Parts of an Essay

Parts of an Essay

Introduction Paragraph

What is an introduction paragraph?
The introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay.

What does it do?
It introduces the main idea of your essay. A good opening paragraph captures the interest of your reader and tells why your topic is important.

How do I write one?

1. Write the thesis statement. The main idea of the essay is stated in a single sentence called the thesis statement. You must limit your entire essay to the topic you have introduced in your thesis statement.

2. Provide some background information about your topic. You can use interesting facts, quotations, or definitions of important terms you will use later in the essay.

Example:

Hockey has been a part of life in Canada for over 120 years. It has evolved into an extremely popular sport watched and played by millions of Canadians. The game has gone through several changes since hockey was first played in Canada.

Supporting Paragraphs

What are supporting paragraphs?
Supporting paragraphs make up the main body of your essay.

What do they do?
They develop the main idea of your essay.

How do I write them?

1. List the points that develop the main idea of your essay.
2. Place each supporting point in its own paragraph.
3. Develop each supporting point with facts, details, and examples.

To connect your supporting paragraphs, you should use special transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the beginning and end of your paragraphs.

Examples of transition words that can help you to link your paragraphs together:

For listing different points
• First
• Second
• Third

For counter examples
• However
• Even though
• On the other hand
• Nevertheless

For additional ideas
• Another
• In addition to
• Related to
• Furthermore
• Also

To show cause and effect
• Therefore
• Thus
• As a result of
• Consequently

Like all good paragraphs, each supporting paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a summary sentence.
Summary Paragraph

What is a summary paragraph?
The summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay after you have finished developing your ideas. The summary paragraph is often called a "conclusion."

What does it do?
It summarizes or restates the main idea of the essay. You want to leave the reader with a sense that your essay is complete.

How do I write one?

1. Restate the strongest points of your essay that support your main idea.
2. Conclude your essay by restating the main idea in different words.
3. Give your personal opinion or suggest a plan for action.

Example:

Overall, the changes that occurred in hockey have helped to improve the game. Hockey is faster and more exciting as a result of changes in the past 120 years. For these reasons, modern hockey is a better game than hockey in the 1890s.

Prewriting an Essay

What is the prewriting stage?

The prewriting stage is when you prepare your ideas for your essay before you begin writing. You will find it easier to write your essay if you build an outline first, especially when you are writing longer assignments.

Six Prewriting Steps:

1. Think carefully about what you are going to write. Ask yourself: What question am I going to answer in this paragraph or essay? How can I best answer this question? What is the most important part of my answer? How can I make an introductory sentence (or thesis statement) from the most important part of my answer? What facts or ideas can I use to support my introductory sentence? How can I make this paragraph or essay interesting? Do I need more facts on this topic? Where can I find more facts on this topic?

2. Open your notebook (or word processing program on your computer). Write out your answers to the above questions. You do not need to spend a lot of time doing this; just write enough to help you remember why and how you are going to write your paragraph or essay.

3. Collect facts related to your paragraph or essay topic. Look for and write down facts that will help you to answer your question. Timesaving hint: make sure the facts you are writing are related to the exact question you are going to answer in your paragraph or essay.

4. Write down your own ideas. Ask yourself: What else do I want to say about this topic? Why should people be interested in this topic? Why is this topic important?

5. Find the main idea of your paragraph or essay. Choose the most important point you are going to present. If you cannot decide which point is the most important, just choose one point and stick to it throughout your paragraph or essay.

6. Organize your facts and ideas in a way that develops your main idea. Once you have chosen the most important point of your paragraph or essay, you must find the best way to tell your reader about it. Look at the facts you have written. Look at your own ideas on the topic. Decide which facts and ideas will best support the main idea of your essay. Once you have chosen the facts and ideas you plan to use, ask yourself which order to put them in the essay. Write down your own note set that you can use to guide yourself as you write your essay.

Writing an Essay

What is the writing stage?

The writing stage is when you turn your ideas into sentences.


Five Writing Steps:

1. For the introduction, write the thesis statement and give some background information.
2. Develop each supporting paragraph and make sure to follow the correct paragraph format.
3. Write clear and simple sentences to express your meaning.
4. Focus on the main idea of your essay.
5. Use a dictionary to help you find additional words to express your meaning.

Editing an Essay

What is the editing stage?

The editing stage is when you check your essay for mistakes and correct them.


Grammar and Spelling

1. Check your spelling.
2. Check your grammar.
3. Read your essay again.
4. Make sure each sentence has a subject.
5. Make sure your subjects and verbs agree with each other.
6. Check the verb tenses of each sentence.
7. Make sure that each sentence makes sense.

Style and Organization

1. Make sure your essay has an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a summary paragraph.
2. Check that you have a thesis statement that identifies the main idea of the essay.
3. Check that all your paragraphs follow the proper paragraph format.
4. See if your essay is interesting.
The source http://www.testden.com/toefl/writing-tutorial/index.htm

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