Writing a good Essay Know: The structure of an essay Show: Design an outline for an essay An Essay Is

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Writing A Good Essay

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.

The Introduction

  • 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

Body Paragraphs

  • 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

The Conclusion

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