How can I logically divide an essay? Please give examples. 

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readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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An essay can be divided in a number of ways. Let me give you a sample here:

-The most important part of any essay is a persuasive thesis. If an essay lacks a thesis, then it will be a poor essay no matter what. So, what makes a thesis strong?

Introduction:

-A strong thesis is debatable. Not all people will agree with you. This is fine. 

-All strong introductions have a plan of attack. Tell the reader why you think your thesis is correct.

Body Paragraphs:

-All body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence. A topic sentence is an introductory sentence of your main argument.

-Body paragraphs follow the plan of attack. This is an important point. If your plan of attack has three points, then you should have three body paragraphs. 

-This is also the place to put in some good quotes. Any critical reader will challenge you. He or she will say "where is the proof?" This is where you can prove your thesis by using the text. 

Considering the Other Side: 

-This section is not essential, but if you add this paragraph, it will help your essay. You will show that you are a thoughtful thinker. It will show that you thought about other points of view and other opinions. When readers see that you are thoughtful, then they are more apt to listen to your essay—and it makes you a more critical thinker.

Conclusion: 

-The conclusion is not merely a summary. It gives closure. Average conclusions just summarize the main points; really good conclusions not only summarize the main points, but also make one logical conclusion that leaves the reader inclined to believe in your thesis.

thielgrad04's profile pic

thielgrad04 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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The best way to divide an essay logically is to organize your information into paragraphs. An essay typically follows this format: Introductory Paragraph, Body Paragraph(s) (1-?), and Conclusion. 

 A. Introduction

Your introductory paragraph should contain 3 things:

1. Give the reader a reason to read your essay: a good quote, analogy, or surprising fact that relates to the topic and that can grab the reader’s attention.

 2. Summarize the main and important points of your topic that you are going to discuss in more detail. Briefly explain why it's important, a credible person that supports its importance, or where that information came from. The examples are simple and generic, but give you a place to start. 

 Ex: “According to scientist, Stephen Hawking...” or “The Oxford English Dictionary defines xyz as…” 

 3. State your thesis statement. Depending on the length and complexity of the essay (and your teacher's instructions), a thesis sentence could be one or more sentences. Usually, a short essay written in high school consists of one clear thesis sentence. This sentence should provide the reader with a clear idea of what the content of the paper will focus on, like a road map: explains the issue or topic and its important components, addresses relevant questions, states the position being taken and the claim/evidence that will support it, etc.

Ex: Because the monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was a monstrous mishmash of the dead reborn, everyone drove him away out of fear and disgust, which turned Frankenstein into a desperate and vengeful being, doomed to wander the earth alone for all eternity. 

B. Body 

There are usually more than one, typically three, or many, many more body paragraphs.

The purpose of the body paragraph is to begin breaking down the focus of your paper into organized chunks of information. Typically, you want to start by using a good transitional sentence that tells the reader what you are talking about--usually your first main point, as listed in the introduction, followed by supporting details, evidence, or examples from your research, and finally a closing sentence that tells the reader this 1st point is drawing to a close, and the second point is up next. Second and subsequent paragraphs follow the same formula, except with new ideas and supporting evidence. Ideally, if you have two examples for the first point in paragraph one, you want to give two examples for each point in subsequent paragraphs to give them equal weight.

C. Conclusion

The final paragraph should tie up all the loose ends and remind the reader (briefly) what they had read, (focus/topic, position/claim/end result/solution, etc. (What's applicable to your particular paper)) You don’t want to repeat in the conclusion word for word what you wrote in your introduction (or any other paragraph), but you do want to hit the important points. The point is to summarize (because they may have forgotten what the first point and support was by the time they got to number seven) and provide the reader with a sense of closure on the subject.

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