Writing a good Essay Know: The structure of an essay Show: Design an outline for an essay An Essay Is
An Essay Is . . .
- The origin of the word essay comes from a French form of the Latin verb exigere, which means “to examine”
- The etymology shows the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic.
The Purpose of an Essay
- Descriptive - favorite place, an art masterpiece, your gourmet dinner
- Expository (Informational) – compare/contrast two government systems, explain the rules of volleyball, select the greatest invention of all time and justify
- Argument/Persuade – animal testing, year-round school, bans on assault weapons
- Entertain (Narrative) – Halloween story, incident at 13th birthday
- Essays are concise and require clarity in purpose and direction. There is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose; she must be deliberate and interesting.
- Motivator/Hook to grab reader’s attention
- Necessary background information
- Thesis statement to establish topic of essay; to establish the claim (main point_
- Blueprint to lay out major supporting body paragraphs
- Style will vary with essay genre
- Topic sentence (placement varies)
- Reasons, facts, and support
- Evidence of careful thought/research
- Transitional devices both within and as segue to other paragraphs
- Counter claim established if writing argument
- A logical ending based on essay type
- Conclusions should…
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