Shortcut - Writing Course 3: Writing Clear, Logical Texts
The most important element in a long text is structure. A reader must be able to follow your discussion. A model for good structure is the 5-paragraph essay. The first paragraph is your introduction and the last paragraph is your conclusion. This leaves 3 paragraphs for your main body.
A paragraph is a group of sentences that are about one idea. One of the sentences tells what the paragraph is about. This is the topic sentence. The others explore and explain this idea. A paragraph should be about 4 sentences long.
Recipe for a 5-paragraph essay
Introduction – paragraph 1: The introduction tells the reader the topic and purpose of the essay.
Main body – paragraphs 2,3,4: This breaks down the topic that has been introduced in the introduction. Each main point goes in its own paragraph.
Conclusion – paragraph 5: Write a conclusion based on what you have written in paragraph 2-4. The conclusion should also connect with the introduction. Try to make a general statement that sums up your discussion.
You can use the brainstorming techniques from Writing Course 2 to help you plan your 5-paragraph essay. Which words from your brainstorming map will go in which paragraph? Maybe you will need to do some more brainstorming to find enough things to write about.