Essay Writing

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a) BASIC ESSAY (single text / topic)
Introduction
This forms the beginning of your essay. It tells the examiner, or your teacher, that you understand the question and gives them an idea of the plan that you have to answer the essay. Give a very brief summary of the text or a definition, if necessary. Answer the question that was asked, without any details or explanation. These answers will become your topic sentence / points in the upcoming paragraphs. your introduction does not need to be more than five lines in length.

Body
This portion of the essay is an expansion of the points, or the answer, that you gave in your introduction. Each segment of the essay, hence each point, should be given its own paragraph. This is the case because your aim is to express a single idea in one paragraph. State your topic sentence, or one of the points listed in your introduction. Provide at least two appropriate examples, from the text, to prove your point (these can come in the form of quotes, in relation to Shakespeare, or simply a brief retelling of the action). Expand by discussing how the previous examples prove your point, or solidifies your topic sentence. Repeat this process for each point, or topic sentence.

Conclusion
This is the end of your essay. It prevents your essay from ending abruptly and gives it a feeling of completion. A repetition of the points, or topic sentences, expressed in the body End of essay!

EXAMPLE: (Single Text)

The book Twilight is about complicated love.
a. Discuss one sign, each, that indicates that the two protagonists are in love with each other. b. In your opinion, should Edward have left Bella alone?

Introduction
Complex love is a complicated relationship between two people. In the text Twilight, Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen share an intricate interconnection that is exhausting, yet fulfilling. Bella obviously loves Edward because she was willing to become a vampire in order to spend all her days with him, while Edward displayed an extreme level of protectiveness towards Bella. Despite this fact, he should have left her alone. Body: point # 1

There is no question that Bella was deeply in love with Edward. This is the case because she was willing to become a vampire in order to spend her life with him. In doing this, she would have to sacrifice life as she knows it. She would have to give up her humanity, her family and friends; her way of life. For some-one to make this choice they would need to be deeply mesmerized by the person. Body: point # 2

Edward’s protectiveness towards Bella also indicates that he too was in love. An example of this over-protectiveness is the fact that he did not drink her blood. In denying his voracious need, as seen when he states that “you are like my personal brand of heroine”, he is making a major sacrifice. He is fighting his 'vampire nature' in order to ensure that she was safe. This can be nothing but love. Body: point #3

Despite the overwhelming love between the two characters, Edward should have left Bella alone. This is the case because he is endangering her life by his mere presence. The major point to prove this fact is that she was hunted by vampires because she was in his company. She was perfectly safe without him in her life, therefore, he should have stayed out of it. Conclusion

Based on an analysis of the relationship between Bella and Edward, one could conclude that both characters were deeply in love. This does not, however, excuse the fact that he should have left her alone. [This essay is a class construction: grade 10, 2011]

b) COMPARATIVE ESSAY (two texts, poems or short stories)
The format for this essay does not differ greatly from the basic essay. It is comprised of an introduction, body and conclusion, with a similar format. The difference is that while you are still answering one question, you are using two texts / short stories / poems to do so....
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