Build an Essay

Build An Essay

Take out 4 pieces of paper. At the top of page one, write INTRODUCTION. At the top of page two, write REASON 1. At the top of page three, write REASON 2. At the top of page four, write CONCLUSION.

Now, let’s start the process.

In the middle of page one:

A: The topic sentence. The question is   Should the tribe have left the two old women behind? The thesis statement is a one sentence answer to this question (without yes, no or because).

At the top of pages 2 and 3:

B: Write one sentence reasons for your opinion. Do not start with “because.” (or start with because and then erase it).

At the bottom of page 4:

C: Write a “Therefore, …” statement

This is now your basic outline.

A: Thesis Statement B: Subtopics/Topic Sentences C: Conclusion

The beginning of the introduction, before your topics, you need a general statement or “hook” to catch the reader’s attention.

D: Write a short, general, interesting statement at the top of page 1.

E: Introduce the reading, author, title and main ideas. This can be in 1-3 sentences. “In the story, Two Old Women, by Velma Wallis,…”

You need to introduce your subtopics in your introduction paragraph too.

F: Make a sentence combining the two topic sentences (sentences “B” at the top of pages 2 & 3). You can join them with “and,” “because,” or you can keep them separate too.

Every paragraph needs an introduction and conclusion – a clear beginning and clear end.

G: Add a conclusion sentence on your introduction paragraph. It can be an opinion or wish (or many other things). To make it simple, start with “I hope,…”

Now your Introduction paragraph is complete!!

H: (to do at home) Explain your two reasons. The subtopic paragraphs begin with the topic sentences “B” and continue with stories, examples, quotes, etc. to explain your opinion. Make me believe you and agree with you.

Every paragraph needs an introduction and conclusion. The conclusion to the body paragraphs brings it back to your main idea (Thesis).

I: The last sentence of the subtopic (body) paragraphs can start with “For these reasons, I believe…” or “Therefore…” or anything that makes the paragraph feel finished.

Do not end on an example!

The last thing is to finish the conclusion. You need a summary of ideas and a restatement of the thesis. Did you do that with sentence “C”? You can add more of your opinion, more about what should happen, etc.

Tell your opinion about what should happen or explain your perspective on how people should be. You can restate all of your subtopics or make a general statement that brings them together.

The pretty last sentence. This makes your essay feel finished. Like the first sentence, it should be short, general and interesting.

YAY! You’re DONE!!


  • Double spaced
  • Each of the 4 paragraphs indented
  • Title at top
  • Name top right