How to Organize an Essay–Basic Essay Format

Basic Essay Format

 

Topic – Your topic may be given by instructor, or you may be allowed to choose your own topic.  Narrow the topic so that it can be covered adequately depending on the length of your essay assignment.

 

Audience—Your audience is your reader or the person to whom you are addressing your essay argument.  The language used in the essay should be appropriate for the audience who will read it.  Don’t use language that is too complicated for a younger audience, and don’t use language that is too juvenile for an adult audience.

 

Purpose—Decide on your purpose for writing your essay—to inform, to entertain, to persuade.   The purpose will help determine your language, your tone, and your overall approach to the topic.

 

Introduction— There are several ways to hook your readers’ attention in the introduction:

  • Begin with a brief story or short anecdote.
  • Begin with an surprising fact or interesting statistic.
  • Begin with a question that will be answered or addressed in your essay.
  • Begin with background information that is relevant to your topic.
  • Begin with a definition of a term that is relevant to your topic and expand on this term in your essay.
  • Do not begin with statements such as “I am going to explain…” or  “I am going to tell you how…”.   These statements are weak and don’t hook your readers’ attention.
  • Thesis Statement—It is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.  The thesis statement is the main idea of the entire essay.  It states exactly what you will prove in the essay and lists the major points that will be discussed in the body of the essay.

 

Transition Words—These words or phrases are used to introduce each body paragraph.  They help the reader transition from one major point to the next.  They also help the reader transition from one paragraph to the next.

 

Topic Sentence—The topic sentence is the main idea of each paragraph.  It states broadly what will be discussed in the body of the paragraph.  The topic sentence relates directly to the thesis statement.

 

Major Details—The major details are the main points that will be discussed in each paragraph.

 

Supporting Details—The supporting details further explain, support, or back up the main points in each paragraph in the form of examples, evidence, personal experiences, facts, figures, statistics, etc.

 

Closing Statement– The closing statement is a sentence at the end of each paragraph, which signals the end of the point being discussed in the paragraph.  The closing statement also transitions smoothly to the next paragraph.

 

Conclusion—Strategies for writing effective conclusions:

  • Restatement of the thesis, worded slightly differently
  • Summary of the main points brought out in the essay
  • Call to action, asking the reader to do something or to stop doing something
  • Do not bring up new points in the conclusion.  Address new points in the body of the essay.
  • Do not leave the reader with unanswered questions.

 

 

 

Writing can be a frustrating task for many students, particularly the older students, because they believe they have lost those writing skills they once knew.  For this reason, I have written several ebooks on writing to help students just like these.  I wrote these ebooks in the manner in which I teach the skills to my students.  I learn by following step-by-step instructions, and I find that method works well for most students, especially students whose grammar and writing skills are weak.

How to Write a Basic Essay in Seven Easy Steps: A Beginner’s Guide is designed to help students break down the various steps involved in writing an essay and tackle one task at a time.  My students tend to do well on essays where they write about topics they know a lot about, and when they are allowed to choose their own topics, I receive great essays.  They know themselves better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t they be able to write an essay that focused on themselves?

How to Write an Argumentative Essay is an extension of how to write a basic essay.  Because the argumentative format is somewhat specialized, meaning some elements must be included before it can be classified as an argumentative essay, students must understand some of the terminology related to the argumentative rhetorical mode.  These terms are defined and explained in the ebook along with directions on how to organize an argumentative essay.

 

How to Write a Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide is designed for the high school or college student as well as a beginning writer or author who wants to write essays of a creative nature, or in other words, short stories.  The basics of organizing a short story is outlined in this ebook in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

 

 

How to Write a Basic Essay Outline

 

Basic Essay Outline

Each Roman numeral in the outline represents a paragraph.  Each capital letter below each Roman numeral represents a point that will be addressed within the paragraph.  Use this outline to determine the key points that will be addressed in your essay.

