1. What is an essay?
• An organised collection of YOUR IDEAS about a topic.
• nicely written
• and professionally presented.
A paragraph develops only one idea. In a paragraph, topic(s) can be quite limited.
However, topics are often too complex or too broad to be developed in a single paragraph.
In this case, it is necessary to write an essay. An essay is a short piece of writing. It
discusses, describes or analyzes one central idea. It can range in length from three
paragraphs to more than twenty. It can be about anything, and be written in almost any
style. It can describe personal opinions, or just report information.
The essay must be well structured (ie organised) and presented in a way that the reader
finds easy to follow and clear: it must look tidy and not present any obstacles to the
reader. It must have a clear readable interesting style.
An essay has three main parts:
1. An introductory paragraph.
2. A body (at least one, but usually two
or three paragraphs)
3. A concluding paragraph.
The charts below show you how the parts of an essay are formed:
An Essay Outline
An essay outline is probably the most important friend you will have while writing your essay.
It is the scaffolding of your paper and the skeleton of your ideas. It is the framework by which
you will write a killer essay. And frankly, it is difficult to write one without an outline.
When you begin writing an essay outline, use the following model as a guide:
STRUCTURE of an ESSAY: I
Introduce supporting ideas (optional)
II. BODY: the body is the longest part of the essay and can contain as many
paragraphs as is needed to support the controlling ideas of your
Transition, topic sentence
Discussion, examples, and analysis
Transition, topic sentence
Discussion, examples, and analysis
Transition, topic sentence
Discussion, examples, and analysis
Restatement or summary of the main points, final
comment, and concluding sentence
Your essay should start with an introductory
paragraph. There are actually many different ways to begin
an essay; therefore, the format of the introductory paragraph
is flexible. Often, the Introduction consists of an opening
line with a general introductory or general statement.
HOW DO YOU WRITE AN INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH?
The introductory paragraph of any paper, long or short, should start with a sentence that
attracts the interest of your readers. In a typical essay, that first sentence leads into two or
three sentences that provide details about your subject or your process. All of these sentences
build up to your thesis statement.
SOME COMMON METHODS OF INTRODUCTION:
1. BEGİN WİTH A BROAD, GENERAL STATEMENT OF YOUR TOPİC AND NARROW İT
DOWN TO YOUR THESİS STATEMENT.
Sample A: POSITIVE AFFECTS of TELEVISIONS
These days, we are surrounded by many conveniences, for example chairs, beds,
microwaves, computers, vacuum cleaners, and televisions. And I can’t image life
without these things because when I was born these things already existed. Can you
image life without these things? I think that maybe you can’t image because we are used
to today’s living. Among these things, television has influence in many aspects of our
lives. Television can send us many things unlike a chair. Furthermore, we can sit down on
the floor instead of on the chair, but so far we don’t have a substitute for television which
has image and sound*. Television has some good effects and some bad ones.
*general introductory or general statement.
WHY MARRIED COUPLES DIVORCE?
The legal ending of a marriage is called divorce (general statement). There are many couples
who are divorced in the world (1st supporting detail). There are many children who are facing
many difficulties because of their parent’s divorce (2nd supporting detail). A child who lives
with one parent or only the mother will be suffered, because they will have only one parent to
help them through his or her difficulties (3rd supporting sentence). When the children’s
parents are divorced it is hard for them to live happily (4th supporting detail). They hoped that
these kinds of situation would not happen in their families (becoming more specific). Being
divorced is not easy on the children, but on the other hand for the parents it is good for them.
Couples are divorced because of various problems. Divorce can cause by relationship
problems(1), not having enough money(2) and child abuse(3) in many families. (Thesis
HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL WRITER?
To become a successful writer, students should follow some important steps. Just attending
the class is not enough. Learning to be a successful writer involves a lot of hard work. There is
a need for a good background in grammar and vocabulary, skills in writing essays, skills in
editing, and doing the homework.
2. ASK ONE OR MORE QUESTIONS. But remember that questions
need answers. You may simply want the reader to think about
possible answers, or you may plan to answer the questions
yourself later in the paper.
Sample A. WHAT is LOVE?
What is love? How do we know that we are really in love? When
we meet that special person, how can we tell that our feelings
are genuine and not merely infatuation? And, if they are genuine,
will these feelings last? Love, as we all know, is difficult to define.
But most people agree that true and lasting love involves far more than mere physical
attraction. It involves mutual respect, the desire to give rather
than take, and the feeling of being totally at ease.
Do you remember the time you had a horrible vacation?
Everything went wrong. The hotel was noisy; your mother-in-law
was driving you crazy; the countryside was full of garbage. Why
does this happen so often? The answer seems to be that people fail to plan in advance to
ensure their holiday is the best possible. Perfect vacations require good companions,
different activities and beautiful natural surroundings.
