How To Write An Essay

The standard essay is usually five paragraphs: an introduction, three main points and a conclusion. Sometimes this format can be applied to a speech as well.

Getting Started

  • Choose a topic you are familiar with
  • Plan before  you write
  • Remember the use of paragraphs (at least 4)
  • Read over to ensure that you have no errors
  • Stick to the word limit if there is one
  • Stick to the topic at hand by tying all your points to the topic given.
Planning Your Essay
1. Brainstorm : write down ideas on your topic as they come
2. Choose three main points: an essay must have at least three main points. State each point in the form of a topic sentence. Divide what you have brainstormed under the three main points
3. Do not plan to write over if you have a time limit so do not write rough then write again. You will waste time that way
Let us look at the question:

Uniforms are outdated and should be abolished.

Write an essay where you either agree or disagree with the above statement.

Paragraph 1: Introduction
  • Do not start a point as yet
  • Make a general statement about the topic
  • Make your position clear (whether you will be agreeing or disagreeing)
  • You could state the three points you will be discussing
  • Use no more than 3-4 sentences
Here is an example of an introduction:
Uniforms have been around for centuries. They have been a tradition in Jamaica and other places around the world. They have numerous benefits so they should not be abolished.
  • Remember to indent your paragraph if you are writing but make sure there is a space between paragraphs when you are typing.
  • Notice how short the paragraph is.
  • Did it match what you were told about the introduction?
  • The first two statements are what you would call generalized statements.

Paragraphs 2 – 4: Development

This is where you make your  main points.
For each paragraph:
  • Make a general statement (usually a topic sentence) Eg School uniforms are not costly
  • Go on to explain the statement by using illustrations, examples, anecdotes, proverbs, repetition, rhetorical questions and all the persuasive/argumentative techniques as needed.
  • Paragraphs should not be lengthy. Get to the point but ensure that you make all your valid points.
Here is an example of paragraph 2 based on the topic mentioned earlier.
School uniforms are not costly. The material that is used to make uniforms is oftentimes cheaper than the other types of fabrics. In addition, a student does not have to have five sets of uniform so the parent is saved from buying a lot of clothes. If the parent had to buy regular clothing for his/her child then it would have been much more costly. Which teenager do you know who would want to wear the same clothes week after week to school? School uniforms should not be abolished.
The Conclusion
  • Do not make any new points here
  • Sum up what you have said or
  • Restate your position on the topic
  • If you want, you could attach a concluding statement to the fourth paragraph.
It is very clear that uniforms offer numerous benefits; therefore it should not be abolished since there is much more to gain than lose.

Reading Over/Revising

  • Many times mistakes are made during the writing process.
  • Reading over ensures that punctuation marks/mechanics, capitalization and grammar are correct.
  • After reading you may need to take out/add some words too.
About BRIDGET 2 Articles
I have been an educator for over ten years. I teach English and have an avid interest in clothing and decorating style. I write poetry in my spare time and I love to listen to live performances of songs and poems. I love the performing arts. I sew and make sheets, pillow cases, shams, cushions, curtains, shower curtains and drapery. I am down to earth and my favourite thing to do as recreation is swimming. I love to catch a movie now and then with my friends or husband. I like people who are frank and full of integrity.

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