Formats For An Essay Paper

Writing an essay is easier using forms or templates.

Using a form or a template for writing an essay is an excellent way to keep your paper organized and to make sure you have enough detail to support your statements. An effective essay will have a beginning, a middle and an end. There are specific elements that should be included in each section of the essay.

The Introduction

This first paragraph can be labeled with the number l. Your first sentence (lA) will be an attention-grabbing opener to make the reader pay attention. This can be a startling fact, question or detail related to the topic. The next few sentences (lB, lC, lD) will briefly introduce the main points of the essay. The last sentence of the introduction (lE) will be the thesis statement, or main idea of your essay. For example, if you are writing about the setting in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” your thesis statement might be, “The sinister revelry of Venice during the Carnival reflects the sinister theme of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Cask of Amontillado.'”

The Body

You should have at least three body paragraphs. The template should provide space for paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. Each of these paragraphs will focus on one aspect of the setting as it relates to the thesis statement. For example, paragraph 2 might have as its topic sentence, “The participation of the servants in Carnival ensured that Montresor’s villa would be vacant.” This topic sentence would be labeled 2A on your form. The next three sentences would be details explaining and supporting this topic sentence. These sentences would be labeled 2B, 2C and 2D on your form. The last sentence of each paragraph would be a summary statement for the paragraph, labeled 2E. Paragraphs 3 and 4 would describe a different aspect of how the sinister setting of the story contributed to the theme, and the details and examples from the story would support those aspects. Labels for each sentence would follow the format of paragraph 2.

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The Conclusion

Since you will have at least three body paragraphs in addition to the introduction, the concluding paragraph will be labeled paragraph 5 or higher. In the conclusion you will show that you “proved your case” and supported your thesis statement. For the first sentence (5A), restate the thesis in other words. For the next few sentences (5B, 5C and 5D), summarize the main points and connect the topic to the reader. The last sentence of the conclusion (5E) is a clincher, which can be a call to action on the part of the reader.