3. USE A QUOTATION. A quotation can be something you have read in a
book or article. It can also be something that you have heard: a popular
saying or proverb ("Never give advice to a friend"); a current or recent
advertising slogan ("Reach out and touch someone"); a favorite
expression used by friends or family ("My father always says . . ."). Using a quotation in your
introductory paragraph lets you add someone else's voice to your own.
Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, it has also created new problems for
mankind. As Quentin Reynolds said, “The scientist split the atom; now the atom is splitting
us.” But while it has created problems, we should think carefully before dismissing its many
4. Explain the importance of your topic to the reader.
Advertising is a powerful and persuasive medium. It is also
an effective way of selling new products, and many people
argue that it washes our brain effectively on unnecessary
spending. Others, however, disagree. Advertising can't sell
any product; it can only help to sell a product the people
want to buy.
To write a good thesis, you must begin with a subject that is neither too broad nor too
narrow. Suppose, for example, that an instructor asks you to write a paper on some aspect of
marriage. Such a topic is obviously too broad to cover in a five-hundred word essay. You would
have to write a book to support adequately any point you might make about the general
subject of marriage. What you need to do, then, is limit your subject. Narrow it down until
you have a thesis that you can deal with specifically in four hundred to five hundred words. In
the box that follows are examples of narrowed subjects.
To understand the function of the thesis statement and the concept of generalization, examine
the diagrams which indicate how we can move from the most general to the most specific:
Most general: MARRIAGE
Possible problems in marriages
The responsibilities of married couples
Sharing in a marriage
More specific: The effects of divorce
A thesis statement should show exactly what your essay will be about, and will help you keep
your essay to a controllable topic. Examples:
Most General Most Specific Thesis
MARRIAGE Divorce In many families, divorce is caused by
personality differences, arguments over money, and treatment of
FAMILY Older sister My older sister helped me overcome my shyness.
CHILDREN Disciplining of children My husband and I have several
effective ways of disciplining our children.
SPORTS Players' salaries High players' salaries are bad for the
game, for the fans, and for the values
our children are developing.
PRACTICE 1: Using the guidelines above, decide if the following phrases and sentences are
thesis statements. For each one, write "F" for fact*, "I" for an inadequate thesis statement, or
"T" for a good thesis statement. Discuss your answers with a partner.
(*fact: something that is true, true information)
1. __F_ In the past ten years, the crime rate in the United States has gone down, but the
prison population has increased.
This is a fact, not an opinion.
2. __I_ Now I am going to tell you about criminals and prisons.
This thesis statement does not give an Idea, it only makes an announcement.
3. __I_ Criminals must be punished.
This thesis statement contains an idea, but it is too unfocused (and uninformative).
4. __T_ In order to understand how excessive drinking affects society, it is necessary to
analyze the effects of alcoholism, including the effects on the family, on the drinker and on
This thesis clearly shows the writer's opinion on a focused topic.
5. ____ The earthquake in Gölcük, Turkey, was one of the most destructive in Turkish history.
6. ____ Prospective parents should be required to get licenses in order to have children.
(Prospective: future, expected)
7. ____ The laws in some countries are inadequate.
8. ____ There are several benefits of being young, including being more energetic and
healthy, being hopeful for the future, and having less responsibility.
9. There are certain steps that students can register online without any difficulties.
10. ____ A long prison sentence gives criminals time to think about what they have done.
11. ____ Let me tell you about the time I was robbed in a shopping centre.
12. ____ Students should have a say in the hiring and firing of teachers.
13. ____ Some people are friendly, unhealthy, funny, strange, and beautiful.
14. ____ The land, water and air which are being polluted, and the plants and animals that are
15. ____ Some types of books ought to be banned from the library for some reasons.
16. ____ Women generally live longer than men for two main reasons: they tend to take
better care of their health, and they lead less stressful lives.
17. ____ A lot of universities do not have a football team.
18. ____ The citizens of this state should be allowed to carry guns.
19. ____ The United States ought to allow more immigrants in from this country.
20. ____ There are lots of advantages and disadvantages to living in Erbil.
Thesis Statements: Review the thesis statements below. If the thesis
statement is NOT correct, rewrite it. (Hint: only one of these is correct.)
1. Computers are useful tools.
Sample: Computers are useful tools to practice grammar and
2. Computer use is common in schools today.
3. I want to talk about why computers are important in school.
4. Computers are stupid and shouldn't be used by students.
5. Facebook is popular.
6. Email is used in some traditional classes.
7. How to use email is the purpose of this report.
8. The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending
class, and socializing with peers.
PRACTICE 3: Make the following thesis statements more specific (and more effective) by
adding topics to them.
