From paragraph to essay



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FROM PARAGRAPH TO ESSAY

We will learn



  • The difference between a paragraph and an essay,

  • Definition of an essay

  • Structure of an essay

FROM PARAGRAPH TO ESSAY

We have learnt how to plan, organize and write a various models of paragraphs so far. We will learn how to write academic essays by using our knowledge about paragraphs. In this pack, we will learn to write a five –paragraph essay because in academic writing you will usually be asked to do so.



Essay: Essay is a group of paragraphs about one topic and one main idea. It has three parts: the introduction, the body, the conclusion. The structure of a paragraph is very similar to the structure of an essay. We can think of an essay as an expanded paragraph, that is, they have same structure but an essay is longer.

the topic sentence the introductory paragraph

the supporting sentences body (supporting) paragraphs

the concluding sentence the concluding paragraph



THE PARAGRAPH THE ESSAY





  • The topic sentence states the topic.

  • The topic sentence states the controlling idea.

  • The topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph.



  • The supporting sentences reflect the idea in the topic sentence.



  • The conclusion is the last sentence of a paragraph.




  • The introductory paragraph states the topic.

  • The thesis statement states the controlling idea

  • The thesis statement is the last sentence of an introductory paragraph.

  • The supporting paragraphs reflect the idea in the thesis statement.

  • The conclusion is the last paragraph of an essay.


THE ESSAY



TOPIC SENTENCE

SUPPORTING SENTENCES

CONCLUDING SENTENCE



TOPIC SENTENCE

SUPPORTING SENTENCES


CONCLUDING SENTENCE



TOPIC SENTENCE

SUPPORTING SENTENCES

CONCLUDING SENTENCE




TOPIC SENTENCE

SUPPORTING SENTENCES

CONCLUDING SENTENCE





GENERAL STATEMENTS

(hook + background information)

THESIS STATEMENT


INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH




CONCLUDING SENTENCES

(FINAL THOUGHTS)
THE PARAGRAPH

BODY

PARAGRAPHS

CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH


THE PARAGRAPHS




1 A good university should have three important characteristics. 2First of all, it must have enough qualified teachers for every course. Qualified teachers should have adequate teaching skills in their subjects and this helps students improve themselves, so good teachers are indispensable for a good university. 3Secondly, a good university must have many buildings with adequate high technology facilities for students. The classrooms must be large enough and well-equipped. In addition, libraries should have enough books and materials for students. 4Finally, a good university should have many facilities for students. For example, there must be enough sport centers and cafes for students to spend their free time. 5In conclusion, all these characteristics define a good university.





THE ESSAY

It is a common knowledge that education plays an important role in our lives. The utmost level of education is undoubtedly to have a university degree. However, not every university may meet your expectations. In order to state that you are a graduate of a good university, there should be some requirements to be met. 1In my opinion, a good university should have qualified teachers, technologically adequate buildings and many facilities for students.



2 First of all, it must have enough qualified teachers for each course. Qualified teachers should have adequate teaching skills in their subjects. Without adequate teaching skills, it will be difficult for the teacher to transfer his/her knowledge to the students. Also, as a person, the teacher should have proper personalities, that is, a teacher should be kind, supportive and understanding to his/her students. Otherwise, they may be disliked. So, good teachers are indispensable for a good university.

3Secondly, a good university must have many buildings with adequate high technology facilities with students. The classrooms must be large enough and well–equipped. A small classroom or a classroom without technological supplies such as the internet or television will certainly demotivate students. In addition, libraries should have enough books and materials for students. This is very important to do research for students’ studies or assignments. All these above considered, technologically developed buildings are necessary for a good university education.

4Finally, a good university should have many facilities for students. For example, there must be enough sport centers and cafes for students to spend their time. Since students spend most of their time studying at school, they need a place to rest and chat with their friends.

In addition, students sometimes need to get over their stress spending time in a sport center. Thus, beside academic study, a good university should provide social opportunities to its students.



