5 elements of a good essay

Articles

  1. The Five Parts of an Essay
  2. How to Cite
  3. Basics of Writing An Effective Essay
  4. Five Elements of a Top-Scoring ACT Essay

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Your Email Address. Send Email. How do you tell a good story? Storytelling element 2: Setting context It was mid-May Storytelling element 4 and 5: Outlining the obstacles AND Demonstrating strength of character It was tempting to wish the lump would just go away, and for a few days that was my strategy. For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top undergraduate and graduate programs. Click here to get in touch! The following are useful steps for developing a diagram to organize ideas for your essay.

Outline The following are useful steps for developing an outline to organize ideas for your essay. Once you have an idea for the basic structure of your essay, and what information you're going to present in your essay, it's time to develop your thesis statement.

The Five Parts of an Essay

A thesis statement states or outlines what you intend to prove in your essay. A good thesis statement should be clear, concise, specific, and takes a position. The word "thesis" just sounds intimidating to most students, but a thesis is actually quite simple. A thesis statement 1 tells the reader what the essay is about and 2 what points you'll be making. If you've already selected an essay topic, and developed an outline or diagram, you now can decide what points you want to communicate through your essay. A thesis statement has two key components.

The first component is the topic, and the second is the point s of the essay. The following is an example of an expository explanatory thesis statement:. The life of a child raised in Pena Blanca is characterized by little playing, a lot of hard work and extreme poverty.

An example of an analytical thesis statement:. An analysis of the loan application process for citizens of third world countries reveals one major obstacle: applicants must already have money in order to qualify for a loan. Instead of sending tax money overseas to buoy struggling governments and economies, U. Once you're done developing a thesis statement that supports the type of essay your writing and the purpose of the essay, you're ready to get started on your introduction.

The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay.

It introduces the reader to the idea that the essay will address. It is also intended to capture the reader's attention and interest. The first sentence of the introduction paragraph should be as captivating and interesting as possible.

How to Cite

The sentences that follow should clarify your opening statement. Conclude the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement. The body of your essay is where you explain, describe or argue the topic you've chosen. Each of the main ideas you included in your outline or diagram will become of the body paragraphs.

If you wrote down four main ideas in your outline or diagram, then you'll have four body paragraphs. Each paragraph will address one main idea that supports the thesis statement.


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The first paragraph of the body should put forth your strongest argument to support your thesis. Start the paragraph out by stating the supporting idea. Then follow up with additional sentences that contain supporting information, facts, evidence or examples — as shown in your diagram or outline. The concluding sentence should sum up what you've discussed in the paragraph. The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph. This paragraph should put forth your second strongest argument supporting your thesis statement.

Likewise, the third and fourth body paragraphs, like the first and second, will contain your third and fourth strongest arguments supporting your thesis statement. Again, the last sentence of both the third and fourth paragraphs should sum up what you've discussed in each paragraph and indicate to the reader that the paragraph contains the final supporting argument. The final paragraph of the essay provides the conclusion. This paragraph should should restate your thesis statement using slightly different wording than employed in your introduction.

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.


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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. Even if they are not masterpieces at first, a bit of regular practice will soon change that — and make you better prepared when it comes to the real thing.

Basics of Writing An Effective Essay

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Five Elements of a Top-Scoring ACT Essay

Check out our Sample Essay section where you can see scholarship essays, admissions essays, and more! DO — Pay Attention to Your Introductory Paragraph Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible. DO — Tie Things Together The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective.

DO — Be Powerful 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. DO NOT — Copy the First Paragraph 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. Taken together, then, the overall structure of a five paragraph essay should look something like this: Introduction Paragraph An attention-grabbing "hook" A thesis statement A preview of the three subtopics you will discuss in the body paragraphs.

First Body Paragraph Topic sentence which states the first subtopic and opens with a transition Supporting details or examples An explanation of how this example proves your thesis Second Body Paragraph Topic sentence which states the second subtopic and opens with a transition Supporting details or examples An explanation of how this example proves your thesis Third Body Paragraph Topic sentence which states the third subtopic and opens with a transition Supporting details or examples An explanation of how this example proves your thesis Concluding Paragraph Concluding Transition, Reverse "hook," and restatement of thesis.

The Four Elements of a Great Essay

Rephrasing main topic and subtopics. Global statement or call to action. Essay Writing Center.