1.In choosing a major, a student has to consider various factors, such as ____personal
interest, job opportunities, and the quality of educational institutions.____
2.The purpose of this report is to analyze the influence of Western culture ____on Kürdish
language and literature.____
3.Technology is changing our lives in three important areas:
4.A teacher must have the following qualities:
PRACTICE 4: Write possible thesis statements for the following subjects, narrowing the topic
down as necessary:
1. a small family
4. mobile phones
5. TV shopping
6. being a doctor
9. learning a foreign language
Sample Introduction Paragraphs
LIVING ın a FOREIGN COUNTRY
As we know, today there are about six billion people in the world. All of them live in different
countries and have special cultures. Some countries have become very sophisticated, while
others haven’t yet been developed well. For this reason, some people want to go to well-
developed foreign countries, especially to the U.S.A. People want to go to well-developed
countries to live more comfortably. They also strongly believe that if they go there, they will
earn more money. Living in a foreign country has many advantages, but it also has some
disadvantages. Therefore, before people come to a decision about going to a foreign country,
they should consider the advantages and disadvantages of living in a foreign country.
CAUSES of POOR HEALTH
In the 20th century most people believe that our living conditions have improved. Moreover,
technology has made our work easier, so that we have more free time to do what we want.
However, there are many problems in the world today such as crime, pollution, famine and
wars. One of the most interesting problems today is poor health. We hear about people
dying of many illnesses and diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Doctors say that we should
keep fit and eat properly to be healthy. There are several factors that lead to poor health.
The main causes that lead to poor health are stress, bad eating
habits, and lack of exercise.
MORE introduction SAMPLES with
Development and Conclusion
PRESSURE of BEING a UNIVERSITY STUDENT
Being a university student on campus is a really hard thing.
You will meet many difficulties in order to be successful. You will
come through hard times and hard work and maybe make
sacrifices because you want to reach your future goal. Being a
university student is stressful because of the expenses, not
having much free time, and the hard work.
The first problem for private university students is
that they spend a lot of money because the expenses are
very high. For example, they have to pay for tuition, text
books and lunches. First, one pays a $5000 tuition fee
when he or she registers. Next, he or she pays about $80
for his or her text books if he or she wants to study. Lastly,
he or she pays for their lunches, which cost $2.50 per meal. These expenses can drive a
person crazy if he or she does not have enough money to spend on these things. The
student will have to go out and look for a job in order to pay for his or her needs and
expenses in a private university. Looking for a job is not easy, it takes time and once he
or she finds a job, the student has more hard work and less free time.
The next problem is free time. Students do not have much free time during
school days. They are always busy with school. For example, when their friends decide
to visit, they cannot hang around with them. They have to study for their quizzes or
they’re too busy doing homework. After class, students might spend their time in the
library doing their assignments or preparing for a test. Another example is not having
time to do their chores. One difficult situation is if a woman student is married, she has
to prepare the food for the family to come and eat after work. Sometimes she can miss
one day doing her chores because if she has something to do at school, she has to
finish before going home. This can make her do her chores late or she will not do them
because when she reaches home, she is late and too tired to do her chores. All of these
chores take time and there is not enough time. She has to schedule her time for chores
and studying. It is unquestionable that life is not easy and if students want to be
successful, they have to work hard.
The last problem is for their work. For example, for assignments and class
work, students have to be responsible for doing their work and turning it in on time. If
they’re late, it can affect their grades or lower them. If one wants to succeed in
college, one has to work really hard, so students have to study during weekends or
weekdays. Success only comes to those who work hard and are determined to reach
their goals. Anyone can accomplish their dreams by working hard and with self-
determination. People who concentrate on their school and don’t fool around are
people who want to be successful in the future.
In conclusion, being a college student takes a lot of time, hard work and money. It is
not easy to be a college student, especially if one is independent. So when students are
struggling, they struggle alone and when they are stressed, they stress alone. They should try
their best to do whatever it takes to reach their goals. By the time they finish, they know that,
after all, hard work will give the advantage of having a better future.
By Love-ina Agbo
THE INCREASING DIVORCE RATE
Marriage means living together with the one whom you love and sharing everything,
including all of your responsibilities. It sounds ideal. However, there has been a remarkable
increase in divorce in recent years. This makes some people worried whether marital relations
will end in the near future. There are four main factors in the high divorce rate.
First of all, there is the higher cost of living today. This leads to some
conflicts in family life. Due to difficult living conditions, people are more aggressive
towards each other. Couples do not tolerate mistakes, even just a few.
In addition, women think that life will be difficult unless they have economic
independence. Being economically independent is the desire of many women.
Nowadays, there are many women working outside their homes who are independent.
They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. As a result, some women regard
divorce as the best way to gain their independence. They hope to be free and stand on
their own. Women can continue their life without depending on men after getting
Another significant reason is the rising level of education and the increasing
number of opportunities for both men and women. Unquestionably, lifestyle parallels
levels of education. Family members do not care about each other enough because
they have other areas that they are more interested in, such as their own careers, jobs
and freedom. This causes a lack of
communication between family
This is related to another obvious
reason, which is changing values. The
values of society do not remain the
same. Members of the family may not
want to take responsibility for their
traditional roles. Moreover, family ties
have weakened. The importance of the
concept of family has declined, and
many factors are influencing the changes
in the structure of families.
