How to write an essay
An essay is a literary composition that expresses a certain idea, claim, or concept and backs it up with supporting statements. It will follow a logical pattern, to include an introductory paragraph (make the claim), a body (support), and a conclusion (summary of statements and support). English and Literature teachers use them on a regular basis, but essays are also a test tool used commonly in the social sciences, and even in math and science class. Of course, essays play a big role in the college application process, as well. In short, there are just no avoiding essays, as long as you’re in school!
Luckily, you can learn to craft a great essay if you can follow the standard pattern and write in a clear and organized manner.
The introduction is the first paragraph in your essay, and it should accomplish a few specific goals.
1. Capture the reader’s interest
It’s a good idea to start your essay with a really interesting statement, in order to pique the reader’s interest. Avoid starting out with a boring line like
“In this essay I will explain why traffic jam is really a problem .”
Instead, try something like
“Traffic jam and accidents cost 5ooo lives and 500 million .”
2. Introduce the topic
The next few sentences should explain your first statement, and prepare the reader for your thesis statement.
3. Make a claim or express your opinion in a thesis sentence.
Your thesis sentence should provide your specific assertion and convey clearly your point of view.
The body of the essay will include three paragraphs, each limited to one main idea that supports your thesis. You should state your idea, then back it up with two or three sentences of evidence or examples.
Example of a main idea:
Offer evidence to support this statement:
Include a few more supporting statements with further evidence, then use transition words to lead to the following paragraph.
Sample transition words:
on the whole
as a result
for this reason
it follows that
The fifth paragraph will be your conclusion.
The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim. It should point out your main points, but should not repeat specific examples.
Once you complete the first draft of your essay, it’s a good idea to re-visit the thesis statement in your first paragraph. Read your essay to see if it flows well.
You might find that the supporting paragraphs are strong, but they don’t address the exact focus of your thesis. Simply re-write your thesis sentence to fit your body and summary more exactly.
By doing this, you will ensure that every sentence in your essay supports, proves, or reflects your thesis.
How to write an essay