STEP BY STEP
( Sample outline and essay included)
STRATEGIES TO USE TO WRITE A GOOD ESSAY
• WHAT IS AN ESSAY?
AN ESSAY IS A GROUP OF PARAGRAPHS (usually 5 or more)THAT DEVELOPS ONE MAIN IDEA. THE MAIN IDEA IS BRIEFLY EXPLAINED IN A THESIS SENTENCE AND THEN EXPLAINED IN MORE DETAIL IN THE SUPPORTING PARAGRAPHS.
• WHERE DO I START?
YOU START WITH AN IDEA: SOME TOPIC YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT OR ONE YOUR TEACHER HAS ASSIGNED.
• HOW DO I WRITE A PAPER ABOUT A TOPIC?
THE BEST WAY TO START IS TO USE THE TECHNIQUE CALLED BRAINSTORMING:
Take out a scrap sheet of paper and quickly write down ALL the words and things you can think of that you may know about the topic.You can make a MAPPING CHART similar to the on the next page.
John is a student in an English class. He has decided on writing a paper about a topic his teacher gave him. The topic is “A VALUED POSSESSION.” John doesn’t have any idea what to write about. BRAINSTORMING will help him. John uses the mapping chart technique (see next page) and first draws an oval in the center of the page. Then inside the oval he writes the words “A VALUED POSSESSION.” Now John has to really THINK ABOUT
all the things he values in life. As he does, he realizes there are many things. He draws branches off the center oval and writes each possession down. Now he realizes there are a lot of things he values!
JOHN’S BRAINSTORMING MAPPING CHART
Now John has an idea of the all the possessions that are meaningful to him and now he can CHOOSE which one he would like to focus on for his paper.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
Here is a maping chart for you. Try it yourself! Put a topic of your choice in the center. Then THINK ABOUT everything you can that pertains to that topic and write them in the branches. Use as many branches as you need. Add more if necessary. Write any notes around the ovals that will help you .
YOUR BRAINSTORMING MAPPING CHART[pic]
(you can print a copy of this chart for yourself to work on) II. BRAINSTORMING PART 2: Depending on the topic, you may need to brainstorm again to FOCUS IN on your choice. Let’s go back to John for an example. After John did the first BRAINSTORM activity,he decided that he wanted to write about A RING MY DAD GAVE ME. However, again, John just couldn’t think of anything to write about the ring! BRAINSTORMING will help him again to come up with ideas to write his paper on. Using the same kind of mapping technique,John put the RING in the middle(.Now comes thBRAINSTORMING PART.) John has toTHINK ABOUT ALL the REASONS WHY he values the ring.So John takes out another scrap sheet of paper and draws another blank mapping chart on it. John THINKS HARD ABOUT THE RING AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HIM. John realizes the ring stands for several things for him: 1)When John looks at the ring he thinks about his dad. He realizes the ring stands for the love he has for his father and the love his father has for him—so there is great sentimental value. So John puts that in one of the branches. 2) Then John also realizes that his grandfather gave the ring to his dad and then his dad gave it to him. So now he realizes it is a family heirloom.He puts that in another...