Wordsmith 5e Ch10 Essay

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Writing an Essay
Chapter Goal: Write a clear, organized essay that includes an engaging introduction, supportive body paragraphs, and an effective conclusion.



This ticket entitles those who have mastered the essay to move freely within the academic world, to express themselves in a way that professors will respect, and to modify the essay format to fit any type of academic writing.





Wordsmith: A Guide to Paragraphs and Short Essays, Fifth Edition, by Pamela Arlov. Published by Longman. Copyright © 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN 1-256-69932-2

ou are about to meet a form of writing that offers a ticket to just about anywhere in the academic world. When you master the fundamentals of the essay, you master a form of writing that can be used to express an opinion, analyze a poem, or compare two methods of government. Shrunk down a bit, it can be used to answer a question on an essay test or an employment application. Expanded a bit, it can be used to write a research paper, a term paper, or even a master’s thesis. Even this textbook is, in many ways, an expansion of the essay format.



Focus on the Essay: Beginning to End
4HE$ARK+NIGHT, which featured Heath Ledger as the Joker and Aaron Eckhart as TwoFace, is considered perhaps the best Batman movie to date.
The movie opens as the Joker robs a bank and continues with the villain robbing mob bosses of their money. Then the movie develops into the classic Batman versus
Joker struggle that defines many Batman stories. Though the basic plot is a familiar one, the movie is wildly entertaining. Why?
The answer is that while the movie’s structure may have been typical, the set-up, action, and ending were unexpected, well scripted, and well acted. These elements made the movie fun to watch.
Writing an essay is much like creating a movie: You need a beginning scene for the set-up (the introduction), action in the middle (the body), and a fantastic ending that leaves the audience wanting more (the conclusion). Essays may follow certain patterns, but each one will be different depending on what you as the writer want to say and how you want to say it.
Reflect on It
Take a movie you’ve recently seen, and explain the “introduction,” the “body,” and the
“conclusion.” How does this particular movie follow the organization of an academic essay? Parts of an Essay

ISBN 1-256-69932-2

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Lab for additional practice recognizing the essay.

Once you learn to write an essay, you can modify the essay form and length to suit your purpose for writing. Here’s how an essay looks: First comes an introduction that catches the reader’s attention, provides background, introduces the subject, and states the thesis, or the main idea of the essay.
Then come the body paragraphs. Each one discusses one aspect of your thesis. The topic sentence of each paragraph tells which thesis point the paragraph will develop.
The essay ends with a conclusion that sums up the points you have made and lets your reader know that you have ended the essay.
A diagram of a five-paragraph essay follows. Study it to get a mental map of the essay; then use it for planning and checking your own essays.

Wordsmith: A Guide to Paragraphs and Short Essays, Fifth Edition, by Pamela Arlov. Published by Longman. Copyright © 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc.



Structure of an Essay
s The first sentence attracts the reader’s attention. s The introduction provides background and introduces the subject. s The last sentence states the thesis (main idea) and may list the points of development.

First Body Paragraph s The topic sentence states the first thesis point that you will develop. s Support sentences give specific examples, information, and explanation of the topic sentence. s A summary sentence (optional) sums up the entire paragraph. Second