Winter/spring 2021 application opens for Merced, Riverside and Santa Cruz
Application opens for applicants for fall 2021
Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) application for fall term
Filing period for FAFSA and Cal Grant Verification Form opens for applicants to all terms (filing period open through March 2, 2021)
Fall 2021 admission application filing period for all applicants
Online application update opens for transfer applicants to report final fall grades and in-progress or planned coursework (priority deadline is January 31)
Notification of fall 2021 admission decisions begins
Deadline for applicants for all terms to submit FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Form
Notification of fall 2021 admission decisions complete
Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) application for winter/spring term
Deadline for admitted transfer students to submit Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
For students admitted for fall 2021: Final, official transcripts must be sent to the campus admissions office. Transcripts must be postmarked or electronically submitted on or before July 1.
Official AP, IB examination results must be sent to the campus admissions office. Test scores must be postmarked or electronically submitted on or before July 15.
UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health is launching an initiative aimed at safely facilitating the reopening of campus in fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, campus announced May 19.
A team led by Arthur Reingold, campus division head of epidemiology and biostatistics, and Maya Petersen, a campus associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology, is set to collaborate on the Berkeley COVID-19 Safe Campus Initiative with University Health Services; the campus Division of Computing, Data Science and Society, or CDSS; the Innovative Genomics Institute; and local public health authorities to establish a system of measuring infection rates and developing mitigation strategies on campus.
The initiative, which began development in March under the direction of UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean Michael Lu, initially focused on resuming campus public health research operations but has since expanded to study others at risk of infection in the campus community, including clinic and janitorial staff, Reingold said.
According to Reingold, the initiative will consist of linked studies focusing on three groups, including undergraduate students and staff, as well as another group consisting of faculty members, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other researchers.
Current plans project the enrollment of approximately 4,000 individuals in the studies, Reingold said. He added that the initiative found particular interest among studying undergraduate students, especially those living in Alameda and Contra Costa counties for summer 2020.
Reingold said the initiative is awaiting approval from the UC Berkeley Committee for Protection of Human Subjects in order to begin the studies’ recruitment process. Approval and subsequent recruitment is expected to occur by the end of next week and will hinge on voluntary participation in the studies, according to Reingold. Once enrolled, participants will undergo regular medical monitoring, including a blood test for antibodies.
“(Participants) would be additionally enrolled at University Health Service facilities, where we would take a swab to test for the coronavirus,” Reingold said. “The next few months, we would ask them to do things like take their temperatures each morning, report to us about symptoms, (and) we would gather information about some of their social interactions.”
Reingold added that the initiative is centered on close collaboration among members of the campus community, including Vice Chancellor for Research Randy Katz and his office, Cal Athletics and campus programs working extensively with undergraduates and summer undergraduate housing.
The initiative will also focus on a multidisciplinary approach, with communication and research being coordinated among various partners, including graduate students and staff.
“We’re particularly proud of the fact that this is truly a multidisciplinary activity involving incredibly diverse parts of the campus,” Reingold said.
CDSS is working to provide reliable data for the initiative and centering its efforts around connecting people across campus, according to CDSS Associate Dean for Research Kathy Yelick.
Results of the initiative and the concurrent summer studies are expected to inform the outcome of fall semester, according to University Health Services Assistant Vice Chancellor Guy Nicolette.
Nicolette added that the initiative’s COVID-19 testing and tracing plan is necessary in shaping campus operations, including whether in-person classroom instruction and residence hall living, as well as staff and faculty operations, can resume.
“We are hopeful that the work being led by School of Public Health researchers will inform our recovery planning and ultimately underpin our successful return to campus,” Nicolette said in an email.
Source: Hanna Lykke
A student checks his cellphone at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus in this photo from February.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
The University of California Board of Regents’ unanimous vote last week to stop requiring admission seekers to take the SAT or ACT and seek to have UC come up with its own test by fall 2025 was a landmark moment. It’s the biggest triumph yet for those who argue these standardized tests are either biased against poor families who can’t afford test prep classes or racist or both.
The disadvantages that standardized tests create for minorities are a common theme of those in the progressive community who believe white privilege or the lack of it is a dominant factor in determining whether people lead successful lives.
But while there are powerful reasons to believe that white privilege helps those who are borne into prosperous families that haven’t had to fight generations of structural racism, the enrollment numbers at UC’s 10 campuses don’t reflect this. This is why UC’s decision to break with historic norms is potentially a much bigger deal than it may now seem.
The college admissions process is essentially a zero-sum game. If one group gets more admissions, it is at the cost of another group.
And there is only one group that is far overrepresented in the UC system as a percentage of state population and K-12 enrollment, and it’s not whites. It’s Asian Americans, who have much better test scores and GPAs than any other race or ethnic group. And there is only one group that is far underrepresented: Hispanic Americans.
According to a 2019 Census Bureau estimate and official state statistics from 2019, Asian Americans made up 15.3% of the state population and 9.3% of K-12 students but were 33.5% of UC’s total 226,125 undergraduate students. Hispanic Americans were 39.3% of the state population and 54.6% of K-12 students but made up 24.8% of UC undergrads. White Americans were 36.8% of the state population and 22.9% of K-12 students but made up 21.4% of UC undergrads. African Americans were 6.5% of the state population and 5.4% of K-12 students but made up 4.1% of UC undergrads. These numbers don’t include any of the 29,754 international undergrads, who were primarily Asian nationals.
