Basic elements of writing an essay

Taylor, Senior Lecturer, Nonfiction Writing Program, Department of English, Brown University Most of your writing at Brown will take the form of essays about a text or group of texts, whether your instructor calls them "essays" or not.

Basic elements of writing an essay

Of course, you can start with your own ideas, but you need to have sound research to back them up. Your instructor may give you a topic or she may give you the opportunity to choose your own.

Whatever you write about, you should know the basic elements that make up an expository essay. Structure The structure of this type of essay follows the standard essay format. You will have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

The instructor will tell you the length of your essay assignment, but, in general, expository essays follow a five paragraph rule. The first paragraph gives your introduction, the second, third and fourth paragraphs contain the body of the essay and the conclusion occurs in the fifth paragraph.

If your instructor assigns a longer assignment, you may need to include more arguments in the body of your essay.

Thesis Your essay will revolve around a single idea, known as your thesis statement.


In an expository essay, you need to build a thesis that does not rely solely on your own opinion, but instead, allows you to use research to prove that idea. This idea will go in the introduction of your essay, and the rest of your essay will relate back to this single statement.

Arguments The body of your essay will give you the chance to provide the reader with research that proves your thesis statement. If using a five paragraph structure, you will make three points relating back to the main idea.

Again, you will rely on research on not your own opinions on the topic to prove the thesis. For example, if your thesis states that a healthy diet contains fruits and vegetables, you may have arguments such as the need for the nutrients in these foods and their possible role in disease prevention.

Make sure your arguments aim to prove your thesis statement and that you do not veer off topic. Clarity When you write an expository essay, you need to make sure you write with clarity.

basic elements of writing an essay

This means you need to make sure you relate the research and other information in your essay in a way that readers will understand and follow your ideas.

A typical reader will not always notice that you have a clear way of writing, but he will notice when you lack clarity in your essay.

Lesson 5: Elements of Narrative Essay

To help you achieve clarity, look at the structure of your essay. Does every argument help prove your thesis? As well, when you share your research, can the reader understand the material and see how it applies to your argument? Does your conclusion help tie your arguments together to prove your thesis statement?All basic arguments have a few key elements as shown in Toulmin’s model above; however, when space and time allow for it, all six elements of a good argument should be included.

Writing an Argumentative Essay.

Essay Writing Developing Ideas and the Basic Elements of an Essay (Part 1)

Basic Essay. Organization Basic Essay Format A basic essay consists of three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. This basic essay format will help you to write and organize an attheheels.comr, flexibility is important. While keeping this basic essay format in mind, let the topic and specific assignment guide the writing and organization.


Language & Lit

Working with an established essay structure provides writers with the necessary elements of a successful essay. In this lesson, we'll work through the drafting process for the five-paragraph essay. An essay has three basic elements as given above.

Each of these elements plays its respective role to persuade the audience, convince the readers, and convey the meanings an author intends to convey. For example, an introduction is intended to introduce the topic of the essay.

If you are able to understand the basic elements of essay writing, you will be able to learn how to write a good formal essay, fairly easily.

How to Cite

Of course, your teacher is going to tell you that practice makes perfect and that it is essential to write an essay a day to see how you can be a good essay . An expository essay requires you to build an argument based on facts instead of your own opinion.

Of course, you can start with your own ideas, but you need to have sound research to back them up.

Elements of Essay Writing | Pen and the Pad