Essay lesson series

Essay lesson series
In this lesson series, you will learn what a thesis statement is and what topic sentences are.
You will also learn how to structure your essay and you will make a writing plan
1 / 54
Slide 1: Slide
EngelsMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 54 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 150 min

Items in this lesson

Essay lesson series
In this lesson series, you will learn what a thesis statement is and what topic sentences are.
You will also learn how to structure your essay and you will make a writing plan

Slide 1 - Slide

Lesson one: How to write an introduction and the thesis statement

Slide 2 - Slide

Start with a hook!
Write a strong opening sentence capturing readers’ attention.
e.g.: use literary quotes, write a quote from a famous person, surprise with a misconception, write an anecdote, tell a personal story, ask a question, share a fact or a definition, “Draw” a scene.
Start with a thesis statement.

Slide 3 - Slide

This hook is an example of
a quote
personal story
common misconception

Slide 4 - Quiz

This hook is an example of
a quote
personal story
common misconception

Slide 5 - Quiz

topic and thesis statement
  • A topic: Tells readers about the focus of your informative essay
  • A thesis: States your opinion on the topic.

An essay thesis is part of your introduction but does not substitute it. Hook readers first, then introduce your topic, and only then state a thesis.
Your thesis explains to the reader what your paper will be about. In other words, it’s the heart of your essay. 

Slide 6 - Slide

topic and thesis statement
In other words, your thesis should identify the topic, the claim, and the major points you’ll use in an essay to support the claim.

Slide 7 - Slide

True or false: A thesis statement consists only of a topic.

Slide 8 - Quiz

A thesis statement has a topic in it, and a claim (your opinion) you make with regards to the topic.

Slide 9 - Slide

Where in the essay should the thesis statement be?

Slide 10 - Open question

Slide 11 - Slide

Major points
“Stress in the fast-food workplace has led to serious physical, psychological, and emotional problems for employees.”
led to serious problems
physical problems, psychological problems, emotional problems
stress in the fast-food workplace
thesis statement

Slide 12 - Drag question

More examples

Slide 13 - Slide

Thesis statements are a road map for your essay. Look at the example below:

The society in The Giver is a dystopia where citizens are manipulated by the Elders and where there is no room for freedom, memories are stolen and people cannot live a full life.
Define: topic, claim and major points

Slide 14 - Open question

Now Brainstorm
For the topic below, make a claim and brainstorm on supporting ideas you could use to support your opinion/claim. 

the foreshadowing (a hint of what is to come later) in the first chapter in Animal Farm 

Slide 15 - Slide

Choose one thesis statement
You will use this topic for your introductory paragraph.

The introduction of a curfew in the Netherlands

Slide 16 - Slide

End of lesson one

Slide 17 - Slide

Lesson two: the topic sentence and body paragraph
Now that you have your thesis statement, it's time to start deciding what you're going to write in the body paragraphs to support your claim.
In this lesson, you will learn what a topic sentence is, how to write one and how to support your thesis statement with the body paragraphs.

Slide 18 - Slide

Slide 19 - Video

Where do you put the topic sentence?
At the end of your introduction
At the end of your body paragraphs
At the start of your body paragraphs
In the conclusion

Slide 20 - Quiz

What is the main purpose of a topic sentence?
It has no purpose
To give the reader an idea of what the paragraph is about
To confuse the reader

Slide 21 - Quiz

What should the topic sentence always be linked to?
The title of your essay
The conclusion
The thesis statement
It doesn't have to be linked to anything

Slide 22 - Quiz

Take out your thesis statement again
Which three ideas are you going to use to support your opinion?
Write these three ideas down below your thesis statement
These three ideas will be the main topics of your body paragraphs.
Look at the example on the next slide to see how this could be done.

Slide 23 - Slide

Example: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Thesis statement: In a Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Christopher's autism is more of a hindrance than a boon in finding out what happened to the dog, because (1)it causes him to be terrified of noises and (2)his autism also causes him to block up entirely when he is lied to.
Topic sentence one: First of all, Christopher can't concentrate on his quest because his autism causes him to be terrified of noises, which distracts him.
Topic sentence two: Secondly, when Christopher is lied to, his autism causes him to block up entirely which means he can't think straight.

Slide 24 - Slide

Example: : Global Warming is a serious threat
Thesis statement: Government funding must be utilized to protect the environment from the
negative effects of global warming because it effects our economy (1), it will have a devastating effect on sea level rise  (2) and  it will cause more storms and weather extremes  in the near future (3). 
Topic sentence one: First of all, the effect of global warming will  have a huge negative impact on our economy.
Topic sentence two: Secondly, the melting of the polar icecaps causes a major sea level rise which is a dangerous  for our country.
Topic sentence three: What is more, weather extremes cause a lot of damage...

Slide 25 - Slide

Now make a topic sentence for each of the supporting ideas.
Remember that these sentences should start with a linking phrase!
These sentences should include the topic and a clear link to the thesis statement.

Slide 26 - Slide

Can your topic sentences be debatable (someone might be able to agree or disagree)?

Slide 27 - Quiz

It's important that your topic sentences are debatable. Someone should be ale to say 'yeah, I agree!' or 'no, I totally disagree with this'. That's the point of an essay - it's an opinion piece!

