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The Essay: Structure and Development. NEC FACET Center. Doing so, helps you and your reader stay on track . . When writing an essay, you will always follow a structure. Why?. Introduction. Begins your essay. Body Paragraphs. Relay your main points. Conclusion. Ends your essay.

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slide1

The Essay:

Structure and Development

NEC FACET Center

basic 3 part structure

Introduction

Begins your essay

Body Paragraphs

Relay your main points

Conclusion

Ends your essay

Basic 3-Part Structure
slide4
To convey the full picture, writers must fit these essay parts together like the pieces of a puzzle.
structure of the introduction
Structure of the Introduction
  • Writers most commonly use a “funnel” or “inverted pyramid” structure.
  • The introduction starts out broad, gradually narrowing to the main point at the end.
  • A single sentence thesis statement expresses the essay’s main point.
structural diagram of introduction
Structural Diagram of Introduction

1-2 general sentences about broad subject area to be discussed

1-2 specific sentences about

the subject area

1-3 general sentences

leading into topic

1-3 specific

sentences

about

topic

thesis statement

sample introduction
Sample Introduction

Broad

Opening

Inflation has raised the price of groceries to an all-time high. Many are forced to cut corners to stay within the family’s food budget. One way to cut expenses is with a backyard garden. The three most important steps in making a garden are planning, planting, and tending.

Gradual

Narrowing

of subject

Thesis with

stated main

points

expanded sample introduction
Expanded Sample Introduction

Inflation has raised the price of groceries to an all time high. A few years ago, a head of lettuce cost 99 cents, but today even a small head is usually at least $1.50. Such increases force the homemaker to cut corners to stay within the family’s food budget. One way to reduce

Broad

opening

Example

Gradual

narrowing

of topic

begins

slide13

grocery expenses--and to get pleasure and exercise at the same time--is with the backyard garden. Even the beginner or the true city slicker can grow tomatoes, onions, or salad herbs. Although some research into soil types and fertilizer helps, no extensive knowledge is necessary. If one plans carefully, the hard work of planting and tending will be worth the effort.

Added

examples,

details

Polished

thesis with

main points

the thesis
The Thesis
  • Before writing introductory paragraphs, writers should know what they want to prove in their essays.
  • They should write down this idea in a single sentence.
slide15
The thesis is frequently described as a “subject plus an attitude.”
  • Subject: The new factory in town
  • Subject + attitude = thesis: The new factory in town violates current pollution control regulations.
slide16
Also, The thesis frequently outlines the writer’s main points:
  • Subject + attitude + main points = thesis:

The new factory in town violates current pollution control regulations by emitting hazardous gases, dumping waste into Swallow Creek, and failing to provide protective clothing to employees.

purpose of the thesis
Purpose of the Thesis
  • The thesis serves as a blueprint for the essay, setting up a plan of what will follow.
  • In a sense, the thesis also serves as a contract with the reader, making a promise that the writer must then fulfill.
in the introduction do not make an announcement
In the introduction, do not make an announcement:

“In the following paragraphs, I will show . . . .”

slide19

Thesis

The thesis must cover the full subject of an essay--just as an umbrella must cover its subject

Looked at the other way around, all topic sentences and supporting details in the essay’s body paragraphs must directly relate to the thesis.

slide20

Thesis

Body Paragraphs

body paragraphs
Body Paragraphs
  • The typical student essay contains an introduction
body paragraphs22
Body Paragraphs

Introduction

  • The typical student essay contains an introduction
body paragraphs23
Body Paragraphs

Introduction

  • The typical student essay contains an introduction, 3-4 body paragraphs

Body

paragraph 1

Body

paragraph 2

Body

paragraph 3

body paragraphs24
Body Paragraphs

Introduction

  • The typical student essay contains an introduction, 3-4 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Body

paragraph 1

Body

paragraph 2

Body

paragraph 3

Conclusion

purpose of the body
Purpose of the Body
  • The body of the essay supports the thesis.
  • It attempts to prove that the author’s thesis is correct.
  • Body paragraphs may do the following:
    • Explain reasons
    • Provide examples & anecdotes
    • Present facts & statistics
paragraph parts
Paragraph Parts
  • Body paragraphs consist of the following parts:
    • a topic sentence
    • a series of supporting sentences
    • a concluding sentence.
topic sentences
Topic Sentences
  • Topic sentences resemble thesis statements.
  • The thesis expresses the overall point of the entire essay.
  • Similarly, the topic sentence expresses the overall point of an individual paragraph.
scope of topic sentences
Scope of Topic Sentences

Just as the thesis must cover the subject of all the body paragraphs, the topic sentence must cover the points of every supporting sentence within that one paragraph.

providing coherence
Providing Coherence

You can create smooth flow between sentences and paragraphs by following a logical method of organization.

logical arrangements
Logical Arrangements
  • Chronological order: arranging events in the order in which they occurred, such as the details of baking a cake.

Mix

Bake

Cool

Ice and

Decorate

spatial order
Spatial Order

Describing from left to right, top to bottom, or near to far, such as describing a scene in the Rocky Mountains.

climactic order
Climactic Order

Arranging information from least to most important, such as telling about the newest animals at the local zoo.

slide33

In addition to using logical order, you can also achieve coherence by using appropriate transitions.

examples of transitions
Examples of Transitions
  • addition: furthermore, moreover, also, in addition, first, second, third
  • comparison: in the same way, likewise, similarly
  • contrast: however, nevertheless, on the other hand, on the contrary
more transitions
More Transitions
  • emphasis: above all, especially, in fact, indeed, most important
  • result: consequently, therefore, for this reason, thus, hence, because of this
  • place: above, below, beyond, inside, outside, nearby, next to, to the south, on the far side, outside
  • time: afterward, before, currently, during, first, next, finally, gradually, later, meanwhile
select the best transition
Select the best transition.

Consequently

Meanwhile

However

  • I like the old house and think I might buy it. _______, I like the new house too.

Above all

However,

select the best transition37
Select the best transition.

Next

Indeed

Currently

Therefore

Nevertheless

  • First, I’ll visit England. _____, I’ll travel to the Netherlands and France.

Next

select the best transition38
Select the best transition.

On the

other

hand

Especially

Thus

Beyond

that

Later

  • In the foreground, the buildings’ reflections shimmer in the harbor. _______, the skyscrapers stand silhouetted against the sunset.

Beyond that

t he conclusion
The Conclusion

The concluding paragraph gives readers a sense of completion so that the essay doesn’t seem to end abruptly.

techniques for a conclusion
Techniques for a Conclusion
  • Restate the thesis in different words.
  • Summarize briefly.
  • Emphasize the importance of the subject.
  • Discuss implications for the reader.
  • Suggest action if appropriate for subject.
a techniques to avoid in a conclusion
A Techniques to Avoid in a Conclusion
  • Do not announce what you have just done.
  • Example: “As the past few paragraphs have demonstrated, . . .”
other techniques to avoid
Other Techniques to Avoid
  • Do not apologize for your lack of expertise.
  • Do not simply repeat what you have said previously.