
Purpose of an introduction Attract the reader’s interest by using one of the suggested methods of introduction. Present a thesis statement. This clear direct statement of the central idea will develop in your paper and control all the information that is in the essay. Indicates a plan of development. Give a brief preview of the major points that will support your thesis statement.
Common Methods of Introduction
Broad statement General to narrow Contrast starting with an opposite Relevance stating the importance of the topic Anecdote Incident or story Questions Ask a question that provokes thought about the subject or topic Quotation A quote by a famous person often gets an audiences attention. A quote can also open a topic on a controversial subject or a something that is universally agreed upon.
Each supporting paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that states the point to be detailed in that paragraph. Supporting paragraphs provides a focus for each supporting paragraph. The thesis statement provides a focus for the entire essay.
How do you develop paragraphs with interesting details?? By using “Patterns of Development” What are patterns of development? Patterns of development within an essay include giving examples, detailing a process of doing or making something, analyzing causes and effects, comparing and contrasting, and/ or defining a term or concept.
Various Patterns of Development
Various patterns of development add important details to your essay because they help you explore and analyze your topic in a variety of ways. Patterns of developing your paragraphs like description, narration, and summary allows you to explain what you want to say by creating images, telling a story, and giving the reader the main ideas you want them to understand.
How do I use transition words and signal phrases? Use transition words and signal phrases to organize and connect the specific evidence from paragraph to paragraph. All the details in your paper must cohere, or stick together, when they do your read is able to move smoothly from one bit of supporting information to the next. Addition transitions: first of all; second; for one thing; last of all Time transitions: when; later; after; then Illustration transition: once Change-of-direction transition: however; but Conclusion transition: as a result; finally; in the end. Transitions and other connective devices (pages 90-98)
Important considerations for paragraph development…
What subject/ topic interests? Write on a subject that interest you or that you enjoy. What do you know about this subject? Do your research, so you know your subject well. Even if it is something you think you know a lot about, look closely at the topic in order to uncover important details that makes this topic unique and interesting to you. What is the assignment? Have you read the directions of the assignment more than once?
Conclusion What is the purpose of a concluding paragraph?
The concluding paragraph often summarizes the essay by briefly restating the thesis and, at times, the main supporting points.
Methods of concluding your essay
Summary Final thoughts Questions that may provoke further study or thinking for you reader and yourself for another time. Predictions and recommendations
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