So when UC President Janet Napolitano, UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and campus officials bemoan the lack of diversity in their student bodies, most people translate that as too many whites and not enough Hispanics and African Americans. But what they are actually griping about is an admission process in which Asian American students — 1/11th of the K-12 cohort — get 1/3 of UC undergrad spots, and Hispanic students — more than half of K-12 enrollees — are 1/4 of UC undergrads.
Given Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot measure that banned affirmative action in state agencies, the UC admissions issue couldn’t be more fraught.
Yet it’s hardly a leap to wonder if UC will seek an admissions process like those seen at Harvard and other prestigious private colleges that effectively caps Asian American enrollment at about 20%. Last October, a federal judge ruled that Harvard’s policy was acceptable under the U.S. Constitution.
If UC does something alone those lines while somehow skirting Proposition 209, the fallout could be broad.
Would the perception that Hispanic students were getting in ahead of Asians with better high school records fracture the multicultural coalition that has been a dominant force in California and other blue states? In 2018, Vox writer Alvin Chang implored his fellow Asian Americans not to think this way because white conservatives with ugly motives — including the Trump administration’s Justice Department — were using this argument to try to dismantle affirmative action for historically disadvantaged groups. Don’t be “racial mascots,” Chang wrote
But what happened in the California Legislature in 2014 suggests that many Asian Americans don’t see espousing concerns about bias in college admission as about helping white conservatives win their mean-spirited crusade. They see it as about protecting their kids. Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, proposed an amendment to the California Constitution that would have scrapped Proposition 209. The proposal died after state Sens. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, and Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, came out against it after being lobbied by Asian American groups who warned the amendment would hurt Asian students.
If UC’s changes in admissions come to be seen as a subtle way to achieve Hernandez’s goal, these same groups will come out in force.
And if you think tribalism in California couldn’t get any more acute than it already is, watch out. There could soon be a new front in the culture wars.
Source: Chris Reed
UC Personal Insight Questions Examples
We are sure that you’ll get the best from UC personal statements samples. So, don’t hesitate to reading.
Answering Questions for Your UC Personal StatementWhen applying to the Berkeley personal statement or UC, you’ll be asked to answer 4 personal insight questions. Below is the list of the questions you have to prepare :
For the third consecutive year UCLA has been selected as the No. 1 public institution in the nation in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings.
In addition, of the more than 800 public and private institutions that were assessed, UCLA placed fifth among all public and private colleges in the area of environment, No. 11 overall in the engagement category, No. 16 in terms of outcomes, and No. 25 overall.
The rankings focus on student success and learning in four key areas: student resources, student engagement, educational outcomes and learning environments. The results are based on data from the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey, which collected the opinions of more than 170,000 current university students, government data sources and findings from the Times Higher Education Academic Reputation Survey.
Leading the overall list of colleges were Harvard (No. 1), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No. 2) and Yale (No. 3). Among leading public universities, UCLA was followed by the University of Michigan, second (No. 27 overall), and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, third (No. 33).
Other University of California campuses included in the Top 10 public universities were UC Berkeley, fourth (No. 34 overall), followed by UC Davis, fifth (No. 36), and UC San Diego, sixth (No. 37).
UCLA consistently performs well in multiple rankings regardless of methodology or criteria. In 2018, UCLA was named the No. 1 U.S. public university in both the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranking and Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education survey. UCLA was also named the No. 2 U.S. public university (17 overall) by Times Higher Education in its 2019 World University Rankings and No. 2 (No. 9 overall) in its 2019 World Reputation Rankings.
6. COMMON MISTAKES IN ESSAY WRITING
Taking into account that you read this article, we have every right to suggest that your writing skills are far from ideal. Don’t worry: a lack of experience can be compensated with talent and efforts. Let’s look through the list of mistakes that you should avoid in your perfect essay.
- Talking about nothing
When you are not really interested in a topic and too lazy to provide profound research, you start making up stories, fabricate facts, and repeat your thesis statement, again and again, using different words. That’s not a good idea. Your teacher has read thousands of papers, and you can’t trick him or her with your eloquence. Pull yourself together, and you will pull through it!
- Lack of concentration
Focus on your question and don’t allow your thoughts to lose the right path. An essay is not a philosophical monologue that you can start with a poem and finish with a discourse about the origins of terrorism. Your writing has to be consistent and logical!
- Including unsupported ideas
Every statement in your writing requires one or two supporting details: facts, quotes, statistics, examples, etc. You will sound unreliable and thoughtless without these elements.
- Lexical tautologies
Come on, use a dictionary! Your vocabulary is not always enough, especially when the scientific terminology is required. Sometimes, it is better to consult the thesaurus in order to make your writing more complex and serious.
- Ignore the task
As said above, there are various types of essays. Every type has its own peculiarities, structure, and purpose. You shouldn’t mistake an argumentative essay for a persuasive or analytical essay.
- New information in the conclusion
A new idea in a concluding paragraph is a bad idea. The readers don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected detail. They are eager to see the logical finale of your reasoning.
- Absence of the thesis statement
Your thesis is the origin of the entire writing. That is why the foundation should be laid in the introductory paragraph. It establishes the structure, the logic, and the purpose of your narration.
- Informal language
Leave all words like “wanna” and “gotta” for your friends’ e-mails. An informal style is unacceptable for academic papers. Use high-level vocabulary and consult a dictionary if necessary.
