Proper paragraph structure essay

It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over. You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: the first few words.

These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing. Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another.

In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another. Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them. Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought.

As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features.

While it does not need to be too long — four well-crafted sentence should be enough — it can make or break and essay. Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition "in conclusion," "in the end," etc. After that you should immediately provide a restatement of your thesis statement. This should be the fourth or fifth time you have repeated your thesis so while you should use a variety of word choice in the body paragraphs it is a acceptable idea to use some but not all of the original language you used in the introduction.

This echoing effect not only reinforces your argument but also ties it nicely to the second key element of the conclusion: a brief two or three words is enough review of the three main points from the body of the paper. Having done all of that, the final element — and final sentence in your essay — should be a "global statement" or "call to action" that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end. The conclusion paragraph can be a difficult paragraph to write effectively but, as it is your last chance to convince or otherwise impress the reader, it is worth investing some time in.

Take this opportunity to restate your thesis with confidence; if you present your argument as "obvious" then the reader might just do the same. Although you can reuse the same key words in the conclusion as you did in the introduction, try not to copy whole phrases word for word.

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Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible. Although it may seem like a waste of time — especially during exams where time is tight — it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay. This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas — rather than simply the first ones that come to mind — and position them in your essay accordingly.

Your best supporting idea — the one that most strongly makes your case and, simultaneously, about which you have the most knowledge — should go first. Even the best-written essays can fail because of ineffectively placed arguments. Sentences and vocabulary of varying complexity are one of the hallmarks of effective writing.

When you are writing, try to avoid using the same words and phrases over and over again. If you are asked about "money," you could try "wealth" or "riches. In the end, though, remember that good writing does not happen by accident. Although we have endeavored to explain everything that goes into effective essay writing in as clear and concise a way as possible, it is much easier in theory than it is in practice. As a result, we recommend that you practice writing sample essays on various topics. Even if they are not masterpieces at first, a bit of regular practice will soon change that — and make you better prepared when it comes to the real thing.


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Sign in. Don't have an Account? Register Now! Want to see sample essays? Check out our Sample Essay section where you can see scholarship essays, admissions essays, and more! DO — Pay Attention to Your Introductory Paragraph Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible. DO — Tie Things Together The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. The topic for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence.

This topic should relate to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional hook to tie into the second paragraph of the body. The second paragraph of the body should contain the second strongest argument, second most significant example, second cleverest illustration, or an obvious follow up the first paragraph in the body. The first sentence of this paragraph should include the reverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the first paragraph of the body.

The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional hook to tie into the third paragraph of the body. The third paragraph of the body should contain the weakest argument, weakest example, weakest illustration, or an obvious follow up to the second paragraph in the body.

The first sentence of this paragraph should include the reverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the second paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional concluding hook that signals the reader that this is the final major point being made in this paper. This hook also leads into the last, or concluding, paragraph.


  1. The Five Paragraph Essay.
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  4. This paragraph should include the following:. A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essay.

    How to Write Academic Paragraphs | A Step-by-Step Guide

    It is not the only format for writing an essay, of course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind, especially as you begin to develop your composition skills. It is used here with his permission. Conclusion: Concluding paragraph: This paragraph should include the following: an allusion to the pattern used in the introductory paragraph, a restatement of the thesis statement, using some of the original language or language that "echoes" the original language.

    The restatement, however, must not be a duplicate thesis statement. This final statement may be a "call to action" in an persuasive paper. A Sample Paper 1 Stephen King, creator of such stories as Carrie and Pet Sematary , stated that the Edgar Allan Poe stories he read as a child gave him the inspiration and instruction he needed to become the writer that he is.

    The introductory paragraph includes a paraphrase of something said by a famous person in order to get the reader's attention. The second sentence leads up to the thesis statement which is the third sentence.

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    The thesis statement sentence 3 presents topic of the paper to the reader and provides a mini- outline. The topic is Poe's use of visual imagery. The mini- outline tells the reader that this paper will present Poe's use of imagery in three places in his writing: 1 description of static setting; 2 description of dynamic setting; and 3 description of a person.