Essay Structure Activities

One of these conventions is the internal structure of an academic essay. The top horizontal bar represents the thesis, or part of the essay that will comprise a thesis statement and one or more development statements.The thesis statement is the claim of the argument presented in the essay.

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There are also a variety of "rhetorical modes" (types of essays) used in essay writing such as comparison/contrast, process, definition, and argument.

Note that the topic of the essay and the rhetorical mode need to be compatible.

The configuration below represents basic discourse structures.

This configuration illustrates three different discourse structures---ASL discourse, spoken English discourse, and written English discourse (see Christie et al., 1999).

Table 1: The four topics that will be covered in in-class activity sessions will help students develop their essays over the term.

‘PRE’ classes refer to readings and very short activities that must be completed before they come to the in-class sessions. Essay Writing Framework The Fundamental Components of a Good Essay Structure A good essay requires a good structure; it needs to be clear and concise, and it needs to integrate ‘signposts’ throughout so that a reader is able to follow the logical argument that the author is making.These structures are visual representations of the framework or schemata people use for communicating information.They also represent the expectations of the audience.The second structure, which represents a spoken English presentation, in contrast, gets to the point much later.The speaker often will begin with a personal anecdote and give information to the audience which will lead to the points of the presentation.The type of rhetorical mode will influence both the content and organization of the essay.Since basic essay structure is often taught using the modes of narration and exposition, these types of essay will be utilized in this module.(See also the SEA Site module Paragraph Structure.) A thesis statement may be a statement that identifies the topic and indicates how the writer has decided to limit or focus the topic.The following thesis statement outlines the limited focus of the topic: My most valued possessions are those which spark memories of significant past events.State your opinion, and present the evidence that justifies your position.The four in-class activity sessions will help students develop their essays (see Table 1).


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