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Organization of an essay

Before you start writing an essay, you should be familiar with the basic essay organization.

Essays in English are neatly divided into paragraphs. Whether you are writing a preference, a comparison or an argument essay, the basic organization remains the same.

Introduction

The first paragraph of an essay is called the introduction. The introduction should include a hook and a thesis statement. The hook is an interesting opening statement that encourages the reader to continue reading. The thesis statement is a summary of your opinion or your preference. The introduction may also include other information that defines or identifies unfamiliar terms.

Body

The middle paragraphs of an essay are called the body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should discuss one idea or set of ideas that support your thesis statement. Make sure that each body paragraph of your essay has a unique topic. In order to thoroughly defend an opinion or preference, you should have at least three supporting reasons, or three body paragraphs.

Conclusion

The last paragraph of the essay is the conclusion. In the last paragraph you have to restate your thesis. You should also include some general comment that supports your thesis.

Note

Don’t repeat your thesis statement in the conclusion. You have to paraphrase it.

Opinion-based essay

If you are writing an essay to defend an opinion, your supporting points have to be objective. In other words, you need to defend the opinion with logical arguments.

Preference-based essay

If you are writing the essay to express your preference, your supporting points can be subjective or objective. A preference is a preference and you don’t necessarily have to defend it with logical arguments. For example, someone might support industrialization because it creates more jobs and wealth. Someone else might oppose the same because of the environmental impact: pollution, health problems. Both of these stands need to be defended logically and objectively. Here the reasons are not based on the likes or dislikes of the writer. You can’t, for example, say that you support industrialization because you like it. This is not a valid argument.

A preference, on the other hand, is based on your likes and dislikes. You don’t have to defend your likes or dislikes with logical arguments. For example, you might like skiing. You have to say why you enjoy skiing, but you don’t have to convince the reader that skiing is good.