best way to write an essay?
I teach English 101 on the university level, and here’s what I look for in a good essay:
Paragraph 1: in your first sentence, say something to grab the reader’s attention. It should be an interesting fact, a question, or something startling. Then talk generally about your topic to interest the reader. Your thesis should be the last sentence in the first or second paragraph (make sure you get to it by then), and it shoudl clearly state exactly what you’ll talk about. It should make a claim that you back up with data.
Body of the Paper: Each paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence. Each should stick to only one topic, and they should build on each other. Don’t skip around from one idea to another; group like ideas with other like ideas. Be sure to transition well from one idea to another. Also, make sure you deal with opposing ideas. Look at them critically, and then say why you don’t agree with them. Mentioning opposing ideas doesn’t hurt your paper, it helps it – it shows you did your research and we should trust you. It also answers the reader’s objections.
Conclusion: You don’t say “in introduction”, so don’t say “in conclusion”. Go over what you talked about in your paper, but also (and this is important), draw some larger conclusion from what you’ve said. If you proved your thesis, what can we draw from it?
Finally, cite all your sources properly, and make sure you include a bibliography.