Basic Rules for Writing an Essay

For some children and young adults, English isn’t the favorite subject in school. Part of this is because they they have trouble with reading or writing, or even both. In this article, I will go over the basic technique that got me high grades on English essay-writing assignments, in the hopes that it will help any young readers improve their grades and study habits in this area.

The opening paragraph introduces your reader to the essay.

In most cases, this is your teacher or classmates, or anyone you feel comfortable reading the essay to help you proofread it. This paragraph should clearly state your subject, along with the aspects you will be going over in the order you will be going over them. For example, if you’re writing a paper about how cats are different from dogs, you might say something along the lines of “This essay will talk about the difference in whisker length, sense of smell, and claw uses of cats and dogs.”

Each paragraph covers a different point in your essay.

The body of most school-level essays tend to be about five paragraphs long: the opening paragraph is the first paragraph, and the closing paragraph is the last paragraph; between these two are your ‘body paragraphs’ – typically, three paragraphs that talk about the points you made in the opening paragraph. Using the example we’ve come up with above, our “Cats and Dogs” paper would have the following three paragraphs:

Your first body paragraph would talk about the difference that cats and dogs have in the length of their whiskers. You might make a point in how cats have longer whiskers. This would lead you to talk about why a cat has long whiskers and a dog doesn’t.

Your second body paragraph would cover something about how a dog has a better or worse sense of smell than a cat does. Making a comment about how far away a dog can be from something it smells would support this. It would help to make a similar comment about how far away a cat has to be until it can smell something specific, like a bird or a person.

The third – and, in this case, final – body paragraph tells the reader about the difference between a dog’s claws and a cat’s claw. In this paragraph, you may answer some questions, such as why a cat can climb trees and a dog can’t, or why a dog has black or white-colored claws and a cat’s claws usually look clear.

The closing paragraph ends the entire essay.

More than that, it reminds the reader of what the essay was about and has a parting comment. That closing comment might be something along the lines of “Despite their differences, cats and dogs both share popularity as America’s favorite pets”, or comment on your own personal preference between the two in a single, brief sentence. The reminder sentence would say something such as “This has been a report on some of the differences between cats and dogs”, backing up what you’ve already told your readers.

Make sure your paragraphs are the perfect length.

Typically, the majority of essay paragraphs are about three to five sentences long. This helps keep the writer – you – on point, as well as keeps things simple so that your readers don’t lose interest in the subject you’re writing about. The worst thing you can do is have long paragraphs that go off-topic, because readers and especially teachers don’t like it, which means you might get a worse grade if you do this sort of thing. Just because you know a lot about cats because of your three-year-old cat Fluffy, doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to talk about Fluffy in your essay.

Finally, spelling and grammar are key to a high grade.

This is very important to essays, but it’s also a major part of any writing you will ever do – and not just for classes. When your written work follows the rules of proper spelling and grammar, it makes that work much more professional, which means your readers are more comfortable with the information (or stories!) you are giving them. Graded writing assignments who follow these rules are more likely to get A’s and B’s than those whose papers don’t. Make sure you’re up-to-date and comfortable with basic law of spelling and grammar for your grade level.

There are books and websites to help you develop better essay-writing habits, and I’ve listed a few I’ve found on the internet. But, remember: Your own common sense is usually the best advice that you can take in this area. If something in your essay seems out of place when you read it to yourself, don’t be afraid to take it out or ask someone for their opinion on it. The more you develop these skills, the easier it will be to write essays that score you high grades in class



1 comment

Geralda 4 years ago

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