How to write your essay: paragraphs with examples
Well-organized essays are often well-written essays. Good organization helps writers to express themselves clearly, and it also impresses readers of the essay. There are several levels of organization to keep in mind when writing an essay:
- Essay Outline
- Overall Organization of Ideas
- Paragraph Level Organization
About Paragraph Level Organization
The majority of instructors tend to focus on essay outlines and the overall organization of the writer’s ideas, believing that good paragraph organization is a topic which should have been covered extensively before a student begins writing essays. Whether or not that’s how it should be is debatable; the fact remains that many students still need guidance regarding paragraph organization even at the graduate and post graduate level. This is partly due to the fact that some students simply need more help with the subject and partly due to the fact that instruction in paragraph organization at the high school and grade school levels is often woefully inadequate.
Organizing a Paragraph
Like an essay, paragraphs can be roughly divided into three sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. These sections, however, have some distinct features present when used to construct paragraphs.
The introduction of a paragraph should only be a line or two and it should highlight the main idea the paragraph will cover and how it relates to thesis. For example:
Each of Hessinger’s short stories features a strong female protagonist, lending support for the idea that the author was a supporter of feminist topics, even if this was never explicitly stated.
The body covers the points of the main idea, links them to the thesis, and if necessary provides citations. For example:
In Antique Lace Alexa James is an old maid who has proven to be self-sufficient, and by the end of the story shows she’s far more competent than most of the other characters she comes into contact with. Jane Delancy, in Creekside Dream, is an adventurous young girl who is revealed to be a hero. Finally, Linda Rinks, the lead character in ER Reverie, is a hardened nurse whose tough exterior allows her to save lives and care for others in a world that doesn’t seem to care about her.
The conclusion of the paragraph should both wrap up the main idea and, if appropriate, provide a transition to the next paragraph. For example:
Alexa, Jane, and Linda each exemplify the concept of women as self-sufficient, competent characters. Hessinger based the characters on women he had known in real life, and these relationships likely were influential on his feelings regarding the female gender.