The first paragraph consists of 3-5 sentences and serves two purposes: to grab the reader’s attention and to present him/her with the main idea (thesis) of the whole brill assignment review.
The first few sentences should captivate the reader. Use description, ask an unexpected question, give an amusing incident or an interesting fact related to the topic.
The main idea is usually expressed in the last sentence of the paragraph. While the first sentences introduce the topic and hold the reader’s attention, the last sentence says what you think about the question you asked and what you will write the essay about.
An example of a good introduction to the topic, “Do you think teenagers should work while studying?”
I’ve worked ever since I was twelve. As a teenager, I cleaned houses for my family members, made banana splits at an ice cream parlor, and waited tables at various restaurants. I did it all while carrying a pretty good grade point average in school, too! I definitely believe that teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline, earns them cash for school, and keeps them out of trouble.
Paragraphs two through four: Explain your arguments
You have formulated a thesis statement – now is the time to explain why you think so. The thesis statement in the example introduction is “I definitely believe that teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline, earns them cash for school, and keeps them out of trouble.
The task of the next three paragraphs is to explain the thesis point by point, using examples, facts, statistics, cases from life, literature, news, or something else.
The second paragraph should explain the first point: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline.
The third paragraph explains the second point: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job earns them cash for school.
The fourth paragraph explains the third point: Teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job keeps them out of trouble.
In the first (topic) sentence of each of the three paragraphs, you must state the point you are going to argue. This is followed by 3-4 more sentences that prove it correct. And the last sentence should direct the reader to the next point. Below is an example of the second paragraph:
First, teenagers should have jobs while they are still students because a job teaches discipline. When I was working at the ice cream store, I had to show up every day on time or I would have gotten fired. That taught me how to keep a schedule, which is a big part of learning discipline. As I cleaned the floors and washed the windows of my family members’ homes, I knew they would be checking up on me, so I worked hard to do my best, which taught me an important facet of discipline, which is thoroughness. But being disciplined isn’t the only reason it’s a good idea for teenagers to work during school; it can also bring in the money!
Paragraph Five: Conclusion
You’ve written the introduction, made your main arguments in the main body, moving smoothly from one paragraph to the next, so it’s time to wrap up the essay. The conclusion, which also consists of 3-5 sentences, serves two purposes: it summarizes what you stated earlier in the essay and makes a lasting impression on the reader.
Summarize the essay in the first sentences of the conclusion. Repeat the essay’s three main points, but in different words so that the reader understands your point.
The last sentences should give the reader food for thought before he or she finishes reading the paragraph. Cite a quote, ask a question, tell a funny story, or simply conclude with a description.
10 minutes – You will have a specified time to write each essay. Aim to spend roughly 10 minutes (or more) planning and thinking. You may think that this is a huge chunk out of the time available but it is time well spent. It will save you time overall and will mean you do most of the thinking at the start, allowing you to spend the rest of the time writing.
Study the question – The first thing is to study the question. You are not being asked to ‘write everything you know about …’. You are being asked a specific question that needs an answer that is directly related to it.
Brainstorm – Once you are sure what the question is asking of you, the next thing you should do is brainstorm. Simply write down everything you can think of in brief notes and in no particular order just to get it out of your mind and on to paper. You can organize it later but initially, you will have a record of relevant points and information to include. They might remind you of other things too.