“Okay class, today we’ll do essay writing!”
“Aww, come on teach, could we just do grammar?”
“Let me think about it, hmm....nope.”
Faces cringed, morale declined and movements slowed down—it’s like watching a scene from the movie Matrix. Throughout the few years of teaching English the feeling when your students are engaged with you in the class no matter how difficult the task is is the most priceless moments. Because at that moment of time you can feel that spark, that eagerness to learn and to be inspired.
Writing an essay is not entirely difficult. It requires planning and execution—and a bit of creativity. It’s a form of personal expression. You begin by thinking of a topic or a theme to write about. To make your task easier start off by writing down an outline for your essay. Break down your essay into points and arrange it starting from introduction right until the closing/ending. Some people list down their points, some do in the form of a mind map, basically there are many ways that you can do this—try to find a method of outlining that helps you to express your ideas better.
Let’s say for example you wanted to write about “The Benefits of Sports”. It is important to take note that your introduction is the most crucial part of your essay. This is where you reel your readers in by making it as interesting as possible. Below are a few sample starters:
“Did you know that the Greeks were the ones who started the Olympic games?”
“I still can’t get over last night’s match, it was a close shave for Malaysia but in the end we won the gold medal for archery!”
Secondly, comes the main event. Which is writing out the content of your essay. Remember the outline? All you need to do now is to elaborate on the important points that you have listed. Those are going to be your topic sentences. What is a topic sentence some of you might ask? Well, to put it simply, it’s a sentence that conveys your main idea. Usually it is written in the same paragraph. I shall give you another example—I love examples, they give the necessary details to your thoughts. Anyways here they are;
Getting involved in physical activities such as sports will definitely improve our health.
This is because when we do sports we will sweat and this helps in getting rid of the toxins from our body. Plus, sweating also helps us lose that extra pounds.
Cycling is a good sport to start with if you looking for something to burn off the calories.
As you can see, from the example above, I have broken it into three main parts. These are the elements that complete a paragraph. The topic sentence will be your main idea. Then, it is followed by an elaboration, which is an extension of your main idea. And you can add on some relevant information to give it more substance.
Lastly, will be your closing/ending. This is where you summarise what you have written. The easiest way is to repeat your title and add a few words and that is it. That does not sound exciting does it? Make your ending more believable—like you really mean what you wrote. Again, there are tons of ways to end an essay. The most important thing is that you try not to stray away from your original topic. End your essay with a bang! Hopefully this piece is of benefit. May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings and He knows best. Happy writing!