I. essay basics



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How to guide: Write AMAZING 5 paragraph essays every time!

I. ESSAY BASICS:

Every 5 Paragraph essay needs an INTRODUCTION.



  1. HOOK or clincher”: statement that catches the reader’s attention

  2. Overview of what you plan on discussing in your essay

  3. Thesis statement – state your position

  4. Transition smoothly into your first paragraph.

What the heck is a Thesis Statement?

  1. It is the MAIN IDEA of your entire essay

  2. It expresses your POSITION in a full, declarative sentence

  3. It controls the FOCUS of the entire essay

  4. It points FORWARD to the conclusion

  5. It conforms to your REASONS, EXAMPLES, and EVIDENCE

WE ARE WORKING ON EXPOSITORY ESSAYS. Here are some examples:

Teach Us Something: Explain how to do something (brush teeth) or about something (bats or your feelings on global warming)

Opinion and Fact: Dracula was one of the better films of the summer because of its setting, action, and philosophy.

Consequence: Social ostracism, great expense, and personal hardship are three of the unfortunate results of the most dangerous disease of the century- AIDS.

Autobiographical: From my personal experience, I know that poor preparation, alcohol consumption, and insect infestation can cause most family picnics to fail.

How to: Avoid mistakes in your INTRODUCTION:

  1. AVOID a purpose statement, such as “The purpose of this….” “Now I shall prove” “Hello, My name is ___and I am going to show you how to…”. SHOW! Don’t TELL.

  2. AVOID repetition of the title or text (First, Next, Then… it gets a little too repetitive)

  3. AVOID complex or difficult questions that may puzzle your reader. (Explain the meaning of life…)

  4. AVOID simple definitions- EXPLAIN what you are trying to say. Imagine they have NO IDEA what you are talking about!

  5. AVOID Artwork or Cute lettering. Essays are not meant to be cute. They are meant to inform people.

II. The most beautiful BODY in an essay comes from your description of it:

Paragraph:



  1. A group of sentences that presents and develops one MAIN IDEA about a topic.

  2. These sentences work together to communicate one main idea.

MAIN IDEA:

  1. The overall POINT of the PARAGRAPH that is conveyed in the TOPIC SENTENCE.

TOPIC SENTENCE:

  1. Usually the first sentence of a paragraph that states the MAIN IDEA stated in each part of the THESIS.

  2. This sentence CONTROLS the ENTIRE PARAGRAPH.

  3. It tells the READER what the reset of the paragraph is ABOUT.

  4. It helps the WRITER focus on the MAIN IDEA and not stray from the MAIN IDEA

  5. This is more GENERAL than the SUPPORTING details that follow.

SUPPORTING DETAIL SENTENCES:

  1. Other sentences in the PARAGRAPH that give INFORMATION that SUPPORTS the MAIN IDEA that was stated in the TOPIC SENTENCE.

  2. A paragraph with only 1-2 supporting details is NOT EFFECTIVE and UNACCEPTABLE

  3. At least 3 DETAILS are NEEDED to provide STRONG SUPPORT for the main idea

    1. Descriptions

    2. Definitions

    3. Examples

    4. Elaboration

    5. Exploration

  4. Paragraphs should be 5-7 sentences long, including TRANSITIONS. (AWOOBIS)

  5. Sentences that DO NOT SUPPORT THE TOPIC SENTENCE DESTROY THE UNITY OF THE PARAGRAPH.

SMOOTH TRANSITIONS:

The last sentence of each paragraph should reflect:



  1. What you have just discussed in the paragraph

  2. Signal the change into the next paragraph

III. CONCLUSIONS:

  1. Restate the THESIS

  2. GO BEYOND the thesis by stating something WORTHWHILE: (REDO)

    1. Reach a judgment

    2. Endorse an issue

    3. Discuss findings

    4. Offer directives

  3. Leave the reader with a THOUGHT PROVOKING STATEMENT

AVOID MISTAKES IN YOUR CONCLUSION:

  1. AVOID presenting new IDEAS. DO NOT DO THIS HERE. DO IT IN BODY PARAGRAPHS.

  2. AVOID stopping at an awkward spot or trailing off into MEANINGLESS or IRRELEVANT INFORMATION

  3. AVOID questions that raise new issues

  4. AVOID FANCY ARTWORK OR CUTE LETTERING

IV. USE THE B.L.T. METHOD:

Think of your essay like a sandwich:



TOP BREAD: Introduction! So, important, it holds the whole sandwich together along with the

conclusion (bottom bread)

Body Paragraphs:

BACON: The most important information in the essay. The major point you want to make should be in this paragraph. “Wow” us with something really interesting to keep us reading!

LETTUCE: Another important point that you want to say. Back up the info. you list!

TOMATO: The final points you wish to make. Be sure all points are backed up with research or strong opinions.

BOTTOM BREAD (or CONCLUSION): Restate the THESIS, MAJOR POINTS BRIEFLY, and offer a final HOOK to leave readers on a positive note.



EVERYTHING YOU WRITE SHOULD RELATE TO EACH OTHER AND ALWAYS STAY ON TOPIC!

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