Elements: of Writing an Effective Essay
· What is an Essay?
1. An organized piece of writing that focuses on a single topic.
2. Organized around a general idea or thesis.
3.1. Thesis develops from all the main ideas in the supporting paragraphs.
3.2. Paragraphs that develop the Thesis are the body of the Essay.
3.3. Begins with an introduction.
3.4. Ends with a concluding paragraph.
· Why write an Essay?
1. Writing an essay helps you express your ideas more clearly and effectively.
2. It helps you to convey information in a small amount of space.
3. They can be entertaining by recounting interesting stories about ourselves and others.
4. A required part of almost all college courses.
· Recognizing General and Specific
1. General-Big and Inclusive.
2. Specific and Smaller or more exact or precise
3. Examples: General to Specific
· The following chart compares the elements of paragraphs and essays
1.1. Organized around main idea.
1.2. Introductory sentence.
1.3. Developed by supporting details.
1.4. Concluding sentence.
2.1. Organized around a thesis.
2.2. Introductory paragraph.
2.3. Developed by supporting paragraphs.
2.4. Concluding paragraph.
1.1. What you are writing about a supporting through your thesis?
1.2. Like the main idea of a supporting paragraph, it’s a generalization and includes all paragraphs in your essay.
· Thesis Statement
1.1. A sentence in the essay that states the thesis.
1.2. Usually states in the first paragraph as part of the introduction.
1.3. Should be “just right”
Not too general or it will not provide an adequate direction to the essay
Not too specific or it will be difficult to develop into a series of a paragraph
· Thesis Statements examples
Topic: controlling our Children
1.1. Too General thesis: Children must be disciplined
1.2. Too Specific thesis: Teachers have a role in the discipline of children
1.3. Precise thesis: By using disciplinary techniques, parents, teachers and police are the main agents, for controlling children.
Provide three groups to discuss, general enough to allow for the development of several ideas and specific enough to give the essay structure and organization.
(i) Main Idea 1: There are a variety of techniques to parents who are willing to take responsibility for disciplining their children.
(ii) Main Idea 2: Teachers are also important agents of discipline for today’s society.
(iii) Main Idea 3: If criminal behavior is involved, police take responsibility to control children through the legal system.
· Writing a precise thesis statement is the key to step in developing an effective essay.
· Introduction to an Essay:
1. Introduction Paragraph:
2. The first part of an essay
3. The reader’s first contact with your perspective- FIRST IMPRESSIONS!
4. Major influence on the reader’s desire to keep reading
5. Reader begins to evaluate the essay, based on the introduction.
v Attention’s getters for an introductory paragraphs
220.127.116.11. Provide some interesting background about the topic in the form of a general statement: Today’s children become tomorrow’s new leaders
18.104.22.168. Use a thought provoking quotation: “Adolescence is not a stage of life, it is a disease” Dr. S. Rosner.
22.214.171.124. Ask a question your topic: Why children don’t want to be controlled by adults?
126.96.36.199. State a puzzling fact or a statement: Teenagers joins gangs, because they need the support of a family.
v Attention Getters for an Introductory Paragraph
188.8.131.52.1.1. State a common misconception: Children don’t learn habits from adults.
184.108.40.206.1.2. Describe a problem: Everyone knows what a juvenile delinquency has become in our society.
220.127.116.11.1.3. Give an analogy: Children are just like animals
18.104.22.168.1.4. Show how the topic is related to reader’s experience: Most people know how difficult it is to raise children.
v Make a bridge to connect the attention getting sentence(s) to your thesis statement.
22.214.171.124.1. Common way to make a bridge is to show why the topic is important: Controlling the behavior of children is one society’s most important task.
126.96.36.199.2. Conclude the introductory paragraph with the most important idea of the essay- THESIS STATEMENT.
v Introductory paragraph example:
1.4. (Attention getter- stating problem) Most people know what a juvenile delinquency has become in our society. (Attention getter- stating General statement) Without proper control, children will run wild and create dangers for them and everyone around. (Bridge or transition problem) Controlling the behavior of children is one society’s most important task. (Thesis statement) By using disciplinary techniques, parents, teachers and police are the main agents, for controlling children.
v Body of an Essay
1. Set of paragraphs that develop the main expressed in the thesis statement:
2. Make a list of ideas that support the thesis statement: Each main idea becomes the main idea of each paragraph.
3. Arrange the main ideas in logical order (time, place,)
4. Plan out each body paragraph by listing major details that supports the main idea.
5. Order the details in each paragraph I a logical way. Each main paragraph may end with a concluding sentence.
v Essay Outilne:
Ø Thesis Statement: By using disciplinary techniques, parents, teachers and police are the main agents, for controlling teachers.
