Look and Listen... | Regardez et écoutez ...

How to Write an Essay | Écrire une dissertation

An essay is a collection of paragraphs that present facts, opinions and ideas on a topic.  It is a non-fiction piece of writing that offers a point of view on a subject. It should include logically organized thoughts that lead to a well-supported thesis. An essay is organized into three sections: introduction, body (which includes 1 or more paragraphs) and a conclusion.

The introductory paragraph serves as the opening of the essay. The first sentence of the introductory paragraph should grab the reader’s attention and includes interesting information, anecdotes or dialogue. The introductory paragraph explains the organization of the essay and includes a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is the main idea, argument or opinion of the essay and is often the last sentence in the introductory paragraph. The thesis statement is supported with evidence based on the research the student has collected.

The body of the essay includes one or more paragraphs that provide the reasons for introducing the thesis statement. The main point(s) and sub-point(s) provide the evidence to support and justify the thesis statement.

Each paragraph should open with a transitional sentence. The transitional sentence leads the reader into a piece of evidence used to support the thesis statement. Once a piece of evidence has been introduced, it is to be explained in two or three sentences. Remember to use detailed examples to support each piece of evidence. A mini-concluding sentence which sums up what has been discussed in the body of the essay is used as the last sentence of the final body paragraph. 

The conclusion is the summary or the wrap-up of the essay. It brings closure and leaves the reader with a lasting impression. This paragraph restates the thesis and supporting ideas or pieces of evidence highlighted in the body of the essay using different words. The first sentence of the conclusion uses the main words from the body paragraph(s). The second, third and fourth sentences provide observations, discussions or a solution. The last sentence gives the essay a sense of finality.