AN INTRODUCTION TO WRITING AN ESSAY
1. Select the topic of your essay.
2. Choose the central idea, or thesis, of your essay. For example:
George Orwell's Animal Farm provides a fascinating allegory of life in a totalitarian society.
3. Outline your essay into introductory, body and summary paragraphs.
4. The introductory paragraph begins with an interesting sentence. For example:
The idyllic setting of life on the farm provides little clue of the harsh realities George Orwell portrays in Animal Farm.
5. After this first sentence, add your thesis statement from above.
6. Use one sentence to introduce every body paragraph to follow. For example:
Orwell's choice of pigs as the leaders of the farm can hardly be incidental.
7. Finish the introductory paragraph with a short summary or goal statement. For example:
George Orwell's Animal Farm fascinates the reader through its extreme contrast between the idyllic and brutally realistic.
8. In each of the body paragraphs (usually two or three) the ideas first presented in the introductory paragraph are developed.
9. Develop your body paragraphs by giving detailed information and examples. For example:
The struggle between the two leading pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, with its consequences felt by the population of the farm clearly illustrates how totalitarian leaders will put their own confrontations ahead of the population they are supposedly leading.
10. Body paragraphs should develop the central idea and finish with a summary of that idea. There should be at least two examples or facts in each body paragraph to support the central idea.
11. The summary paragraph summarizes your essay and is often a reverse of the of the introductory paragraph.
12. Begin the summary paragraph by quickly restating the principal ideas of your body paragraphs. For example:
Through the use of symbolism in the portrayal of characters, setting and style, George Orwell's Animal Farm delivers...
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