Essay Form - Elements and Description
Essay form is the particular structure an essay takes. Essay form is not the same as essay content, which is the actual substance of the report—the ideas the article is exploring and the points it is making. However, essay form will often reflect the content of a report by taking a form best suited to the articulation of the article's ideas. The exact arrangement of essay forms will vary, but all report forms will be built on a three-pronged structure that includes an introduction, a development, and a conclusion.
The introduction of a report is the first element of essay form. The introduction, as its name suggests, introduces the article's primary idea, or thesis. A thesis is a sentence or group of sentences that clearly asserts the main point or argument. The primary objective of the introduction is to explain and contextualize the thesis. To contextualize means to explain the thesis idea and point out the "bigger picture" by suggesting how that idea is relevant and important. The introduction of a report does not have to be of a particular length; however, the introduction should be about 1\8 the length of the entire report itself. The thesis can go anywhere in that introduction, but it is most common for the thesis to come toward the end of the introductory paragraph or set of paragraphs so that the thesis is contextualized before it is asserted.
The development section is the second and longest component of essay form. The thesis is explored and defended in the development. The development should always be composed of several paragraphs—one for each of the main points used to explore or defend the thesis. Each of these paragraphs should begin with what is called a topic sentence—a sentence that clearly articulates what the point of the paragraph is. For instance, in an essay on the reasons why governments should adopt policies that promote renewable energy initiatives, one of the points the author may make is that renewable energy can save governments money in the long term. This point would be explored in its own paragraph in the development section, and that paragraph would begin with a topic sentence such as "Adopting policies that promote renewable energy not only help the earth, but can also save governments money." The rest of this paragraph would explain this idea.
The conclusion is the final component of any report, and the element of essay form that many writers find most difficult. In the conclusion, the writer should avoid summarizing the points made in the document and instead attempt to bring a new insight to the topic. This does not mean that the conclusion should introduce an idea that is not related to the project, or an idea that needs several sentences to articulate, like the ideas presented in the development section. Rather, the conclusion should point to what can be learned or gleaned or taken away from the information presented as a whole. For instance, in the report on renewable energy mentioned above, the report may conclude by making general assessments of the importance of renewable energy, such as "Science has shown that we are in an energy crisis and need to move forward to prevent further destruction to our planet. All of Earth's inhabitants need to respond to this crisis by doing their part to ensure that Earth will be a healthy and safe place. This means that individuals need to do their best to recycle, reduce consumption, and save energy, while demanding that their governments do the same."
All essays will be different, and will present the three components of a document in varying ways, thereby developing new and innovative essay forms; however, all reports must have all three components in order to be complete and accomplished texts.
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