Writing first paragraph essay

Planning and structure

The vast majority of your paragraphs, however, should have a topic sentence. Most paragraphs in an essay have a three-part structure—introduction, body, and conclusion.


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You can see this structure in paragraphs whether they are narrating, describing, comparing, contrasting, or analyzing information. Each part of the paragraph plays an important role in communicating your meaning to your reader.

Writing An Introductory Paragraph for an Essay or Research Paper

Introduction : the first section of a paragraph; should include the topic sentence and any other sentences at the beginning of the paragraph that give background information or provide a transition. Body : follows the introduction; discusses the controlling idea, using facts, arguments, analysis, examples, and other information. The following paragraph illustrates this pattern of organization.

Five-Paragraph Essay | Jackson State Community College

In front of the tiny pupil of the eye they put , on Mount Palomar, a great monocle inches in diameter, and with it see times farther into the depths of space. Or , if we want to see distant happenings on earth, they use some of the previously wasted electromagnetic waves to carry television images which they re-create as light by whipping tiny crystals on a screen with electrons in a vacuum.

Or they can bring happenings of long ago and far away as colored motion pictures, by arranging silver atoms and color-absorbing molecules to force light waves into the patterns of original reality. Or if we want to see into the center of a steel casting or the chest of an injured child, they send the information on a beam of penetrating short-wave X rays, and then convert it back into images we can see on a screen or photograph.


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In a coherent paragraph, each sentence relates clearly to the topic sentence or controlling idea, but there is more to coherence than this. If a paragraph is coherent, each sentence flows smoothly into the next without obvious shifts or jumps.

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Five-paragraph essay

A coherent paragraph also highlights the ties between old information and new information to make the structure of ideas or arguments clear to the reader. If you have written a very long paragraph, one that fills a double-spaced typed page, for example, you should check it carefully to see if it should start a new paragraph where the original paragraph wanders from its controlling idea. On the other hand, if a paragraph is very short only one or two sentences, perhaps , you may need to develop its controlling idea more thoroughly, or combine it with another paragraph. Many people believed that profiling was the best way to identify possible terrorists, but many others worried about violations of civil liberties.

While some airports began to target passengers based solely on their Middle Eastern origins, others instituted random searches instead. Now many experts in the government and in airport security are recommending the use of a national ID card or Safe Traveler Card. Back to Student Learning Tools. Attention-Getter Lead-in. Set Up for a Thesis After the attention getter or lead-in, writers need to gradually narrow the broad subject towards the thesis.

Thesis Statements A thesis statement manages to encapsulate an essay's main argument in a succinct, one-sentence comment. Sample Introduction Paragraph A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "LeBron James" is not enough, however. No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant.

Even the most famous examples need context.

Paragraphs and links

The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them. To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life in general or event in particular you believe most clearly illustrates your point. Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis.

The importance of this step cannot be understated although it clearly can be underlined ; this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place. Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective.

Choosing a Topic

Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly.

Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over. You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: the first few words.

These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing. Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another. In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another. Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them.

Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features. While it does not need to be too long — four well-crafted sentence should be enough — it can make or break and essay. Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition "in conclusion," "in the end," etc.

After that you should immediately provide a restatement of your thesis statement. This should be the fourth or fifth time you have repeated your thesis so while you should use a variety of word choice in the body paragraphs it is a acceptable idea to use some but not all of the original language you used in the introduction.