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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.For proof of this, consider examples from both science and everyday experience.
" "No man is an island" and, as such, he is constantly shaped and influenced by his experiences.
People learn by doing and, accordingly, learn considerably more from their mistakes than their success.
The first sentence – the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective.
Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should (ideally) also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together.
If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!
Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question: "Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.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.You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position (this is also known as the "thesis" or "argument") on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that.Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay.Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.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.Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations ("no man is an island") or surprising statistics ("three out of four doctors report that…").