General Essay Writing Tips

Regardless of the fact that, as Shakespeare said,"the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not sufficient to make an effective writer. In reality, though we might all like to consider ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing. You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might believe -- and, in various ways, it can be as simple as counting to 5.

The Introduction

The principle aim of this introduction is to present your own position (this is also known as the"thesis" or"debate") about the issue at hand however powerful introductory paragraphs are a whole lot more than that. Before you get to this particular thesis statement, as an example, the essay should begin with a"hook" that catches the reader's attention and makes them want to read on.

Only then, with the reader's focus"hooked," if you move on into the thesis. The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the reader's mind about which side you're on from the beginning of your essay.

Adhering to the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the cases you may use to support your thesis in the remainder of the essay. Does this tell the reader exactly what to expect in the paragraphs to come but in addition, it provides them a clearer comprehension of exactly what the essay is all about.

Ultimately, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader into the first paragraph of the body of the paper. This way we can realize that the basic introduction doesn't have to be far more than just three or four sentences in length. If yours is much more you may wish to consider editing it down a little!

Here, by Means of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the next question:

"Can we find out more from finding out that we've made mistakes or from our successful actions?"


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