I.     Introduction

         A.  Hook to Gain Reader’s Attention

         B.  Lead in to Thesis Statement

         C.  Thesis Statement

II.    First Major Point

        A.     Topic Sentence

        B.     Supporting Details and Evidence

        C.     Closing Statement

III.    Second Major Point

        A.     Topic Sentence

        B.     Supporting Details and Evidence

        C.     Closing Statement

IV.    Third Major Point

        A.     Topic Sentence

        B.     Supporting Details and Evidence

        C.     Closing Statement

V.    Fourth Major Point

        A.     Topic Sentence

        B.     Supporting Details and Evidence

        C.     Closing Statement

VI.    Fifth Major Point

        A.     Topic Sentence

        B.     Supporting Details and Evidence

        C.     Closing Statement

VII.    Rebuttal

        A.     Topic Sentence

        B.     Supporting Details and Evidence

        C.     Closing Statement

VIII.   Conclusion

        A.     Restatement of Thesis or Main Points

        B.     Call to Action

        C.     Closing Statement

Basic Essay Format

Introductory Paragraph –Introduce the topic of your essay with a interesting hook such as a surprising fact or statistic, a brief story, or a controversial idea.  Give some background information on why it is a timely topic or why it is pertinent to be addressed.  What is happening in the world that makes this topic something that needs to be addressed?   The last sentence should state what you will prove about the topic.  (The thesis statement is last sentence in introduction).

Body Paragraph 1 (First Major Point)—Begin with a topic sentence, which addresses what the entire paragraph will be discussing.  Add supporting details and provide evidence that support the topic sentence.  Add a closing statement that transitions to a new point that will be addressed in next paragraph.

Body Paragraph 2 (Second Major Point)—Begin with a topic sentence, which addresses what the entire paragraph will be discussing.  Add supporting details and provide evidence that support the topic sentence.  Add a closing statement that transitions to a new point that will be addressed in next paragraph.

Body Paragraph 3 (Third Major Point)—Begin with a topic sentence, which addresses what the entire paragraph will be discussing.  Add supporting details and provide evidence that support the topic sentence.  Add a closing statement that transitions to a new point that will be addressed in next paragraph.

Body Paragraph 4 (Fourth Major Point)—Begin with a topic sentence, which addresses what the entire paragraph will be discussing.  Add supporting details and provide evidence that support the topic sentence.  Add a closing statement that transitions to a new point that will be addressed in next paragraph.

Body Paragraph 5 (Fifth Major Point)—Begin with a topic sentence, which addresses what the entire paragraph will be discussing.  Add supporting details and provide evidence that support the topic sentence.  Add a closing statement that transitions to a new point that will be addressed in next paragraph.

Body Paragraph 6 (Rebuttal)–This paragraph states the opposition’s view to your stance on the issue being discussed in your essay.  Begin with a topic sentence, which addresses what the entire paragraph will be discussing.  Add supporting details and provide evidence that support the topic sentence.  Add a closing statement that transitions to the conclusion paragraph.

Conclusion Paragraph—Several methods are good to use here—give a restatement of thesis worded slightly differently from introductory paragraph.  Use a call to action for the reader to do something or stop doing something.  Sum up major points brought out in body of essay and close with an overall message to the reader.

 

 

 

Writing can be a frustrating task for many students, particularly the older students, because they believe they have lost those writing skills they once knew.  For this reason, I have written several ebooks on writing to help students just like these.  I wrote these ebooks in the manner in which I teach the skills to my students.  I learn by following step-by-step instructions, and I find that method works well for most students, especially students whose grammar and writing skills are weak.

How to Write a Basic Essay in Seven Easy Steps: A Beginner’s Guide is designed to help students break down the various steps involved in writing an essay and tackle one task at a time.  My students tend to do well on essays where they write about topics they know a lot about, and when they are allowed to choose their own topics, I receive great essays.  They know themselves better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t they be able to write an essay that focused on themselves?

How to Write an Argumentative Essay is an extension of how to write a basic essay.  Because the argumentative format is somewhat specialized, meaning some elements must be included before it can be classified as an argumentative essay, students must understand some of the terminology related to the argumentative rhetorical mode.  These terms are defined and explained in the ebook along with directions on how to organize an argumentative essay.

 

How to Write a Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide is designed for the high school or college student as well as a beginning writer or author who wants to write essays of a creative nature, or in other words, short stories.  The basics of organizing a short story is outlined in this ebook in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

 

Art Challenge–Painting No. 30

Read all of my posts for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge here  http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/30-paintings-in-30-days-challenge-sept-2014/.

