Writing hints and tips

You can download here the pdf version of the The Student Writing Guide, designed to help you in your writing assignments in English (size: 426kb).

Structure:

A good essay should have a clear structure; introduction, body and conclusion. Here, we will look at these different elements.

Introduction Paragraph

What is an introduction paragraph?
The introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay.

What does it do?
It introduces the main idea of your essay. A good opening paragraph captures the interest of your reader and explains why your topic is important.

How do I write one?
Write the thesis statement. The main idea of the essay is stated in a single sentence called the “thesis statement”. You must limit your entire essay to the specific subject you have introduced in your thesis statement.

Provide some background information about your subject. You can use interesting facts, quotations, or definitions of important terms you will use later in the essay.

Example:

Hockey has been a part of life in Canada for over 120 years. It has evolved into an extremely popular sport watched and is played by millions of Canadians. The game has gone through several changes since hockey was first played in Canada.

 

Supporting Paragraphs

What are supporting paragraphs?
Supporting paragraphs make up the main body of your essay.

What do they do?
They develop the main idea of your essay.

How do I write them?

  • List the points that develop the main idea of your essay.
  • Place each supporting point in its own paragraph.
  • Develop each supporting point with facts, details, and examples.
  • To connect your supporting paragraphs, you should use special transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the beginning and end of your paragraphs.

Examples of transition words that can help you to link your paragraphs together:

For listing different points:

– First
– Second
– Third

 

For counter examples:

– However
– Even though
– On the other hand
– Nevertheless

 

For additional ideas:

– In addition
– Related to
– Furthermore
– Also

 

To show cause and effect:

– Therefore
– Thus
– As a result of
– Consequently

Like all good paragraphs, each supporting paragraph should have a topic sentence statement, supporting sentences, and a summary sentence.

Summary Paragraph

What is a summary paragraph?
The summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay after you have finished developing your ideas. The summary paragraph is often called a “conclusion.”

What does it do?
It summarizes or restates the main idea of the essay. You want to leave the reader with a sense that your essay is complete.

How do I write one?

  • Restate the strongest points of your essay that support your main idea.
  • Conclude your essay by restating the main idea in different words.
  • Give your personal opinion or suggest a plan for action.

Example:

Overall, the changes that occurred in hockey have helped to improve the game. Hockey is faster and more exciting as a result of changes in the past 120 years. For these reasons, modern hockey is a better game than hockey in the 1890s.

 


See examples:

 

    • You can also find a variety of different essays on the following webpage: www.ielts-blog.com