Consequently, we must recognise the
importance of this problem and its
causes. Politicians must work for higher
standards of living, and people must
protect their traditional values.
ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of LIVING in a FOREIGN COUNTRY
Today there are about six billion people in the world. All of them live in different
countries and have special cultures. Some countries have become very sophisticated,
while others haven’t yet been developed well. For this reason, some people want to go
to well-developed foreign countries, especially to the U.S.A. People want to go to well-
developed countries to live more comfortably. They also strongly believe that if they go
there, they will earn more money. Living in a foreign country has many advantages, but
it also has some disadvantages. Therefore, before people come to a decision about
going to a foreign country, they should consider the advantages and disadvantages of
living in a foreign country.
One of the main advantages of living in a foreign country is that people have
better economic conditions. For example, they may get a good job and a high
salary so they can buy what they want and they may live how they desire. In
addition, they may benefit from well-developed education and health systems.
Moreover, one is given the chance to learn and become fluent in another language
through everyday use. Furthermore, one can participate in lots of social activities.
Thus, people can improve their abilities. Finally, they become more independent
by having to deal with difficult situations on their own.
On the other hand, it may be difficult for people to adapt to their new
surroundings. If they live alone, they miss their families and countries. Sometimes
they may feel isolated, frustrated, and lonely. In addition, if someone can’t speak
the language yet, he or she may face communication problems. What is more,
there is racial discrimination in some countries. Foreigners aren’t easily accepted
in these places. It is possible that racist people may hurt them.
To sum up, even though living in a strange place may be hard at first, in time one can
adjust to it. In my opinion, if a person has an opportunity to go to a well-developed foreign
country, he or she should benefit from this opportunity for his or her future.
(C/4 8/ 4/ 2003)
DEVELOPMENT / BODY
What are Body Paragraphs?
• The second part of the essay is called the body. In a five-paragraph essay,
the body is made of 3 paragraphs. This is the main part of your essay.
• The body paragraphs should provide support to the introduction
paragraph and to the thesis statement. Body paragraphs fill the essay with
details and examples.
• All the paragraphs in development paragraphs should begin with a topic
sentence to support for your thesis.
• You should discuss your support, give examples, and analyze the significance of these
1. Body Paragraph One
The Body Paragraph One should open with a transitional sentence. It should lead the
reader into the first piece of evidence you use to support your thesis statement, your
argument. Body Paragraph One will deal with one theme for your argument. You may
have several pieces of evidence to support this one, which is absolutely fine. Once you
use a piece of evidence, be sure and write at least one or two sentences explaining
why you use it. Then, wrap up the Body Paragraph with a mini-concluding sentence
summing up only what you have discussed in that paragraph.
2. Body Paragraph Two
Body Paragraph Two should follow the exact same rules as Body Paragraph One. This
time, pick the second theme in support of your thesis argument and cite evidence for
it. Again, you must open this paragraph with a transitional sentence; one leading from
the previous theme to the current theme.
3. Body Paragraph Three
Body Paragraph Three should follow the exact same rules as Body Paragraph One and
Two. Again, you must open this paragraph with a transitional sentence; one leading
from the previous theme to the current theme.
Sample : HOW to BECOME a SUCCESSFUL WRITER
To become a successful writer, students should follow some important
steps. Just attending the class is not enough. Learning to be a successful
writer involves a lot of hard work. There is a need for a good background in
grammar and vocabulary, skills in writing essays, skills in editing, and doing
DEVELOPMENT - 1
First of all, it is important that students already have sufficient knowledge
in grammar and vocabulary. During the course, they should increase their
vocabulary and improve their grammar skills even more. The more
vocabulary students know, the better and easier the writing will be.
Furthermore, it is also an advantage when grammar skills are at a good level;
it enables students to avoid comma splices, the wrong verb tenses or forms,
lack of punctuation and transition words. This helps to get a better final
grade. One additional way to avoid mistakes is to follow the teacher's
instructions - especially when doing the homework. There may not be
enough time in class to go into all the details and to practice all the topics
sufficiently. Without practice and revision of the topics taught in class, there
will probably be less improvement of vocabulary and grammar skills.
(Your next two body paragraphs should follow the same format as your first body
paragraph. They should each have a separate topic sentence and supporting ideas, but the
three paragraphs should work together to prove your thesis. If you are writing a longer
paper, you will have more than three body paragraphs, but they should all follow this
DEVELOPMENT - 2
The next step to becoming a successful writer is the ability to write essays.
What has to be considered? It is not just writing a nice story. There are
certain rules that have to be obeyed. Students should know that an essay
consists of three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
The introduction needs to have a thesis statement, one or more hooks, so it
can help the reader to understand what the main point is. The body can have
several paragraphs, but each paragraph needs to have one topic sentence, at
least 5-8 supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. The body
provides details to support the thesis statement. Then, the conclusion can be
a result, a recommendation or a prediction. When all these steps are
completed, the writer still has another job.
