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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.Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure: Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: Body 1 Paragraph 3: Body 2 Paragraph 4: Body 3 Paragraph 5: Conclusion Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay.
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.
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.
The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures.
He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try.
Only then, with the reader’s attention "hooked," should you move on to the thesis.
The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.
Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.
The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.