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Essay Writing. Elements of the Essay. Elements of the Essay. Purpose Tone Plan Personality of the writer Communications for a specific purpose Humor or satire Narration Style Subject Theme. What is an essay?.

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Essay writing

Essay Writing

Elements of the Essay

Elements of the essay
Elements of the Essay

  • Purpose

  • Tone

  • Plan

  • Personality of the writer

  • Communications for a specific purpose

  • Humor or satire

  • Narration

  • Style

  • Subject

  • Theme

What is an essay
What is an essay?

An essay is a piece of writing designed to affect its readers in a manner determined by its author. A good essay will tend to sway the reader toward the writer’s position on his/her subject.

  • Generally an essay is short

  • The writer must keep the reader in mind as he/she writes.

Essay continued
Essay continued

  • The subject must be developed in such a way that the reader would have no trouble understanding it.

  • Essays can be classified in terms of whether they are descriptive, expository, narrative, or argumentative/ persuasive. Each of these can be classified as either informal or formal.

Formal verses informal
Formal verses Informal

Formal: deal with facts or objects (objective writing) themselves rather than with the thoughts and feelings of the writer. This type of essay usually deals with serious thoughts and ideas.

Informal or familiar
Informal or Familiar

  • This type of essay has many of the qualities of everyday conversation and usually shows us a great deal of the writer’s personality. Essays of this kind are usually subjective. This means the thoughts and feelings of the writer are usually more important than the objects he or she is describing.

Types of essays
Types of Essays

  • Magazine articles

  • Book reviews

  • Descriptions of the life and personality of a famous person

    Each type has specific characteristics

Types of writing
Types of Writing

  • Narration: the key characteristic of a narrative essay is that the essayist uses a story or anecdote to get across to the readers the point he /she is trying to make

  • Description: this essay is the one with which we are most familiar. In a descriptive essay the author’s main task is to give his/her reader a clear picture of a thing, event, or person rather than persuade the reader of the rightness of an idea or to tell a story

Types continued
types continued

  • Expository: are similar to descriptive essays, except that, where descriptive essays deal with things, expository essays present and explain facts or ideas. The author tries to be objective i.e. tries to deal with the facts or objects themselves rather than his or her own thoughts about the objects.

Types continued1
Types continued

  • Argumentative/persuasive: These are essays that seek to convince readers of a certain point. As its name suggests, in this kind of essay the author’s chief concern is to convince the readers that his or her opinions on a subject are the correct ones. Newspaper editorials are a good example of this type of essay.

Steps in essay analysis

Identify the type of essay

Identify writer purpose

Create coherence within and between paragraphs, “transition or linking”

State topic or transitional sentence

Identify mood

Identify tone

Examine use of figurative language

Identify audience

Examine sentence structure and purpose it serves

Identify point of view

Discuss diction as it relates to purpose

What organizing principle does the writer use?

Steps in essay Analysis

How to write an essay

Narrowing your Topic: The first step in writing an essay, is finding something to write about. Whether you are working from a list of assigned topics or selecting your own, try to find something that sparks your interest. Not only will working on the assignment be more stimulating, but your commitment will also help you write a more convincing essay.

How to write an Essay

2 thesis
2. Thesis

  • Writing an essay involves choosing a subject, developing a strong thesis statement, gathering evidence to support that statement, and organizing your thoughts into a logical outline of introduction, body and conclusion. One way to develop a thesis is to focus on a central issue or problem which the topic raises. Your answer to this question will be your thesis.

3 brainstorming

Write down everything about your topic, no matter how bizarre or irrelevant.


An essay is organized into three distinct sections
An essay is organized into three distinct sections bizarre or irrelevant.

  • The introduction: a good introduction arouses the interest of the audience, often through a strong or controversial statement, a provocative quotation, or some other technique.

    The introduction states the main idea (thesis) of the essay. It also provides a preview of the ideas discussed in the body of the essay.

2. bizarre or irrelevant.The Body: A good thesis statement suggests the body of an essay will be developed. The following are patterns of organization that writer’s use in the body of an essay.

Patterns of organization
Patterns of organization bizarre or irrelevant.

  • Definition: The essay formally defines a key term then clarifies and expands on that definition through exposition, examples and so on.

  • Comparison: The essay explores the similarities and differences between things

  • Cause and Effect: The essay considers reasons for events or behaviours, and the probable results. This type of essay will deal with questions such as” What is the cure for cancer?”, “Why should I go to university?” and so on.

Problem/ solution: bizarre or irrelevant. The essay concisely states a problem, giving details that help the reader see how extensive and serious it is. Then solutions are laid out clearly and supported with facts, evidence and expert opinion. In the conclusion, the writer often recommends one solution, giving reasons for the choice.

3 the conclusion
3. bizarre or irrelevant.The Conclusion:

  • Endings like beginnings should be short and to the point.

  • A brief summary that reviews the main points in appropriate in a long research paper, but should be avoided in a short essay.

  • The ending should naturally grow out of what precedes it. It should not add new information, but can present the writer’s final thoughts on the thesis.

Traits the writer s language
Traits: bizarre or irrelevant.The Writer’s Language

1. Conventions: describe how well you use grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and paragraphing to suit the form of writing. Conventions, along with how neatly you present your work, affect how easy it is for your audience to read your writing. By deliberately using different kinds of conventions style is created.

Sentence fluency
SENTENCE FLUENCY bizarre or irrelevant.

2. Sentence Fluency: refers to how well you create sentences, using a variety of sentence types to develop style. Whether sentences are simple, compound or complex they should be clear and logical. When sentence fragments are used they should be on purpose to create specific effects. Use of dialogue should also suit the character.

VOICE bizarre or irrelevant.

3. Voice: voice describes how well you communicate your feelings about the topic. The audience should be able to sense your personality through your writing. The subject should seem real to the audience.

CONTENT bizarre or irrelevant.

4. Content: describes how well you establish a purpose and relate your ideas to that purpose. This requires that you know your subject really well and that you remain clear and focused on the subject and theme as you write. Be creative!

IDEAS bizarre or irrelevant.

5. Ideas: the main idea should be easily determined by the reader. You should know your topic well and avoid generalities and common knowledge. The reader should learn something from your paper.

Three important components of style in writing
Three Important Components of Style bizarre or irrelevant.In Writing

  • The author’s choice of words and phrases (word choice). This includes

    • The language chosen by a writer which may be formal, informal or slang.

    • Use of idioms and colloquialism

    • Figures of speech- use of simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole

    • Imagery-picture making words that appeal to the senses. This creates vivid description through use of adverbs, adjectives, figurative language.

    • Technical language- language of a profession or trade. This language is often understood within a select group.

Components of style continued
Components of style continued bizarre or irrelevant.

  • The author’s tone as expressed in the essay

    • Through the point of view from which the essay is written

    • Through the mood created with words and phrases

    • Through use of voice as expressed in the language of the essay

    • Through a clearly defined purpose or reason for writing.

Components of style continued1
Components of style continued bizarre or irrelevant.

  • The author’s use of structure within a paragraph.

    • A series of answers to questions

    • Rhetorical questions asked only for effect- not for information and not expecting an answer. Thought provoking.

    • Contrasting ideas

    • Ideas revealed and explained

    • A series of illustrations of one or more ideas.