5 In conclusion, universities are places where students spend the most important stage of their lives. Universities should support the learning process with qualified teachers, technologically adequate buildings and many social facilities. Students should become familiar with all these characteristics so that they can choose a good university, which will affect their future.

Let’s analyze the paragraph and essay samples according to the diagram.

  • In our sample paragraph, the topic sentence (number 1) becomes the thesis statement of our essay. Notice that thesis statement is always written at the end of the introductory paragraph.

  • In our sample paragraph, the supporting sentences (number 2, 3, 4) expand into three separate body (supporting) paragraphs in our essay. In other words, we divide each major and its minor supporting sentences into separate paragraphs. Since we have three supporting sentences in our paragraph, we have three supporting paragraphs in our essay.

  • In our sample paragraph, the concluding sentence (number 5) turned into a conclusion paragraph.

EXERCISE-1 Analyze the paragraph and the essay below.

  • First, find three main parts of the paragraph: the topic sentence, supporting sentences and the concluding sentence as we did above.

  • Then, find three parts of the essay : introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and concluding paragraph

  • Underline thesis statement of the essay

  • Underline topic sentence and concluding sentences in each body paragraph of the essay.




There are many ways to stay healthy. For good health I recommend exercising daily. There are many different forms of exercise one can do. For example, you can go to the gym to lift weights or swim. You can take along walk or ride a bicycle. Eating a good diet is also necessary to stay healthy. A good diet should consist of breads and grain, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and protein. Finally, don’t smoke or drink! Both smoking and drinking are bad for your health.

To conclude, three good ways to stay healthy are to exercise every day, eat well, and do not smoke or drink.


THE PARAGRAPH

THE ESSAY

There goes a saying “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” To be healthy or not depends on you and if you choose to stay healthy, there are many ways to do so: exercising daily, eating well and not smoking or drinking alcohol.

Firstly, daily exercise is important for good health. There are many different forms of exercise one can do. For example, you can go to gym to lift weights or swim. You can run or jog in your neighborhood. You can take a long walk or ride a bicycle. You do not have to do a lot of exercises. If you are consistent and if you exercise even a little bit every day, you will keep good health.

Next, eating a good diet is necessary to stay healthy. A good diet should consist of bread and grains, dairy products, fruit, vegetables and protein. For instance, a good dinner might consist of pasta with tomato sauce, bread and butter, a fresh salad a pear and a glass of milk. If you eat well at every meal and be sure to include food from the major food groups, you will stay healthy.

Finally, don’t smoke or drink! Smoking is very bad for your health. Studies show that smoking causes cancer. Not only that, smoking can give you bad breath and can ruin your teeth .In addition, drinking alcohol is also bad for your health. Alcohol has only empty calories. It does not benefit your body at all.

To conclude, there are many ways to stay healthy. Three good ways are to exercise every day, eat well and not to smoke or drink alcohol. It is important to maintain your health for a long time.



STRUCTURE OF AN ESSAY

THE INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS

The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. It consists of three parts: hook, background information and thesis statement.



Hook: It’s the first sentence of the introductory paragraph. A hook is necessary to grab reader’s interest and attract their attention, and make them curious about your writing. There are some types of “hook” you can use:

TYPES OF HOOK

1. Ask a question

e.g.: Have you ever been to a foreign country and felt lonely? … (an essay about studying abroad)



2. Use quotation! A quotation works especially well if you relate it strongly to the thesis statement of your essay. It may also be a proverb.

e.g.: “Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life” (an essay about friendship) or

“There is a saying that studying in another country really teaches you a lot; not just about the language, but about the world”. (An essay about studying abroad)

3. Use an anecdote! Anecdote is a funny or humorous short story. You can use anecdotes related to the topic of the essay.

e.g.: I was twenty one years old when I first went abroad to study English… (An essay about studying abroad)



4. Use an interesting and a general sentence!

e.g.: Divorce has become a trend among newly married couples recently in Turkey.

