Essay Format – English Composition Made Easy
An Essay or Composition is a written piece of work that is short and usually addresses just one subject. Many kids have trouble with their creative writing assignments and essays because they don’t know the essay format and so don’t have a clue on how to develop the subject matter.
I’m going to break down essay format and simplify it so that essay writing becomes a breeze!
English Essay or composition writing can be a scary prospect even if you are fluent in the English language. I’m going to simplify and demystify essay writing and help you write the best essay ever. Here’s the guide to essay writing in 4 easy stages.
Now, how to start an essay? When you first get your essay topic, read it carefully. Then you can work out the essay plan. This is the first step in writing your essay.
The essay plan is the essay structure and can be divided into 3 parts; the introduction, body of the essay and the conclusion. Each of these is made up of paragraphs. Paragraphs are a group of sentences which revolve around a single idea.
The second step is the introduction. The essay introduction is the first paragraph in composition writing. It is usually very short and sets the scene or ‘introduces’ the subject of the essay. The readers attention should be snagged right here at the introduction. If you are writing about a pet or hobby, say your pet cat, then introduce the ‘subject’ here in the introduction. The introduction paragraph can even be just 1 dramatic sentence or 2 to 3 sentences long. If it’s your cat that you are writing about, it will be introduced here, giving it’s name and a brief description in this paragraph.
The third step in essay writing is the body of the essay. The body of the essay is really the main story itself. Here you can go on to describe your pet and its habits. The number of paragraphs that make up the body of the essay depend on the number of points that you wish to write about. If we take the example of the pet cat again, then in the body of the essay, you will write about the your cat’s favorite food, the way your cat plays, any amusing habits, favorite toys and so on. You can divide up each of these points into a paragraph which will collectively make up the body of the essay. It will be good to include some relevant idioms to your essay add depth and interest to it. For some examples of idioms and their use, please watch my Idioms videos. I’m sure you will find them instructional and amusing.
Once the body of the essay is complete, it is time to wrap up your composition. This is the fourth step or the conclusion of the essay. The conclusion is literally the wrap up, where you give your impressions and complete the story. Back to the cat essay, in conclusion, you write your feelings towards your cat and perhaps how your cat expresses his feelings towards you. You could finish it with an amusing anecdote which will be satisfying to the reader.
That’s it! Your essay is complete. It is really important to have an essay outline in place before you start so that you can move from 1 point to another seamlessly. This will help you write an excellent essay effortlessly.
Here’s a quick recap to writing the best essay ever. Plan your essay and divide it up into 3 parts, the introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction is where the subject of the composition is introduced. The body of the essay is where the different aspects of the subject are discussed and in the conclusion, the essay is finished with your impressions of the subject. Final note, to be really successful in essay writing, you have to practice, practice, practice!
Sample Essay written by my 9 year old son:
I Am A Sunflower Seed
[Introduction – subject is introduced]
I am a sunflower seed. I lived in a packet of sunflower seeds on a shelf at a plant nursery.
[Body – the story unfolds]
One day, an uncle bought the packet that I lived in. He picked up my packet and gave it a good shake. Whoa! I became so dizzy. He paid the cashier and took me to a school garden. The uncle opened the packet and poured all of my friends and me into his hands. Wow! It was a beautiful garden. The uncle’s name was Mr Low. He gave a sunflower seed to each of the students in his class. I was held by a boy named Hiren.
Mr Low told the children to dig holes in the garden. So Hiren dug a hole and put me into the ground. He covered me with soil. It was so scary and dark in my hole. I started to feel very itchy and the soil was scratching me. Suddenly, a splash of water poured on me. Aaah! It was so refreshing.
Everyday, the school gardener would give us a drink of water. Hiren would take care of me by plucking the weeds around me. In a few days, my skin began to become really tight. One day, something changed. My skin burst and a silky green root came out of me. I had become a young plant!
[Conclusion – the wrap and final impressions]
Everyday, I grew bigger and bigger. One day, a bud grew from my body. The bud started to bloom. I became a big, bright and beautiful yellow sunflower! I’m still in the beautiful school garden and lots of children come to admire me everyday.
|Are your essays lacking in something? Do they lack animation? Do they drift into unconsciousness?|
Are they dead on arrival?
|We at Tusitala Revision Essays can help.“The best essays always have a pulse- they are alive.”|
Dr Janet S. Lewison, Lead tutor, Tusitala
SEED© your essays!
STATEMENT – begin with a governing idea or promise about the task set. Remember that an introduction is a contract with your reader and you must state clearly what you are doing and how you are going to do it. Outline each area of consideration in your essay. Make your point and bring in a technique too if you notice one.
EVIDENCE – Support your statement with evidence from the text. Use quotation sparingly at all times. Ellipsis is useful to separate out the parts of the evidence best suited to your point.
EXPLANATION – Explain how your evidence links to your initial opening statement. Pick out the most relevant parts of any quotation to support your explanation. Take up the individual words/phrases that clearly illustrate your original point.
DEVELOPMENT – Try to move the essay on by making another ‘statement’ that is relevant to both the title and your ‘promise’ at the beginning of the essay. Link your points clearly. Keep the sequencing of your essay coherent and clear. For example: ‘Another way in which Steinbeck shows the loneliness of Curley’s wife occurs when…’
Remember that all successful essays are well signposted, drawing attention to the relevance and purpose of each stage of the essay. This ensures that the reader does not lose their way through your essay and manages to get to the destination without getting hopelessly lost!
Write with passion. Make sure your essays have a real heart-beat!
“Remember an accomplished essay grows. SEED© it!”
SEED© Tusitala 2006