Nuffnang

How to write an excellent essay - using structure

The basics on how to write an excellent essay - using structure

Here the secrets to an excellent essay are revealed.

There are 3 key parts to an essay - the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

Firstly, the introduction has to have these elements:

1. What is the question? This is called your KBP, Knowledge Based Problem... the problem that you need to find an answer to.

2. What is the answer to the question? This is called your thesis. Call it what you want, a thesis is merely an answer that sums up your entire case in one simple strong line.

3. What am I going to talk about in the essay? A, B and C for instance.

4. What are the definitions and parameters?

There are two elements here. One: definitions meaning you define the words such that you can write your essay. Two: parameters are the things that you are not going to talk about.


The body.
Many people don't know how to do this. They write what they want. This is not correct. Here's how you actually do it:

1. Topic sentence A (because this is what you promised to write about)
2. Explain what you mean. Sometimes you need to define words - so just do it here as well.
3. Give an example. Or more than one, if you like.
4. Tell me what the example means. Or what they mean, if you like.
5. Summarise your case.
6. Answer the question using A.

You do this for each and every paragraph.

The conclusion.
There are only 3 things you do here and NOTHING MORE.

1. Summarise what you have just said. A and B and C.
2. Conclude with your thesis, but restated.
3. End with something catchy to think about/ end with some unexpected twist/ end with some pithy, aphoristic, clever statement. Some people don't do step 3 and it's perfectly legal, BUT you are not allowed to write anything other than these three, with 1 and 2 compulsory.


Example:

Why did Bismarck defeat France so easily in the Franco-Prussian War? It was due to the strengths of the Prussians and the weaknesses of the French. In this paper, I will show you that Prussian military strength, economic strength and French weaknesses came together to give the Prussians victory in this short but victorious war. I will consider only 1848-1871 as this is the period under scrutiny.

Firstly Prussia won because it was very strong in terms of its military power. It had a large military built up since 1815 and was well-equipped. For instance, the Prussians had Krupp artillery, which was very advanced for that time. This means that they had technological superiority over the inferior French. Hence, military strength was obviously a key factor in vicotory.

Secondly, Prussia had a strong economy. The famous "blood and iron" speech referred also to the economy, as iron was one of the goods of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution, defined as a period of rapid economic and industrial growth, assisted Prussia greatly. For instance, the Zollverein allowed Prussia to dominate trade and economic relations with its neighbours because it was industrially stronger. This meant that economic strength led to political strength. Hence, a strong economy assisted Prussia.

Also, France was weak. Napoleon III had fought wars in Italy and was very weak, with a weak army. For instance, the army was badly armed compared to the Germans. This meant that the Prussians could easily defeat them. Thus French weaknesses allowed the Prussians to unify Germany easily.

In summary, Prussian military and economic strength contributed to Bismarck's successs. France was also very weak and ripe for defeat. In conclusion, yes it was indeed the strength of Germany and the weaknesses of France that led to such an easy victory. In the final analysis, it was an easy victory because of hard, hard work and a lot of "blood and iron".

Can you thus see how the essay is structured? Can you actually see the structure and the content coming in together and the secret to getting very high marks? This is how to write an excellent essay. This is the secret to success, elucidated and stated right before your very eyes.

However, there is more to an essay than just structure though, and I will be discussing that in future. There are also:

approaches to getting the thesis - how do you write and approach an answer?

topic sentences - how do you write good topic sentences?

General Knowledge/ specialised knowledge - how do you know what and when to write what? When do you cite? What is citation? etc.