DEVELOPMENT - 3
After writing an essay, students should also be able to edit their papers.
Many mistakes can be avoided if students look over their papers carefully
after finishing the writing. This should be done step by step by looking at the
following: 1. sentence boundaries, 2. verb tenses and verb forms, 3. nouns,
articles, and numbers, 4. word choices, word forms, and spelling, 5. one's
own particular weakness such as prepositions in the case of the writer.
Editing can be improved by doing homework. This is a good way to reduce
mistakes on the final exam.
As has been discussed above, writing is a very difficult process-especially for
nonnative speakers. A writer must worry about many things. One must pay
attention to grammar and vocabulary. A writer should also pay attention to
the process of writing and editing his or her final draft. In conclusion, if the
above instructions were to be followed, there would be no doubt that you
would become a successful writer.
INFLUENCE of MOVIES
Technology has helped us in the 20th century make a
Introduction lot of our work easier. It makes our lives more
1. Introduce general topic comfortable and more enjoyable. Many people
2. Narrow down topic watch TV and they often go to the movies in order to
3. Restate question have an enjoyable life. Therefore, movies have
4. State thesis become a huge part of our lives; most of us enjoy
watching all kinds of movies. Whether we realize it
or not, almost all movies affect us. The influence of
movies can be classified into two parts.
Body: developmental paragraph 1 The most important influence of watching a movie is
(Types of programs) that it destroys people’s psychology. It is not only
1. 1.Topic sentence (topic and controlling idea) destroys people’s psychology but also destroys our
2. 2. Supporting ideas imaginations. For example, when you watch a horror
3. Details movie, your psychology is affected by this movie
badly. Mostly, you may want to be a monster or a
murderer. Another example would be science fiction
movies. As we know, science fiction movies are full
of imagination. When people watch this kind of
movie, they think whatever they watched could
happen in real life. As a result, it destroys people’s
imaginations because of unlimited ideas.
Body: developmental paragraph 2 The final influence of watching movies is that it
(Character of content) changes people’s life views and lifestyles. In almost
1. 1. Topic sentence (topic and controlling idea) every American movie, you can see a beautiful house
2. 2. Supporting ideas which has a garden or it is built on the seashore.
3. 3. Details Moreover, in most American movies, you watch
people eat simple food. They do not have any food
culture. For that reason, it causes people’s eating
habits to change. What is more, people use movies
in order to change history. They easily change an
event which occurred in the past in the direction of
their ideas. For that reason most countries’ histories
are destroyed or misinformed by movies.
1. 1. Restate thesis As a result, movies affect our psychology
2. 2. Restate each topic sentence from and it may cause us to change our life views and
3. developmental lifestyles. It is clear that movies are a huge part of
4. paragraphs our lives. In my opinion, people should watch
5. 3. State your opinion/ preference; give solution; movies, but they should never forget that they are
6. make prediction... just human productions. Finally, people should try to
7. 4. Final statement infer logical ideas from movies.
In this paragraph the writer should briefly restate what they have written in the four or three
The form of your conclusion, like your introduction, is flexible.
Shortly, when you write a concluding paragraph:
1. Restate the thesis statement –conclude your essay by writing mini-thesis
2. Restate the topic sentences from the developmental paragraphs.
3. State your opinion or preference, make a prediction/result/ or give a solution.
4. Conclude with a statement that sums up the essay.
Try to see the similarity between introduction and conclusion in these examples
1. PRESSURE OF BEING A COLLEGE STUDENT
Sample 1: PRESSURE of BEING a PRIVATE STUDENT
Being a university student is really a hard thing. You will come across many difficulties in
order to be a successful person. You will come through hard times and hard work and
maybe make sacrifices because you will want to reach his or her goal in the future. Being a
university student is stressful because of the expenses, the hard work, and not much free
Restate/ rewrite thesis statement
In conclusion, being a university student it takes a lot of time, hard work and they spend a
lot of money. When you are struggling, you spend great effort alone and when you are
worried, you stress alone. You have to try your best to do whatever it takes to reach your
goal. By the time you finish, you know after all these hard work will give you a better future.
LIVING in an APARTMENT
When a person decides to enter a university away from home, she must also consider
living accommodations. Although most universities offer student dormitories, students
frequently choose to live
in an apartment. While
there are many
advantages to apartment
living, there are also
Before a student decides
to live in an apartment,
she should review all the
disadvantages of living in
Living in an apartment has many advantages. First, students can choose to live in a
quiet neighborhood. A quiet neighborhood is beneficial to studying. Away from the
distractions of campus life, students can be more serious about their studies. Second,
apartment life allows students to be more independent. For example, they can cook whatever
they want to eat and have their meals whenever they want them. Third, students can often
find apartments that are cheaper than the fee for room and board in a dormitory.
However, living in an apartment also has some disadvantages. Being away from
campus life can make students feel isolated. Another disadvantage is that apartments close to
campus are usually expensive, and those farther away are not within walking distance.
