Writing School Essays

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.

The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them.

To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life (in general) or event (in particular) you believe most clearly illustrates your point. The importance of this step cannot be understated (although it clearly can be underlined); this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place.

A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "Le Bron James" is not enough, however.

No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant. For example, George Washington’s life was extremely complex – by using him as an example, do you intend to refer to his honesty, bravery, or maybe even his wooden teeth?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.Put a disproportionate amount of effort into this – more than the 20% a simple calculation would suggest – and you will be rewarded accordingly." "No man is an island" and, as such, he is constantly shaped and influenced by his experiences.People learn by doing and, accordingly, learn considerably more from their mistakes than their success.For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required.The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures.He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try.Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.

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