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How to write an English language essay

The difference in essay types

The difference between an English language essay and other essay types lies in its substance rather than its procedure.

How to write an English language essay

Its substance is the semantics of the language which include grammar, style, or literary theory. This is unlike, for example, writing an English essay whose focus is literature works and author. However, the procedure of writing an English language essay is the same as that of writing any other essay. You begin by selecting a topic of interest, distilling this topic into a thesis statement, carrying out research, developing an outline and writing your paper.

Topic selection

You can never run short of topics to write when writing your English language essay. There are as many topics to write about as there are English words. It all depends on your ingenuity to invent topics. Here are a few topics you might write about: 1) How language is learned 2) How people perceive and understand language 3) How language is misused 4) How slang is invading the English language-the list is endless.

Thesis statement

After selecting your topic of interest you are now supposed to distil it into a clear and manageable thesis statement. The thesis statement will be the central point of your essay. It describes the overall point of the essay. Your essay will get its unity-flow and coherence- from the thesis statement. The Thesis statement for the topic "How Slang is Invading the English Language" can be: By including slang words in the dictionary, developers of the English language have inadvertently permitted the usage of such words in both formal and informal forums. The whole essay will be a development of, or connected to, this statement (Thesis statement).

Doing Research

Learning how to write an english language essay can take a long time and doing the research is a part of this. Your argument will be founded on the kind of research you conduct. That is why it is critical that you know how to distinguish between what is a fact from that which is an opinion. A fact is a reliable piece of information that can be identified through independent sources or procedures. An opinion, on the other hand, is a judgment or inference that may or may not be based on facts. You lose credibility when you peddle opinions as facts in your essay. For example, when doing research on "Misuse of Language" you may come across statements such as: "Americans speak bad English." While a good number of Americans speak bad English, there are some who speak fluent English. Such a statement is not a fact but an opinion.

The places you seek your sources will determine the credibility of your research. The internet might be a combination of all the world libraries but it is not the best place to do your research. Some websites give opinions as facts. Specifically, avoid Wikipedia, Ezine articles, About.Com etc. You probably have access to databases such as Jstor which contain peer-reviewed journals. Basically, use your library and lecture notes for a factual and credible research.

Remember to capture specific, interesting examples which illustrate a particular point about the English language. In this way readers can be aided in their understanding. Moreover, keep tabs of these examples as they will come in handy when crafting your outline.

Developing an outline

Before you begin the writing the essay, take some time to develop an outline. An outline will provide you with an organized framework which is essential for logical flow of thoughts. It will also give your essay a convincing and easy to follow argument that is connected to your thesis statement. In the outline, each section will be divided into paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs should have their own micro-thesis which are tied to the main thesis. These micro-thesis are popularly known as topic sentences. A topic sentence in each paragraph is followed by four to six sentences that develop it.

Writing of the paper

Part of knowing how to write an english language essay is leanring the steps. The final step is writing the essay. An English language essay, just as any other essay, can be broadly divided into: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

Introduction

In most essays the introduction is captured in a single paragraph known as the introductory paragraph. The introductory paragraph announces the topic, sets the tone and captivates the reader. It also has the thesis statement which is a single idea that is clearly focused and specifically stated.

Body

The body of the essay contains a discussion of the thesis statement. Indeed, the body is the essay. Unlike the introduction and conclusion which have one paragraph each, the body has several paragraphs. Each paragraph has mini-thesis that explains, develops or is simply connected to the main thesis. These mini-thesis are followed by four to six sentences which can be examples, facts, or opinions. The last sentence in paragraph is closing summary that will connect the thought to the next paragraph.

Conclusion

The conclusion, like the introduction, comprises one paragraph. It is a paragraph that reviews all the main points in the essay. You can also conclude your essay by rephrasing your thesis, directing the reader to larger issues, or encouraging your readers to alter their actions.

Revision

What you have written is the first draft. The first draft might have a faulty structure; may be it has fallacies; may be the language you used cannot be understood by your audience; or may be some ideas which need to be enfleshed. You need to revise this draft. Revision is different from editing and proof reading. Revision means, "to see again." It entails taking a fresh look at your essay and rethinking what you have written.

Editing

If you are satisfied with your revised paper, you now need to edit individual sentences for effectiveness, clarity and variety.

Proofreading

The last thing to do is to proofread your essay for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. Your English language essay is now good for your professor's eyes.

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