HOW TO EXPAND AND EXPLAIN
YOUR IDEAS EFFECTIVELY.
COMPILED BY MADIOPE J.M
• What is an Essay?
• The Structure of an Essay
• Types of essays
• In essay writing, we want to expand our ideas as much as
possible, while STILL following paragraph structure.
• The only difference is that the THREE REASONS in your
original paragraph get their OWN paragraph
• Additionally, you introduce and conclude your writing into
• THIS MEANS YOU ARE WRITING
• The main purpose of any essay is to
discuss, persuade, describe, explain,
interpret or analyse a particular topic.
• The Introduction: Explains the topic with general ideas. It
also has the thesis statement and comes at or near the
end of the paragraph.
• The Main body: Explain and support the thesis
• The conclusion: Summarises or restates the thesis and
the supporting ideas of the essay.
Taken from: Academic Writing from Paragraph to Essay, Zemach, D. & Rumisek, L. Macmillan 2005
An essay has three main parts:
An introduction (introductory paragraph)
A body (at least one, but usually more paragraphs)
A conclusion (concluding paragraph)
An introductory paragraph has 2 parts:
• General statement
Introduce the general topic of the essay.
Capture the reader’s interest.
• Thesis statement
States the specific topic.
May list subtopics or subdivisions.
May indicate the pattern of organization.
Is normally the last sentence in the introductory paragraph.
The body paragraphs are used to:
• Develop your topic.
• Prove your points.
The body paragraph should have:
• Some sort of pattern (chronological order or
comparison/contrast, or a combination of both)
• A logical division of ideas (division into subtopics and
discussion of these subtopics in separate paragraphs)
• The conclusion is the final paragraph
in an essay. It has three purposes:
• It signals the end of the essay.
• It reminds the reader of your main points. You can do this
in two ways:
• Summarize your subtopics.
• Paraphrase your thesis.
• It leaves the reader with your final thoughts on the topic.
•Cause and Effect
•Compare and Contrast
o provides details about how something looks,
feels, tastes, smells, makes one feel, or sounds
o describe what something is, or how something
o could be a list-like description that provides point
by point details
o tells a story
o conversational in style, and tells of a personal
o commonly written in the first person (uses I)
o tell of a single, life-shaping event, or simply a
mundane daily experience
Cause and Effect Essay
o explains why or how some event happened, and what
resulted from the event
o a study of the relationship between two or more events or
o discuss both causes and effects, or it could simply
address one or the other
o discuss the reasons why something happened
o discuss what happens after a specific event or
Compare and Contrast Essay
o discusses the similarities and differences between two
things, people, concepts, places, etc
o be written simply to entertain the reader, or to arrive at an
insight into human nature
o could discuss both similarities and differences, or it could
just focus on one or the other
o A comparison essay usually discusses the similarities
between two things, while the contrast essay discusses
• describes how something is done
• explains actions that should be performed in a
• explain in detail how to accomplish a specific
• could be in
• explanation of a short theme, idea or issue
• try to pin down the meaning of a specific
word, or define an abstract concept
• to present, completely and fairly, other people's
views or to report about an event or a situation
• presents a subject in detail, apart
criticism, argument, or development