THE ESSAY

THE ESSAY


Elements of Essay

Main Parts of an Essay
An essay has three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

  1. The introductory paragraph attracts the reader’s attention and informs the reader what your main topic of discussion will be. An introductory paragraph has two parts:

    1. general statements

    2. a thesis statement

  2. The body of your essay discusses your major points, one by one. It contains as many paragraphs as necessary to explain the controlling ideas in the thesis statement.

  3. The concluding paragraph reminds your reader of what you have said. A concluding paragraph consists of:

    1. a summary of the main topics (major points); or

    2. restatement of your thesis in different words

    3. your final comment on the subject, based on the information you have provided.


      Outlining

Before you begin to write, it is important to organize your thoughts and to plan your essay. An outline is a tool to help you. In an outline, you write down the main points and subpoints in the order in which you plan to write about them. With an outline in front of you, it should be relatively easy to write an essay on a certain subject. You can also use your outline to see if an essay is well organized and if the paragraphs discuss the thesis statement.

Remember, there are many ways to write outlines. It is not necessary to follow any strict outline form. However, keep in your mind that if there is no 2, you do not use the numeral 1. Also, if there is no b, there is no a. Subgroups are indented to the right and, as you move to the right, the ideas become more and more specific.


Examples in an Essay

In an example essay, you develop a topic with examples to illustrate the topic or prove the thesis. There are two cautions that you should keep in mind if you use examples for support. First, remember that in formal academic writing, such as research papers. theses, and the like, examples are considered the weakest kind of support, so use them infrequently. Second, be sure that your examples really prove your point.

How many examples we use in an example essay depends on the topic. Some topics require numerous examples, whereas others can be effectively developed with three or four extended examples (illustrations). Thesis statements that state or imply “most’ or “all” may need numerous examples for adequate support; thesis statements that are more moderate, stating or implying “some” or “a few”, can often be supported with fewer. but more developed, examples.

In addition, the examples you use to develop the thesis statement should be ‘representative’. This means that you should choose examples that will fairly support the thesis, since an example is a “representative member” of a class or category .

Finally, when an essay contains several examples and details, it is necessary to consider the order of their presentation. Even though there is no set or prescribed pattem, there are some common patterns that might be considered guidelines. You can organize the examples according to importance, familiarity, and time.

Transition Signals in the Example Essay

You have Iearned from this unit that you can introduce examples by using one of the following phrases:
For example, ……………………………………( sentence ) ……………………………………………….
For instance, …………………………………….(sentence ) ……………………………………………….
One
Another
An example of …………………………(noun phrase ) ………………………………………..
A second
A third
……………………………………..( noun phrase) …………………..is an example of
such as ……………………….(noun phrase) ……………………………………


THE COMPARISON AND CONTRAST ESSAY
Points of Comparison

When you compare two things, you point out their similarities. When you contrast two things, you emphasize their differences. Here are some important points to remember when writing about the similarities and differences between two items:

  1. The items that you compare and/or contrast must be from the same general class. So, you could compare a sports car with a station wagon, but you would not compare a car with a boat.

  2. When comparing and contrasting two things, people, countries, and so forth, it is best to restrict the points of comparison. Therefore, you should be selective and choose the most significant points for comparison that would support the central idea in your essay.

  3. The thesis statement for a composition that compares and contrasts should tell the reader:

    1. what two things or people are being compared and contrasted;

    2. whether the composition will emphasize the similarities or the differences.


      Patterns of Organization

You should have learned from this unit that there are at least two ways to organize a comparison and contrast essay. You may use block organization or point-by-point organization.

In block organization, you discuss the same points of comparison for two things or people. The points are discussed in the same order under each section. Thus, you discuss all of the points for one thing or one person in one block (which can be one or more paragraphs), and all of the points for the other thing or the other person in another block (which can be one or more paragraphs).

In point-by-point organization, you make a sentence-by-sentence comparison of the features for the two things or people. Thus, you discuss a particular point of comparison about one thing or one person and then immediately discuss the same point about the other thing or person.

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