Writing Longer Essays Video Lecture
The structure of this kind of paragraph would be maybe geographical, describing a place from left to right or from top to bottom. You can use one of these types of paragraph in your argument essay to help develop your thesis statement. So that's one way I could add a different type of paragraph to help make my essay longer.
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This lesson is about writing longer essays. You’ve already learned about writing a five-paragraph essay. This is a common format for students who are learning to write essays. It’s often taught in American high schools. But a five paragraph essay is really only useful for writing a couple of pages. In college classes, students are asked to write much longer essays, so a five paragraph essay won’t do. It’s necessary to learn to write longer essays. And to do this, you need to learn to write more body paragraphs in your essay. This was an example of an argument essay, and it had five paragraphs, with three body paragraphs. Because it was an argument essay, each body paragraph was a reason that supported the thesis. Let’s look at how we can make this a longer essay. To make this a longer essay, were going to need to use different types of body paragraphs. One type of body paragraph that you can use is a cause and effect paragraph. Here’s an example of a cause and effect paragraph. It follows the same structure that you’ve learned about writing body paragraphs before. It has a topic sentence shown in green. And it has three supporting ideas shows in red. And then a couple of details for each of the supporting ideas. In a cause and effect paragraph, you would have three causes or three effects. This one has three causes. And you should already know how to write this kind of paragraph. Another type of paragraph that you could use for a body paragraph is the compare contrast, where you would compare things or you would contrast things. Here’s an example of that. In this compare contrast paragraph the writer is contrasting high school and college. And just like with the cause and effect paragraph, the compare contrast paragraph Would have three supports with details and examples, all supporting a topic sentence. Here the writer gives three differences in the supporting ideas, and they are shown in red. So you should start to see that these paragraph types follow the same structure that you already learned for body paragraphs. You need a topic sentence that supports the thesis, and you should have several supporting ideas. Then you should have several details and examples that are very specific and help develop the paragraph. That same structure is used for cause/effect, compare/contrast, illustration, which is sometimes called exemplification, argument paragraphs, and classification paragraphs. These five types all have a topic sentence with probably three supporting ideas and then details and examples for each of those supporting ideas. The structure of those paragraphs will all be the same. It’s just a difference of whether your support is causes, or if your support is comparisons or if your support is examples, like you would use in illustration. So the supports are different, but the structure for those five types are all the same. On the right side here, we have 3 other types of body paragraphs. Description, narration and process. Don’t follow the exact same pattern, they’re a little bit different. Description describes something, and so it doesn’t unusually have three supports. The structure of this kind of paragraph would be maybe geographical, describing a place from left to right or from top to bottom. Or it could describe a person, and if you were describing a person, you would be describing them maybe from their head to their toe. So the structure of this paragraph is a little bit different. Narration and process both use time order. In a narration, you’re telling a story about something. And so you tell about the first thing, and then the second thing, and then the third thing. It uses time order. Process also does that, because you telling how something happens or how it’s done. And so you would tell the first step, the second step, the third step. That’s a process. So those three types are a little bit different, but all of these types of body paragraphs can help you to write longer essays. You can use one of these types of paragraph in your argument essay to help develop your thesis statement. Let me show you how you would do this. Let’s say we’re outlining an argument essay. A typical five paragraph essay would have an outline like this. We have our thesis statement College education in the US should be free for everyone. That’s our argument. And in a typical five paragraph essay, you would use three body paragraphs to support that thesis. So these are all three reasons that support my thesis statement for the argument essay. But if I want to write a longer essay, I can use other types of paragraphs. So lets take that first reason, colleges should not be making a profit from students. Well before I get to that, I might want to write a paragraph using narrative style, and I could write a narrative paragraph of background information. I might show how colleges started making a profit off of students. This background information would be helpful before I get to my first reason about colleges should not be making a profit from students. So that’s one way I could add a different type of paragraph to help make my essay longer. Maybe before I make my third reason, I might want to add a paragraph comparing or contrasting. Because I’m arguing for American universities having free education for everyone, I might make a paragraph that contrasts other countries who do have free college education, and who have better societies. I could show a contrast between those countries and the US. This would also help support my thesis, and it would add another body paragraph. So now I have five body paragraphs for my argument essay. I have my original three reasons, but I’ve added a narrative paragraph for background information, and I’ve added a comparison paragraph to show other countries and how they use free college to have a better society. All of these body paragraphs still support my thesis statement. And now I have a longer essay, and it’s more developed. So this is making it more academic, which is our goal. So when you write your next essay, try to go beyond the traditional five paragraph essay. Try having six or seven paragraphs. And you’ll do this by adding different types of body paragraphs. Every essay will be different, so you might not always be able to use a cause and effect paragraph, or a description paragraph. So think about your topic and use the kind of paragraph that is most useful for that topic. I hope you’ll work on making your essays longer and more academic.
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