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Guide to formatting an engish essay

Updated on January 12, 2016

The intro

First start with an introduction. Let's say you're writing an essay on the difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther king Jr. Your first sentence should be broad. For instance you might want to define civil rights or talk about how the civil rights movement lasted from 1954-1968. Something that draws the reader gradually into your topic. In the second paragraph you should connect your first sentence to what you're really talking about. Your second sentence could say during this movement two influential but different men became recognized. Then talk about what it is that your essay will be on. For the last couple of sentences mention at least three main points you are going to make. Let's say these points are their level of education, their standpoint on how to gain civil rights and their goal or goals. Mind you, you might want more than three depending on the advancement of your class.


The body.

You should have at least three body paragraphs. For every main point you stated in your introduction you should have a paragraph for. So let's say I start with their levels of education. The first sentence will say whether their level of education is the same or is different. Then from 8-10 sentences write why it's the same or different. You could mention their careers or schools they went to and so forth.

Then I move on to their goal or goals. Again state what you will be talking about in that paragraph. Then in 8-10 sentences talk about what each wishes to achieve through their speeches and activity. Mention the "I have a dream speech" and things like that.

Have a simular set-up for every main point and paragraph.


The conclusion

The conclusion paragraph is your most important. It's basically a very elegant summary of what you stated. This paragraph is where you tie it all together. It's where you explain why what you stated in the body paragraphs is important. Also, just like in science, it's the paragraph when you draw your conclusions. What does all this show. You could say whether they are more different of more similar. Or why Martin Luther King Jr. is more well known. Or even, if appropriate, which one you think was more effective.


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