Five Fantastic Tips to Ace that First School Essay – Body Paragraphs

You ask your high school child what he has for homework and he mumbles something about an annoying English essay. Your ears perk up as you remember the difficulty your son experienced last year with writing & expressing his thoughts on paper. How can you gently guide your son to find better success this year with his writing?

Tips for Essay Writing Success – the Body Paragraphs

1) What is the argument your son wants to develop? Talk through how he will respond to the essay question. Help him clarify his response, otherwise known as the thesis statement that answers the essay question.

2) How will he logically prove his argument or thesis statement? Write down the main points that will prove his thesis.

3) What evidence (quotes, examples) from the reading will he offer as specific support for each main point?

4) Does he understand the meaning of each quote? Furthermore, how does the quote help prove the thesis? Encourage him to give detail here – this part of the essay reflects your son’s the critical thinking.

5) Proofread for cohesion, fluidity, and voice. Do ideas flow smoothly together? Does the textual evidence clearly prove the main point of each paragraph? Is there detailed analysis of each quote? Does the writing sound like him?

More to ponder in the world of essay writing: Does the essay begin with an effective attention grabber? Will the essay summarizing the main ideas and leave the reading pondering the importance of the essay? More to come on Effective Introductions & Conclusions!!!

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Amy Haskell is a full time high school English teacher, private tutor, and mother of four young children. She tutors high school students in reading, writing, and ACT study throughout the North Shore of Chicago in Wilmette, Winnetka, Northfield, Glenview, Evanston, and Kenilworth Illinois.

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