Therefore, transportation must be considered. Finally, students who live in apartments must
cook their own meals, shop for food, do the laundry and clean their entire apartment - not just
their own rooms.
Even though there are many advantages to
Notice that this conclusion restates
the topic and gives a personal apartment living, I prefer to live in the university
preference. The writer lists the
dormitory for the following reasons. First, I will be new at
reasons for the preference and
concludes with a summary statement. the university and meeting people will be easier in a
dormitory setting. Second, I won't have to worry about
purchasing and cooking food or cleaning up afterwards. Consequently, I will have more time
for my studies. Finally, I will be within walking distance of my classes and the university library.
In conclusion, living on campus is more advantageous for me than living in an apartment.
What is the editing stage?
The editing stage is when you check your essay for mistakes and correct them.
Read the following checklist. You will not have time to rewrite your essay during the test.
Therefore, keep this list in mind as you write your outline and essay.
1. Is there AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH?
2. Does the introductory paragraph RESTATE THE QUESTION?
3. Does the introductory paragraph have a THESIS STATEMENT (a controlling idea)?
4. Does each paragraph have a clear TOPIC SENTENCE?
5. Do the topic sentences of the developmental paragraphs SUPPORT THE THESIS STATEMENT?
6. Do the ideas in each developmental paragraph support the topic sentence of the
7. Are the DETAILS (examples, facts, descriptions, personal experiences) clear?
8. Is there a CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH?
9. Does the concluding paragraph give (A) an opinion, preference, prediction, or solution
and (B) reasons?
10. Does the essay end with a CONCLUDING STATEMENT?
11. Does the essay ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THE QUESTION?
12. Is your essay interesting?
Grammar and Spelling
13. Check your spelling.
14. Check your grammar.
15. Read your essay again.
16. Make sure each sentence has a subject.
17. Make sure your subjects and verbs agree with each other.
18. Check the verb tenses of each sentence.
19. Make sure that each sentence makes sense.
Style and Organization
20. Make sure your essay has an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a summary
21. Check that you have a thesis statement that identifies the main idea of the essay.
22. Check that all your paragraphs follow the proper paragraph format.
What is an introduction paragraph?
The introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay.
What does it do?
It introduces the main idea of your essay. A good opening paragraph captures the
interest of your reader and tells why your topic is important.
How do I write one?
1. Write the thesis statement. The main idea of the essay is stated in a single sentence
called the thesis statement. You must limit your entire essay to the topic you have introduced
in your thesis statement.
2. Provide some background information about your topic. You can use interesting
facts, quotations, or definitions of important terms you will use later in the essay.
Hockey has been a part of life in Canada for over 120 years. It has evolved into an
extremely popular sport watched and played by millions of Canadians. The game has gone
through several changes since hockey was first played in Canada.
What are development paragraphs?
Development paragraphs make up the main body of your essay.
What do they do?
They develop the main idea of your essay.
How do I write them?
1. List the points that develop the main idea of your essay.
2. Place each supporting point in its own paragraph.
3. Develop each supporting point with facts, details, and examples.
To connect your development paragraphs, you should use special transition words. link
your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the
beginning and end of your paragraphs.
What is a conclusion paragraph?
The summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay after you have finished
developing your ideas. The summary paragraph is often called a "conclusion."
What does it do?
It summarizes or restates the main idea of the essay. You want to leave the reader with a
sense that your essay is complete.
How do I write one?
1. Restate the strongest points of your essay that support your main idea.
2. Conclude your essay by restating the main idea in different words.
3. Give your personal opinion or suggest a plan for action.
Overall, the changes that occurred in hockey have helped to improve the game. Hockey is
faster and more exciting as a result of changes in the past 120 years. For these reasons,
modern hockey is a better game than hockey in the 1890s.
WRITING is a very difficult process-especially for non-native speakers. When students start
writing, they worry about many things. Maybe they are right. Sometimes, it is not easy to
write a well designed essay. Some can take an hour to write a masterwork, while others
slave over a well-designed essay for five hours. There are just a few steps to take and you
will find yourself complete with essay in hand and time in the future.
• Here is some advice about writing successfully:
• While writing, one must pay attention to grammar and vocabulary.
• Make sure you accurately understand what it is asking. People often write an essay
that has nothing to do with the topic.
• Go to the library, internet, read some books, look over your notes.
• The thesis statement is the foundation of your essay. Write that one sentence that
argues the point, the debate, and the root of your essay.
• Just write. It does not have to be a masterpiece as you write that first draft. Just get
something on paper that you can eventually mold into a final product.
• Edit the paper to make sure you are staying on target, following your thesis, and have
enough supporting evidence to prove your thesis.
