Recently I have found myself reviewing more and more essays. One of my clients is considering a collection of essays for her first book. I have written a chapter as a contributor to 365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul, which will be released in November.
The essay, the basic building block of writing, is an easy way to test the waters of the topic you want to write about. Think of each paragraph as if it were a section of your book.
Most essays start as five paragraphs. Occasionally you will find a seven-paragraph essay. The variation in length is a factor of the number of points you want to write about. The first and last paragraphs are your introduction and conclusion.
In the introduction you want to hook your reader with enough information that she will continue to read. Then you give your thesis statement – the underlying purpose of your essay or your opinion on the topic. What follows next is a mini-outline, letting your reader know what to expect.
The next (or second) paragraph is where you discuss the most important point about your topic. Your lead sentence in each paragraph is a transition sentence. Its purpose is to tie the paragraphs together while keeping the reader’s interest. This is followed by a sentence that explains why your argument or the example you presented in your lead sentence is relevant to your essay.
The third and fourth (and fifth and sixth if you have a seven paragraph essay) paragraphs develop additional points, each one a little weaker or less important than the previous one.
The last paragraph is your conclusion. You will want to repeat much of what you said in your introduction without using exactly the same words.
When you can write a clear, concise, yet interesting essay about your topic, you will have a good document to refer back to while writing your book. If you find yourself writing about points that aren’t in your essay you can evaluate whether or not they are truly important for this book or if they should be set aside for a sequel to your current book.
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Not sure how to get started? If you would like some help with this I’d love to partner with you as your Book Enchantress. It’s time to share your powerful gift with the Universe.
Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or use this link to schedule a call to talk about what is involved.