How do I write a good, well-structured essay
Kia ora and welcome.
An excellent question to ask.
You are talking about the responses to Written and Visual texts in the externals I am assuming.
These are written in response to statements which have two parts.
The first asks you to describe some aspect eg: setting, character, ideas, techniques, structure and the second part asks you to explain how the aspect works. eg: to help you understand an idea, to show a development in character, to give a lesson to teenagers, and so on.
It is important that you consider both parts of the question in your essay.
A good hint is to highlight the important words in the question so you now what you need to concentrate on.
Then in your introduction you set up what you are going to prove, or talk about. It is useful to begin with a general philosophical comment.
Say the question is " Describe at least ONE language technique that is used in the text. Explain how the technique(s) help to develop an important idea.
Say the text is a poem, then you will have studied what the main idea is and what the purpose of the poet was in writing the poem. Maybe it was to look at the importance of having a voice and being able to express one’s identity.
In the philosophical comment you could comment generally on why it is important for people to know who they are and where they come from. It gives them a sense of place, of belonging and so on. Then you would bring in the title and author and the technique(s) you are going to explore. You would complete the intro with three points you will be looking at. This gives the marker pointers of where you are going to go and sets up the three body paragraphs you are going to write.
Say for this essay you are going to look at a particular technique which shows
- How destructive it is for people who are denied a voice.
- How empowering it is to have a sense of belonging
- How having a voice can change the lives of others.
There are several plans for the body paragraphs SEXY, TEXAS but basically they follow the same kinds of lines.
Topic Sentence giving the point you are going to be making
Sentence bringing in evidence from the text
An explanation of how this evidence shows how the evidence shows the point you are making
You can come into author’s purpose here - why they used your example and what they were trying to achieve.
A sentence that summarises the above briefly
After the body paragraphs comes the conclusion. Link the main points in your body paragraphs to the points you set up at the start and bring in how it explores the purpose of the author.
Sorry that all got a bit wordy.
How about having a go at writing one with a text you have studied and then we can comment?