I. The structure of an essay:
1. The introductory paragraph – tells the reader what the essay is about.
To write it you are to do the following:
a) Introduce the topic in general.
b) Narrow the topic down to focus more on the question.
c) Restate the question in your own words and in statement form.
d) Write the concluding statement of the introduction which is the thesis statement and indicates the controlling idea of the essay.
2. The body – some paragraphs (at least two) which support the introduction.
a) Write a topic sentence that supports the controlling idea mentioned in the thesis statement of your introduction
b) Expand the idea of the topic sentence, using details, examples, facts, descriptions, personal experiences, etc. Organize the supporting sentences, using one of the following techniques: enumeration, descending order (from the most important to the least important fact), ascending order (from the least important to the most important fact), cause-effect development, comparison and contrast.
c) Write a concluding sentence which summarizes the information given in the paragraph.
3. The concluding paragraph – completes the essay:
a) Restate the thesis statement.
b) Restate the topic sentences from the developmental paragraphs.
c) State your opinion or preference, make a prediction, or give a solution.
d) Conclude with a statement that sums up the essay.
II. The sample essay
Some people believe that a mother should not work. Others argue against this. Consider the problems that a working mother faces. Do you believe a mother should work? Support your opinion.
Nowadays it is very common for mothers to work outside the home. Whether a woman should stay at home or join the work force is debated by many people. Some argue that the family, especially small children, may be neglected. The fact is, however, that many women need to work because of