Writing Essays - Review

Essay Structure:

Every essay consists of the following parts:
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

The introduction should be designed to attract the reader's attention and give her or him an idea of the essay's focus.
  1. Begin with an attention grabber (HOOK)
  2. If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement.
  3. Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement.

The thesis statement tells the reader what the essay will be about, and what point you, the author, will be making. You know what the essay will be about. That was your topic. Now you must decide what point you will be making. What do the main ideas and supporting ideas that you listed say about your topic?
Your thesis statement will have two parts.
  • The first part states the topic.
    • Kenya's Culture
    • Building a Model Train Set
    • Public Transportation
  • The second part states the controlling idea (the point of the essay - your argument).
    • has a rich and varied history.
    • takes time and patience.
    • can solve some of our city's most persistent and pressing problems.
Once you have formulated a thesis statement that fits this pattern and with which you are comfortable, you are ready to continue. You now need to present your supporting arguments.

In the body of the essay, the topic you have chosen must now be explained, described, or argued.
Each main idea that you wrote down in your diagram or outline will become one of the body paragraphs. If you had three or four main ideas, you will have three or four body paragraphs.

The conclusion brings closure, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic.
All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic.

Essay Structure - SUMMARY:

  • The opening sentence "hooks" the reader's interest and encourages him/her to read on.
  • The paragraph then has a transition to the thesis, or main point of the essay. Typically, the thesis is stated in the last sentence of the first paragraph. The thesis should be stated clearly and forcefully. The thesis is the answer to the question you are exploring.

Body Paragraphs
  • The purpose of these paragraphs is to defend the thesis statement.
  • Each body paragraph should be limited to making a single point.
  • Use evidence from the story, novel, or poem to support each of the points you are making.
  • Finally, ask yourself if the three body paragraphs are convincing. Do they make the case you want to make? Do they persuade the reader?

  • The conclusion often starts with a restatement of the thesis, then ties together the points of the body paragraphs.
  • Do not introduce new material in this paragraph!
  • The essay ends gracefully, perhaps by connecting back to the original hook or concluding with a forceful statement about the thesis.