Curso de Preparación para el TOEFL
Lección 40: TOEFL Writing
A classic format for writing compositions is the five-paragraph essay. Whereas It is not the only format for writing an essay, it is the model used for assessment by many examining bodies. Below you will find some useful tips on the structure of the five-paragraph essay coupled with a sample essay.
The Introductory Paragraph:
The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay. It will introduce the main idea of your essay. A good opening paragraph should capture immediately the interest of the reader and states why your topic is important. The introductory paragraph needs to include a statement known as the thesis statement, this is the main idea of the essay which should be stated in a single sentence. Once you have introduced in your thesis statement you must limit your entire essay to this topic. The introductory paragraph should give the reader some background information about the topic you are going to write about such as interesting facts, quotations, or definitions of important terms that you will use later on in the essay. The last sentence of the introductory paragraph must also contain a transitional “hook” which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.
Football has been a part of everyday life over 150 years. It has evolved into an unbelievably popular sport watched and played by hundreds millions of
People all over the world. The game has gone through several changes since football was first played. (thesis statement)
The main body of your essay is made up of supporting paragraphs. They will develop the main idea. These paragraphs list the important points that develop the main idea of your essay. Each supporting point should have its own paragraph, and should contain facts, details, and examples to develop and prove the point you are making. The supporting paragraphs should use appropriate transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay flowing and easier to read. They are best employed at the beginning and end of your paragraphs. All good paragraphs, should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a sentence that sums up the sentence. The following are examples of transition words that can help you to link your paragraphs together:
For listing different points:
For contrary examples:
On the other hand.
For additional ideas:
In addition to
To show cause and effect:
As a result of
Body – First Paragraph
The first paragraph of the body should contain: the main and most convincing argument, the most significant example, the most poignant illustration, and an obvious starting point. In order to ensure cohesion, the first sentence of the paragraph must include the “reverse hook” which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the introductory paragraph. The main point for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence. This point should always relate to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. As in the the last sentence of the introductory paragraph, this paragraph should include a transitional hook to tie into the next or second paragraph of the body.
Body – Second Paragraph
The second paragraph of the body should be an obvious follow up to the first paragraph in the body and in descending must contain the second strongest argument, second most significant example, second cleverest illustration, and so on. The first sentence of this paragraph should include a reverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the first paragraph of the body. The second paragraph has the same format as the first and third that is, he topic for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence. The topic should relate to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional hook to tie into the next paragraph of the body.
Body – Third Paragraph
So logically,the third paragraph of the body should contain the weakest argument, weakest example, weakest illustration, or an obvious follow up to the second paragraph in the body. Once again the first sentence of this paragraph should include the reverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the previous paragraph. The topic for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence. This topic should relate to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional, concluding hook that signals the reader that this is the final, major point being made in the paper. This hook also leads into the last or concluding paragraph.
Obviously the summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay, after you have finished developing your ideas. It summarizes or restates the main idea of the essay. You want to leave the reader with a sense that your essay is complete. This paragraph should include the following:
- Allude to the pattern used in the introductory paragraph.
- a reiteration of the thesis statement, using some expression or language that “echoes” the original language. (The restatement, however, must not be a duplicate of your thesis statement.)
- a summing of the three main points from the body of the paper.
- a final statement that gives the signals to the reader that the discussion has been concluded.
Overall, the changes that occurred in football have helped to improve the game. Football is much faster and more exciting as a result of changes in the past 150 years. For the reasons I have illustrated, modern football is a far better game than the football played in its fledgeling years.
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