You may clearly understand what an essay is and have had the experience of writing a number. However, it is important that as you advance academically you get to improve your methodology of research, writing, and organization.
Studying the different elements of an essay equips us with the skill to write an essay more effectively and, in a well-structured format. In writing, there are always areas to improve to produce quality work.
We can simply define an essay as writings on a certain subject. An essay is a well-structured piece of writing containing several elements that merge to create an argument. It describes an experience, narrates a happening, or states a problem and provides a solution.
It takes a few pieces to put together to create a good essay. In this section, we will learn the parts of an essay and how we use them to craft good writing.
The introduction part of an essay is the reader’s initial contact with your writing. It is herein that you not only introduce your topic but also give some insight into the structure of your essay.
Your task as a writer at this point is to seize your reader’s attention and make a clear argument. We achieve this by using; an opening hook or a thesis statement. To come up with a suitable opening hook or thesis statement, here are a few things you may need to consider;
In other types of essays, you may need to include an overview of the plot in the introduction. For most essays, however, the opening hook or thesis statement is always enough.
The body is the longest part of an essay. You should present, develop and defend your argument and ideas in the body.
In a typical essay, you will write a few paragraphs with the same structure but different content. Each body paragraph should have a main idea or a claim, which in turn should be supported by evidence or relevant examples. This is the general format of a paragraph within the body part of an essay;
While writing your paragraphs in the body of the essay, a good approach would be to start with a paragraph that has the strongest argument. wind up your body part of the essay with a paragraph that has the weakest argument. Make a smooth transition between the current paragraph and the next paragraph.
Mind your audience by finishing off your great essay with a great conclusion. The conclusion ought to reaffirm your thesis statement. Employ creativity and just as you did in the introduction and body. You might create your conclusion that leaves the reader with a rhetorical question that leaves them thinking more on your topic.
An essay is a literary work. It follows the general writing structure of any other work of literature. Conversely, it is possible you could have come across elements of an essay in literature. These two dynamics are not mutually exclusive to each other and sometimes merge in the creation of literary works. The setting, point of view, character analysis, and plot summary all contribute to elements of literature in an essay.
To fulfill this writing, we need to appropriately answer the question, what are the basic elements of an essay? An essay such as an internship reflection essay contains certain elements and a specific form because it serves a particular purpose. To accomplish its purpose an essay must therefore incorporate a few elements of academic writing.
This is the writer’s attitude, that is, their outlook on the subject matter. The tone of an essay is employed depending on the audience and the purpose of the essay. The purpose of the essay would be to inform, analyze, criticize, validate, etc.
The tone is achieved through the use of relevant vocabulary. There are various tones you may employ in your essay writing such as sad, humorous, formal, informal, optimistic, horror, etc. As a writer, you are not limited to using one tone in your essay.
You may have a variety of tones infused together to bring out a sense of reality. For example, you may infuse horror and humor in a certain event. However, it is important to note that there will always be a dominant tone that carries through any work of writing.
A clear thesis statement contributes to an essay bearing and structure. Remember that a thesis is not the topic itself but an interpretation of the subject matter. As such a thesis statement should leave room for argument and be supported by evidence. Here are a few elements of a clear thesis statement;
Essay structure refers to the look of an essay on a page and the building of paragraphs towards that structure. An essay is made up of several paragraphs that can either be indented or in block format. The paragraphs however are comprised of the introduction, body, and conclusion parts of an essay.
Evidence is used to strengthen your thesis statement and any affirmation you make towards your argument. There are ways in which you may infuse evidence into your writing as below:
Evidence is infused in essays in the form of summarizing, paraphrasing and quotations. Ensure to cite all the evidence within your text. This not only gives credit to the sources but also differentiates other writer’s ideas from your own.
Whether you are writing a brief essay taking a few minutes or a long narrative essay that requires critical research spanning over a few days, all essays employ elements of writing. There are predominantly five elements of writing also known as elements of style. Let’s briefly have a look at each of them.
Good writing aims its focus on a clear idea, thesis, or argument on which to build your material around. It includes secondary ideas that support and emphasize the main idea.
This is the articulate procedural arrangement of arguments. It comprises of keeping your audience focused on the central and secondary ideas. A decent organization is logical and progressive.
Always support your assertions by using: examples, quotations, statistics, etc. to clarify your thoughts and validate your argument.
Use language appropriately as it communicates your attitude towards your subject and readers. Strike a balance between formal and informal language and remain relevant to the context. For technical writing, use jargon only when necessary and useful to the reader.
Ensure your writing is free of grammatical, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. A well-written essay shows attention to detail and tidiness.
Essay terms are used when giving instructions on the requirements needed to fulfill certain writing. It is therefore beneficial to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary, rhetorical strategy, and requirements of essay writings. In the table below are a few essay terms and their descriptions.
|Analyze||An in-depth investigation of the subject, broken up into constituent parts and discussed distinctly|
|Argue||Give an opinion and support with evidence|
|Compare/Contrast||Outline significant similarities and differences of two or more phenomena or objects|
|Critique||Judging text as to the extent of truth in it pointing out its aims, strengths, and weaknesses|
|Define||An accurate description of a term or idea|
|Demonstrate||Do an illustration of how something happens or is done|
|Explain||A thorough account of the meaning of something within a certain context|
|Interpret||Establish your understanding of a particular subject|
|Outline||Give the key points to a particular topic|
|Review||Look exhaustively into a topic. This should be a critical assessment|
|State||Pointing out the major aspects of a subject without being overly descriptive|
|Summarize||Give a compressed account only highlighting the central facts|
Understanding the elements of an essay allows you to produce more quality writings. Hence mastery of all the parts of an essay, elements of literature, and essay terms are all the ingredients needed to skillfully articulate and show the elements of an essay.
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