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Tips for Essay Writing

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Essay writing is an important part of assessment at school and its purpose is to structure your ideas in such a way that it becomes easily accessible and understandable to your readers. Essay structure is therefore very important, because if you do it right, you will ‘guide’ your reader through your ideas in a logical way. There are different ways of structuring an essay, but the basic way of doing it is by providing an introduction, a series of paragraphs (the body of your essay) and a conclusion.

Writing a good introduction

The four basic things that make up a good introduction:

• Engaging the reader’s interest

• Generally stating what the essay is going to be about

• Mentioning the main ideas which are dealt with in the essay

• Providing a thesis statement.

Body Paragraphs:

The body of an essay serves to show examples and evidence that support the thesis statement. A good body paragraph should provide a clear discussion that supports one main idea. Each body paragraph should explore one point you’re making in your essay.

5 Components Essential to a Body Paragraph
□ Topic Sentence: A topic sentence introduces the main point or idea of a body paragraph. It must support the thesis by clearly stating the main idea of the essay. □ Explanation of the topic sentence: In one or two sentences, this part clarifies or provides an explanation of the topic sentence in more specific terms. □ Example: This part of the body paragraph provides evidence, examples (from the set text) this includes the quotes that relate to your essay as well as mentioning the page number. Examples to support your text should include reasons that support what is stated in the topic sentence. □ Analysis: In one or two sentences, this part explains the examples provided from the set text. A detailed explanation is necessary and you are required to link the analysis back to the main question. □ Concluding Sentence: The concluding sentence restates the topic sentence with new words at the end of the paragraph. The purpose of the concluding sentence is to wrap up the paragraph and bring all the ideas back together.

Example of a paragraph:

In her essay, Kamenetz effectively employs various rhetorical strategies to further her argument. One strategy that she uses to support her argument is exemplification, specifically the use of numbers and statistical representations. She states, for example, “…50,000 unpaid interns are employed full time for 12 weeks each summer at an average minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.” The number of unpaid internships at such a meager wage clearly illustrates the reality of the situation and the exploitation of students. In addition, Kamanetz provides data from national surveys that clearly support her argument. The use of exemplification, as a result, helps the audience visualize the magnitude of unpaid interns and its impact on the economy. Without this data, it would be difficult to conceptualize the problem that exists for college students seeking to gain relevant work experience.

It is very important to write an effective conclusion to an essay. It is in this paragraph that your final impression on the reader will be made. Reiterate the main points of your essay by summarizing those ideas briefly in a memorable manner.

What’s a thesis statement?
It is the main thing you are trying to say or argue in your essay, and all of your body paragraphs will go to prove, support and elaborate on it. It is the pin that holds your essay together.

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