 

Well, folks, the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge has come to an end.  I am a bit sad.  I had fun challenging myself to create paintings inspired by my books.  It was tough at times but very rewarding.  I will continue to paint images from my books but will also explore new themes.  Here is the last painting in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

Trouble Down South Art Challenge

Painting No. 30

 

IMG_3576

Crib Girls No. 3

This is my last painting dealing with characters and scenes from my Bootlegger Haze (Books One and Two) for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta.  Crib girls were prostitutes that worked at the Watering Hole–a juke joint–in Bootlegger Haze (Books One and Two).

 

***

 

Prints are available for purchase of the painting “Crib Girls No. 3.”   Prints are available in sizes 8 x 10, 11 x 14, and 16 x 20 inches (unframed).  Email Katrina Williams at stepartdesigns at hotmail dot com for prices.

Check out the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta–http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/.

 

*****

 

I am an artist and an author of southern and historical fiction and short stories.  View all my artwork on my artist page at Daily Paintworks.

Check out more of my artwork at my Art Blog–KPWms Art Studio.

Also check out my novels and short stories.  Katrina Parker Williams’ Books Available at Amazon,  Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes).

Art Challenge–Painting No. 29

Read all of my posts for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge here  http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/30-paintings-in-30-days-challenge-sept-2014/.

 

 

One more day until the end of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Art Challenge.  It has been a fun ride.  Here is another painting from my Bootlegger Haze (Books One and Two) for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta.  Crib girls were prostitutes that worked in the Watering Hole–a juke joint–in Bootlegger Haze (Books One and Two).

 

Trouble Down South Art Challenge

Painting No. 29

Day29

The Shoes of a Crib Girl

 

Prints are available for purchase of the painting “The Shoes of a Crib Girl.”   Prints are available in sizes 8 x 10, 11 x 14, and 16 x 20 inches (unframed).  Email Katrina Williams at stepartdesigns at hotmail dot com for prices.

Check out the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta–http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/.

 

*****

 

I am an artist and an author of southern and historical fiction and short stories.  View all my artwork on my artist page at Daily Paintworks.

Check out more of my artwork at my Art Blog–KPWms Art Studio.

Also check out my novels and short stories.  Katrina Parker Williams’ Books Available at Amazon,  Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes).

Art Challenge–Painting No. 28

Read all of my posts for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge here  http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/30-paintings-in-30-days-challenge-sept-2014/.

 

Trouble Down South Art Challenge

Painting No. 28

Day28

Crib Girl No. 2

My next paintings will deal with characters and scenes from my Bootlegger Haze (Books One and Two) for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta.  Crib girls were prostitutes that worked in the Watering Hole–a juke joint–in Bootlegger Haze (Books One and Two).

 

***

 

Prints are available for purchase of the painting “Crib Girl No. 2.”   Prints are available in sizes 8 x 10, 11 x 14, and 16 x 20 inches (unframed).  Email Katrina Williams at stepartdesigns at hotmail dot com for prices.

Check out the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta–http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/.

 

*****

 

I am an artist and an author of southern and historical fiction and short stories.  View all my artwork on my artist page at Daily Paintworks.

Check out more of my artwork at my Art Blog–KPWms Art Studio.

Also check out my novels and short stories.  Katrina Parker Williams’ Books Available at Amazon,  Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes).

How to Revise an Essay–Citing Sources Checklist

Revising an Essay:  After you have reviewed the revision checklist for the format and mechanics of the essay, move on to the citing sources checklist.  Here are some questions to ask as you revise the essay.

 

Citing Sources in MLA Format

  1. Is your analysis objective and unbiased?
  2. Are all sources used in the essay researched, valid, and credible?
  3. Is the research taken from reliable sources?
  4. If you use quotations from outside sources, are all quotations cited properly in-text using MLA format?
  5. Have all quotations been checked against the original for accuracy and exact wording?
  6. Do the quoted passages from outside sources that are cited in the essay make sense where they are located in your essay?  Do you need to explain any portion of the quoted passage so the reader understands the reason for its inclusion in your essay?
  7. Is your evidence convincing? Do you quote the best passages from the outside sources?
  8. Have you included a works cited page for the sources cited within the essay?
  9. Have you documented the sources correctly on the Works Cited page using MLA format?

 Once the citing sources checklist is complete, you should have a well-revised essay.

