Writing Tips

One of the most important tools anyone can have in college is the ability to write a complete and compelling essay. The reason instructors stress this is because they realize that, in the real world, no matter the occupation, employees need to have good written communication skills. This short article will give those of you who are curious a set of tips that will assist you in how to write an essay. Remember, there are different types of essays, and this is a guide for a general essay, with information on the introduction, body, and conclusion. 

Every part of an essay is important, but a solid introduction is imperative. The introduction needs to follow an inverse pyramid pattern. The essay beings with broad statements regarding the topic and work then progresses through the paragraph or paragraphs to a thesis statement, which is the focus of the essay. For example, if the essay topic is domestic violence the writer could begin by stating “Throughout the history of man, people have gathered together for comfort and protection.” The initial sentences of the essay should grab the reader’s attention. This statement has little to do with the intended topic but is broad enough to be followed by, “Unfortunately, sometimes the group which is meant to protect from outside forces contains an individual who wishes to control others in the group.” This statement is closer to the purpose of the essay, and after a few sentences leads into the thesis statement.

The body of an essay is an expansion of the thesis statement. If a thesis statement lists three elements which are to be discussed, there should be three separate paragraphs within the body dedicated to expanding those ideas. Every paragraph within the body of a traditional 1-3-1 essay (in which there is an introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion) should have paragraphs that begin with a topic sentence. The topic is taken from a point made in the thesis and expanded in that paragraph. Also, every topic sentence should be a transition statement that ties in with the preceding paragraph. This provides an overall flow to the essay. If an essay follows the classic 1-3-1 design, but each paragraph is essentially a separate entity, the essay will sound disjointed and choppy. The goal of any writer is to make the essay seamless so the reader does not notice the transition between paragraphs.

The final paragraph(s) in any essay needs to successfully conclude the discussion. The 1-3-1 design is based on what you wrote, reiterating what you claimed you were going to write, then summarizing what you wrote. This may seem a bit repetitive, that is the formula. In this way you make sure the reader thoroughly understands the topic by the end of the essay. The conclusion should not be an exact rehashing of the topic, but should remind the reader of the points discussed in the essay. The reader should be able to read the conclusion of an essay and remember its detailed points.

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