Practical English Usage
English grammar and vocabulary exercises
An essay is a short piece of writing that generally shows the author's view on a particular subject. There are many different kinds of essays, including narrative, descriptive, and persuasive. Here are some tips for writing essays.
Every essay or paper is made up of three parts: introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay or paper. It often begins with a general statement about the topic and ends with a more specific statement of the main idea of your essay. The purpose of the introduction is to let the reader know what the topic is. It should inform the reader about your point of view and arouse the reader's curiosity so that he or she will want to read your essay.
The introduction is followed by the body of the essay. It consists of a number of paragraphs in which you develop your ideas in detail. Limit each paragraph to one main idea. Prove your points continually by using specific examples and quotations. Use transition words to ensure a smooth flow of ideas from paragraph to paragraph.
The conclusion is the last paragraph of the paper. Its purpose is to summarize your main points, leaving out specific examples. It should restate the main idea of the essay.
Revise the First Draft
Once you have prepared the first draft, revise it. This involves rethinking your ideas, refining your arguments, reorganizing paragraphs, and rewording sentences. You may need to develop your ideas in more detail, give more evidence to support your claims, or delete material that is unnecessary. Read your essay out loud. This sometimes makes it easier to identify writing that is awkward or unclear. Have somebody else read the paper and tell you if there's anything that's unclear or confusing.
Proofread the Final Draft
Look for careless errors such as misspelled words, incorrect punctuation and capitalization. Errors are harder to spot on a computer screen than on paper. If you type your essay on a computer, print out a copy to proofread. Remember, spell checkers and grammar checkers don't always catch errors, so it is best not to rely on them too much.
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