- Length of the sentences
Balance is everything. You can’t develop an idea properly using four words. At the same time, lengthy constructions confuse your readers and hinder from following your reasoning.
- Misuse of words
Students frequently confuse words like “effect” and “affect,” “whose” and “those,” or “quit” and “quite.” Be attentive and proofread your paper two or three times.
- Neglect references
If you use a source, it is necessary to cite it properly. Plagiarism is a common problem of the modern educational system. The consequences of plagiarism can be very serious even if it seems to be accidental.
- Punctuation mistakes
Punctuation rules can be tangled and confusing. Anyway, you have to use proper punctuation in order to present your thoughts in a clear way and to make a good impression. Be especially careful with:
- Comma splice: you should use a semicolon or add a conjunction between two independent clauses.
- Missing comma before and, nor, but, or, yet, etc.
- Missing subject or verb.
- Unnecessary comma: you shouldn’t put commas between an independent clause and its dependent clause, verb and its direct object, or two elements with a conjunction between them.
- Missing commas around interrupters: on the other hand, fortunately, in fact, etc.
7. CREDIBLE AND DUBIOUS SOURCES FOR YOUR ESSAY
Every farmer knows that the harvest will be poor if you sow a field with meager soil. The same applies to the process of essay writing. If you use unreliable and untrusted sources, your work won’t be taken seriously. That is why the skills of searching trustworthy information are so important for every writer.
Journalists have a rule that any fact should be confirmed with at least three sources. This law is also true for essays. Although it is nearly impossible to abide by this rule, the mentioned principle should be your orienting point.
The internet is the greatest storage of data in our world, but the process of picking useful information often looks like digging through the trash. Below, we’ll give some directions so you won’t be totally lost in this chaos.
First of all, you should figure out what domain names you can trust. A domain name is an indicator that shows a website belongs to a certain realm. We will discuss the prominent domains such as .edu, .org, .gov, and .com:
.Edu This domain name points to different educational institutions. Usually, these websites are under control of educational specialists, so the published information is highly reliable.
.Org The non-profit organizations have this domain name. The best thing about these sites is that they don’t try to sell you anything or to trick you in any possible way. In few words, they are worth your trust.
.Gov This domain name is used by the governmental institutions. Here, the information is relatively reliable. However, some facts might be distorted and politicized, so you’d better be careful.
.Com You should be very attentive while searching information on these websites. The commercial organizations are not always conscientious about provided data. Although some commercial sources are great, they may contain a lot of hidden or evident advertisements.
Stay away from the thousands of personal homepages and the millions of blogs. They are called PERSONAL for a reason. The bloggers offer their own point of view, and they are unlikely to be professionals. Of course, these kinds of sources might be helpful if you are looking for various opinions on your topic. However, you shouldn’t count on their credibility.
What about printed sources? Let’s see how you can separate peer-reviewed and scientific journals from the plethora of magazines.
- Scientific journals
- Terminology, formal language
- Absence of ads (usually)
- Lack of colors
- Published once in three months
- Experienced and licensed authors
- Other magazines
- Informal language, simple vocabulary
- Lots of ads
- Glossy paper and bright printing
- Published ALL THE TIME
- Almost anybody
We will clarify one more thing: fiction books are for leisure; non-fiction books are for research. Sure, you’ll have to use fiction as a source if you write a review of a book of fiction, but this fact is obvious.
You can’t rely on any Wiki-site. The explanation is simple: anybody can edit these articles, and the censors are not always there to delete all of the nonsense. Although Wikipedia is far from ideal, you should check out other online encyclopedias: World Digital Library, Britannica, Scholarpedia, and others.
Lots of library collections published online are a priceless source for your essay. You can also rely on information published online by well-known newspapers and news agencies: The New York Times, Daily News, The Washington Post, Reuters, Associated Press, etc.
No doubt, you can provide your research in an old-fashioned way and visit the library on your own. Yes, they still exist.
Remember that there is an exception to every rule. If you write an opinion paper, you may use any possible source in order to get acquainted with all existing points of view.
ALWAYS take notes about your sources. This habit will keep you safe from plagiarism accusations. Use proper citations and give credit to your sources.
Let’s summarize everything said above in this table.
- Websites that end with .edu, .org, and .gov
- Well-known online newspapers and news agencies
- Online encyclopedias
- Scientific journals
- Non-fiction books
- Public, academic libraries
- Most websites that end with .com
- Personal homepages and blogs
- Glossy magazines
- Fiction books
- Word of mouth
8. COMMON ESSAY FORMATTING STYLES
A formatting style is a particular approach to writing academic papers. As a rule, the formatting styles are standardized and accepted by the majority of educational and research institutions. Different disciplines require different approaches to citation and formatting, which is why there is no universal style. We will talk about three of the most widespread formats.
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is widely used for essays in humanities and liberal arts: literature, philosophy, music, etc. MLA style doesn’t require a title page. You type your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date in the upper left-hand corner on the first page of your paper. If emphasizing is necessary, you can use italics. A page where you mention all sources that you’ve used for your essay has the title “Works Cited.” We’ve mentioned the most significant peculiarities of MLA format. In order to get more detailed information, please, check out our presentation.