Six Prewriting Steps:
1. Think carefully about what you are going to write. Ask yourself: What question am I going to
answer in this paragraph or essay? How can I best answer this question? What is the most
important part of my answer? How can I make an introductory sentence (or thesis statement)
from the most important part of my answer? What facts or ideas can I use to support my
introductory sentence? How can I make this paragraph or essay interesting? Do I need more
facts on this topic? Where can I find more facts on this topic?
2. Open your notebook. Write out your answers to the above questions. You do not need to
spend a lot of time doing this; just write enough to help you remember why and how you are
going to write your paragraph or essay.
3. Collect facts related to your paragraph or essay topic. Look for and write down facts that
will help you to answer your question. Timesaving hint: make sure the facts you are writing are
related to the exact question you are going to answer in your paragraph or essay.
4. Write down your own ideas. Ask yourself: What else do I want to say about this topic? Why
should people be interested in this topic? Why is this topic important?
5. Find the main idea of your paragraph or essay. Choose the most important point you are
going to present. If you cannot decide which point is the most important, just choose one
point and stick to it throughout your paragraph or essay.
6. Organize your facts and ideas in a way that develops your main idea. Once you have chosen
the most important point of your paragraph or essay, you must find the best way to tell your
reader about it. Look at the facts you have written. Look at your own ideas on the topic.
Decide which facts and ideas will best support the main idea of your essay. Once you have
chosen the facts and ideas you plan to use, ask yourself which order to put them in the essay.
Write down your own note set that you can use to guide yourself as you write your essay.
MORE ESSAY SAMPLES
TYPES of FAMILIES
Families have been on earth since the beginning of time. According
to my ad, family is the most important unit in society. A family includes
“all the descendants of a common ancestor, a house, or a lineage. Generally we can classify
families into three categories according to their way of living and their finances: wealthy
families, average families, and poor families.
A wealthy family is a family that can afford their needs and wants without any struggle. A
wealthy family usually went through a lot of things before they become wealthy. They are the
well-educated people, businessmen, and leaders in the government. These people value their
education and they are the ones that have Masters and Ph.D. degrees. These people also know
how to budget their money wisely. They spend their money wisely. They spend their money on
things that will benefit the whole family. I have an uncle who is a cabinet member. He bought
his son a car, built him a house, and the son owns a lot of things. Even the wife got her own
car. They are happy most of the time because they have everything that they need. This is
because of their wealth.
An average family is a family that can afford their needs but
struggles with their wants. They are the teachers, office workers or
white collar workers. Their level of education is from high school and
BA degrees. They finish their college educations and receive jobs
that are equal with their level of education. An average family
usually manages their money but they spend it quickly. A good
example of an average family is my family. We always spend our
money on things that we like at that moment, but we always regret it
because we could have used it on things that are more necessary to
the family. They are only happy when they have big amount of money in the family.
A poor family is a family that struggles with their needs. They don’t even think about their
wants because they cannot afford it. They are the farmers, construction workers or blue collar
workers. They are also the people who are walking on the road, doing nothing to support their
family. They are the ones who finish only elementary education. These people don’t budget
their money because they need all the money they make. They also spend their money on
things that cannot benefit the whole family. They are selfish people who think about
themselves only. An example of this family lives in my village. The parents of this family really
like bingo. They go to bingo every night. The oldest son has the role of taking care of the
family. The boy is only nine years old and every night he takes care of his younger siblings.
Every night the children cry and the neighbors go the house and help them. The couple always
attends bingo even if they have only a dollar. The children really suffer from their actions.
They are not happy because most of the time they are starving.
In conclusion, families are very important and they form our society. If families are good,
then society will be good. We need a society that can work together and make our country a
better place to live. In general, there are many types of families but categorizing them into
wealthy, average, and poor family can help us differentiate a good family from a bad family.
I've been in America studying English since this April. It's certainly the most significant
event in my life. I came to study at university in America because the Japanese university I
went to was disappointing and did not give me any benefits. It was also boring. Most Japanese
university students study hard before entering a university, but at the university they hardly
study. Instead of studying, they spend a lot of time playing and drinking. Therefore, there are
some advantages why I came to America.
The first advantage of studying at an American university is to get global ideas. If I live
only in Japan, my sight will be limited. To communicate with Americans or many foreigners will
be very helpful for me to get global ideas. I’ve already experienced many things in America. At
school, I can talk with many foreign students, and I learned different ways of thinking and
differences of culture. Now I live in an apartment with a French student named Alex. I am
living comfortably and I can learn many things from him. For example, sometimes he cooks
French food for me, and teaches me the French language. He can speak Japanese a little, and
sometimes I teach him Japanese. Learning a foreign language is also learning a foreign culture,
so learning each language is good for us. And now, we have a good relationship. Also, to
experience many things in America will be good for me.
Another benefit of studying in America is that I have a chance to visit many different
places. During the three months since I've arrived, on weekends I went to many places and
events such as Los Angeles, baseball games, the beach, fireworks and so on. I’ve been to
baseball games, the beach and fireworks in Japan, but it is somehow different. Especially the
atmosphere of the baseball game was very different. The audience was very enthused, and
they cheered hard, so I felt unification. It was very fun.
