Academic Essay Structures and Formats

Topics: Essay, Writing, Five paragraph essay Pages: 4 (1328 words) Published: November 18, 2010

For many years I have been taught that to write an essay I need to make sure I follow a specific set of steps. English class, in high school, had an essay format that consisted of an introduction, a body with at least three paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction was the most significant part of the essay because it was at this point where you explained what the argument, the purpose and the main points of it were. Furthermore, it was of utmost importance that in the introduction there was a thesis statement, which stated what you wanted to prove with the paper. However, despite my previous knowledge of writing, as I started college, English class or College Writing had a whole different concept about writing your own essays. I started reading and analyzing essays that did not had a specific conclusion or argument or that had several points of view stated the author which were set forth by giving a series of anecdotes. For the first time professors were teaching me to ponder more than the mere writings of another person. I finally comprehend that writing and reading are both ways of making and discovering knowledge.

The first semester of my college experience began with an English course called College Writing. When I started taking this course I thought that it was going to be a regular English class in which I would have to follow the same steps of writing an essay. On my first assignment I had to read “Art of the Contact Zone” by Mary Louise Pratt, which talks about how people with diverse backgrounds communicate and transmit information by contact zones. When I began reading this essay, I felt comfortable with the author’s style of writing because it was very organized and it followed the essay format that I had learned in high school by having a conclusion. The essay explained how every culture has different beliefs and discussed the importance of learning and respecting these differences. Pratt talked a lot about contact zones...
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