This style was created by the American Psychological Association, so it is commonly used for the essays on social and behavioral disciplines: economics, history, psychology, management, etc. Unlike MLA style, APA format requires a title page. At the top, every page has a so-called “running head” – a short version of your work’s title (50 symbols maximum). The page with sources is called “References.” This information is enough to see the difference between APA and MLA formats. Before you start formatting your paper according to APA style, consult our presentation
The title of this style comes from the Chicago Style Manual dedicated to American English punctuation, grammar, and style. It is widely used by students for formatting their papers on many disciplines. Chicago format allows writers to reference their sources with the help of footnotes and endnotes together with a bibliography page. That is the reason why this formatting style is preferable for the papers that focus on the source of origin. You’ll find more helpful information about Chicago format in our presentation.
9. GOOD TOPICS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF ESSAYS
Finally, we would like to offer you a list of 30 interesting topics that you may use for your papers. In brackets, we have included the most appropriate type of essay for every topic.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY:
Civilization vs. Animal Instinct.
Laptop vs. Desktop.
Why are dreams important for our lives?
Why can big indoor plants be dangerous?
Change of Perception Based on Attractiveness
Should photography exhibitions be censored?
Should cloning extinct species be allowed?
Are Beauty Contests a Good Thing For Young Girls?
Management and leadership are not the same things.
Animal experimentation has to be permitted.
Does computer gaming addiction lead to more dangerous consequences among children or adults?
Tyranny or democracy? Explain your choice.
1980s or 2000s? Explain your choice.
PROBLEM SOLUTION ESSAY:
How to guarantee justice for all in the USA?
How to impress colleagues at your new workplace?
Explain how writers can influence readers.
What symptoms does shopping addiction have?
Define the term “crowdsourcing.”
Define the term “Russian soul.”
CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY:
Did the Industrial Revolution Lead to a Sexual Revolution?
How does paternalism affect a child’s worldview?
What are the main causes of euphoria?
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ESSAY:
Why is name of the university the perfect place to prepare you for your future career?
How do I imagine Earth of the 22nd century?
How to live through a boring lecture?
How to read a book in 15 minutes?
My worst nightmare.
My teenage diary.
Describe the time when you realized that Santa and unicorns don’t exist.
Why have I decided to move out from my parents’ house?
What role does religion play in the novel “The Kite Runner?”
On the “Wonder Woman” movie and feminism.
On “American History X” and propaganda of Neo-Nazism.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES ESSAY:
The pros and cons of being an outcast teenager.
Advantages and disadvantages of imaginative thinking.
Let’s accept the fact that essay writing is a rather laborious process and not the easiest thing to do. It is a bitter truth. Essays are very frequently assigned for homework. It is another bitter truth.
What is the way out? You can’t change or annul the academic requirements (at this very moment). On the other hand, you can read the article below and find all necessary elements to provide a good essay, even if it is your first one.
1. 10 STEPS TO WRITE A BRILLIANT ESSAY
We should all heed the words of the 34th President of the United States. If your academic skills are not perfect, you have to plan all steps to writing an essay, and that is the first thing you should do.
– Choosing a topic for an essay
The fact that you need something to write about is obvious and undeniable. Everything becomes much easier if your teacher has provided you with a topic. Anyway, you may check our article “Original Essay Topics.” In the first place, your essay is more likely to be brilliant if you are really interested in the subject you write about. Choose wisely!
- Dig deep!
So, the next step is profound research. No matter what topic you choose, probably you’ll find enough material provided by well-educated specialists, experienced journalists, and famous writers. You should not choose some random sources; make sure that they are credible and trustworthy.
- Give yourself time
Good ideas do not always come first. Try to look at your theme from different angles, and then look again, and again. Have a rest. And look again. Your mind needs some space to imagine all possible variants of the argumentation and approaches. Organize your personal “brainstorming” session with tea and cake!
- Structure your thoughts
Creating the diagram or outline for your essay is one of the necessary steps to writing an essay. The outline has to be detailed and well-organized. You should also include some keywords or references for every point of your plan. If you are prone to creativity and imaginative thinking, you may draw your diagram in the shape of a pyramid, sun, house, or any other appropriate object.
- The thesis statement is the root of everything
On the internet, you can find specific lectures and guidelines about writing an A-level thesis. In few words, it has to be understandable, narrow, and exhaustive. A thesis statement determines the structure of your essay, so strive for the ideal.
- Just do it
Now you should start writing. Begin with the introduction, then move to the main body, and, finally, come to a conclusion.
- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Have a rest. No joke. Take a nap or go for a walk. Remember that you are not a robot that can just plug in a wall socket and be OK. You need a fresh mind to add the finishing touches.
Read your essay one more time. If you feel that you can do it better, now is the right moment. If you see unnecessary phrases – delete them. Tautologies? Use your dictionary, and find a synonym. Spelling and grammar mistakes are also not allowed.
- Fresh perspective
Getting feedback may also be considered as one of the steps to write an essay. Consult your parents, friends, or teacher before writing a final draft. Two heads are better than one. Even the greatest writers of all time shared their ideas with their wives, husbands, and close friends before publishing their books.
- End of the road
After you assure yourself that everything is done correctly, write a final draft for your essay. And read it one more time. Just in case.
Formula of the Perfect Essay
Lots of educational sources compare essay writing with the process of cooking a burger. We think that this is just not right. How dare they compare this amazing and delicious masterpiece with homework? We are not saying that the essays should be your worst nightmare, absolutely not. Anyway, you can’t create a brilliant essay without a proper recipe as well as a tasty burger, soup, or lasagna. Now, let’s throw light on all the tiniest parts of the essay structure.
2. HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION FOR AN ESSAY?
Firstly, let’s figure out the main task of the introduction. The first paragraph is aimed at grabbing the reader’s attention and making him or her continue reading. What usually draws our attention? Something interesting, mysterious, funny, and unusual. It’s a pity, but you can’t draw a beautiful flower or fluffy kitty instead of your introduction paragraph. So, how to write an essay introduction to “wow” readers?
Laughing is one the easiest ways to comfort your readers and to prepare them for a further perception of the text. Be careful with jokes! This method is not very appropriate for the essays about serious social, economic, or political issues, like homelessness, hunger, and revolutions. Moreover, make sure that your anecdote is funny not only for you, otherwise it may embarrass or confuse an average person.
Professional magicians have a simple but really effective rule: diversion is half of the success. Your topic is on gender inequality? Start your essay with a question about apples and oranges. You wonder what’s the point? It means your readers will wonder too. That’s the point.
Tell a story. Life is a collection of stories: fairy tales, cartoons, novels, comic books, etc. Why won’t you offer another one for your reader? Of course, it shouldn’t be too long or complicated. The main idea of the tale has to be relevant to your essay theme.
Predictability is boring. An irregular approach is exactly what you need in order to amaze your reader. Speak in a roundabout way, ask questions, and tell stories. Use your imagination and creativity, because you have only one attempt to attract your reader. Don’t waste it!
Jokes and stories are not enough for a good introduction. You should also include a thesis statement in the first paragraph. The thesis statement is one, perhaps two sentences at the beginning of your essay that summarizes your ideas and sets a direction and steps for your writing.
There are four major stages of writing a perfect thesis statement:
1. Answer the question.
What function does an admissions essay have in the application process, and why is it important?
An admissions essay allows the colleges to learn more about the candidate.
2. Answer the WHOLE question.
An admissions essay is the only way for the colleges to learn what kind of person the candidate is.
3. Provide examples.
An admissions essay is the only way for the colleges to learn what kind of individual the candidate is; it has to demonstrate his or her personal qualities, career aspirations, and life goals.
4. Perfection: make sure your thesis statement is immaculate.
An admissions essay is the only way for a candidate to demonstrate his or her personal qualities, career aspirations, and life goals; it is also an opportunity for colleges to hear the candidate’s personal voice.
3 HOW TO CONSTRUCT THE MAIN BODY OF AN ESSAY?
A burger without meat is worth nothing. It is the same for an essay and the main body.
The body paragraphs are the part of your essay between the introduction and conclusion. Text length depends on your word limit and your own writing energy. Every paragraph has to loosely consist of a similar number of words. This should be obvious for every conscious mind, but we’ll repeat a simple truth: one paragraph is NOT ENOUGH! Phew. It had to be done. Let’s move on to less obvious statements.
All body paragraphs should include:
- Topic sentence
- Coherent structure
- A clear connection with the thesis
- Sub-conclusion (optional)
Every paragraph represents only one sub-point in order to let your reader easily follow your reasoning. The most important, or strongest, arguments you should place at the beginning of the essay main body or save for the last paragraph because they will make a first impression and form a fine aftertaste.
All parts of the main body should be connected with proper transitions. A coherent text is more convincing and readable than a range of random arguments. You should enforce all points with one or more supporting details. Your statements will sound unreliable without facts, real-life examples, quotes, statistics, etc.
Remember that not only the general length of your writing matters. Every paragraph should be about 5-7 sentences. It is impossible to make a statement and prove it in one sentence. On the other hand, a reader loses his or her concentration while reading a long paragraph. That is why there is no need to elongate your speech artificially. You’d better think about different approaches to enhance your main idea.
One of the most popular models of writing is the five-paragraph essay. It is not always appropriate, but useful for beginners who have just started their way to academic success. The structure of this draft is simple: introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. There are two different strategies of the disposition of the arguments. The first method suggests putting your weakest point in the middle in order to circle it with stronger ones. The second approach is like a downward staircase: the first paragraph includes the cleverest argument, and the last one – the weakest argument.
A good example is the best way to explain how to write a body paragraph correctly. We will analyze a sample on “Canterbury Tales” written by Geoffrey Chaucer. The task question is: “What are the main reasons which make all the tales fantastic?”
4. HOW TO WRITE A CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH FOR AN ESSAY?
The open-ended movie intrigues; the open-ended book makes you think; the open-ended essay raises the question, “So what?” Sounds uncertain, right?
In your conclusion, you have to remind your audience why they have read your essay and why it was not a waste of time. The concluding paragraph is more likely to stick in your reader’s memory than any other part of your paper. That is why it has to be the best part of your writing. Here is a list of four good strategies to complete your conclusion properly:
- As we mentioned above, a bad conclusion frequently raises the question, “So what?” You won’t believe, but the easiest way to avoid this question is to give an exhaustive answer in the last paragraph. Restate the most significant points in the concluding paragraph and put a period. Great job!
- The reader wants to have a feeling of completeness. Your conclusion may repeat your thesis statement. Now the cycle is completed. Sure, you should not repeat it verbatim, just use paraphrasing.
- Give your reader a hint about the further development of your topic or mention other aspects that could be interesting to him or her. For example, if you analyze the influence of Impressionism on European culture, in your concluding paragraph you may remark that it also had an effect on American culture.
- You may quote or reference one of your sources. A quotation helps to specify and confirm your final point. If your essay is dedicated to a book or movie, this strategy is perfect.
