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Effective paragraphs


Good essay planning really helps you construct good paragraphs. Planning an essay involves identifying its main themes and working out the best order in which to put them. Each theme usually consists of one paragraph. So, by planning an essay, you are actually working out what each paragraph will include.

Key parts to a paragraph

Point - this is your topic sentence to introduce the idea/paragraph,

Evidence/examples - why are you saying this? Who else has a similar idea to you? This helps to back up your point.

Explain/analyse - what is your point? Why have you made this point? Evaluate your quote in detail.

Link to the next paragraph and/or title.

Good writing always seems to ‘flow’. One point or idea links almost effortlessly with the next. How is this achieved? An important technique is the use of words and phrase whose job is to link, or connect, sentence and phrases. Linking phrases are an important part of writing essays and remind you to develop, qualify, and provide examples for the points you make.

Useful connecting words and phrases:

In addition , moreover, evidence to support this can be found in, an illustration of this is, furthermore, besides, likewise, finally, lastly, and, on the other hand, too, against this it could be argued, however, but, on the contrary, nevertheless, similarly, therefore, accordingly,consequently, thus, meanwhile, in the meantime, afterwards, soon, then, opposite to, beyond, here, to sum up, all in all, on the whole, on balance, it could be claimed, as a consequence to this, in conclusion, for example, for instance, such as, in fact, indeed, as I have pointed out, that is, in other words.

Referencing and checking your work

If you have taken quotes or information from a book, website or anywhere else, it’s important to make it clear where you got it from. This can be done by referencing your sources- giving credit to whoever wrote it. There are many different ways to do this, so ask your teacher how it should be done in your essay.

When you have finished writing your essay, make sure you read through and check that you haven’t made any simple errors. Make sure you don’t forget to do this in timed conditions!

Checking Through Your Work

  1. 1Check that it answers the question directly
  2. 2Correct any errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation

Tip: Use quotations sparingly. Keep them short and use them to back up your argument. Do not use them instead of writing your own thoughts. Remember to include page numbers and any other relevant information in brackets after your quote.