HERE’S AN EFEFCTIVE ESSAY FORMULA
- Make sure you know all the essay types and follow the right structure template.
- Use powerful beginnings and endings.
- Use advanced grammar.
- Use formal language.
- Use neutral language where appropriate. i.e. where personal opinion is not required.
- Structure your paragraphs well.
- Connect the ideas within and between paragraphs with, e.g. linking and sequencing words, pronouns etc.
- Use appropriate functions to introduce new ideas, e.g.
1. ESSAY TYPES AND TEMPLATES
FOR AND AGAINST ESSAY
It is a formal piece of writing in which a topic is considered from opposing points of view.
INTRODUCTION – PARAGRAPH – states the topic – talks generally about the topic without giving your opinion
PARAGRAPH 2 – presents arguments FOR
PARAGRAPH 3 – presents arguments AGAINST
CONCLUSION – PARAGRAPH 4 – presents either your opinion or a balanced consideration of the topic.
It is a formal piece of writing which requires your opinion on a topic which must be clearly stated and supported by reasons.
INTRODUCTION – PARAGRAPH 1 – states the topic and your opinion
PARAGRAPH 2 – viewpoint 1 and reason
PARAGRAPH 3 – viewpoint 2 and reason
PARAGRAPH 4 – opposing viewpoint and reasons
CONCLUSION – PARAGRAPH 5 – restateS your opinion in different words
SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS ESSAY
It is a formal piece of writing which suggests a solution to a problem.
INTRODUCTION – PARAGRAPH 1– states the problem
PARAGRAPH 2 – suggestion 1 and result
PARAGRAPH 3 – suggestion 2 and result
CONCLUSION – PARAGRAPH 4 – summarises your opinion
It is a formal piece of writing in which the writer focuses on various aspects of the topic, such as moral, political, social, etc.). Each viewpoint is supported by examples. Opposing viewpoints should be mentioned as well.
INTRODUCTION – PARAGRAPH 1 – states the topic, explaining the current or past situation
PARAGRAPH 2 – 1st viewpoint and opposing argument
PARAGRAPH 3 – 2nd viewpoint and opposing argument
CONCLUSION – PARAGRAPH 4 – summarises the topic by making a general comment about it. Your opinion can also be included.
2. POWERFUL BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS
YOU CAN BEGIN BY:
- making reference to a strange scene or situation,
- addressing the reader directly,
- asking a rhetorical question (question to which no answer is expected),
- starting with a quotation,
YOU CAN CONCLUDE BY:
- stating a personal opinion,
- giving the reader something to consider,
- ending with a quotation, e.g.
- asking a rhetorical question
3. ADVANCED GRAMMAR TO USE
What differentiates levels 2 and 3 (STANAG 6001) the most is the level of sentence complexity. In order to make your grammar use more advanced you can:
- use complex, compound and complex-compound sentences – read more about it here: LET YOUR IDEAS FLOW
- use passive voice and passive structures
- use mixed and inverted conditionals
- use inversion
- use cleft sentences
- use modals and modal in the past
- use tenses and simple grammar forms correctly
4. FORMAL LANGUAGE FEATURES
- use of passive voice
- lack of contractions
- use of impersonal structures/neutral language
- points and listing
- avoiding first (I, we) or second person (you) point of view
- full sentences
- full words
- complex sentences
- advanced grammar
- linking words
- well-developed paragraphs
- cohesion of the whole text (text constitutes one logically connected whole)
5. NEUTRAL LANGUAGE FEATURES
- passive voice
- passive structures: It is said… It is believed …
- neutral phrases: it seems that…. it appears that…, it is + adjective (obvious, clear)
- One as a subject: One may/could say that…
- There is…/There are…
- Gerund as a subject: Sending troops to the exercise seems to be a good idea.
- Infinitive as a subject: To send troops to this exercise seems to be a good idea.
6. PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE
I. Each paragraph should begin with a topics sentence which introduces the topic of the paragraph.
II. It is followed by so called body sentences which develop the topic, by providing, for example:
III. The paragraph should end with a final sentence which concludes the paragraph by:
- summarising it
- offering a solution/recommendation
- offering a warning and/or
- leading on to the next paragraph
See an example here: FORMAL WRITING – HOW TO START?
7. LINKING AND SEQUENCING WODS
They are used to connect ideas within paragraphs as well the paragraphs with each other to create a text which is one logical whole.
Rad this BLOG POST to learn more about different linking words and download a free ebook: 50 LINKING WORDS YOU MUST KNOW.
8. FUNCTIONS AND EXPRESSIONS
They help to introduce new ideas and make it clear what’s coming up next.
- To introduce suggestions: To begin/star wtith, One way to, Another solution would be …, Another way to … would be
- To express effect: thus, therefore, as a result, consequently, so, as a consequence
- To make contrasting points: yet, however, nevertheless, although, in spite of, despite, while, on the other hand, it is argued that, opponents of this view say, there are people who oppose, contrary to what people believe
Sources: V. Evans, Successful Writing Upper-Intermediate, Express Publishing, 2004