(An essay about the reasons of divorce)

Background Information: After the hook, we give the reader background information about the topic of the essay. This background information should lead your reader from a general idea of your topic to a very specific idea.

e.g. ’…Nowadays many students after completing their education from universities try to find the ways to study abroad for their future. They think that studying abroad provides better opportunities for them to view the world better…

Thesis statement: Thesis statement of an essay is like the topic sentence of a paragraph. It states the main idea of the essay. We can see the organization of the essay in our thesis statement because we state our major supports (subtopics) in our thesis statements. When listing the subtopics (supporting paragraph ideas) in a thesis statement, a colon (:) is often useful as in the example

e.g.: In my opinion, students choose to study abroad since it is a good way to learn a foreign language, learn about other cultures and have a good career.

Now let’s remember our rule about the introductory paragraph:



The introductory paragraph = hook+ background information + thesis statement

So, we combine our examples in hook, background information and thesis statement and we get the following:



There is a saying that studying in another country really teaches you a lot; not just about the language, but about the world. Nowadays many students after completing their education from universities try to find the ways to study abroad for their future. They think that studying abroad provides better opportunities for their world view. In my opinion, students choose to study abroad for three main reasons: to learn a foreign language, learn about other cultures and have a good career.




Notice! The first sentence starts with a hook which gives a quotation about the topic and the following two sentences give background information which aims to narrow the general topic of studying abroad to our thesis statement. The final sentence is the thesis statement. It introduces the three subtopics (to learn a foreign language, learn about other cultures and have a good career) to make us have an idea about the organization of the essay. Therefore, we understand that our first supporting paragraph will be about learning a foreign language as a reason to study abroad.

There are some rules we have to follow while writing a thesis statement.

  1. Write your thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph, that is, thesis statement is the last sentence of your introduction.

  2. A thesis statement is not a fact or observation.

Fact or observation: People use many chemicals. X

Thesis statement: Chemicals that people use have some bad effects on our nature. √

  1. A thesis statement takes a stand rather than announcing a subject.

Announcement: The purpose /subject of this paper is the difficulty of solving our environmental problems. X

Announcement: I want to talk about the difficulty of solving our environmental problems. X

Thesis statement: Solving our environmental problems is more difficult than

many environmentalists believe.



  1. A thesis statement has one main idea rather than several main ideas. More than one idea may be too difficult for the reader to understand and for the writer to support.

More than one point: Knowing a foreign language has many benefits, It also has some disadvantages. X

Thesis statement: Knowing a foreign language has many advantages for university students.

  1. A thesis statement should neither be too broad nor too narrow.

Too broad: The World War II changed the history. X

Too narrow: I grew up in a small village. X

Thesis statement : The World War II changed the life style of people of 40s.

Thesis statement : The village I grew up helped me develop myself in three important ways.

EXERCISE-2 Read the statements below. Put a tick () beside each statement if it is clear thesis statement. If not, find the problem and correct it with your partner.

e.g.: This essay will be about the crime rate in Konya. Announcement.

Correct: The crime rate in Konya has increased a lot recently for three main reasons.

  1. My girlfriend was our neighbor in our summer house._________

  2. My roommate and I get on well in most ways and we have interesting families.________

  3. Capital punishment should be abolished for several reasons.___________

  4. I am going to write about the problems of university students.__________

  5. Football is an important part of life.___________

  6. Milk is rich in calcium.___________

  7. The kinds of clothes people wear reflect their personalities.__________

  8. Music is important to many people in the world because it can help you relax, express yourself or work better.____________

EXERCISE -3 Write thesis statements from the general topics given. Do not forget to narrow them down. Discuss your thesis statements as a class.

  1. Teenagers:

  2. Family:

  3. Crime:

  4. Marriage:

  5. Food:

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