A high-school or a college essay requires maximum attention from the student. It is not just about this one grade you will soon forget about. Usually, your final grades depend a great deal on how good you are at writing essays. Although many students somewhat underestimate writing essays, this is one of the most effective exercises you get assigned at high school and college. Just like any other academic paper, an essay is not just a stream of consciousness or an exercise in freewriting. It needs to be written in strict accordance with the structure, which, in turn, suggests paragraphs.
The notion of a paragraph: It is essential to understand what a paragraph is, as you can’t merely space your text several times to have a proper essay. A paragraph can have a single sentence (which rarely happens in the case of essay writing) or several sentences. The main point of a paragraph is to enclose one idea. Additionally, a paragraph serves as a text unit helping to categorize the smaller units.
As a rule, an essay comprises an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. This helps you to arrange the information systematically. You usually give the general context in the introduction. The main body reveals the subject-matter of your essay. The conclusion is a summarized scope of your paper, which may also provide some ideas for the further discussion.
The conventional structure of an essay enterprises five paragraphs. The introduction and the conclusion have one paragraph each, while the main body has three. Although this format works for the majority of essays, it is not obligatory for you to follow it in all the cases. The exceptions are usually predetermined by how deep your research is.
The initial point in writing an excellent essay is understanding the topic because both format and content depend on it. Another important aspect is the type of an essay. It may seem that there are plenty of those and that it is hard to switch if you are used to writing a particular type. On the one hand, it is true, because different types suggest different ways of arranging the information. On the other, if you pay your closest attention to these types once, you will have no difficulty with writing them in the future.
The most widespread types of high-school and college essays are:
- A descriptive essay. Seemingly, this is one of the most comfortable essay types to write. It is meant to convey some images to the reader. However, these images have to be strong enough to evoke the feelings that you want your readers to have.
- An argumentative essay. The main point of this type is to prove one’s idea. To do so, you have to give some evidence to illustrate the argument under consideration.
- An expository essay. In this essay, you are to concern some idea, do your research, find proper arguments, and draw a solid conclusion as to the subject matter.
- A persuasive essay. It shares a lot of mutual elements with a persuasive speech and focuses on convincing the reader to accept your idea. Nevertheless, it has to be written according to the structure of an essay, not relying on your intonation and personal charisma.
The Essay Structure
As we have already mentioned, the format consisting of the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion is the most suitable for an essay. Each of these elements has a fixed number of paragraphs. Unfortunately, the introduction is often neglected by many students, because it doesn’t contain any research. However, if you want your essay to secure you an excellent grade, you should be very attentive when you write your introduction. It may be considered a defining moment for the reader to understand whether he or she is going to read the whole essay. Besides, the introduction includes essential background information for your reader to comprehend your topic. Don’t let your introduction give too much away. A thesis statement and some additional information are more than enough for a high-school or college essay. In most cases, the introduction doesn’t exceed a single paragraph, but there can be exceptions to this rule.
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The Further Essay Writing Process
After you’ve made your readers interested by your introduction, you can continue with the main body of your essay. No introduction or conclusion can save your essay if you fail to convey your idea in the body paragraphs. There are usually three of them. You have to put a topic sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph, following it with some supporting arguments. The stronger your arguments are, the earlier they have to appear in your text. Put your thoughts briefly and systematically. The conclusion is the way to summarize the subject matter and your findings. You are also to restate your thesis. In some cases, the conclusion opens some perspective for the further research.
A Five-Paragraph Essay Outline Template
- Topic: Healthy Habits in a Student’s Life
- Introduction: The general information about healthy lifestyle
- Thesis: The importance of healthy habits in the life of a student
- The Body:
- Some habits contribute to your health, while the other cause stress and anxiety
- The scope of healthy habits: sleeping, nutrition, sports, time-management, household. Their benefits
- Building healthy habits is a crucial part of any successful student’s life
- Conclusion: Summarizing the scope, the ways to create and the benefits of healthy habits.