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Develop Your Essay Writing Skills!

It is hard to argue with William Shakespeare who said: “the pen is mightier than the sword.” However, the pen itself will never make you a great writer. You may speak of inspiration, but when it comes to the academic written assignments, the papers should be rather formulaic. It makes them easy to write if you know the required guidelines and techniques. Being a busy student, you may also seek help with homework and get your written assignment done by a professional writer. Nevertheless, the effective writing skills are worth developing and may also be useful beyond your academic life.

The Five Paragraph Essay

The majority of the high school or college essays are usually standardized to the five paragraph structure. This structure includes:

  • Paragraph #1: Introduction

  • Paragraph #2: Body 1

  • Paragraph #3: Body 2

  • Paragraph #4: Body 3

  • Paragraph #5: Conclusion

Such structure helps the reader grasp your idea and follow your points throughout the whole essay. It may seem too rigid, however, if you take into account how many essays the tutors have to read every time, you will understand that sticking to a specific structure makes the evaluating process a lot easier.

The Introduction

The basic purpose of the introduction is to represent your point of view, or thesis, on a certain topic. However, the effective introduction should include much more than this. Before you start formulating your thesis statement, you may think about a special “hook” that would capture the reader’s attention from the very beginning. It could be a question, a surprising fact, or a relevant quotation.

After you make sure your reader is interested, you can proceed to the thesis. The thesis, or the point of view, should be represented in one sentence and should clearly explain your position regarding the topic of your essay.

In the introduction paragraph, you should also briefly cover the main points you are going to elaborate on, and the evidence you will use to support your thesis in the next sections of the essay. Thus, you will give your readers a clear understanding of what to expect in the further paragraphs and what your essay is about.

Finally, your introduction should end with a smooth transition to the first paragraph of the body of your essay. The introduction is usually not more than three or four sentences in length. If you see that yours is substantially longer, you should consider cutting it down.

What is Important In the Introductory Paragraph?

  • Try to give your reader the best first impression you can.

  • Engage your readers so that they are interested in following your ideas.

  • Use active voice rather than passive, as it is a much more powerful way to express your thoughts.

  • Avoid the use of the first person, like “I,” or “My.” The more general you are, the more hooked your reader will become.

The Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs make up the biggest part of your essay and, as alluded to above, their main purpose is to provide the detailed evidence and arguments that support your point of view.

It is a good idea to start the first body paragraph with the strongest argument or the most significant evidence unless another beginning point is required. You should pay attention to the order in which the evidence points are listed in the brief outline in your introductory paragraph. Your first body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that is directly related to the first evidence spelled out in the introduction.

Then, you should clearly explain to the reader to which conclusions this evidence leads and why you believe it is relevant to your thesis. Even if you think that certain evidence speaks for itself, you should not leave it unexplained. Make sure you provide the reader with all the information that is necessary to follow your ideas. You should include the facts and examples that most clearly illustrate your point.

Having done that, you should explain exactly how this evidence proves your point of view. It is a vital part because if the role of the represented evidence is not clear enough to the reader, this evidence will be useless. You should be straightforward and specific when explaining why your evidence is relevant.

What is Important in the Body Paragraphs?

  • Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence.

  • These topic sentences should preferably have a common thread that creates a link connecting all the paragraphs. This link can be created by using consecutive phrases, such as “firstly,” “secondly,” and others, in each of the first sentences.

  • You should avoid being too general. You should concentrate on the most relevant evidence and explanations. There can be plenty of interesting facts related to your subject, but you should choose only those that provide the best proof of your point of view.

  • To make your essay consistent, you should not forget about the transitional phrases. They include “furthermore,” “moreover,” “on the other hand,” “by contrast,” and others. The proper use of these phrases characterizes an experienced writer. Moreover, these phrases are useful to the reader, as they signal where one set of ideas ends and another starts. In fact, they help you lead the reader from one section of your text to another.

The Conclusion

Although it is the last paragraph of your essay, the conclusion should never be considered an afterthought. It is your last opportunity to establish and finalize your point, so you should stick to a rigid format when writing the conclusion.

The conclusion is sometimes viewed as a second introduction. Indeed, it contains many of the same features. The conclusion should not be long. Just like the introduction, it can consist of three or four well-crafted sentences. Moreover, the conclusion should never provide any new ideas – only summarize what has been announced in the introduction and developed in the body paragraphs.

