How to write an essay
1. Divide it into clear paragraphs
- Introduction. General facts about the topic (1 paragraph)
- Body. Main ideas giving details or examples (2 or more paragraphs)
- Conclusion. A conclusion about what you have been writing (1 paragraph)
2. Present your ideas clearly. Use connectors to link your ideas
- To express personal opinions: In my opinion, I believe (that) / I feel (that) / it seems to me / in my view /as I see it / I think / personally
To show purpose: to / in order to / so as to / so that
To list ideas: Firstly / secondly / finally / In the first place / Lastly
To contrast ideas: However / although / in contrast / whereas / but / nevertheless / in spite of / despite
To describe a cause: Because / since / as / due to
To show a sequence: First of all / then / after that / eventually / in the end / finally
To add information: In addition / moreover / what is more / besides / too / furthermore / and
To describe a consequence: Consequently / as a result / therefore / so / thus / for this reason / that is why
To conclude the topic: In conclusion / to sum up / in short / all in all
Kinds of essay
A 'for and against' composition
Body: Give advantages and disadvantages in different paragraphs with examples to support your ideas.
[Paragraph 2 - Ideas 'for' and examples]: "On the one hand..."
[Paragraph 3 - Ideas 'against' and examples]: “On the other hand..."
Conclusion: Summarize the main idea or present a conclusion. You can give your personal opinion
[Paragraph 4 - conclusion]: “In conclusion, I think...” “In my opinion...”
An opinion composition
Introduction: Present the topic and your opinion.
Body: Give reasons for your opinions. Different ideas in different paragraphs.
[Paragraph 2]: "It seems to me…"
[Paragraph 3]: "In addition, …"
Conclusion: Summarize the main ideas. It can be similar to the introduction but presented in some other words.
[Paragraph 4]: "In short…", "I believe…"
Sample questions and answers
After a class discussion on different kinds of relationships, your teacher has asked you to write a composition, giving your opinions on the following statement:
"Living alone is more enjoyable than living with someone else"
Nowadays more people are deciding to live by themselves. Some people claim this is more enjoyable, whereas others disagree.
The main advantage of living alone is that there is nobody to tell you what to do, so you can live your life your own way. What is more, you can organise or decorate your house as you want. There is no one else to disagree with.
On the other hand it can be quite lonely for some people. Secondly, it is more expensive because you have to pay all the rent and bills yourself, so you have less money to enjoy yourself. Last but not least, it can be hard to find a nice flat for one person so you might not be able to live in the best area.
To sum up, there are strong arguments on both sides. In conclusion I believe that living alone is better for older people who have more money and like privacy, but not for young people, who need to share the costs.
You have had a class discussion on things you can do to protect the environment. Your teacher has asked you to write an essay giving your opinion on the following statement:
"The environment we live in will change dramatically in the next 50 years"
Scientists have given many warnings about the effects of human activity on the environment and I believe that unless we take drastic action, it is very likely that there will be dramatic changes in the environment over the next 50 years.
I think there will be three major changes. Firstly, as a result of air pollution, global temperature will rise and this will lead to drier, hotter summers and warmer winters. A further consequence may be more frequent natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.
The second change will be a rise in sea levels. This will mean that people living near the coast will lose their homes and have to move to new areas.
Finally, we are destroying so many natural habitats such as rainforests that many species of animals and plants will become extinct. Consequently, the world will lose a lot of its diversity.
I believe that unless we take urgent action to prevent these things from happening, the future for the environment will be disastrous and future generations will criticise us for the damage we have done.
You have recently had a class project on animal welfare and vegetarianism. Now your teacher has asked you to write an essay, giving your opinions on the following statemen.
"Some people believe that humans should not eat meat. Do you agree?"