As a result, I’m studying English to achieve my goals. My goals are to speak English
well and graduate from a university in America. Also I want to get global ideas. Studying
English is hard and I’m exhausted, but every day I gain significant and valuable experiences.
A Useful Link: http://buckhoff.topcities.com/for_university_students.htm
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE EXERCISE
In the past, I have never been inclined to participate in sports. Frankly, I didn’t like it,
but many people whom I lived with kept telling me every day how good sports were. Since the
peer pressure was growing, I decided to go to the gym. After that I could really understand
people when they said exercise really helps a person get organized and keeps you healthy,
both physically and mentally.
To begin with, when you are a lazy person, it is difficult to take the first step, but it is
all a matter of committing yourself to something that will provide you a lot of positive
feedback. Once you start doing exercise and observing positive results, you actually enjoy it. It
takes a lot of effort and strong will, but it's worth it. The principal thing to do is to participate
in an activity you like. If you do, you’ll start organizing your day in a way that enables you to do
everything you have to, including exercising. As a result of this, you will no longer be a
stressed-out person without time to do all your activities.
Second, it is obvious that once you exercise you will be in better condition. You will be
physically healthier. It is probable that you will lose weight and your muscles will get stronger
and stronger. When your body feels well and full of energy, it will respond immediately to any
action you want to do. Furthermore, any activity will be done in high spirits.
The third reason why exercising is good is that it affects you positively in a
psychological way. Doing exercise helps you set specific goals which, along with a strong will,
can be achieved. When you do that, you are aware of your abilities, you accept your
weaknesses, and your self-esteem goes up. Any sport distracts you because it helps you to not
think about school, friends, problems, and other things. Thus, it brings you time to think about
yourself and no one else. It also helps you keep your mind busy and avoid dangerous habits.
As a result of my experiences, I can say that doing exercise is very important to any
person of any age. The positive effects of exercising, which I’ve already mentioned, are like a
chain. Once you do a sports activity that you like, you get organized; therefore, you start doing
things the right way and get enormous benefits which make you feel good as a whole human
being. You start living your life happily.
Maru Mercado Advanced English Erlyn Baack
incline: to have tendency, lean
distract: take your attention away from something
a) Examine the statement and define what it means.
Let's examine what .... means.
It is generally believed that...
Most people think that...
At first sight this statement seems to be true.
b) Say how you are going to deal with the problem.
The first thing that comes to my mind is...
In the first place I'd like to say that...
First of all, let's get the facts straight.
Let's begin with the fact that...
Let me make quite clear from the start that...
The first question we have to answer is if / wh....
First, we must define what we mean by...
a) Decide what your point of view is going to be.
I'm of the opinion that...
b) First look at the opposite point of view.
It might be argued that...
One could well say that...
It is often generally accepted that...
There is some evidence to suggest that...
On the one hand .. but on the other hand ...
c) Then develop your own argument in a logical way.
It is only partly true that...
Every argument has two sides.
Take for example...
There seems to be a contradiction here.
Let us now return to...
d) Each paragraph you write or say must add something new to your
This brings me to the next point.
A further point to consider is...
We have to admit that...
It is important to realize that...
In addition to this point I want to stress that...
There can be no doubt that...
Everybody knows that this is so.
a) State the conclusion which follows from your arguments.
It is for this reason that I believe that...
The simple truth is that...
It is only fair to say that...
b) Suggest a solution but point out that it is only one of a number of
My own view of the matter is...
So all in all I believe that...
LINKING WORDS and USEFUL EXPRESSIONS
Transition words and phrases are vital to the success of any essay. They are the bread and
butter of writing. They are the glue that holds all essays together. Think of bricks building a
house without mortar. Transitions hold the same importance. We need these words and
phrases to join sentences and thoughts together in a coherent fashion.
Here are a few tips on how and when to use transition words and phrases:
• Always use a transition phrase at the beginning of a new body paragraph
• Always use a transition word in between thoughts within a paragraph
• Never use a transition word to begin an essay
• Never use a transition word to begin a paragraph (but you can sometimes use a transition
phrase at the start of a new body paragraph)
after all as an illustration
especially for example
for instance in other words
in particular in short
it is true like
namely of course
specifically such as
that is thus
to illustrate truly
LISTING / ADDITIONAL
afterward besides in addition to this / that
again eventually in the first place
also finally in the past
and first last
and then further lately
apart from this / that furthermore meanwhile
before in addition moreover
next secondly thirdly
shortly to start/begin with
not to mention the fact since too
that so far what is more
although despite that in spite of regardless
and yet even so instead still
at the same time even though nevertheless though
but at the same for all that on the contrary while
time however on the other yet
despite in contrast hand
in spite of otherwise
CONCLUDING / SUMMARY
all in all
all things considered
as has been said
as was previously stated
in other words,
on the whole
taking everything into
to put it differently
to sum up