Effective conclusions should start with a concluding transition, such as “finally,” “in conclusion,” and refer to the “hook” used in the introduction. After such words, you should restate your point of view and briefly review the basic points from the body paragraphs of your essay. Do not be afraid to repeat your thesis statement and the basic points more than once throughout your paper. This repetition reinforces your argument and reestablishes the thesis itself.

Having done all of that, you should end your essay with a proper final sentence. It can be a “call to action” or a “global statement” that marks the end of the discussion.

It’s important to remember that you should not expect your very first essay to be flawless. Mistakes are inevitable in the beginning. However, these mistakes help you learn and improve much more than the successes do. If you seek help with homework, you may avoid certain mistakes, and you also get an opportunity to carefully study the paper that is done for you to squeeze out maximum useful information for future.

What is Important in the Conclusion Paragraph?

  • You should be powerful. As the conclusion paragraph is your last opportunity to convince and impress the reader, you should approach writing it with all due care. Do not neglect this chance to restate your thesis confidently. If you strongly believe in your thesis and arguments, your reader is likely to accept your point of view.

  • You should beware of the direct copying of your first paragraph. It is acceptable to take the keywords from the introduction, but you should not directly copy the entire phrases. You should show your skills of paraphrasing and make your concluding sentences as strong as possible.

To summarize everything said above, here is the basic structure of a five-paragraph essay:

Introduction Paragraph

  • A “hook” that captures the reader’s attention.

  • A thesis statement.

  • A brief overview of the three points you will describe in the body paragraphs.

First Body Paragraph

  • A topic sentence that states the first point and starts with a transition.

  • Supporting the evidence points and proofs.

  • An explanation of how the evidence proves your point of view.

Second Body Paragraph

  • A topic sentence that states the second point and starts with a transition.

  • Supporting the evidence points and proofs.

  • An explanation of how the evidence proves your point of view.

Third Body Paragraph

  • A topic sentence that states the third point and starts with a transition.

  • Supporting the evidence points and proofs.

  • An explanation of how the evidence proves your point of view.

Concluding Paragraph

  • A concluding transition that is similar to the “hook,” and restatement of the thesis.

  • Paraphrasing of the main topic and your basic points.

  • Making a global statement or call to action.

More Tips to Polish Your Essay

Proper Planning

To find the best arguments and place them effectively, you should start by conducting a brainstorming session. It may seem hard to do when you’re on a tight academic schedule, but it will be rewarding in the end. Brainstorming will allow you to find the best supporting points and arguments. The very first ideas that come to your mind may not be the best ones. At the same time, if you give yourself more time to think and put all your ideas down on paper, you will have a remarkable list of ideas to choose from.

Furthermore, you should pay attention to the proper sequence of your arguments. Your strongest supporting idea should go first. All your arguments will sound much more convincing when placed effectively.   

Varying Your Vocabulary

Your sentences should not be too complex. Keeping your text simple and laconic is sometimes the key to a winning essay. However, you should not use the same words over and over again. Instead, try to vary your vocabulary. Find the appropriate synonyms, make your language rich and diverse, and your idea will sparkle.

The structure of the sentences can also vary. Each of your sentences does not necessarily have to be built according to the dull pattern of “subject + verb + object.” Try to vary your structures, just like you vary your vocabulary. At the same time, keep in mind the first point above: you should not make your sentences too complex. If you want to see great examples of the effective vocabulary and various types of sentences, just try analyzing the texts written by famous authors. If you need a quick solution, you may seek help with homework.    

Editing and Proofreading

These two stages are necessary to finalize your essay. When editing your essay, you should check whether all the arguments are placed in a logical order and relevant to the topic. If there is any information that does not directly prove your point or answer your question, do not hesitate to cut it out. Your essay will not be praised for an extensive list of everything you know about the subject.

Furthermore, you should make sure that the reader can easily follow all your points and that all your arguments are properly explained and supported by the evidence.

Proofreading involves checking the grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your essay. You should be extremely attentive at this stage as the mistakes in your text can negatively influence your overall mark.

Finally, you should pay attention to the way your paper looks. It has to be formatted correctly, including the font size and spacing. All pages should be numbered. Make sure you have included all the used sources into the reference list. In the end, make sure you paper looks nice and tidy. The overall appealing look of your essay shows that you have fulfilled your assignment with all due care and attention.

Practice Makes Perfect

Even if you have read all the guidelines on how to write an excellent essay, the effective writing skills don’t develop suddenly. It takes a lot of practice to achieve excellence in paper writing. You may try writing essays on different topics. Even if they are not perfect at first, a consistent writing practice will make them much better over time. But, you should also remember that you can always get help with homework if you don’t feel confident about your written assignment.

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