Starting an essay can be tricky. Gathering enough information to make a claim can be hard enough, and then putting it in an order that will be affective on top of that can be overwhelming. But there are a few concepts that I know that may just be able to help you in your next essay assignment.
First off, when writing an essay it is important to have a few things laid out. Your claim, an Idea path and which representative examples you will use in order to make your claim a good one. Lets start off with explaining what these things are. A claim is your argument or point that you want to share with the reader. This is an important part of your paper and it is crucial that it is clear throughout your paper. An Idea path is an order you have made in how you will present your information to the reader, this is also a crucial part of your paper because starting off with the wrong angle could cause the reader frustration rather than gathering information from beginning to end. And last but not least, a representative example is a specific piece of evidence drawn from anywhere that will help you prove your claim. For example, in my last essay I wrote about street art so I chose to use Banksys art work as a representative example because it tied directly with my topic. These ideas may seem a little hard to grasp right now, but you will get the hang of it.
After starting with those basic concepts, we can dive into some more essay writing concepts. A new concept to me was this idea that I’m going to call, “Learning as we go.” Instead of telling the author this is what you think an this is why, you think with the reader, expanding the question into multiple angles and then in the end tie all of these angles into the claim you found. For example, in the middle of my essay I shared a question, “ So how did street art become illegal? How can we choose what forms of art are illegal and which are not? “ And then, going deeper I explain, “The story goes that in the seventy’s, an age of anti- war, new found AID’s, flower power and a fight for freedom, led to many anti-war protest graffiti and this led to the banishment of graffiti or street art (Digitaljournalist.org). Ah, now were getting somewhere.” This gives the reader a sense of where I’m, as a writer, going with my claim throughout the paper. I do this again in the next paragraph starting with a statement, “When Allison shares this idea of appropriate, and we must define what it means in art terms. Are we talking about nudity or anything most adults wouldn’t want young children seeing? Not necessarily, it seems that this idea of appropriateness is based upon what our world wants us to see, what were allowed to know, and how its presented to us. It is appropriate when art is in an art gallery but not on the brick walls in the street. It is appropriate when it shares the beauty of the world, but not when it shares a deep message. But can we define the word in the constraints of art?” And I end with a question, in which I further discuss in the next paragraph. These two examples from my own work share just how to sting ideas together through questions which engage the reader.
These concepts that I have used in my first essay will be forever useful in university writing. From this lesson you should be able to start with a claim, build a structure and lead the reader in your thinking for them to gain your claim. Its not as complicated once you can break your essay down into these different concepts.