AD's English Literature : How to Write a Good Essay? Key Methods and Techniques

How to Write a Good Essay? Key Methods and Techniques

An essay, a literary composition, is usually a number of related sentences dealing with one main idea or topic. Often brief in scope and informal in style, the essay differs from such formal expository forms as the thesis, dissertation, or treatise. Read More Essay The essay is more compact with ideas than data or vociferation. It is more a stream of ideas and logical assertions. And that idea may be stated in a topic sentence, which is often the first sentence in the essay. The sentences that follow may be related in two ways:

(a) Each sentence should help develop the topic.
(b) Each sentence should lead smoothly into the thought of the next.

The essay may end with a clincher sentence, a sentence that sums up the thought of the essay or emphasizes some ideas. Read More Essay Sometimes the topic sentence comes in the end of an essay, and at times somewhere in the middle, and once in a while an essay may not have a topic sentence. Below are given examples of each type of essays

1.An essay having the topic sentence in the beginning:

The Englishmen felt that their trip had been successful. They certainly had been treated as subjects, but with the greatest honour and courtesy. They had been immensely   interested in all that they saw. The artists had made drawings every-where they went and a big book was written by some of the secretaries; letters have been exchanged by the rulers of the two nations. Had they opened the way for friendly trade and intercourse?   What answer bad the Emperor sent to their request?.............................Read More Teaching English

2. An essay having the topic sentence in the end:

…………………  Who first discovered the principle of gravity? Not Newton,for Galileo, who died the year that Newton was born, had measured its force in the descent of falling bodies. Who invented Lavoisieran chemistry? Read More Essay The English say Dr. Black, by the preparatory discovery of latent heat. Who invented the steam boat? Was it Gerbert, the Marquis of Worcester, Newcomen, Savary, Pipin, Fitch, Fulton? The fact is that one new idea leads to another, that to a third, and so on through a course of time until someone, with whom no one of these ideas was original combines them all into what is justly coiled a new invention.

3. An essay having the topic sentence in the middle:

…………….As we look at real glaciers among the mountains, we cannot see them move. But scientists have proved that they do and even have measured their speed. Small glaciers in the Rockies travel eight to fifteen inches per day, but big ones among mountains of Alaska move four to twelve feet. The speediest glacier of all is one that moves down the rocky coast of Greenland at a rate of fifty to seventy feet in a day. This is as far ‘Ice streams” of the Rockies go in a whole month!....................... Read More Essay

4. An essay having no topic sentence:

Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment, and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best, from those that are learned. Read More Essay

(To find the central idea in such an essay one should find the key-words and from them frame a topic sentence. The statement of central idea in the above essay is:  studies serve us in multiple ways)

Writing a Good Essay: the Principal Methods and Techniques 

1. The writer must be sure that be really baa something to say and that it is clear in his own mind.

2.He /she must build the essay around one central or main idea. Read More Essay

3. He /she should express the main idea in a topic sentence, unless he/she is sure that main idea is clear without one. It may be the first sentence or may come at the end or somewhere within the essay.  

4.He /she must make sure that the essay has unity; that is, no idea unrelated to the main idea has been allowed to creep in.

5. He /she must make sure that the essay has coherence; that is,
 (a) He /she has to arrange the sentences in natural, logical order.Read More Teaching English
 (b) The continuity of thought in the essay is unbroken.  In a narrative essay the writer ordinarily tells the events in order of time; in a descriptive essay, in order of position or place. In an argumentative or explanatory essay, he/she might go from less to more important Ideas; and
 (c) He /she has to use transitional expressions, such as the following ones, to connect the sentences within an essay.
Time: at lost, meanwhile, then, now, during, after, later, at first, by this time, etc
Place: here, there, beyond, further on, to the left, next, over, between etc.
Addition: and, besides, for example, Furthermore, another, again, too, etc.
Contrast: but, still, although, however, nevertheless, Instead, yet, etc.
Summary and conclusion: but, consequently, in conclusion, looking back, in review, finally, for this reason, accordingly, In short, etc. Read More Essay
6. He /she must develop the essay by the use of examples, details, explanation of cause, contrast, comparison, repetition, definition or by some combination of those methods.

7. After writing the essay he must go through it once again to correct careless mistakes in capitalization, punctuation, spelling, or sentence sense. Read More Essay
8. The writer can make his/her writing more interesting and meaningful by beginning sentences in different ways. Look at the following contend in the essay body.

A. Developing the main idea in an essay by giving examples.
B. Developing the main idea in an essay by giving details.
C. Developing the main idea in an essay by giving explanation of cause.
D. Developing the main idea in an essay by contrast.
E. Developing the main idea n an essay by comparison.
F. Developing the main idea in an essay by repetition.
G. Developing the main idea in an essay by defining the central idea.

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