- Use the Socratic method – ask a question. It may motivate readers to think over your topic or even to provide their own research. It is a brilliant strategy for those who want to stimulate thinking of their readers.
Now it’s time for some bad strategies that you SHOULD NOT use for your conclusion:
- More data, more facts, more ideas. That’s enough! Your concluding paragraph is not a good place for the information you’ve forgotten to mention in the main body. Just let it go!
- As a rule, a conclusion doesn’t exceed the limit of a few sentences. It has to be short and clear without unnecessary details.
- No doubt, you can offer new ideas and perspectives in your essay, but don’t do this in the last paragraph! If the moment of epiphany has come too late, you’d better write another body paragraph than try to square the circle.
- A conclusion is not a summary of your paper but a synthesis of your main points. If you don’t have more than one sentence to write, it is not bad. Don’t expatiate by adding the information that your readers already know.
- Stay away from the phrases like “to sum up,” “in conclusion,” etc. Your readers understand perfectly well that the last paragraph is a concluding one. Don’t irritate them!
- Don’t apologize! It is not your fault that the word limit doesn’t allow you to present all the information you have found. Avoid phrases like “this is just one side of the problem,” “you can find much more information,” etc. Don’t show that you are not sure about the quality of your essay; your readers will think the same way.
- You should follow the same style through your essay. If your tone is serious and logical, don’t try to surprise readers with an emotional or motivating phrase. It will be a more confusing than entertaining move.
5. TYPES OF ESSAYS
Do you really think that reading and understanding your topic is enough? Ha. Think again. Do you know how many types of essays exist? A gazillion. Let’s talk about them a little to figure out what you have to do with different types of essays.
As a rule, a topic for this kind of essay is a general question. Your task is to answer this question and to persuade your reader that your opinion is the most immaculate and accurate. The argumentative essay belongs to the essay types that are frequently asked as a writing assignment in both schools and colleges.
Mention well-known sources and real-life examples for your arguments to be more compelling.
“Can social networking replace real life communication?”
The main goal of the analytical essay is – what a surprise – to analyze a tendency, behavior, event, etc. This type of essay is all about logical reasoning and structure. A reader should follow your thoughts naturally and easily.
Use linking words to give a reader the right direction of thinking.
“Why do teenagers often dye their hair?”
Problem Solution Essay
This type of essay is often asked in IELTS. You state a problem and offer your solution. Mention also your expectations about the consequences that will follow.
Your personal problems are not always interesting for readers. This is not meant as an offense, but only the truth.
“How to cope with apathy after a personal tragedy?”
Using this essay, you explain an idea in a clear and simple way. You don’t prove anything: your goal is to present all the sides of the topic for your audience.
NO emotions and NO opinions. Only facts and logic.
“Explain why music is used as a medicine by psychiatrists.”
In this type of essay, you provide your readers with a step-by-step guide. In short, you write an exhaustive and detailed instruction.
Start a new paragraph for each step in order not to confuse your readers.
“How to choose a topic for a killer essay?”
Descriptive or Description Essay
You describe things, people, nature events, or your grandma’s perfect cake. You should not write about your general impression. You have to describe all the aspects of your subject: how it looks, how it smells, how it feels, etc.
Use your imagination skills in full force. Remember that you have five senses to describe the object you’ve chosen!
“Describe the best circus performance you have ever seen.”
After reading your essay, everyone has to agree with your viewpoint. Compelling arguments, eloquence, and confidence are the fundamental tools for providing a brilliant persuasive essay.
Persuasive and argumentative essays are similar but not the same! You have to change your reader’s opinion in a persuasive essay using your power of conviction.
“The death penalty must be replaced with organ donation.”
This type of essay defines a certain term, concept, or phenomenon in a very detailed way. You should investigate the origin, the usage, and the meanings.
The dictionary definition is not enough; provide deep and comprehensive research on your topic.
Compare and Contrast Essay
You have to list the differences and similarities of two events, devices, tendencies, celebrities, etc.
Push the boundaries! Compare unexpected objects: gadgets, brands, websites, etc.
“A marriage of love vs. a marriage of convenience.”
College Admissions Essay
This essay is a crucial part of the application process. The admission board wants to know more about you through your writing. For certain, you wonder how to choose a college essay topic. They are so various that it is difficult to explain in a few words. Anyway, you’d better stay away from the worst essay topics for college.
Show the admissions officers that you are not merely a handful of accomplishments but a perfect candidate for their college.
“How does my name define my destiny?”
Cause and Effect Essay
Your primary goal is to specify the reasons and consequences of a certain problem or event. You may investigate the cause, suggest effects, or do both.
Don’t skip from one aspect to another without a proper connection.
“Social networking addiction: the causes and effects.”
Advantages and Disadvantages Essay
Unlike the argumentative essay, this type of essay doesn’t defend any point of view. In fact, it represents opposite opinions on a particular topic.
Be careful with your task! Sometimes, you should also provide your own opinion as a conclusion.
“Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the industrial revolution.”
In general, a narrative essay is a first-person story about a personal experience. However, it should have some kind of point or purpose. In that case, your narrative essay is a compelling and moving example to prove your main idea.
Include all necessary parts of the story (introduction, plot, characters, conclusion, etc.
“BFF and other lies.”
Here is more narrative essay topics for your consideration.
