The following is a guide to help you if you are not sure what to write or where to put your idea in your essay.
Elements of a composition class essay:
TITLE – (required: perhaps a two-part academic title consisting of a “hook” and a “focus”)
EPIGRAPH – (optional: a suggestive quote that frames / suggests / is a starting point for your argument)
I. INTRODUCTION (required: 1-4 are optional, but try to include at least one element)
- (INTERESTING OPENING/HOOK to introduce the topic)
- (RATIONALE for writing – why is it important to discuss this topic now?)
- (BACKGROUND/CONTEXT of the topic, perhaps historical or an academic controversy about it)
- (DEFINITION/S of any key terms on which the argument of the essay depends)
- DO NOT GIVE DETAILED ARGUMENTS OR SUPPORT YET – WAIT FOR THE BODY!
- A clear and concise THESIS STATEMENT of your arguments A1, A2, A3 … An
II. MAIN BODY PARAGRAPHS (required: three or four well-developed body paragraphs)
- A TOPIC SENTENCE clearly stating YOUR argument
- SUPPORT details, explanations, and/or examples to support your argument. At least one of these should quote / paraphrases a reputable source.
- A CONCLUDING SENTENCE linking the support to your argument and thesis / transitioning to the next paragraph
III. CONCLUSION (required: 3-6 are optional, but try to include at least one element)
- RESTATEMENT OF THESIS (in different words)
- brief SUMMARY of your 3 (or more) main points
- DO NOT ADD NEW SUPPORTING DETAILS HERE – PUT THEM IN THE BODY!
- (RECOMMENDATIONS for behaviour, action, policy or research)
- (PREDICTIONS about future outcomes/changes)
- (FINAL THOUGHT about the topic, artfully expressed)
- (REFER BACK to the opening of the essay)
REFERENCE LIST – (required: a full list of all the sources you used to support your essay)
- This guide CANNOT be used as a template for writing all possible essays at university, but simply describes requirements for my course.
- See also the FAE Writing Criteria notes on “Organizational Structure” (Bilkent students only)