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A Well Structured Essay

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A powerpoint with a simple outline of how an essay should be structured for school students.

A powerpoint with a simple outline of how an essay should be structured for school students.

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    A Well Structured Essay A Well Structured Essay Presentation Transcript

    • A writer’s guide.
      • To really be successful at writing essays it is important to have a solid structure.
      • This enables you to do two things well
      • It ensures that you are answering your question (or focusing your thesis)
      • It approaches what you are trying to say in a logical (and hopefully convincing) fashion
      • For the most basic structure of an essay you need to begin with a thesis statement.
      • This is a statement of the position on which you are going to be writing
      • If you are answering an essay question, it is a restructuring of the question in the form of a statement
      • Put simply, it is like the topic sentence of the whole essay
      • For example, if the question is;
      • ‘ What does a well structured essay look like?’
      • Then your thesis statement might be
      • ‘ A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument.’
      • Your thesis statement is the topic sentence in your introductory paragraph
      • It is followed by an outline of the evidence you are going to use to support your thesis statement
      • In the most basic essay this will take the form of a minimum of three points
      • The paragraph is completed by an explanation or concluding sentence
      • In the example of the question;
      • ‘ What does a well structured essay look like?’
      • The thesis statement is;
      • ‘ A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument.’
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument.
      • Your first piece of evidence, or first point, might be;
      • ‘ It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis.’
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis.
      • Your second point might be;
      • ‘ It follows this with a series of paragraphs which takes each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement.’
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis. It follows this with a series of paragraphs which take each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement.
      • Then your third point might say;
      • ‘ It finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the argument you have been making, restates the points you have used, and strongly puts your thesis statement.’
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis. It follows this with a series of paragraphs which take each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement. It finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the argument you have been making, restates the points you have used, and strongly puts your thesis statement.
      • The explanation, or concluding sentence would then say;
      • ‘ This simple structure allows the essay writer to make their argument clearly and logically.’
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis. It follows this with a series of paragraphs which take each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement. It finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the argument you have been making, restates the points you have used, and strongly puts your thesis statement. This simple structure allows the essay writer to make their argument clearly and logically.
      • Your introductory paragraph is now complete
      • The aim of the body of the essay is to take each of the points that you outlined in your introduction and show how they support your thesis statement
      • It generally uses a paragraph for each point
      • Each paragraph restates the point, gives evidence to support it, and then concludes with an explanation, or concluding sentence.
      • The strongest essays use the concluding sentence to link to the next point.
      • The first point from our introduction was;
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis. It follows this with a series of paragraphs which take each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement. It finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the argument you have been making, restates the points you have used, and strongly puts your thesis statement. This simple structure allows the essay writer to make their argument clearly and logically.
      • So the first paragraph of the body might begin with;
      • ‘ Any well structured essay will have a strong introductory paragraph that outlines how the writer is going to tackle the question or support their thesis.’
      • Notice that it deliberately links back to the question, ‘What does a well structured essay look like?’
      • Any well structured essay will have a strong introductory paragraph that outlines how the writer is going to tackle the question or support their thesis.
      • The next part of that paragraph will give the evidence for this point
      • In this essay it might say;
      • ‘ A strong introduction means that the reader already knows the argument that the writer is going to use. It demonstrates that what is being said makes sense. Most importantly, it shows how what they are saying will answer the question. ’
      • Any well structured essay will have a strong introductory paragraph that outlines how the writer is going to tackle the question or support their thesis. A strong introduction means that the reader already knows the argument that the writer is going to use. It demonstrates that what is being said makes sense. Most importantly, it shows how what they are saying will answer the question.
      • The concluding sentence in this paragraph links it back to the question and, hopefully, leads logically to the next point
