Introductory paragraphs
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Introductory Paragraphs. Essays. Types of essays. There are a few types of essays. Different textbooks list 3 or 4 or 5 different types. Essay types are most often defined by their purpose (e.g. analysis of a text, or to persuade the audience regarding an issue in society)

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Introductory paragraphs

Introductory Paragraphs

Essays


Types of essays

Types of essays

  • There are a few types of essays. Different textbooks list 3 or 4 or 5 different types.

  • Essay types are most often defined by their purpose (e.g. analysis of a text, or to persuade the audience regarding an issue in society)

  • Not all types are written in the same way. The following information is general advice that can be applied in most circumstances.


Introductory paragraphs1

Introductory Paragraphs

  • Grabs the reader’s attention

  • Makes the topic relevant to target audience

  • Contains a thesis statement

  • Briefly summarises the essay’s main points, which all support the thesis statement. In other words, a kind of ‘road map’ for essay

  • Last sentence ‘transitions’ or links to the first paragraph – often provides the benefits of following your advice and/or the implications of not following your advice.


First one or two sentences

First one or two sentences

  • Perhaps the most difficult to write well. An opportunity for creativity and flair. A good idea to give ‘the big picture’ before discussing your specific issue

  • Grabs reader’s attention – how? You tell me.

  • Sets the style, tone, audience etc. readers form a first impression of how intelligent the essay will be.

  • Frames the entire topic – in other words, reveals to the reader how you will discuss the topic


Intro sentence examples

Intro. Sentence Examples

  • Good or bad? Mental health issues in Australian society are becoming more important each year.

  • Good or bad? Each year, in Australia, more people die from suicide than die from road accidents, yet the state governments, police and media outlets spend three times more money on road safety than on mental health.


Thesis statement

Thesis Statement

  • Directly answers essay question/topic

  • ‘Takes a stance’; in other words, it makes an argument that others may debate (if your thesis statement can’t be debated, it probably just states the obvious)

  • Also states the significance of the argument

  • All points/evidence in your essay supports the thesis statement


Thesis statement example

Thesis statement example

  • More money must be spent on mental health issues, both in terms of medical research, health care and media exposure, as experts estimate the 44% of adults have suffered mental health issues and few have sought diagnosis and treatment.


Summarise main points

Summarise main points

  • Lets the reader know what is contained in the main body of the essay by summarising the points very briefly.

  • Each point should be explained in a main body paragraph (3 points – 3 paragraphs)

  • Example of 3 points for mental health essay:

  • Why spend more money on mental health: cease needless deaths, benefit the nation economically, increased detection in young people for a healthier society.


Final sentence

Final Sentence

  • Another tricky sentence to write

  • Just as your main point summary links to your main body paragraphs, this sentence will link to your conclusion

  • Often considers the future and/or the past, a time in which more information is known than is now known, or a time in which society is better than it is now

  • Sometimes considers how the issue affects society in general (or how the specific discussion relates to the rest of the text, depending on essay type)

  • May state positive implications of your argument and/or negative implications of opposing arguments

  • Example of a final sentence:

  • If increased spending on mental health does not occur soon, Australia’s suicide rates will continue to raise, businesses will suffer losses in productivity due to employee absences, and Australian society will be an unhappier society.


Style

Style

  • Active not passive voice.

  • Passive: ‘The execution of one thousand people occurs each year’.

  • Active: ‘Each year, one thousand people are executed’.

  • Passive: ‘He was killed by me’.

  • Active: ‘I killed him’.


Style1

Style

  • Write in 3rd person; don’t write in 1st person.

    E.g.: Instead of ‘I believe that keeping pets is a form of imprisonment’ simply write:

    ‘Keeping pets is a form of imprisonment’.

  • Use formal language: no contractions (E.g. didn’t, don’t, couldn’t, she’d, should’ve)

  • No informal/casual phrases: ‘a lot’, ‘nowadays’.

