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A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "Le Bron James" is not enough, however.No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant. For example, George Washington’s life was extremely complex – by using him as an example, do you intend to refer to his honesty, bravery, or maybe even his wooden teeth?Before you even get to this thesis statement, for example, the essay should begin with a "hook" that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.
You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think – and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five.
Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure: Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: Body 1 Paragraph 3: Body 2 Paragraph 4: Body 3 Paragraph 5: Conclusion Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay.
The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it.
Put a disproportionate amount of effort into this – more than the 20% a simple calculation would suggest – and you will be rewarded accordingly.
Only then, with the reader’s attention "hooked," should you move on to 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 are on from the beginning of your essay.Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length.Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer.In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing.For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required.The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.In fact, it took him more than 1,000 attempts to make the first incandescent bulb but, along the way, he learned quite a deal.As he himself said, "I did not fail a thousand times but instead succeeded in finding a thousand ways it would not work." Thus Edison demonstrated both in thought and action how instructive mistakes can be.Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions "happen to" them – "he scored a 97%" instead of "he was given a 97%" – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write.At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me.