As a side note, all of this information is geared towards SL English Lang and Lit, but I’m sure that with a few adjustments it could be applied to HL as well.
So let’s get started:
How to Structure Your Essay:
A. Introductory Paragraph
a) Motivator (address the question or statement)
b) Background Summary (brief background to the texts and authors)
c) Thesis (what are you trying to prove?)
d) Focus (how will you prove your thesis? This is where you state your arguments)
B. Points (aka each body paragraph embodies this layout-aim for 3-4 paragraphs)
a) Point (topic sentence)
b) Evidence (quotation or description)
c) Analysis (specific focus on literary techniques)
d) Link (back to the topic in the question)
C. Concluding Paragraph
a) State Thesis (using different words/phrases)
b) Summary of Main Arguments (do not include new information)
c) Clincher (final sentence: should leave examiner satisfied you have covered all areas, but should also attempt to provoke further inquiry, or new dimension of looking at question)
If you want to see an essay that I actually wrote following this template, subscribe to our mailing list (by going on the subscribe tab above) because I can’t post it here due to plagiarism concerns + functionality.
So, this is the structure you want to follow. A common query that students have is in regards to how they should mention their quotes whilst writing their essays. What I like to do is integrate them really fluidly within my paragraphs; this takes practice, but here are a few examples below from my writing:
Natsume identifies intricacies and details in British culture that seem entirely foreign to him coming from Japan; he notes the impeccable fashion sense that surrounds him: ‘herds of women walk around like horned lionesses with nets on their faces’and notices a distinct height difference ‘but when we rush past one another I see he is about two inches taller than me’ (Natsume in Phillips, R161). Natsume’s experience as an outsider in Britain, according to Caryl Philips, ‘helped him to become the fully mature and outstandingly gifted writer that he subsequently became’ (Phillips, R161).
I hope you can see what I’m trying to do; note that each quote naturally compliments the flow of the paragraph. You never need to explicitly state that you are about to use a quote; rather, just insert it within your body as nicely as you can. I’ll be sending out more examples via email later.
The thesis statement of your essay is also extremely important; many English teachers have told me that often to gauge a writer’s quality they examine his thesis statement. The more clear and compelling it is, the more credibility you gain as a writer in their eyes. Remember that you should be aiming to provide an argument; otherwise, your whole essay won’t really have any meaning or substance (every single word you write should in some way back that thesis up).
In this novel, Kanye West argues that we cannot justify the usage of drones and that their increased prevalence is harmful to members of society.
Though there may be considerable advantages to the usage of drones, West attempts to demonstrate that the worrying possibilities of mass surveillance and civilian losses, specifically in regards to the recent incidents in Orange County, are ultimately too precarious a path to follow.
I’m going to be honest: You should try to use flowery language to spice up your essays. It’s just the truth. Before you go sit that exam, go on www.thesaurus.com and try to replace some common words you’d use with some nice, juicy ones.
In terms of transitioning between paragraphs aim to be clear and simple. ‘It is possible to see the idea of..’ or ‘One argument put forward is…’ are pretty good.
Now, listen up: I’m about to share a very valuable piece of advice with all of you:
Get your whole class to create a shared Google Doc with the following table:
Giga OM, 30 August 2012
The Indian government has announced an aggressive $4B plan to get 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2020. Here are at least five hurdles I see for the plan.
The Indian government has reportedly passed a $4.13 billion plan to boost the production of electric and hybrid vehicles, with a goal to have 6 million green vehicles on its roads by 2020.
The proclamation could provide a new market for all our electric and hybrid vehicle-focused entrepreneurs looking to find new markets. However, there are at least 5 things I think you should know about this plan:
1). From 0 to 60:India’s electric car market is non-existent right now. The country has a domestic electric car maker Reva, which has struggled over the years, but which now has the support of Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, which bought the company in 2010. Where are these vehicles going to come from? Probably China, if the Chinese electric car market kicks into gear anytime soon.
2). Lofty goal:The Indian government has long made lofty proclamations like this — Indians call them aspirational, not necessarily goals that have to be met on time. The country’s solar power goal is similarly eye-openingly high. In comparison, China has a similar plan to boost electric vehicle production, but is only shooting for 500,000 electric and hybrid cars on its roads by 2015.
3). Totally different vehicle buyer:The Indian vehicle buyer fits a totally different profile than the American, European or Japanese electric car buyer. The electric car buyer in these developed markets is willing to pay a premium for an electric or hybrid car — which are generally more expensive now than their gas counterparts — for the opportunity to be at the forefront of technology and greener vehicles. Most Indians are ultra price sensitive and won’t pay extra costs for luxury or greener goods. There is a growing Indian population that are looking to pay a good deal for vehicles, but a lot of those buyers want western models and brands like SUVs and classic luxury cars. These are generalizations but you get the picture.
4). Two wheelers are a bright spot: The Indian government says a lot of these aspirational vehicles will be two-wheelers, which could have more of a chance of selling in India. But that will depend on the emergence and popularity of an electric scooter or motorcycle being produced at a very low cost, as two-wheeler buyers in India tend to be even more price sensitive. Manufacturers in China are working on these now, so we’ll see how popular these become in India.
5). Power grid problem:If the recent blackouts are any indicator, India has some real problems with its power grid. If the country adds millions of vehicles plugging into the power grid, that’s going to add an even greater strain on it. If the Indian government is serious about plugging in vehicles to its grid, it needs to invest in the grid simultaneously, as well.