Writing an essay is a complex and daunting process for many students, but this is pretty straight- forward and simple. Many students get confused about what the key elements are which are required in a good essay and how a teacher marks an essay. An essay is not treated as a whole but this is divided into some basic components and examiners give equal marks to all components and these are:
However; most of students do not know all this and they put their maximum effort on content without knowing expression, grammar and structure (number of sentences and ideas) of a paragraph and even structure of a sentence.
The process of organizing and putting sentences and paragraphs together is known as the structure of the essay. It is an overall arrangement of sentences and paragraphs in the essay. But it is noticed that most of the CSS/PMS students’ essays are frequently organized either by repetition or by an illogical pattern. A good argument proceeds in a logical way, but also develops the implications of a thesis more deeply as the essay progresses. The reader should understand how each new section – outline, introduction, body paragraphs
In simple words, this is a way/plan in which different parts of an essay are combined together. It has three parts:
- Outline 5%
- Unusual paragraph (introduction and conclusion) 20%
- Usual paragraph (all body paragraphs) 75%
It can be mapped in the following way. The structure is basically the way about how students compose and combine sentences and paragraphs that will make an effective essay. Therefore, it is essential to define outline and unusual and usual paragraphs that are the basic building blocks of the structure.
An outline is simply a framework for presenting the central, main and supporting ideas for a particular topic. Outlines help you develop a logical, coherent structure for your essay, making it easier to translate your ideas into words and sentences. Once your outline is complete, you will have a clear picture of how you want your essay to develop. An outline always provides a complete picture of your essay and the same is followed in your essay as well. Every paragraph is reflected in your outline. It is the outline which decides the future of your essay. It has been reported in FPSC examiners’ report, “Students make lengthy outlines with very little relevant material. Rarely, outlines are quite relevant and extensive, but they are not well organized and have not been followed in essay.”
Types of Outline:
We have two types of outline that is Topic Outline and Sentence Outline. A Topic Outline consists of headings – Universal, Primary and Secondary – and every heading has been further described in the form of points and arguments which should consist of short phrases. These phrases provide the central/main idea for the topic sentence of a paragraph. This type of outline is often recommended by FPSC examiners. A Sentence Outline summarizes each idea in a complete sentence that may become the topic sentence for a paragraph in the essay.
An ideal outline must have following features:
- It must provide a comprehensive image and every argument/paragraph should be reflected in the outline.
- Your outline should be very comprehensive that may provide
the overviewof your whole discussion.
In order to make this comprehensive in Descriptive Essay, this is always divided in Universal, Primary and Secondary headings.
1. Universal Heading:
The heading which has been repeated in every essay and an essay has two such headings – Introduction and conclusion
2. Primary Heading:
This is portion/heading of your essay which has been asked by your examiner that can never be compromised by you. For example, if the essay topic is “Global Warming: Its Causes and Consequences”, your Primary headings are causes and consequences which can never be missed; however, the solutions can be left as it has not been asked by the examiner.
3. Secondary Heading:
This is the portion of the essay which has not been asked by the examiner categorically but if you add and that seems relevant you will get more marks as this always makes an essay more comprehensive. For example, if the essay topic is “Global Warming: Its Causes and Consequences”, your primary headings are causes and consequences but the addition of solutions makes the essay more comprehensive and it would help the students to meet the required length that is 2500-3000 words
However, you must remember that structure of the outline of an Argumentative Essay is slightly different from the Descriptive Essay. This has the
1. Universal Heading:
The heading which has been repeated in every essay and an essay has two such headings – Introduction and conclusion.
2. Your Stance:
This is the portion/heading of your essay which proves your stance/point of view. You add all of your arguments in the favor of the topic under this heading.
3. Opponents’ Stance:
This portion gives you an overview of your opponents’ stance or counter-arguments and your response to them. These are the objections that your opponents would raise against your
- Use the keywords of your essay in headings as this will force you to remain relevant to the topic of your essay.
- Every heading must be
- Capitalize every key word of the heading expect prepositions, articles, helping verbs, pronouns
- Illustrate the headings with points in the form of phrases
- Every point can be divided into
sub pointsin order to explain the content of the paragraph however separate paragraphs are not required for sub points.
- Sentences are not allowed except interrogatives. However, sentences can be used in Argumentative Essays.
- It should be flawless and you cannot afford a single mistake in your outline.
- You must work on its presentation and always use markers and pointers- only of blue and black color – to make this more attractive.
For more notes on how to write an essay click here.
For complete sample essays click here.