Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Lecture Notes – Essays

Essay Summary

There are four main essay styles.


  • Tells a story
  • Normally in 1st person, but can be 3rd
  • Can be written in 3 paragraphs
  • Uses descriptive language and quotes


  • About facts
  • Similar to a report; written in 3rd person
  • Determines cause and effect
  • 5 paragraph structure


  • Create a picture
  • Can be told in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person
  • Uses descriptive writing


  • Argumentative 
  • The goal is to convince others by comparing and contrasting 
  • Can be in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person
  • Generally a 5 paragraph structure
  • Backs up argument with sources/facts



5 paragraph essay

This is the most common way to write an essay.
This structures consists of
 – Introduction

 – 3 body paragraphs

 – Conclusion 


The introduction is the most important part of the essay as it sets the tone and gives your writing direction. Your opinion or position should also be made clear.  Make sure that your introduction is clear and concise.

Every introduction should begin with a hook – a sentence that catches the reader’s attention and encourages them to continue reading. 

Following the hook write a thesis statement which tells the reader what your essay is about. Then give three arguments which support your statement, you will then expand on these in the body. 

Body Paragraphs

Each of the 3 body paragraphs will each contain 1 main idea which supports your statement. Here is where you can put facts, quotes, evidence which support your introductory statement. 

The first paragraph should contain your strongest idea, the second the second strongest and so on.

Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence; this tells the reader what the main idea of the paragraph is. The following sentences should then back up this statement. Finally, the last sentence should link, or transition, to the next paragraph. 

Remember that you can acknowledge opposing arguments in your body. If done well this helps to prove your idea even more. 


This is the last paragraph and it summarises the essay.
It should restate your idea and explain how each of your main points support this idea. Finishing your conclusion with a question, anecdote or bold statement is a good way to leave a lasting impression.
Make sure you do not include any new information here.

Useful Language 

Giving opinion:

I (strongly) believe/think/feel
In my opinion/view
The way I see it
It appears to me that
My opinion is that
As far as I am concerned
I couldn’t agree/disagree more with


in fact
on the whole
as a result
simply put
for this reason
it follows
by comparison

Adding a new idea in a sentence:

In addition,
Above all
What is more..

Adding two ideas in the same sentence:

In addition to
As well as

First Paragraph Topic Sentence:

…. clearly/undoubtedly has an impact on…
It is common knowledge that… plays a crucial role in…
It is undoubtedly the case that…
There is little doubt that…
… is widely believed to contribute to…
It is generally considered that…
Recent research suggests that…
Studies have shown that… has an impact/influence on…
Few people would contest/dispute the fact that…

Expressing opposing arguments:

Understanding the pros and cons of ___ are important
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages
One plus is that ….. While a minus is….
On the contrary
By comparison

In contrast to
When compared to
Regardless of
Although / even though
Despite / in spite of

Reason and result:

One key factor is
One of the main reasons is
..because of this
..owing to this
…due to this
as a result/consequence of ..

..thus, thereby, hence, therefore

lead to
resulted in


In light of the above, / Taking all this into consideration/account,…
As far as I am concerned, / in my opinion, / as I see it, etc.
… is the most effective way to… due to the fact that…