Writing an essay

Essay Writing 
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 5

This lesson contains 23 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 30 min

Items in this lesson

Essay Writing 

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Essay Writing 

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Ad 5. Study Writing
Making notes while reading
Taking notes from lectures
Making a card index
Reports of:
- Experiments
- Workshops
- Visits

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What is an essay?

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An essay is defined as:

"a short piece of writing that expresses information (as well as the writer's opinion)."

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To write an essay, you should generally:
1- Decide what type of essay to write                                                               2-  Brainstorm your topic
3- Research the topic.                                                                                             4-  Develop a thesis
5- Outline your essay                                                                                               6-  Write your essay
7- Edit your writing to check spelling and grammar

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What types of Essays are there?

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1. Decide what kind of essay to write
Narrative essay: telling a story;                                                     
Persuasive essay: to convince the reader; 
Expository essay: academic paper to investigate an idea;
Descriptive essay: to describe something;
Argumentative essay:facts/evidence to support the argument; 
Compare and contrast essay: analysis of two subjects;
Problem - solution essay: description of problem/solution.
Discursive essay: discusses a certain problem

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 2- Brainstorm your topic
Brainstorming is the process in which you come up with the essay topic. You need to simply sit and think of ideas during this phase.

Write down everything that comes to mind as you can always narrow those topics down later.

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Jot down the topic you would like to write about.

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Write down 2 aspects of
the topic:
The Environment.

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3- Research the topic.

Once you have done your brainstorming and chosen your topic, you may need to do some research to write a good essay. 

Go to the library or search online for information about your topic. 

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 4- Develop a thesis
Your thesis statement is the main point of your essay. It is one sentence that states what the essay is about. For example, your thesis statement might be "Dogs are descended from wolves"  or "The death penalty should be reinstated" :
* Use the thesis statement as the basic premise to write your entire essay about; 
* Remember that all of the different points lead back to this one main thesis; 
* State your thesis in your introductory paragraph;
*  Thesis statement should be broad enough.

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5- Outline your essay 
The next step is to outline what you are going to write about. 

Each piece of writing has:
* Introduction;
* Body;
* Conclusion.

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The argumentative essay, 

4 paragraphs (can also be 5): 
Paragraph 1: Introduction; 

Paragraph 2: First argument (for or against the thesis statement); 

Paragraph 3: Second argument (for or against the thesis statement); 

Paragraph 4: Conclusion

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The Argumentative essay:
1. Start by writing the thesis statement at the top; 
2. Write a topic sentence for each paragraph below that (so 4 in total);
3. Fill in supporting facts or examples from your research under each paragraph;
4. Make sure each paragraph ties back to your thesis; 
5. Use linking words between paragraphs to tie one paragraph to another (so the reader understands how the essay  flows from one idea to the next).
6.  And thus, create a cohesive, understandable essay. 

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 6- Write your essay
Once you have an outline, it's time to start writing. 
Your writing should be based on the outline to create a complete, cohesive and clear essay.

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7- Edit your writing to check spelling and grammar
* Check for grammar;
* Check for punctuation and spelling errors;
* Let a peer check your essay and give you tips and tops;
* Rewrite you essay;

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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. The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it. 

Try to introduce by using a "HOOK"
(something a joke, a fact or anything that will grab the reader's attention)
DO NOT – Use Passive Voice or I/My

Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions "happen to" them – "he scored a 97%" instead of "he was given a 97%" – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write. At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me. Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.

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Body of the paragraphs
Body paragraphs: 
  • Topic sentence A;   followed by a 
  • Supporting sentence;  followed by a
  • Supporting sentence; followed by a
  • supporting sentence etc. etc.

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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. 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.
DO NOT – Be Too General

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.

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Restatement or summary of the main points;
a final comment (if appropriate).

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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. Take this opportunity to restate your thesis with confidence; if you present your argument as "obvious" then the reader might just do the same.
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. Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible.

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