In English for Academic Purposes, Lalla (1998, pp.175 – 200) posits that the most crucial aspect to essay
writing is its introduction. She forwards the position that, a good introduction
establishes a focus for the writing. The focus, she declares, is established
through a thesis statement. To attain the focus throughout the composition, one
needs a formal plan. This allows the writer, to structure his/her arguments in
an effective directional manner. By offering a background in an essay, this plays
a significant part in attention stimulation as well as a focus of the matter at hand.
Despite a good background, a crucial aspect to the introduction is the “attention getters.” This can be written by way of definitions and-or quotations around the topic. They are important in that, they capture the interest of the reader.
A good composition is as interesting as its “attention getter”. In that, if the reader is turned off after reading the first one and-or two sentence(s), then the idea
was not properly planned, comprehensive and sequentially structure. Is this essay
In developing an idea from a thought, the first sentence and the first paragraph (introduction) to an effective
coherent body of work, the process is achieved by the use of particular paragraphing techniques. Those approaches include a division of the subject by component parts, and classification of the components
into groups. The writer uses a number of strategies in developing points into
a paragraph. He/she does this by way of “illustrations”, “definitions”,
causation and “analysis” of supporting arguments. In order to have a well-structured and a brilliantly “flowed”
essay, appropriate transitional devices are essential. This is achieved by the
use of conjunctions. They link the various paragraphs into a unified whole. Although all of this is crucial, a good composition is incomplete without a concise
and comprehensive conclusion. A concise and sound conclusion reflects the writer’s
final reflective stance on the topic. An author must be aware that for completeness,
the essay’s conclusion cannot add any new concepts to that which were not initially included as that serves as a destroyer
to a good composition.
Paul Andrew Bourne,
MSc. (candidate); BSc. (Hons); Dip. Edu.
the West Indies