  • Don’t start a sentence with ‘But’ or ‘And’.


Other things to avoid

Other things to avoid

  • Do not use any more than one rhetorical question in your entire essay

  • Avoid making it all about your opinion. Research facts, use statistics, quote experts (or quote the text, depending on essay type)


Your turn write an intro

Your turn – Write an Intro.

  • Essay topic:

  • Capital punishment, in the USA, should be banned

  • Take notes from the video

  • Be brave: the largest impediment to success is lack of confidence – just do it!


Essay writing

Essay Writing

Main body paragraphs


Main body paragraphs

Main Body Paragraphs

  • Each paragraph should refer back to your thesis statement.

  • Each paragraph should contain one main point. It’s possible to have minor points, too.

  • Each point should be explained in full – always state exactly what you mean.

  • Each point should have evidence to back it up, such as a quote from an authority, or statistics, or some other research. Alternatively/ additionally, each point should be backed up with persuasive argument.

  • Ideally, it should link to the next paragraph


Topic sentence

Topic Sentence

  • Normally the first sentence in a paragraph

  • Summarises main point(s) of the paragraph

  • Refers to your thesis statement

  • Makes a statement – is definitely not a rhetorical question

  • Ideally, grabs reader’s attention

  • Each paragraph has only one topic sentence


Developing sentence explain

Developing Sentence (explain)

  • ‘Develops’ the point/idea made in the topic sentence – i.e. explains it in full

  • Also develops/explains any minor points that are made in the main body paragraph

  • Your paragraph should have at least one developing sentence


Supporting sentence evidence

Supporting Sentence (evidence)

  • Provides evidence for the main point of the paragraph– e.g. stats, quotes, other research

  • Make persuasive argument using persuasive devices


Essays

Tips

  • To be clear, and to be persuasive, show how your point is better than another point of view or better than ‘common sense’ – e.g. ‘Although scopolamine is a dangerous drug and is potentially deadly, in tiny doses it is effective in treating motion sickness’.

  • When making your point, be critical of other points of view that disagree with your own – remember, you’re competing with them and trying to show how your point of view is best. E.g. ‘Many students think that the work they do in school has little or not relation to the real world; in fact, the current flag of the USA was designed by a 17 year old for a school project’.


Experiment

Experiment

  • Begin a paragraph with an attention-grabbing sentence. Make your topic sentence your second sentence.


Your turn to write

Your turn to write

  • Develop one point into one main body paragraph


Essay writing1

Essay writing

Concluding Paragraph


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Reword yourThesis Statementandshow how your paragraphs link together to prove your thesis statement. Your conclusion should reflect what the reader has learnt

  • If your thesis statement no longer seems strong, perhaps the points you made don’t quite match up with the thesis statement and your thesis statement needs to be revised

  • Re-direct your reader: answer the question, ‘So what?’ – e.g. if you’re analysing gender representation in a 1950s story, suggest how your findings relate to the real world and to story-telling in 2013.


Conclusion1

Conclusion

  • In your English essays, you’ll be persuading your audience or making an analysis to reach a conclusion. Things your concluding paragraph may do:

    • Suggest consequences

    • Make a warning

    • Consider how close or far apart is the ideal world vs. the real world and how the two can be brought closer together

    • Call for action

    • Consider the future, regarding your topic

    • If you must use a rhetorical question, this is the place for it, because the reader has read your essay and knows exactly what you’re saying. Your rhetorical question must be challenging and thought-provoking.


Remember

REMEMBER!

  • No new ideas! If you do have a new idea, turn it into its own paragraph.

  • Do not exaggerate in your conclusion – not even for effect.

  • Do not change the tone of the essay


Your turn to write1

Your turn to write

  • Write a concluding paragraph

  • Use your introductory paragraph and your body paragraph to help you

  • Be prepared to share with the class. Getting feedback on your paragraph is a good thing. If you’re shy, show the teacher privately.


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