structuring a 5 paragraph essay

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The effective strategy will have a logic and an order. You will firstly claim that you deserve a raise. And you will give evidence to support why you deserve that raise.


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For example: you are a hard worker, you are never late, you have the admiration and respect of your colleagues, you have been offered another position elsewhere and you want the pay matched. And so on. And you would probably wrap up your discussion with an overview of of why giving you more money is important. And that is fundamentally an essay. Every good essay has three basic parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. This simple guide will show you how to perfect your essay structure by clearly introducing and concluding your argument, and laying out your paragraphs coherently in between.

Your essay writing can be dramatically improved overnight simply by using the correct essay structure, as explained below. When you are writing an essay , every sentence and every paragraph is important. But there is something extra important about introductions. Just like going out on a date for the first time, you want the introduction to be just right, almost perfect. You want to put your best self forward and create a great first impression.

You should already know this, but most professors and instructors will start grading your work in their head as soon as they begin reading it. And most will have some notion of where your essay falls on that scale before they even finish the introduction. It will be the rarest of markers who withholds judgement until the end. The introduction is something you absolutely must start strong.

Always develop an introduction that clearly sets out the aims of what you are about to write and, if applicable, refers to the subject under investigation. State what the essay will try to achieve and briefly mention some of the main points you will consider.

How to structure an essay

The idea is to give the marker an overview of your argument, to show that your thought process is logical and coherent and that you have carefully thought the question through. Think of your introduction as a thumbnail picture of the whole essay. Anyone, but especially the marker, should know the essay subject and how you intend to prove or disprove it, just from having read just the introduction. You have been given this assignment: The main purpose of Gothic fiction is to break normal moral and social codes.

It is certainly true that many works of Gothic fiction manifest the transgression of normal moral and social codes as their major theme. Their emphasis on female sexuality, their breaking of the boundaries between life and death and their shocking displays of immoral religious characters would all suggest that this is indeed the case.


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  7. However, it is also important to consider other major aspects of the genre that might be considered equally important in purpose, such as its fascination with the supernatural, its portrayal of artificial humanity and its satirical social attacks. Reread that paragraph. Does it tell you what the topic of the essay is?

    How do you create an outline for your paper?

    What the point is? What the essay plans to do? Now, without reading think about just the size of that paragraph. If a marker were to see an introduction that were any less than that they would automatically know, without even reading a word, that the topic was not going to be well introduced.

    That is not to suggest you simply fill up the paragraph, but that a certain amount of information in the introduction is expected. It is worth pointing out that in a much longer essay an introduction does not need to be limited to a single paragraph. Generally, however, it will be. The second part of the essay is the body. This is the longest part of the essay. In general, a short essay will have at least three full paragraphs; a long essay considerably more.

    Each paragraph is a point that you want to make that relates to the topic.


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    5. Paragraphs, like the essay overall, also have an expected structure. You should start a new paragraph for each major new idea within your essay, to clearly show the examiner the structure of your argument. Each paragraph should begin with a signpost sentence that sets out the main point you are going to explore in that section. It is sometimes helpful to refer back to the title of the essay in the signpost sentence, to remind the examiner of the relevance of your point.

      Essay writing becomes much easier for you too this way, as you remind yourself exactly what you are focusing on each step of the way. Here's a signpost sentence example: One important way in which Gothic fiction transgresses normal moral and social codes is in its portrayal of the female heroine. Further sentences in this paragraph would then go on to expand and back up your point in greater detail and with relevant examples.

      The paragraph should not contain any sentences that are not directly related to the issue set out in the signpost sentence. So you are writing an essay that clearly separates its ideas into structured sections. Going back to the wage-raise example: in the middle of talking about how punctual you are, would you start talking about how you are a good colleague, then about that client you impressed, and then talk about your punctuality again?

      Not exactly.

      General Format // Purdue Writing Lab

      But to draw up an A-level essay you have to put in some additional work walking the extra mile. An expository narrative essay presents certain information to a reader. A persuasive essay implies you taking a side in an argument or discussion, and prove your point of view is right. Informal essay is usually done for personal enjoyment and the sake of entertaining a reader. A compare and contrast essay delves into similarities and differences between two notions, concepts, ideas, items, etc. A cause and effect essay seeks to get to the heart of a topic and investigate what caused what.

      An analytical essay analyzes a certain event, person, or literary work, and gives an objective evaluation. Each of the essay types has own hidden pitfalls and peculiarities you have to familiarize with before writing. Researching a composition topic might not imply an in-depth subject matter analysis. Although presenting some original speculations based on proven data and peculiar facts will definitely help score extra points.

      Gather as much data as you seem fit and sort out the best pieces of evidence. Quotes are a powerful mean to add credibility to the argumentation. Be careful, though. Remember that best quotes are original. Get such text in front of you for inspirational purposes and maybe a couple of practical hints. You will have to write the text yourself, though. A thesis statement is the heart of your entire paper.

      A thesis will serve as a waypoint for the whole paper and help keep your mind focused. This is the outline for a classic college 5-paragraph essay.

      How do I set up a paper with MLA formatting?

      One paragraph for the introduction and one — for the conclusion. Three paragraphs to the main body, one paragraph designated for each of the key messages.

      Thesis Statements: Four Steps to a Great Essay - 60second Recap®

      Five paragraphs that give you words total. An outline is basically your writing plan. Having it in front of you when working on an assignment will help maintain focus and avoid getting lost in all the research data, drafts, and keywords. A solid essay outline always makes the writing process swift and smooth.

      Since an essay is an academic document, it has to be properly formatted. A bibliography page is used to store information about all the reference sources used in-text as quotes. Text formatting guidelines are the following:. A [first and middle initial]. Year of Publication.

      MLA General Format

      The title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher. The title of work [E-Reader Version]. Release Year. The title of a movie [Motion Picture].