The Beast or How to Write Essays
When I was on holiday this summer, I went to my hometown to visit my parents. They asked me to sort out my old papers and books and get rid of the ones that I didn’t use any more. As I was doing that, I found one great picture illustrating the core of essay writing. It’s from a writing workshop I took part in about 10 years ago when I was working at school. Here it is:
This picture, called “The Beast” shows the structure and the essential parts of an essay in a very simple way. Now, this cute beast has 3 parts – the head, the body, and the tail. Similarly, any essay has 3 parts – the introduction, the main body and the conclusion.
The introduction leads the reader into the topic and has a clear thesis statement. A thesis is the main idea or opinion of the speaker or writer who then attempts to prove it. Just like this cute beast has a very visible blue horn, your introduction must have a very clear and direct statement of what you are going to talk about in your essay.
The main body of an essay, which is usually 2-4 paragraphs long, explains and proves your thesis. Just like the body of this cute beast is separated into segments, the body of an essay must be separated into paragraphs. And just like this cute beast’s body has smaller yellow horns, each of your paragraphs must have a clear topic sentence. The topic sentence, as its name implies, introduces the topic of the paragraph, which you then develop / explain and exemplify.
The conclusion goes over the same ground as the whole essay. In your conclusion you must restate your thesis and summarize your main points.
Ok, that’s theory. Now look at how I put it into practice. This is an essay I wrote one week before I took IELTS last year and got 8.5 for Writing. It’s on one of my pet topics =).
Now that you have “The Beast” and my essay, essay writing should be easy-peasy! Go ahead and try, here are a couple of topics for you:
- IELTS. “Some people believe that information available in the internet will end the era of newspapers and magazines. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.” Write at least 250 words.
- TOEFL. “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.” Typically, an effective response will contain a minimum of 300 words.
Oh, by the way, it’s totally wrong about 70 words for “snow”, but I didn’t know it at the time of writing this essay. The truth is in this Wikipedia article.