This paper is your verdict. You evaluate and criticize an art piece or a project in order to reveal its weaknesses or underscore its strengths.
Write some general data about your essay’s subject, because your readers are not necessarily well-informed.
“Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and the concept of true love.”
Your main goal is to separate objects, ideas, or things into particular groups. You have to explain your classification in a proper way and provide examples.
Look for an unpredictable approach to the classification of usual concepts. Regular things may shine in new splendor in the right hands!
“Five types of weekends.”
Note to consider:
The descriptive essay and the narrative essay don’t require strict formatting or structure. Sure, you should be consistent and logical, but let your creativity come in full force while writing these essays. Feel free to show your creative side! We hope our tips will help you a bit with creating every type of essay.
(to be cont…)
Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts. Following this process is the easiest way to draft a successful essay, whatever its purpose might be.
There are seven steps to writing a successful essay:
1. Pick a topic.
You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.
If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?
Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down.
Finally, evaluate your options. If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic.
2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.
In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. By taking what’s already in your head and putting it to paper, you are able to see connections and links between ideas more clearly. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them.
To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines. Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas.
If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay.
3. Write your thesis statement.
Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas?
Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. For instance, if you were writing about Bill Clinton and his impact on the United States, an appropriate thesis statement would be, “Bill Clinton has impacted the future of our country through his two consecutive terms as United States President.”
Another example of a thesis statement is this one for the “Winning Characteristics” Scholarship essay: “During my high school career, I have exhibited several of the “Winning Characteristics,” including Communication Skills, Leadership Skills and Organization Skills, through my involvement in Student Government, National Honor Society, and a part-time job at Macy’s Department Store.”
4. Write the body.
The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.
Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position. Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together.
5. Write the introduction.
Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.
Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction.
6. Write the conclusion.
The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis.
7. Add the finishing touches.
After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Wrong. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details.
Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Also, make sure that your paragraph order makes sense. If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a great chocolate cake, make sure that your paragraphs fall in the correct order.
Review the instructions for your essay, if applicable. Many teachers and scholarship forms follow different formats, and you must double check instructions to ensure that your essay is in the desired format.
Finally, review what you have written. Reread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Essays are common in elementary, middle, high school and college, and you may even need to write essays in the business world (although they are usually called “reports” at that point). An essay is defined as “a short piece of writing that expresses information as well as the writer’s opinion.”
For some, writing an essay is as simple as sitting down at their computer and beginning to type, but a lot more planning goes into writing an essay successfully. If you have never written an essay before, or if you struggle with writing and want to improve your skills, it is a good idea to go through several steps in the essay writing process.
For example, to write an essay, you should generally:
- Decide what kind of essay to write.
- Brainstorm your topic.
- Do research.
- Develop a thesis.
- Outline your essay.
- Write your essay.
- Edit your writing to check spelling and grammar.
While this sounds like a lot of steps to write a simple essay, if you follow them you will be able to write more successful, clear and cohesive essays.
Kinds of Essays
The first step to writing an essay is to decide what kind of essay to write. There are several main structures into which essays can be grouped:
- Narrative Essays: Tell a story or impart information about your subject in a straightforward, orderly manner.
- Descriptive Essays: Focus on the details of what is going on. For example, if you want to write a descriptive essay about your trip to the park, you would give great detail about what you experienced: how the grass felt beneath your feet, what the park benches looked like, and anything else the reader would need to feel as if he were there.
- Persuasive Essay: Convince the reader of some point of view.
- Comparative Essay: Compare two or more different things.
- Expository Essay: Explain to the reader how to do a given process. You could, for example, write an expository essay with step-by-step instructions on how to make a peanut butter sandwich.
Knowing what kind of essay you are trying to write can help you decide on a topic and structure your essay in the best way possible.
You cannot write an essay unless you have an idea of what to write about. Brainstorming is the process in which you come up with the essay topic. You need to simply sit and think of ideas during this phase.
- Write down everything that comes to mind as you can always narrow those topics down later.
- You could also use clustering or mind mapping to brainstorm and come up with an essay idea. This involves writing your topic or idea in the center of the paper and creating bubbles (clouds or clusters) of related ideas around it. This can be a great way to develop a topic more deeply and to recognize connections between various facets of your topic.
Once you have a list of possible topics, it’s time to choose the best one that will answer the question posed for your essay. You want to choose a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow.
- If you are given an assignment to write a one page essay, it would be far too much to write about “the history of the US” since that could fill entire books.
- Instead, you could write about a very specific event within the history of the United States: perhaps signing the Declaration of Independence or when Columbus discovered the U.S.
- Choose the best topic from among them and begin moving forward on writing your essay.
Once you have done your brainstorming and chosen your topic, you may need to do some research to write a good essay. Go to the library or look on the Internet for information about your topic. Interview people who might be experts in the subject. Keep your research organized so it will be easy for you to refer back to, and easy for you to cite your sources when writing your final essay.
Developing a Thesis
Your thesis is the main point of your essay. It is essentially one sentence that says what the essay is about. For example, your thesis might be “Dogs are descended from wolves.” You can then use this as the basic premise to write your entire essay, and all of the different points throughout need to lead back to this one main thesis. The thesis will usually be used in your introductory paragraph.
The thesis should be broad enough that you have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be thorough.
Outlining Your Essay
The next step is to outline what you are going to write about. This means you want to essentially draw the skeleton of your paper. Writing an outline can help to ensure your paper is logical, well organized and flows properly.
