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You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think – and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five.
The first sentence – the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective.
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.
Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant.
Here is an example of a body paragraph to continue the essay begun above: Take, by way of example, Thomas Edison.
Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer.
In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing.Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions "happen to" them – "he scored a 97%" instead of "he was given a 97%" – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write.At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me.For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required.The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay.Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question: "Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?Before you even get to this thesis statement, for example, the essay should begin with a "hook" that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations ("no man is an island") or surprising statistics ("three out of four doctors report that…").