BEST English Essay Writing Tips
This video covers some useful dos and don’t for writing an English high school essay, especially under examination conditions. Here are some essay writing basics to support your learning with this video.
How to Write an Essay
• establishes the focus of the essay and the thesis (the stance you take to answer the question)
• includes the information the reader needs before continuing, e.g. the texts included
• outlines the points that will be expanded upon in the body.
• expands upon the points and ideas outlined in the introduction
• is structured in paragraphs that each have a specific focus
• paragraphs begin with a statement (like a mini-thesis that adds to the overall thesis), explain this statement using evidence, reinforce the statement and link the paragraph to the thesis and the essay question.
• In sophisticated essays there is a logical flow from one paragraph to another, and the first sentence can link the paragraphs while still establishing the new point.
• Usually the most convincing points are first.
• Restates the thesis in a more convincing and detailed way (because now the reader has had the evidence presented).
• Clarifies the purpose of the essay and explicitly demonstrates that the question has been answered.
• Should leave the audience feeling as though they have learnt something or are convinced that your thesis is correct (or at least well argued).
The best essays:
• Use a high modality and never merely suggest an idea. The writer is opinionated and firmly believes and communicates that what he or she thinks is true/correct.
Low modality: Misto may have used the shoe horn to represent both Sheila’s secret and history’s secret- the treatment of female prisoners of war.
High modality: The shoe horn is much more than a symbol of Sheila’s secret. Misto has used it to represent history’s secret- the horrendous treatment of female POWs during WWII.
• Have flair. The writer has an original voice and is not just going through the motions (technique, example, effect) but including his or her own style. The writer has spark, is entertaining and is aware that they must inform and entertain the reader. Always remember that there is a person on the other side who reads
your essay and wants to be challenged, moved, inspired and taught!
Typical voice: The stage direction ‘(fondly)’ conveys the connection Bridie feels with Sheila because of the experiences they have endured with one another.
Original voice: The stage direction ‘(fondly)’ conveys the inextricable connection that Bridie feels with Sheila- a given after years of shared humiliation, abuse and trauma.
• Are written with flawless grammar and good expression. You need to make the ideas in your essay easily accessible. Scrambling for insight within a convoluted sentence takes away from the reader’s enjoyment.
Poor: The music serves to work as an aid for Misto’s script, especially because of the dialogue it goes with.
Correct: The music is a crucial element within Misto’s script as it complements the dialogue between Bridie and Sheila.