Intro to “Alternative Ways to Organize Your Essay”
Intro to “Alternative Ways to Organize Your Essay”
A lot of teachers are saying the 5 paragraph essay is dead (or that we should kill it). Fair enough. But what should students replace it with? This teachers-edition video is an introduction to a two-video series attempting to answer that question. Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comment section. I’m likely to revise this after awhile and would love to include other teachers’ ideas.Read more »
Alternative Ways to Organize Your Essay, Part 1
Alternative Ways to Organize Your Essay, Part 1
This two-part video offers 26 ways to organize an essay other than the familiar “5-paragraph essay.” The 5-paragraph essay is a rudimentary essay structure taught in schools. It is not the only way to organize your writing. It doesn’t give you the freedom to follow a natural train of thought or to say anything other than "here’s a thesis, and here are three reasons you should believe it.” In fact, there are an infinite number of ways to organize an essay simply because there are an infinite number of ways to think. These…Read more »
Alternative Ways to Organize Your Essay, Part 2
Alternative Ways to Organize Your Essay, Part 2
This two-part video offers 26 ways to organize an essay other than the familiar “5-paragraph essay.” The 5-paragraph essay is a rudimentary essay structure taught in schools. It is not the only way to organize your writing. It doesn’t give you the freedom to follow a natural train of thought or to say anything other than "here’s a thesis, and here are three reasons you should believe it.” In fact, there are an infinite number of ways to organize an essay simply because there are an infinite number of ways to think. These…Read more »
How to Organize Your Essay
How to Organize Your Essay
Learn how to organize your essay. This basic structure is suitable for most essays, whether it's for English, Social Studies, or a standardized test. Topics include advice on writing a hook, a thesis, supporting paragraphs, a conclusion, a broader significance, and paragraph transitions. Every essay you will write, whether it's for English, Social Studies, Science, or a standardized test, argument or explanatory, will require some version of this basic structure: introduction, development, and conclusion. In more advanced classes, the structure of your essays will still be pretty much the same; they'll just be…Read more »
How to Write a Hook
How to Write a Hook
Learn how to write a hook (attention-getting intro) for an essay. Engage your reader before delivering your thesis. This video includes 5 kinds of hooks: inverted pyramid, fact/statistic, anecdote/personal experience, rhetorical question, and bold pronouncement. Also included are 3 hooks to avoid.Read more »
How to Write a Supporting Paragraph
How to Write a Supporting Paragraph
Learn how to write a supporting paragraph in a persuasive essay or other form of persuasive writing. Knowing how to build a credible argument empowers you by giving you the ability to manipulate your world and change people’s minds. Every loudmouth has an opinion, but unfortunately, not everyone supports their opinions with strong, persuasive evidence, Our sample topic for this video is whether pit bull bans should be retained or repealed. This is a hot issue in a lot of places. Our thesis is that the ban should be struck down. If you…Read more »
How to Write a Transition
How to Write a Transition
Learn how to write a paragraph transition.Topics include the purpose of a transition, standard transitional devices (like "Furthermore" and "In a similar way"), as well as more sophisticated transitions I call "links." Bonus: learn why a Jedi would make a good president. Paragraph transitions help guide your reader through your writing, so they don’t get confused. They show your reader your line of reasoning, so your sentences don’t come off as totally random. They show that your paragraphs are a well-organized chain of ideas working together to support your thesis.Read more »
How to Write a Counterargument
How to Write a Counterargument
Learn how to strengthen your argumentative writing with a counterargument and rebuttal. Topics include: the purpose of a counterargument, definitions of ethos, logos, and pathos, how to rebut a strong counterargument, and a few transitions you can use to precede your counterargument. Counterclaim is a synonymous term. This technique can also help you NOT be an Internet troll. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is cited as an exemplar. Using a counterargument and rebuttal is a way of showing that you have come to your position after giving a balanced…Read more »
How to Write an Effective Conclusion
How to Write an Effective Conclusion
Writing an essay conclusion can be tricky because the writer (you) is generally expected to take the topic to the next imaginative level. In this video, learn how to write an essay conclusion. Get clear, simple explanations of: paragraph transitions for conclusions, paraphrasing your thesis, and the "broader significance." Examples are given from four different kinds of essays, explanatory (expository), literary, persuasive (argumentative), and exploratory. This is a companion to my videos on how to write a hook, how to organize your essay, and how to write transitions. I hope this helps you…Read more »