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ESSAY WRITING

This document describes how to write a basic, 5 paragraph essay. This would be particularly helpful if you need assistance with a composition class.

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When you finish reading this explanation of the "Keyhole Essay," please read the sample student essay via the link at the end of the "keyhole essay." Notice that the introduction of the student essay builds to a final sentence or thesis statement. That thesis expresses the main idea that the rest of the essay explains and supports. The thesis statement is not just the final sentence in the paragraph. The thesis statement expresses an idea about the subject of the introduction. In fact, the purpose of the introduction is to not only introduce the subject of the essay but to introduce the thesis statement that expresses an opinion or point of view about that subject. The conclusion emphasizes the main idea after that idea has been supported or explained with reasons and examples through the rest of the essay.
When you complete the draft of your essay, you should go back and read your essay from beginning to end to see if you have actually introduced a main idea and that you have stated the main idea clearly so that it expresses your attitude or point of view about your subject. You should also make sure that each paragraph clearly explains or supports your thesis. Finally, you should make sure that your conclusion clearly emphasizes your thesis and gives a sense of completion to your essay. It is easy to stray from your subject and thesis when you write, just as it is easy to stray in conversation. In writing, however, you can always return to your writing, look at it in a new way, and change it so that each paragraph in the body clearly supports and explains the thesis.
The Keyhole Essay
One way to write an effective essay is to begin with a picture in your mind: an old-fashioned keyhole - a large, round center with a funnel shape on ...

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