Mr. Baumgartners10th Grade EnglishLittlerock High Schooldbaumgartner@avhsd.org
Every essay has a beginning, a middle, and an end. In afive-paragraph essay, the first paragraph is called theintroduction. The next three paragraphs consist of thebody of the essay. The fifth and final paragraph is theconclusion. This structure is not written in stone,however.Look in a newspaper or magazine; youll rarely see anessay that follows this exact formula. On the otherhand, its a good place for beginners to start. When youfeel moreconfident, you can get more creative and break free ofthe five paragraph formula.
Dramatic Opener or HookTransitional SentenceThesis StatementTopic SentenceDetails and ExamplesConcluding Transition SentenceSummary Statement (restateyour thesis)ClincherThe body of youressay can be threeor moreparagraphs long.
There are THREE important things to consider as you write your essay:subject, audience and purpose.SUBJECTThroughout your educational career, teachers will be giving you writingassignments. They want to see if you understand material covered in class, theywant to know your opinion on a particular topic, and they want to determine ifyou can express ideas clearly.There will be occasions when you will want to write an essay in other situationsas well. Maybe you want to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, orperhaps the boss at a job youre applying for wants you to write why you thinkyoure qualified for the position.In any case, most of the time, the subject of the essay will be given to you. Evenif its not, the primary thing you want to remember is to write about what youknow.
AUDIENCEMany times your audience will be your teacher. Sometimes, even though yourteacher will be the primary reader and grader of your essay, he or she will askyou write to a different audience. Other times your audience will be your peers,parents, employers, newspaper editors, or the community.Your audience should determine how you will write and what you will say in youressay. Before you start writing you should do the following.1. Understand your audiences interests and perspectives.2. Evaluate your topic in relation to your audience.3. Adapt your topic, examples, and language so that they areappropriate for your audience.
PURPOSE• The purpose of your essay will determine what type of essay you write. Each typehas certain uses and styles. Below are five types of essays you will write in 4thgrade.Narrative - recalls an event or series of eventsExpository - explains, clarifies, or illustratesResponse to Literature – shows that you understand a literary work (poem,book, story) and can make judgments about the text with evidence to support it.Summaries - write summaries that contain the main ideas of the readingselection and the most significant detailsInformation Reports – a report where you do research, and you cite facts fromdifferent sources (books, magazines, on-line articles).
Every essay has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Thebeginning is also called the introduction. The introduction has two mainpurposes: to draw the reader in and make him/her want to read moreand to prepare the reader for the direction that the essay is going to take.The introduction usually has three parts:1. The hook (or dramatic opener) consists of several sentencesthat pull the reader into the essay.2. The transitional sentence connects the hook to the thesisstatement.3. The thesis statement is one or two sentences that states theidea of the essay.
Hooks (dramatic openers) are used to grab your reader’s attention at thebeginning of a paragraph or in a report or essay. The hook is often a shortsentence and is placed before the topic sentence. You can also use another veryshort sentence at the end of the essay or report to remind the reader of theopening. These would frame your essay. Here are some examples of some hooksthat you could use.QUESTION What is more valuable than gold? (essay on friendship)Possible closing: A man with many friends is rich.AN IMPERATIVE Look into the heavens and count the stars if you can.(a command) (Report on outer space)Possible closing: We will always wonder about the size andgreatness of our universe.
QUOTE: “Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!”(Report on the Gold Rush )Possible Closing: Many people during the Gold Rush thought they weregoing to get a lot of gold; instead, a lot received a newhome instead!STATING A FACT In 1850, 92 percent of California was male.OR OPINION: (Report on the Gold Rush)Possible closing: Now a 160 years later, the gold is gone and so are the menwho came to mine it.ANECDOTE: Bob Ellis was sad to leave his family in New York, but goldfever was strong in his blood.(Report on the Gold Rush)Possible closing: Bob Ellis didn’t win a fortune in gold mining, but he didearn enough money to bring his family to California.
A very basic thesis statement is one or two sentences at the end of the firstparagraph that tells the reader the main idea of your essay.A thesis statement should do these three things:1. It should clearly express what the essay is about.2. It should make a discussible point.3. It should indicate the structure of the essay.Here is an example of a thesis statement for an essay about why a dog wouldmake a great pet. My three major points will be that dogs are loyal, easy to train,and make good companions. (these are your topics for the BODY of the essay).Here is an example of a thesis statement that I could use for my essay.Thesis Statement: A dog would make a great pet for me because they are veryloyal, they are easy to train, and they make good companions.
