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Academic Composition Skills

Essay Writing Basics


Jason D. Renshaw Teachers College Department of English Education Kyungpook National University

Essay Writing Basics

A. Read the writing topic below and the essay that follows it.

What are the essential skills required to write good academic essays in English?

Essay Writing Basics: Example Essay Introduction

Academic essay writing is an important skill for almost all people engaged in university level study. It is especially important for students who are pursuing advanced English majors. However, good essay writing skills appear to be significantly difficult for many students to master. One way to make essay writing easier to understand and approach is to break it down into different fundamental skills. For the purposes of this essay, I would like to present topic development, organization and progression, language use, and writing mechanics as the essential skills required to write good academic essays in English.

Essay Writing Basics: Example Essay Body Paragraph 1

First of all, writers need to know how to present and develop a general or specific topic. They need to state their topic clearly, and also clarify how they intend to break it down into smaller, interrelated ideas. Breaking a topic down in this way is a good way to explore it from different angles and present a comprehensive and convincing approach. Looking at the example of this essay, you will see that I am approaching the general topic of essential skills required to write academic essays in English by presenting the sub-themes of topic development, organization and progression, language use, and writing mechanics. However, each of these sub-topics also needs to be developed and supported. After stating each as a topic sentence, I can provide additional details to explain them, and support them with clear examples. In fact, just by reading over this paragraph again, you will see that I have done exactly those things for the main idea of topic development: I have explained what the idea means and given examples of it in use.

Essay Writing Basics: Example Essay Body Paragraph 2

Secondly, good essays need to exhibit careful organization and clear progression from one idea or argument to the next. By this I mean that each part of the essay should have a specific focus that is clearly different from the parts that come before and after it. The first paragraph of this essay introduces the general topic and how I intend to break it down. The second paragraph explains the idea of topic development, while this the third paragraph deals with organization and progression. In the same way, the following paragraphs will have different foci. The idea of progression is also very important. The essay needs to flow through a logical and convincing pattern of introducing the topic, presenting a body of ideas in support of that topic, and a clear conclusion to wrap up the ideas and pass on final unified thoughts to the reader.

Essay Writing Basics: Example Essay Body Paragraph 3

In addition to topic development and organization/progression, a good essay in English does of course need to use good language. I use the broad term language to refer to things like word and sentence choice, and grammatical accuracy and effectiveness. For example, we need to use words and terms to capture our ideas clearly. It is important to use a variety of accurate sentence models to avoid boring the reader with repetition, or else confusing them with sentences that are either too drawn out or too crowded with detail. In addition, language use can affect the reader of an essay in other ways. Poor or very simple grammar could result in the reader not respecting the writers general intelligence or becoming distracted from the writers central message. For example, it can be hard to respect a teachers recommendations about the best ways to learn English if these ideas are presented in an essay full of grammatical mistakes and/or devoid of any advanced vocabulary or expressions.

Essay Writing Basics: Example Essay Body Paragraph 4

Last but certainly not least, good essays require careful mechanics. These are the more technical aspects of the way words and sentences actually appear on the page, but they are fundamentally important. Mechanics can cover things at whole text level (like the ability to clearly separate paragraphs within the text); paragraph level (capitalization and periods to indicate separate sentences); sentence level (commas, dashes, brackets or semi-colons to link or extend ideas); or even word level (for example apostrophes and basic spelling). Clearly these mechanical aspects of written language have a major impact on how easy it is to read, and how logically ideas appear to be expressed and supported. An essay without clear line breaks, punctuation or accurate spelling can be very much like trying to negotiate a complex network of streets that have no lanes indicated, no arrows, no stop signs, nor even street names!

Essay Writing Basics: Example Essay Conclusion

In conclusion, it would be fair to say that good essay writing in English is a complex skill that can be broken down into a variety of equally important considerations. As writers, we need to be able to present and develop topics in ways that makes them thorough and convincing. We also need to organize our ideas clearly and present them in a progressive fashion. Moreover, it is important to apply language accurately, efficiently, and effectively to convey our written messages. Finally, we need to master the mechanics of writing at text, paragraph, sentence and word level to make reading smooth and easy for our readers. By paying careful attention to each of these aspects, students of English can ensure they express themselves effectively through the medium of academic essays.

Essay Writing Basics

Introduction

Body
[Main idea 1] [Main idea 2] [Main idea 3] [Main idea 4]

Conclusion

Common Problems [1]: Answer the set topic/question

A. Read the writing topic below given to you! Make sure you answer the topic and the essay that follows it. Dont get lost or waste precious writing time What are the writing about things thatto write and space essential skills required are not good academicto the topic! directly related essays in English?

Common Problems [2]: Be careful with basic punctuation

Academic essay writing is an important skill for almost all people engaged in university level study.It is especially important for students who are pursuing advanced English majors. however good essay writing skills appear to be significantly difficult for many students to master.Onewayto make essay writing easier to understand and approach is to break it down into different fundamental skills For the purposes of this essay,i would like to present topic development.organization and progression,language use,and writing mechanics as the essential skills required to write good academic Essays in English

Common Problems [3]: Format clean, continuous paragraphs

Secondly, good essays need to exhibit careful organization and clear progression from one idea or argument to the next. Secondly, good essays need to exhibit careful organization and By this I mean that each part of the essay should have a spec clear progression from one idea or argument to the next. By ific focus that is clearly different from the parts that come this I mean that each part of the essay should have a specific before and after it. focus that is clearly different from the parts that come before The first paragraph of this essay introduces the general topic and after it. The first paragraph of this essay introduces the and how I intend to break it down. general topic and how I intend to break it down. The second The second paragraph explains the idea of topic development, paragraph explains the idea of topic development, while this while this the third paragraph deals with organization and the third paragraph deals with organization and progression. progression. In the same way, the following paragraphs will have different In the same way, the following paragraphs will have diffe foci. The idea of progression is also very important. The essay rent foci. needs to flow through a logical and convincing pattern of The idea of progression is also very important. introducing the topic, presenting a body of ideas in support of The essay needs to flow through a logical and convincing that topic, and a clear conclusion to wrap up the ideas and pattern of introducing the topic, presenting a body of ideas in pass on final unified thoughts to the reader. support of that topic, and a clear conclusion to wrap up the ideas and pass on final unified thoughts to the reader.

Common Problems [4]: Line breaks between paragraphs

Academic Composition Skills

Essay Writing Basics


Jason D. Renshaw Teachers College Department of English Education Kyungpook National University