 

 

Writing can be a frustrating task for many students, particularly the older students, because they believe they have lost those writing skills they once knew.  For this reason, I have written several ebooks on writing to help students just like these.  I wrote these ebooks in the manner in which I teach the skills to my students.  I learn by following step-by-step instructions, and I find that method works well for most students, especially students whose grammar and writing skills are weak.

How to Write a Basic Essay in Seven Easy Steps: A Beginner’s Guide is designed to help students break down the various steps involved in writing an essay and tackle one task at a time.  My students tend to do well on essays where they write about topics they know a lot about, and when they are allowed to choose their own topics, I receive great essays.  They know themselves better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t they be able to write an essay that focused on themselves?

How to Write an Argumentative Essay is an extension of how to write a basic essay.  Because the argumentative format is somewhat specialized, meaning some elements must be included before it can be classified as an argumentative essay, students must understand some of the terminology related to the argumentative rhetorical mode.  These terms are defined and explained in the ebook along with directions on how to organize an argumentative essay.

 

How to Write a Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide is designed for the high school or college student as well as a beginning writer or author who wants to write essays of a creative nature, or in other words, short stories.  The basics of organizing a short story is outlined in this ebook in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

 

How to Revise an Essay–Format and Mechanics Checklist

Revising an Essay:  After you have reviewed the revision checklist for the style of the essay, move on to the format and mechanics checklist.  Here are some questions to ask as you revise the essay.

Format and Mechanics

  1. Most instructors require students to type their essays using a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word.  If you are required to submit a typed essay to your instructor, answer these questions.
  2. Have you included your name, course, date, and assignment name in the upper left-hand corner of the essay?  If not, include all of these items or the items required by your instructor.
  3. Does the length of the essay meet the assignment requirements?  If the essay is too long, shorten it to fit the required length.  If it is too short, add more material to the essay to lengthen it.
  4. Is your paper double-spaced?
  5. Does your paper have a title that is centered, not underlined, not italicized, not within quotation marks, and the first letter of major words capitalized?
  6. Are your paragraphs indented?
  7. Is there extra space between paragraphs?  There should not be any extra space between paragraphs.
  8. Have you used 2nd person pronouns throughout the paper?  You should not use 2nd person pronouns—you, your, yourself, etc.  Go through the paper and edit these pronouns.  First-person pronouns or third-person pronouns used in formal essays are generally accepted by instructors.
  9. Finally, have you proofread your paper for the following grammar and mechanics errors?
  • Spelling errors
  • Pronoun errors
  • Pronoun-antecedent agreement errors
  • Verb and verb tense errors
  • Subject-verb agreement errors
  • Comma errors
  • Fragment errors
  • Comma Splice errors
  • Run-On errors/Fused Sentence errors
  • Apostrophe errors
  • Contractions (avoid contractions)
  • End punctuation errors
  • Abbreviation errors
  • Capitals errors
  • Quotations errors
  • Transition words errors
  • Awkward wording or phrasing, wordiness, incoherent sentence errors
  • Slang, informal language, or dialect errors

Once the format and mechanics checklist is complete, you can move on to the citing sources checklist.

Writing can be a frustrating task for many students, particularly the older students, because they believe they have lost those writing skills they once knew.  For this reason, I have written several ebooks on writing to help students just like these.  I wrote these ebooks in the manner in which I teach the skills to my students.  I learn by following step-by-step instructions, and I find that method works well for most students, especially students whose grammar and writing skills are weak.

How to Write a Basic Essay in Seven Easy Steps: A Beginner’s Guide is designed to help students break down the various steps involved in writing an essay and tackle one task at a time.  My students tend to do well on essays where they write about topics they know a lot about, and when they are allowed to choose their own topics, I receive great essays.  They know themselves better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t they be able to write an essay that focused on themselves?

How to Write an Argumentative Essay is an extension of how to write a basic essay.  Because the argumentative format is somewhat specialized, meaning some elements must be included before it can be classified as an argumentative essay, students must understand some of the terminology related to the argumentative rhetorical mode.  These terms are defined and explained in the ebook along with directions on how to organize an argumentative essay.

How to Write a Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide is designed for the high school or college student as well as a beginning writer or author who wants to write essays of a creative nature, or in other words, short stories.  The basics of organizing a short story is outlined in this ebook in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

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