Writing Essays. . .. . . 5 Part Form
Disclaimer!!!This is ONE model of essay writing -- a good one, but not the only one!Variations exist regardingMethod of citingUse of first personForm of the introductionUse of present tense, etc.Your teacher may give special instructions. Follow them!
What is an Essay?Essay Purpose
Essay PurposeAn essay is a form of writing in which you try to prove a point or support an opinion (thesis)You must give reasons for your ideas, and evidence to back up what you sayYou must give the sources of your evidence if you use them!
A Report is DifferentIn a report, you are presenting information that you have collected on a topicYou are not necessarily supporting a point/an opinion
OpinionsEVERYTHING you write is an opinion, whether it is a persuasive essay, an opinion essay, or a research essayIt becomes convincing only when you back up your opinion!!
OpinionsThere are opinions, and then there are opinions . . .You may be entitled to your opinion, butYour opinion needs to be supported if you plan on convincing anyone else!!!
Support Opinions WithFactsSpecific reasonsLogical argumentsSpecific examplesSupport of expertsQuotationsNOT just because YOU say so!!!
How Should I Write My Essay?Essay Style
Essay Style: FormalAn essay is not a chat room!Write in full sentences, not point formNever use slang, dialect, or short formsAvoid contractions:Use did not instead of didntUse would have instead of wouldve or, even worse, would of!!!
Essay Style: ObjectiveUse third person, unless your teacher gives you permission to use first personUse: he, she, it, they, those, them (3rd)Do not use: you, your (2nd)I, me, we, us, myself (1st)
How Do I Set Up My Essay?Essay Organization
Opening CommentsIntroduce your topic in general termsGet the interest of your readersExample:
Students in public high schools are allowed to choose the clothes that suit their personality and make them feel comfortable. Catholic students, however, are denied this choice.
ThesisA thesis is made up of two parts:StatementPlanThe statement is what you are trying to proveThe plan is your list of proofs/ reasons/arguments
ExamplesStudents in Catholic high schools wear uniforms.
Why should high school students have to wear uniforms?
Students should not have to wear uniforms because I think they are ugly.States the obvious!Not a statement.Not provable!
Students in high school should not have to wear uniforms because they are too expensive, they are uncomfortable, and they limit students right to self-expression.Good! Students in high school should not have to wear uniforms because they are too expensive, they are uncomfortable, and they limit students right to self-expression.
ExamplesIt is a good policy for high school students to wear uniforms because this prevents them wearing gang related clothing, gives them a sense of belonging, and stops people from judging others based on the way they dress.Good!It is a good policy for high school students to wear uniforms because this prevents them wearing gang related clothing, it gives them a sense of belonging, and it stops people from judging others based on the way they dress.
Topic SentencesEvery time you start a new paragraph (argument) you must start with a topic sentence that reminds the reader of your reasonUse key words from the thesis
ExamplesThesis: Students in high school should not have to wear uniforms because they are 1. too expensive, they are 2. uncomfortable, and they 3. limit students right to self-expression.Topic Sentences: Special uniforms cost much more than regular clothingThe uniforms students are required to wear are very uncomfortableIf all students are forced to dress the same this violates their freedom of expression
EvidenceAfter the topic sentence, you give reasons, details, examples, and quotations that prove your pointYour opinion is only as good as the evidence that backs it up!!
ConclusionStart the conclusion by restating your thesis and argumentsFinish up withSummary commentsApplicationSuggestion for further thought
Citing SourcesDont Plagiarize!!
The Catechism: Works CitedCatholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Ottawa: Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, 1994.Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. New York: Image, 1995.
OrCatholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000.
There are many versions!http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/ http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
In-Text citation of The Catechism: The one God is triune in nature and consists of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Catechism 1280). Because of this
Direct quotationNote: cite section or paragraph instead of page number.
In-Text citation of The Catechism: Because God consists of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Catechism 1280) we always end our prayers by saying
ParaphraseNote: cite section or paragraph instead of page number.
In-Text Citation of MoviesInclude the work in the text lead up, not in a parenthetical referenceE.g.:
Terry Gilliams film 12 Monkeys portrays James Cole as a Christ figure who is willing to sacrifice his life to save humanity.
Works Cited12 Monkeys. Dir. Terry Gilliam. Perf. Bruce Willis, Madeline Stowe, Brad Pitt. DVD. Paramount, 1998.
In-Text Citation of Web Sites ALocal Hero teaches about the importance of respecting the environment, Any movie that can raise the consciousness of its audience without preaching is a rarity, and this beautiful film manages to do just that. (Internet Movie Database 8). In view of this, all
Citing IMDbInternet Movie Database. Local Hero.2008. 3 March 2008. Date of site, then date you accessed the site.