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Main Body

Moving from Paragraphs to Essays

After you have mastered the expository paragraph for any short writing assignments, you should be ready to write essays.

The structure for the essay is almost exactly the same as the paragraph. Look at the following and compare the structure.

Paragraph Structure

  • Topic Sentence (main idea sentence)
  • At least three major supporting sentences that explain the topic sentence
  • Minor supporting sentences that explain each major
  • A concluding sentence that summarizes the entire paper
  • Transitions that move the reader from idea to the next

Essay Structure

  • An Introductory paragraph that includes:
    • A clever strategy to grab the reader’s attention
    • A thesis statement (main idea sentence)
    • A plan of development sentence that explains how you plan to develop your thesis
  • At least three major supporting paragraphs
    • Each paragraph contains:
    • a topic sentence (which directly develops the thesis statement);
    • major supporting sentences that explain that topic sentence;
    • minor supporting sentences that explain the major supports in that paragraph;
    • transitions
  • A concluding paragraph which contains:
    • at least two or three sentences that summarize the major supports used in the entire paper and a sentence that summarizes the entire paper, thus wrapping it up

License

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Writing for College Introduction to College Writing with Grammar Skills Review by Cheryl McCormick, Sue Hank, and Ninna Roth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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