How do I write a good essay?
I’ve never been good at writing essays…I prefer creative writing, where I can control the flow of words and such. Now my grades are suffering because I can’t write essays. What kind of words do I use to get my point across? Should my sentences be longer or shorter and where do I pause? What kind of arguments should I use to support my thesis?
Structure: Should include an introduction and a conclusion, which both clearly outline and support your argument. Aim to start every other paragraph with a topic sentence (short, to sum up the whole paragraph. google it if you’re not sure)
Your language should always be formal and your punctuation advanced. Vary your sentence structure and length- think about colons and semi-colons.
Write using the P.E.E structure- (Point, Example, Explain.) Here is an explanation of this structure.
1. First make a relevant statement or point about the text that helps directly answer the essay question…
“What fascinates me about many of Duffy’s poems is the unusual style she uses. It is so different from many other poems I have read on my GCSE course. An example of this is in her poem, ‘Stealing’. Right from the start of the poem she begins in a very ‘unpoetic’ conversational tone:”
Be sure that the point made helps to answer the question. Always introduce or explain the point if necessary.
2. Next provide a solid as evidence from the text itself to support your point (keep quotations short and put them inside quotation marks – use a new line / paragraph if the quotation must be longer than a few words…
“‘The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.'”
Notice that this quotation provides good evidence to support the point made it also has a particular style and use of language worthy of commentary.
3. Finally, what your evidence shows. For example, how it affects the reader, why the author might have chosen to use it at this point in this particular text and how it contributes to the whole text. This part of your analysis gains most marks as it allows you to look as deeply into the author’s methods and intentions as your knowledge, powers of insight and time will allow.
“This style of writing catches the reader’s attention easily and quickly because it stands out as different. The reader just want to read on – after all, who would steal a snowman? Duffy writes in a style that almost allows the reader to ‘hear’ the young person’s voice. The words Duffy chooses language and the way she structures these two sentences with the second a short ‘minor’ sentence makes the poem look and sound unusual. In class, we heard Duffy say in a video that she likes her poems read aloud, as ‘performance poetry’. This poem is no exception.”