I need to write an essay, but I dont know where to start?!?The essay I need to write is on the following promt: WRITING SITUATION:  "Dont start something you aren't willing to finish." This...

I need to write an essay, but I dont know where to start?!?

The essay I need to write is on the following promt:

WRITING SITUATION:  "Dont start something you aren't willing to finish." This important lesson will help you through your years of highschool and in life.

I have no idea whatsoever how to even begin with this essay, let alone write the entire thing! If you have any ideas at all that would help get my mind going, please share! maybe even an essay set up? Anything would help, thank you so much!

Asked on by hannerz831

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lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You are going to be fine writing your essay!  That is an interesting prompt to work with, and all you need is a little help.

What is going to be the main idea in your essay? The writing prompt really gives it to you, doesn't it?  The idea that you shouldn't start something you can't finish really is an important idea, and clearly, that is going to be the main point of your paper.

So, now you have your main idea.  How are you going to support that idea?  Why is it a good idea to complete things you started?  What reasons can you offer?  When you think of some good reasons, for example, maybe three reasons, you can write a thesis statement that essentially says, "Finishing things you start is a good idea because....."  Of course, you don't have to say it just like that, and I'm sure you will find a better way to express that idea for yourself.

A thesis statement on its own does not make an introduction.  An introduction is just like walking up to someone on the street and leading that person into your main idea. You would not walk up to someone you didn't know and say,"I think it's important to finish what you start."  You would lead into that idea gradually, which is what the introduction does.  Place your thesis statement at the end of your introduction.

Once you have a thesis statement that lists the reasons that support your main idea, you have a structure for your body paragraphs. For each reason that you give, you will have one body paragraph that talks about just that reason.  Give your body paragraph a topic sentence.  And be sure that all the sentences that follow in that paragraph give examples and details that support your topic sentence.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. If I were writing this essay, one of my reasons I think finishing things is important is because it teaches us commitment.  There are so many examples in everyone's life that support that idea.  I remember when I was young, my mother would not let me sign up for any extracurricular activities unless I finished the whole school year or the whole semester, whatever the time frame was.  When I wanted to take piano lessons, I had to commit to an entire year. When I wanted to join the Girl Scouts, I had to commit to an entire school year.  So these are examples that show how that main idea taught me commitment.

Once you have one body paragraph for each of your reasons, it's time to wrap it up in a concluding paragraph.  A conclusion should remind your reader what your main idea is and give the reader a review of the reasons you discussed.

Once you have done all of this, it doesn't mean you are done working. It is time to go over the essay, make sure your introduction is smooth, make sure each body paragraph keeps a good focus, and check to see if your conclusion has any new information, which it should not.  Once that is done, it is time to go over the essay again and proofread slowly and carefully.  Sometimes I do both of those steps twice before I feel I am truly done.  And it might be that you have to do both of those steps more than twice. Writing is a messy business, and it is hard to get it right the first time.  But you can do this!


lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

I don't know if you have ever played sports, but perhaps you know someone who has. Often parents stress to their children that they will finish what they start. Many parents teach their children the importance of finishing something they have started. That is one reason sports are so helpful. Being a part of a sports' team teaches children committment and dedication to a team. It is a team effort and if one team member quits, it affects the whole team.

Indeed, it is important to follow through with something one starts. When one commits to a team, everything is arranged around each individual player. It takes an individual contribution from every player. Team work is very important, but it begins with each individual player contributing his or part.

(Perhaps, you could write about how important it is to be committed to a team. Perhaps, you could come up with at least three reason it is important to finish something you have started).

Five examples:

Finish something you start because to not do so will let the team down.

Finish something you start because to not do so will affect your outlook on discipline.

Finish something you start because to not do so will leave you with a feeling of being a quitter.

Finish something you start so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment from completion.

It is important to finish something you start so that you can feel good about yourself.

(I hope this helps you get started on your essay).

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