How to Organize the English Essay

How to Organize the English Essay
The English essay has a typical structure and content orientation. The standard five paragraph formula applies almost rigidly to the typical essay. Besides, you want to present the essay in Standard English, use appropriate word choice, and demonstrate control knowledge of the subject.
The essay relies on a thorough understanding of the subject. The content should be relevant, based on facts and supported by examples. It is usually spread across the five paragraphs (longer essays will have more number of paragraphs). The body paragraphs discuss the subject at length. The introduction and conclusion serve as the opening and closing frame paragraphs.
Since you could be writing on any topic under the sun, focused research is necessary; you find out information about the subject, collate the relevant, brainstorm, and organize the material based on your comprehension in a structured manner.
The essay is structured in the introduction-body-conclusion format. The introduction serves as the opening paragraph and introduces the subject. This is internally structured to move from general to specific details, ending finally with a focused and specific statement about the subject. This is called the thesis statement.
The introduction’s internal structure is:
General-general-less general-more specific-specific-thesis
Notice how “general” gives way gradually to “specific”
The thesis statement is structured thus:
Subject-writer’s assertion-reasons for the assertion
For example, if you were to write about a piece of painting, your thesis could be: “Painting X by painter Y is a wonderful attempt to convey the idea of communal harmony because of its effective use of images and strong colors to capture the mood.”
Notice how the subject is mentioned, followed by the writer’s assertion/statement about it, which is in turn followed by the reasons that support this judgment.
The thesis leads directly to the body paragraphs where you discuss each pointer mentioned in the thesis. For this, your research needs to be substantial and focused. What is the painting about? What mood does it capture? What type of canvas, colors, angles, brush strokes, material used, and signature techniques do you notice in the painting? What do you know of the painter and his/her style of painting?
In case your subject has to do with a legal or economic issue, you need to know about the legal and economic nuances involved. You want to do your homework well and use examples that not only demonstrate your knowledge, but also your comfort with the subject.
Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that reflects its focus. The paragraph structure can be summarized as: point, explanation, and examples. Each topic sentence is related to the thesis statement and serves as a mini thesis within the paragraph.
In the typical English essay, the introduction and thesis lead to the main paragraphs, while these lead to the conclusion. You wrap up the paper by summarizing the main ideas and reasserting your thesis. You could also provide additional comments that present your insight into the subject and suggestions that could be of help to it. Unlike the introduction, the conclusion moves from specific-general-more general.
The English essay tests our ability to grasp the nuances of a subject and present them in a well structured and grammatically written manner.
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