essay layout example
essay layout example
A typical essay contains many different kinds of information, often located in specialized parts or sections. Even short essays perform several different operations: introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don’t. Counterargument, for example, may appear within a paragraph, as a free-standing section, as part of the beginning, or before the ending. Background material (historical context or biographical information, a summary of relevant theory or criticism, the definition of a key term) often appears at the beginning of the essay, between the introduction and the first analytical section, but might also appear near the beginning of the specific section to which it’s relevant.
- State your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why it’s important to make that claim. Indicate, in other words, what a reader might learn by exploring the claim with you. Here you’re anticipating your answer to the “why” question that you’ll eventually flesh out in your conclusion.
- Begin your next sentence like this: “To be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is . . .” Then say why that’s the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. This will start you off on answering the “what” question. (Alternately, you may find that the first thing your reader needs to know is some background information.)
- Begin each of the following sentences like this: “The next thing my reader needs to know is . . .” Once again, say why, and name some evidence. Continue until you’ve mapped out your essay.
You should already know this, but most professors and instructors will start grading your work in their head as soon as they begin reading it. They will be sorting your essay, maybe not in terms of a grade, but most definitely in terms of strong/weak, interesting/dull, or effective/ineffective. And most will have some notion of where your essay falls on that scale before they even finish the introduction. It will be the rarest of markers who withholds judgement until the end. The introduction is something you absolutely must start strong.
Always develop an introduction that clearly sets out the aims of what you are about to write and, if applicable, refers to the subject under investigation. State what the essay will try to achieve and briefly mention some of the main points you will consider. The idea is to give the marker an overview of your argument, to show that your thought process is logical and coherent and that you have carefully thought the question through. Don’t try to go into any of your key points in depth in your introduction – they will each be covered by a full paragraph later on. If the question is an ‘either or’ or a ‘how far do you agree’ question, it is useful to set out both sides of the argument briefly in the introduction in preparation for exploring the two sides later in the essay.
In a similar way, we are all like Edison in our own way. Whenever we learn a new skill – be it riding a bike, driving a car, or cooking a cake – we learn from our mistakes. Few, if any, are ready to go from training wheels to a marathon in a single day but these early experiences (these so-called mistakes) can help us improve our performance over time. You cannot make a cake without breaking a few eggs and, likewise, we learn by doing and doing inevitably means making mistakes.
In the end, though, remember that good writing does not happen by accident. Although we have endeavored to explain everything that goes into effective essay writing in as clear and concise a way as possible, it is much easier in theory than it is in practice.
Thesis: The Hockey Hall of Fame is full of sights, sounds, and experiences that will delight hockey fans of all ages.
Concluding Sentence: Shortening the school year would be a great way to improve the quality of life for students, teachers, and parents while saving money for districts and improving academic results.
Page Numbers: Last name and page number must be put on every page of the essay as a “header”. Otherwise, it would go in place of the text.
All of the information that is used within the essay must be present within the works cited page (in APA, that’s called a reference page)