English essay paragraph format
Even the most famous examples need context. The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them. To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life in general or event in particular you believe most clearly illustrates your point. Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis. The importance of this step cannot be understated although it clearly can be underlined ; this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place.
Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly.
Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over.
You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: the first few words. These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing. Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another.
In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another. Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them. Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features.
While it does not need to be too long — four well-crafted sentence should be enough — it can make or break and essay. Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition "in conclusion," "in the end," etc. After that you should immediately provide a restatement of your thesis statement. This should be the fourth or fifth time you have repeated your thesis so while you should use a variety of word choice in the body paragraphs it is a acceptable idea to use some but not all of the original language you used in the introduction.
This echoing effect not only reinforces your argument but also ties it nicely to the second key element of the conclusion: a brief two or three words is enough review of the three main points from the body of the paper. Having done all of that, the final element — and final sentence in your essay — should be a "global statement" or "call to action" that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end.
The conclusion paragraph can be a difficult paragraph to write effectively but, as it is your last chance to convince or otherwise impress the reader, it is worth investing some time in. Take this opportunity to restate your thesis with confidence; if you present your argument as "obvious" then the reader might just do the same.
Although you can reuse the same key words in the conclusion as you did in the introduction, try not to copy whole phrases word for word. Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible. Although it may seem like a waste of time — especially during exams where time is tight — it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay.
This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas — rather than simply the first ones that come to mind — and position them in your essay accordingly. Your best supporting idea — the one that most strongly makes your case and, simultaneously, about which you have the most knowledge — should go first.
Even the best-written essays can fail because of ineffectively placed arguments. Sentences and vocabulary of varying complexity are one of the hallmarks of effective writing. When you are writing, try to avoid using the same words and phrases over and over again. If you are asked about "money," you could try "wealth" or "riches. In the end, though, remember that good writing does not happen by accident. Although we have endeavored to explain everything that goes into effective essay writing in as clear and concise a way as possible, it is much easier in theory than it is in practice.
As a result, we recommend that you practice writing sample essays on various topics. This structure introduces your ideas, supports them, and then connects your evidence back to your thesis. This is the structure of a sustained argument. Clearly, body paragraphs only work well if they are clearly signposted and well structured. Remember, the aim of a good essay is to produce a sustained argument. In this series of posts you have seen us use that term consistently. The information the reader wants is presented and developed in such a way that it is clearly and easily digestible.
Having a strong paragraph structure is crucial for this. We like to have an argument and its evidence presented clearly and logically. This is why signposting is important.
Signposting gives structure and signals to a reader where in an essay they are. Signposting, especially by using topic sentences, consistently orientates readers in the argument — these signposts enable you to see what is being argued and how it relates to the bigger picture in the essay. If the signposting is flawed and the argument is not consistent, the reader will get distracted. Or worse, they will stop reading and have to start again further up. People are more often convinced by an argument if it is well structured and easy to follow.
So, your essay needs to be easy to read and follow. To do this, you must ensure that you have a sustained argument. In our previous posts, we discussed how the key parts of an introduction — the thesis and thematic framework — connect to the signposting in the body paragraph.
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As you can see, there is a clear and direct connection between the topic sentence and the two central parts of the introduction. This is integral to a sustained argument and what you need to capitalise on in your body paragraphs. The best way to do this is to present evidence in a methodical way that both supports and reasserts your topic sentence. This, in turn, will clearly sustain your overall thesis throughout your response.
Consequently, this will increase its readability and make it more persuasive. Remember, body paragraphs are where you present your evidence. You need to present evidence in a way that supports your thesis and topic sentence. This kind of paragraph structure will increase readability and aid the logic of your argument. This is the ideal structure that Matrix English students are taught to use when writing their body paragraphs. Rather than presenting a list of quotations and techniques, a T. L structure develops these pieces of evidence into a thorough argument.
This is essential for a sustained argument and, thus, a Band 6 result. It is important to note that these components can be presented in any order.
You can begin with the evidence or the explanation of how it links to the topic at hand. The important thing is doing all of the steps involved. To do this we must first assemble some notes. A good body paragraph needs evidence. So be sure to analyse your text thoroughly for evidence to discuss before starting an essay. It is important that you organise your evidence and notes in a logical manner that makes it easy to write practice essays.
Matrix students learn how to tabulate notes so they can learn to write dynamic essays, rather than learning how to memorise essays. Good paragraph structure is meaningless without meaningful analysis!
For this example, we will continue looking at Macbeth and the question from the previous posts in this series. For the purpose of writing a body paragraph, we will look at the text through the lens of Year 11 Module B — Critical Study of Literature.
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In this module, students study canonical texts and engage in a critical study of their themes and construction. In this table, the text is broken down by character, themes, technique, effect, and connection to the module. Tabulating your notes like this allows you to easily transform your notes into part of an argument. This table layout allows you to easily see the connections between the different components of a T. L paragraph. You can draw these components together to craft powerful analytical statements about the text that are supported by evidence. This is the most important part of paragraph structure: connecting these pieces of information to develop an argument.
Thus, we can use the information from this table to produce a body paragraph. But first we need to have quick refresher of the question, thesis, and topic sentences that we developed in the previous posts. Before we consider the details of paragraph structure, we need to revisit the thesis statement and topic sentence. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Make use of detailed references to the play in your response. And in the second post , we developed the following thesis in response to it:. And in the third post , we produced the following topic sentences to support our argument. Now we have evidence and a question to work from, we will write a body paragraph using the second topic sentence and the theme of morality. Paragraph structure begins with analysis. We have done this already. This is the information that we have organised into our table above. You will need to ensure that you have gone through you text, in detail, as we have above.
If you need help analysing your texts, look at our Literary Technique Series of posts. For the purposes of this example we will write a shorter body paragraph that uses the following to quotations. Paragraph structure requires logical ordering. We need to organise the evidence in a logical manner that best supports our position. This may be a sequential order that reflects the order of events in the text, or it could be more of a thematic approach that develops a theme.
In this instance we are trying to analyse the character development of Macbeth, so we will present and discuss the quotations in the sequential order they appear in the text. Notice how these quotations follow the character arc of Macbeth? This will give our paragraph a logical structure. It is important to mentally draw up a body paragraph outline that is logically structured. This is essential for a sustained argument. There must be a logical progression to paragraph structure.
The segue, that is the transition , between topic sentence and your first example must develop the idea and seem like part of an argument, not the introduction of a list. Thus, this statement needs to connect the idea we have introduced in the topic sentence to the example from the text. So, in keeping with this process we need to connect the theme of morality and concept of character development to our first example. The next step in paragraph structure is to introduce the example and discuss how it is developing meaning its technique and what this represents its effect.
The body paragraph requires evidence to make an argument. Good paragraph structure requires examples to be introduced and explained. So, now we need to explain how this example develops meaning in the text. To do this we have to present the technique and explain how it develops a theme.
We need to present information in this rough sequence:. The bolded statement above introduces the example and states the technique — extended metaphor. If you are unsure of what a metaphor is, and how one works you should read this post that explains metaphors. The underlined sentences introduce the example and explain what the technique is doing, this is its effect.