Now you are ready to put the introductory paragraph together. Remember that thetransitional sentence acts like a bridge to make a smooth connection between the hookand the thesis statement. You dont always need to include a transitional sentence, butyou should always evaluate your introduction to see if one is necessary.Heres an example of an introductory paragraph for the "favorite pet" essay using aquotation for the hook.The author Aldous Huxley once said, “Tohis dog, every man is Napoleon; hence theconstant popularity of dogs.” As I considerthe pet I would like to have share my life,it’s Huxley’s quote that sums up why a dogwould be the best choice. Because of itssense of loyalty, its ability to protect youand its great companionship, a dog is theperfect pet.THESISHOOKTRANSITION
What is the body of an essay?The body of an essay is the part between the introduction and the conclusion. It containsthe evidence. So far, we have used the example of three paragraphs, but there can be ahundred or more paragraphs to an essay. It all depends on the subject of your essay. Ifyou have a lot to say about your subject, you will probably have more than 3 bodyparagraphs. Each paragraph in the body of the essay contains the following sentences:TOPIC SENTENCE: This sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is going to beabout.DETAIL SENTENCE: Your paragraph can have many detail sentences. The detailsentence tells your reader a little more about your topic. Each detail sentence mustinclude an EXAMPLE.CONCLUDING/TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE: This sentence wraps up what you havealready told the readers and gets them ready for the next paragraph.
Just as every essay has a clear beginning, it should have a clear ending.The last paragraph, also know as the conclusion, should make youressay sound finished.The concluding paragraph typically has two parts:1. The summary statement is one or two sentences which restate thethesis in a fresh way to reinforce the essays mainidea.2. The clincher is a final thought which should create a lastingimpression on the reader.
The summary statement is an effective way to start your concluding paragraphbecause it helps to drive home the ideas youve expressed in your essay.Look at your thesis statement again and rework it in a new way. Avoid repeatingkey words and phrases from the thesis statement because you dont want thesummary statement to sound boring or repetitive. Using a thesaurus is a goodway to find new, interesting words.Here is an examples of thesis statements and summary statements:Thesis Statement: Many Americans are buying the Toyota Corolla because ofits competitive price, fuel economy, and high resale value.Summary Statement: Reasonable pricing, low miles per gallon, and anattractive resale value have all contributed to the popularity of the ToyotaCorolla in todays market.
The clincher, also referred to as the closer, is your last opportunity to connect with thereader. One way to make the most of this moment is to return to the technique you usedfor your hook. Here is a list of clinchers.Complete the Anecdote (the story you told at thebeginning.Ask a final rhetorical question.Use a new quotation or refer back to the opening quotation.Continue the original description of a character, setting, or object.Make a prediction or recommendation based on the facts youresearched.
Now let’s put it all together. Heres an example of aconcluding paragraph for the "favorite pet" essay thatuses a quotation as the clincher.Nothing can compare to a dog’s dedication,intelligence, and friendship. Because a dogoffers all these wonderful qualities and more,it is once again clear why people say that“a dog is man’s best friend.” Dogs not onlymake great pets but also wonderful companions.SummaryStatementClincher
Revision is actually something a good writer does throughout the writingprocess. Every time you consider which ideas to add or delete, every time youchange a word or phrase to make your essay sound better, you are revising.Revision does not mean "recopying" what youve already written. Revisionmeans making changes to the content of the paper so that every word,sentence, and paragraph makes sense to the reader.Many students tend to rush through revising; theyre anxious to get done withthe assignment, but a good writer will revise as much as necessary before thedeadline to get the best possible result.Three areas in particular to examine as you consider how to improve the contentand style of your essay are as follows:1. Clarity: Is the essay clearly and logically written?2. Unity: Do all the paragraphs relate to the central idea?3. Coherence: Do the ideas flow smoothly?
Revision Questions(Ask yourself these questionsas you read your essay)YES NO1. Did I answer the prompt?2. Does each paragraph do what it’ssuppose to do (Introduction, Body,Conclusion)?3. Will a reader be able to understand andfollow my essay?(transition words, ideasshould be in logical order)?4. Do all the facts and examples support mythesis (the main idea)?5. Are sentences clear and effective (do Iuse a variety of sentence types and dressups)?
Proof reading is different from revision. Whereas revision focuses onimproving the content of the essay, proofreading deals with recognizingand correcting errors or punctuation, capitalization, spelling, andgrammar.PROOF READING CHECKLIST1. Have all fragments and run-on sentences been eliminated?2. Does the essay use correct paragraphing and indentation?3. Is there agreement between subjects and verbs?4. Are pronoun references clear?5. Has correct verb tense been used correctly and consistently?6. Have commas, apostrophes, and semicolons been used correctly?7. Have words been capitalized correctly?8. Are there any sentences that could be combined to provide sentencevariety?9. Does the essay show interesting and accurate word choice?10. Has a dictionary or spellchecker been used to correct spellingerrors?
Set your essay aside for awhile if you have time. Comeback to it later. You will notice ways to make youressay better, and youll see more errors to correct.Read the essay aloud to yourself. Often you can hearerrors that you may not catch while reading silently.Another trick is to read your essay backwards. You willable to catch errors more easily.Have an adult or peer read your essay and give yousuggestions about confusing parts.