Ø Body Paragraph 1: Main Idea 1: There are a variety of discipline techniques available to parents who are willing to take responsibility of disciplining their children. Major Details: 1-Give rewards, 2- Punish bad behavior, 3- Be consistent and reasonable.
Ø Body Paragraph 2: Main idea 2: Teachers are also important agents of discipline: 1- Direct communication: 2-Nonverbal communication: 3- Grades.
Ø Body Paragraph 3: Main Idea 3: If criminal behavior is involved, police will take responsibility to control children: Various forms of punishment: Advising parents of children’s behavior: Setting an enforcing curfews.
v Essay: Writing stage
§ After planning and arranging your main ideas and major details, beginning writing your body paragraphs.
§ The number of paragraphs depends on the topic’s complexity, inclusiveness, and your purpose for writing.
§ Usually a short essay contains from 3 to 5 paragraphs, plus an introductory and concluding paragraph.
§ Remember to use signals words to make smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs.
§ Signal Transition words:
¨ For examples: For example, for instance, to illustrate.
¨ For organization or chronological order: The six’s steps are…, next, first, secondly, third.
¨ For additional points: Furthermore, in addition, also, moreover.
¨ For Opposing ideas: On the other hand, in contrast, although, however.
¨ For similar ideas: Likewise, similarly, in comparison.
¨ For exceptions: However, nevertheless, still, yet
¨ For emphasis: Above all, finally, more importantly.
¨ For understanding: In other words, in essence, briefly.
¨ For summarizing: In conclusion, to sum up, for these reasons, in a nutshell.
¨ For exams: remember this, this is important, this could be on the test.
v Essay Body Paragraph:
Ø 1)main idea There are a variety of discipline techniques available to parents who are willing to take responsibility of disciplining their children. 2)major detail (bifurcation) Most of these methods involves a combinations of rewards and punishments.3) minor detailsRewards behaviors will be repeated by children; therefore, rewards should be given for behaviors that are acceptable. 4) minor detailsUnacceptable behavior should be punished in some way. 5)minor details Try to fit the punishment fit the seriousness of the behavior.6)major detail Be reasonable, but consistent too. 7) concluding sentence Consistent and fairness are the key elements when it comes to rewarding and punishing children.
Ø Body paragraphs:
¨ Provide the content of the Essay
¨ Each paragraph should be unique, including different facts or opinions, as appropriate.
¨ Like any paragraph, should be unified around a main idea and arranged coherently.
v Conclusion of an Essay:
§ Purpose: To leave the reader with a positive impression, a sense of completeness, and the inclination to think about the topic.
§ Usually a short, single paragraph
§ Should not give more information about the topic – that should be done in the body of the paragraph.
§ Should follow logically from the body of the essay
§ Concluding Paragraph:
§ Can be a restatement of the essay
§ Can use signal words, such as in conclusion, in summary or in closing.
§ Restate your thesis statement in different words
§ Write some thought provoking comments about your topic stating your comments, opinions and judgments, or recommendations.
§ Concluding paragraph: Example :
1) Partial restatement of the thesis statement With proper discipline at home and at school, children can be controlled. 2) A conclusion that clarifies the thesis Parents and teachers can do the job before action police is necessary. 3)
2) An opinion about the nature of society, which may motivate readers to read some more about the topic Maybe many children are out of control because not enough people take their responsibility seriously. 4) A concluding remark about the topic In conclusion, controlling children, is one of the most important social responsibilities for adults.
Ø Revision and Editing Process: The process of reviewing and rewriting to make your ideas more logical, understandable, and interesting to your readers.
Ø Revision and Editing Process: Involves crossing out some material, adding other material and rearranging material.
Ø Two main aspects of the Revision Process: Through reading, through collaboration.
Ø As you read to revise, keep in mind: Your purpose for writing, Your audience, To carefully read multiple times, with each rereading you will find ways to improve your essay.
Ø Collaboration: What others think about your essay, other perspective and awareness of weakness, FINAL DRAFT, ERROR FREE.
Ø Types of Essays:
Ø Descriptive Essay: description through senses:
Ø Narrative Essay: long conversational story containing features as characters, setting, context and big idea.
Ø Cause and Effects Essay: Causality, why did…, what happened then?
Ø Compare and contrast, through similarities or differences or compound version.
Ø Classification Essays: analysis in which information is ordered into categories for its appropriate definition.
Ø Planning solution: considerations about a problematic situation
Ø Persuasive Essays: An attempt to convince others to share your opinion.
Ø Mixed Essays: combinations, identify your topic and then write