      • ‘ If the introduction is strong it means the essay is more likely to be well structured and each point in the body will support the writer’s thesis.’
      • Any well structured essay will have a strong introductory paragraph that outlines how the writer is going to tackle the question or support their thesis. A strong introduction means that the reader already knows the argument that the writer is going to use. It demonstrates that what is being said makes sense. Most importantly, it shows how what they are saying will answer the question. If the introduction is strong it means the essay is more likely to be well structured and each point in the body will support the writer’s thesis.
      • So the first paragraph of the body is the first point in the introduction, gives the evidence for that point and shows how it supports the thesis, while linking to the next point
      • The next paragraph of the body is, obviously, the next point from the introduction and does the same things
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis. It follows this with a series of paragraphs (the body)which take each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement. It finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the argument you have been making, restates the points you have used, and strongly puts your thesis statement. This simple structure allows the essay writer to make their argument clearly and logically.
      • ‘ The bulk, or body, of the essay is also crucial to a well structured essay. It should take each of the points made in the introduction in turn and use at least a paragraph to show how they support the thesis of the writer. It is in the body that the evidence is discussed. In a literary essay quotes from the text are utilized to support the thesis. In a well structured essay the body leads the reader to the conviction that the thesis is sound.’
      • The final point in the body of the essay should be based on the final point from the introduction
      • Once again it needs to relate this point back to the question and provide evidence for the writer’s thesis
      • Rather than linking to the next point, the final body paragraph leads into the conclusion
      • A well structured essay has a powerful but simple structure which it uses to convince the reader of an argument. It begins with a strong introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, states the points it will use, and then explains how they support the thesis. It follows this with a series of paragraphs (the body)which take each of the points in turn and shows how they answer the question or support the thesis statement. It finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the argument you have been making, restates the points you have used, and strongly puts your thesis statement. This simple structure allows the essay writer to make their argument clearly and logically.
      • ‘ The final part of a well structured essay is the conclusion, or concluding paragraph. The function of this paragraph is to summarize the argument that has been presented. It restates the points that were used in evidence. It also returns to the original thesis statement or question to show that this has clearly been answered. In this way, the concluding paragraph is a crucial part of a good essay structure.’
      • Now that the argument of the essay has been presented it is time to present the conclusion
      • At this time it is important to restate the thesis that the essay has been arguing
      • Briefly touching on the points covered shows how they were used to provide evidence
      • The paragraph ends with a strong statement of the thesis of the essay
      • In some ways it is the reverse of the introduction
      • Remember the question;
      • ‘ What does a well structured essay look like?’
      • So the opening sentence to the concluding paragraph might say;
      • ‘ A simple structure, which progressively covers the evidence in order to convince the reader of an argument, is the basis of a well structured essay.’
      • A simple structure, which progressively covers the evidence in order to convince the reader of an argument, is the basis of a well structured essay.
      • Each of the points are then restated to remind the reader of the logic of the evidence.
      • ‘ A clear and precise introductory paragraph sets out the thesis. The body of the essay deals with each of the points of evidence in more detail. A concluding paragraph summarizes the logic of the essay.’
      • A simple structure, which progressively covers the evidence in order to convince the reader of an argument, is the basis of a well structured essay. A clear and precise introductory paragraph sets out the thesis. The body of the essay deals with each of the points of evidence in more detail. A concluding paragraph summarizes the logic of the essay.
      • Then the final sentence is a strong statement of the thesis of the essay
      • ‘ Anyone who can present a piece with these features will have presented an essay which is well structured.’
      • A simple structure, which progressively covers the evidence in order to convince the reader of an argument, is the basis of a well structured essay. A clear and precise introductory paragraph sets out the thesis. The body of the essay deals with each of the points of evidence in more detail. A concluding paragraph summarizes the logic of the essay. Anyone who can present a piece with these features will have presented an essay which is well structured.
      • And there we have it, a well structured essay.
      • With this sort of structure, it doesn’t matter what question you are answering
      • Nor does it matter if you are simply presenting an argument without a question
      • Provided you have a thesis statement and can provide at least three points to support it, you have enough for an essay
      • Now it is your turn…