Start by writing the thesis at the top and then write a topic sentence for each paragraph below. This means you should know exactly what each of your paragraphs are going to be about before you write them.
- Don’t jumble too many ideas in each paragraph or the reader may become confused.
- You also want to ensure you have transitions between paragraphs so the reader understands how the paper flows from one idea to the next.
Fill in facts from your research under each paragraph which you want to write about when you write the essay. Make sure each paragraph ties back in to your thesis and creates a cohesive, understandable essay.
Write and Edit
Once you have an outline, its time to start writing. Write from the outline itself, fleshing out your basic skeleton to create a whole, cohesive and clear essay.
A lot goes in to writing a successful essay; fortunately, these tips for writing essays can help you along the way and get you on the path to a well-written essay.
You will want to edit and re-read your essay, checking to make sure it sounds exactly the way you want it to. You want to:
- Revise for clarity, consistency and structure.
- Make sure everything flows together.
- Support your thesis adequately with the information in your paragraphs.
- Make sure you have a strong introduction and conclusion so the reader comes away knowing exactly what your paper was about.
- Revise for technical errors.
- Check for grammar problems, punctuation and spelling errors. You cannot always count on spell check to recognize every spelling error as sometimes you can spell a word incorrectly but your misspelling will also be a word, such as spelling from as form.
Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer. In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing. You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think – and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five.
The Five Paragraph Essay
Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure:
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Body 1
Paragraph 3: Body 2
Paragraph 4: Body 3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is – the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay. You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.
The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position (this is also known as the “thesis” or “argument”) on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that. Before you even get to this thesis statement, for example, the essay should begin with a “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on. Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations (“no man is an island”) or surprising statistics (“three out of four doctors report that…”).
Only then, with the reader’s attention “hooked,” should you move on to the thesis. The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.
Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.
Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper. In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length. If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!
Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question:
“Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?”
“No man is an island” and, as such, he is constantly shaped and influenced by his experiences. People learn by doing and, accordingly, learn considerably more from their mistakes than their success. For proof of this, consider examples from both science and everyday experience.
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. The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it. Put a disproportionate amount of effort into this – more than the 20% a simple calculation would suggest – and you will be rewarded accordingly.
DO NOT – Use Passive Voice or I/My
Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions “happen to” them – “he scored a 97%” instead of “he was given a 97%” – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write. At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me. Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.
The Body Paragraphs
The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.
For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required. The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.
A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of “George Washington” or “LeBron James” is not enough, however. No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant.
Even the most famous examples need context. For example, George Washington’s life was extremely complex – by using him as an example, do you intend to refer to his honesty, bravery, or maybe even his wooden teeth? The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them. To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life (in general) or event (in particular) you believe most clearly illustrates your point.
Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis. The importance of this step cannot be understated (although it clearly can be underlined); this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place. Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant.
Here is an example of a body paragraph to continue the essay begun above:
Take, by way of example, Thomas Edison. The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures. He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try. In fact, it took him more than 1,000 attempts to make the first incandescent bulb but, along the way, he learned quite a deal. As he himself said, “I did not fail a thousand times but instead succeeded in finding a thousand ways it would not work.” Thus Edison demonstrated both in thought and action how instructive mistakes can be.
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. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should (ideally) also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used “first” in the first body paragraph then you should used “secondly” in the second or “on the one hand” and “on the other hand” accordingly.
DO NOT – Be Too General
Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. 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.
A Word on Transitions
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.
To further illustrate this, consider the second body paragraph of our example essay:
In a similar way, we are all like Edison in our own way. Whenever we learn a new skill – be it riding a bike, driving a car, or cooking a cake – we learn from our mistakes. Few, if any, are ready to go from training wheels to a marathon in a single day but these early experiences (these so-called mistakes) can help us improve our performance over time. You cannot make a cake without breaking a few eggs and, likewise, we learn by doing and doing inevitably means making mistakes.
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.) and an allusion to the “hook” used in the introductory paragraph. 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.
In the end, then, one thing is clear: mistakes do far more to help us learn and improve than successes. As examples from both science and everyday experience can attest, if we treat each mistake not as a misstep but as a learning experience the possibilities for self-improvement are limitless.
DO – Be Powerful
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.
DO NOT – Copy the First Paragraph
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. Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible.
Taken together, then, the overall structure of a five paragraph essay should look something like this:
- An attention-grabbing “hook”
- A thesis statement
- A preview of the three subtopics you will discuss in the body paragraphs.
First Body Paragraph
- Topic sentence which states the first subtopic and opens with a transition
- Supporting details or examples
- An explanation of how this example proves your thesis
Second Body Paragraph
- Topic sentence which states the second subtopic and opens with a transition
- Supporting details or examples
- An explanation of how this example proves your thesis
Third Body Paragraph
- Topic sentence which states the third subtopic and opens with a transition
- Supporting details or examples
- An explanation of how this example proves your thesis
- Concluding Transition, Reverse “hook,” and restatement of thesis.
- Rephrasing main topic and subtopics.
- Global statement or call to action.
More tips to make your essay shine
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.
Aim for Variety
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. You don’t have to be a walking thesaurus but a little variance can make the same idea sparkle.
If you are asked about “money,” you could try “wealth” or “riches.” At the same time, avoid beginning sentences the dull pattern of “subject + verb + direct object.” Although examples of this are harder to give, consider our writing throughout this article as one big example of sentence structure variety.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
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.