Slide 28 - Slide

Slide 29 - Slide

Use the PIE structure 
to structure the information you will use to support your topic sentence. 
For each paragraph, fill in the P, I, and the E

Slide 30 - Slide

Use linking words to connect your ideas

Slide 31 - Slide

End of lesson two: topic sentences & body paragraphs
Now write two body paragraphs for your essay.

Slide 32 - Slide

Linking words/phrases
See Classroom for a complete overview

Slide 33 - Slide

Lesson 3: Conclusion

Slide 34 - Slide

the conclusion
  • Restates en reinforces supporting evidence
  • Restates the thesis statement
  • Ends with prediction/ question / recommendation
  • Your personal conclusion should include your opinion, but can also be objective. Do not name new arguments. 

Slide 35 - Slide

the conclusion: an example
Topic: What are the causes of homelessness?
Passing by a homeless person is not uncommon, especially in urban settings. Homelessness can be caused by many factors, including job loss, lack of family support, and the diminishing availability of affordable housing. Although it is easy for some to think that homelessness is caused by mental problems or general laziness, there are other factors to consider. Only when the whole scope of the problem is known society can begin to come up with a comprehensive solution.

Slide 36 - Slide

the conclusion: an example
Topic: What is the main cause of global warming?

Finally, most scientists agree that global warming is due to the rapid rise of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. While some may argue that factory farms are the main cause of global warming and others may say it is modern society’s transportation methods, the main cause is clear: mankind.

Slide 37 - Slide

Lesson four: the essay in general
In this final lesson, you will learn how to structure your essay. You will also look at some do's and don'ts and you will make a writing plan for your essay.

Slide 38 - Slide

What do you think should be the structure of your essay?

Slide 39 - Open question

- blank line
Introduction - you introduce the topic  and explain in short what it is about. You try to link your explanation to your thesis statement. This means that, if your thesis statement is mostly about 'love', your short description should focus on that.
- blank line
Body paragraph 1 - PIE topic sentence 1 + support and explanation
- blank line
Body paragraph 2 - PIE topic sentence 2 + support and explanation
- blank line
Conclusion - a short summary of the information you have given

Slide 40 - Slide

How many paragraphs should you use for the essay, you think?
There is no limit
Less than 3
3 or 4

Slide 41 - Quiz

Which tips are you taking on board from the video?

Slide 42 - Open question

Make your writing plan for the essay
Use the structure you wrote down in the previous assignment.
Remember: a writing plan is there to help you structure your final work! Tip: include the PIE structure in your writing plan for the body paragraphs 

Slide 43 - Slide

End of lesson four. Goals for this series:

You now know what thesis statements are
You now know what topic sentences are
You now know what structure your essay should use
You now have a writing plan for your essay

Slide 44 - Slide

Final assignment
Type your essay 
Use a maximum of .... words
Include your name and the word count
Hand in your essay in Google Classroom
Remember the lay-out, structure and useful tips!

Slide 45 - Slide

Language and writing style

Slide 46 - Slide

- Don't use abbreviations (etc. = etcetera, vs. = versus)

- Don't use contractions (don't = do not, won't = will not, 
   I'm = I am, can't = cannot, it's = it is, we'd = we had / we would)

- Don't switch between tenses too often. Try to stick mostly to 
   either the present or the past tense.

Slide 47 - Slide

- Do: add as many linking words as possibe
   (moreover, however, in addition, furthermore, firstly, secondly)

- Do: use linking words such as "However" and "Moreover" at 
   the beginning of your sentences, and "but" / "and" in the 
   middle of them. 

Slide 48 - Slide

Most importantly...
- Reread your essay! 
- Check your grammar!
- Check your spelling!
- Add some linking words / nicer vocabulary!

I often see too many mistakes that you could have seen yourself, because people want to quickly hand it in and leave. 

Slide 49 - Slide

Common Grammar Mistakes
- Their (their house), They're (they are), There (there is no water)
- We're (we are), where (where were you?)
- Than (= vergelijkingen, bigger than), then (= toen/daarna)
- Witch (= heks), which (= welke), wich (= x)

- Noun vs. Verb: Effect (= een effect), affect (= beïnvloeden)
- Plural: child/children    "New York and London are (not is)"

Slide 50 - Slide

Common Spelling Mistakes
- Capital letters: i > I , new york > New York   
- Verb instead of the noun: live = life , believe = belief  
- Missing letters: interpet = interpret , suprise = surprise 
- Added letters: aible = able , neccessary = necessary 
- Mixed up letters: maby = maybe , definetely = definitely 

When unsure, look it up! Especially if you have time left! 

Slide 51 - Slide

- Think about words with similar meanings, even for simple
    words: "he says" > claims, argues, believes, states

- Think of alternatives for words you would like to use more than once (use your dictionary or
   boos > woedend, kwaad, gefrustreerd, vol haat, ...
   angry > furious, infuriated, frustrated, resentful, upset, enraged

Slide 52 - Slide

For more examples, 
check the vocabulary 
wheel in your reader
(under Essay Writing 3)

Slide 53 - Slide

Linking Words
- Shows how your arguments / paragraphs are connected
- "Moreover, On the contrary, Nevertheless, Additionally"
- Check the list in your reader, also for other useful phrases

- Personal opinion: "In my view, To my mind, I believe that, ..."
- Concluding: "Finally, All in all, On the whole, In conclusion, ..."
- Etc. 

Slide 54 - Slide