If you know a lot about a concept, you can certainly use your own knowledge and experience. However, it also helps to look up the concept online and also use interviews and surveys to help pinpoint what your audience knows and what they need to know. If you know someone who knows more about this concept than you, you can interview them to get information.
Moreover, if this person or you has special credentials which show they are an expert on this subject, be sure to include that in your essay so that your reader knows your explanation is authoritative.
Research interesting details and information. Sources can be your own observation, personal experience, readings, interviews, research and surveys Make it interesting by giving vivid detail, using humor, and giving good examples.
Draw reader in with title and opening paragraph How Did this Happen? Source Choosing a Topic First, you might want to look at my list of topic ideas for essays that explain. Once you have a topic, you will need to decide what way you want to approach it.
Most topics can be several types of essays. The body of the essay then discusses these categories one by one in separate paragraphs. How to: Explain how something happens or how to do something. Divide it into parts or steps. The body of this essay would use different aspects of the comparison for each paragraph.
This uses similes, metaphors or analogies and vivid word pictures examples: love is like a river, a basketball game, or a teeter-totter. Cause and Effect: Show how one thing causes another to occur example: falling in love causes you to seem more attractive to others.
When you are finished you will have a page filled with seemingly random words. Read around on the page and see if you have discovered anything or can see connections between any ideas. On a piece of paper list all the ideas you can think of connected to subjects you are considering exploring. Consider any idea or observation as valid and worthy of listing.
List quickly and then set your list aside for a few minutes. Come back and read your list and do the exercise again. This technique helps you look at your subject from six different points of view imagine the 6 sides of a cube and you get the idea. Take your topic or idea and 1 describe it, 2 compare it, 3 associate it with something else you know, 4 analyze it meaning break it into parts , 5 apply it to a situation you are familiar with, 6 argue for or against it.
Write at a paragraph, page, or more about each of the six points of view on your subject. Journalistic questions. Write these questions down the left hand margin of a piece of paper: Who? And Why? Think about your topic in terms of each question. So What? Now what? Again, write for a page or more. Defining terms. Although this suggestion is simple and may seem obvious, it is often overlooked.
Write definitions for key terms or concepts in your own words. Summarizing positions. You can summarize readings by individual articles or you can combine what you think are like perspectives into a summary of a position. Try to be brief in your description of the readings. Write a paragraph or up to a page describing a reading or a position.
Metaphor writing. Sometimes it may be easier to create a metaphor or simile may help you understand your view of an idea before you can put it fully into sentences or paragraphs. Write a metaphor or simile and then explain to someone why your metaphor works or what it means to you. Applying ideas to personal circumstance or known situations.
Sometimes ideas come clearest when you can put them in a frame that is meaningful to you. Take a concept from your reading assignments and apply it so a situation in your own life or to a current event with which you are familiar. You may not end up using this application in your final draft, but applying it to something you know will help you to understand it better and prepare you to analyze the idea as your instructor directs.
Organizing Once students have something on the page to work with, they can begin the decision-making process crucial to developing a coherent idea or argument. At this point, students will choose which ideas most appeal to them, which ideas seem to fit together, which ideas need to be set aside, and which ideas need further exploration. The following activities will help students make decisions as they shape ideas: Drawing diagrams.
Sometimes it helps to look for the shape your ideas seem to be taking as you develop them. Jot down your main ideas on the page and then see if you can connect them in some way. Do they form a square? A circle? An umbrella with spokes coming down? A pyramid? Does one idea seem to sit on a shelf above another idea? Would equal signs, greater or less signs help you express the relationships you see between your idea? Can you make a flow chart depicting the relationships between your ideas?
Making charts or piles. Try sorting your ideas into separate piles. You can do this literally by putting ideas on note cards or scraps of paper and physically moving them into different piles. You can do this on the page by cutting and pasting ideas into a variety of groups on the computer screen. You can also make charts that illustrate the relationships between ideas. Scrap pile. Be prepared to keep a scrap pile of ideas somewhere as you work.
Some people keep this pile as a separate document as they work; others keep notes at the bottom of a page where they store scrap sentences or thoughts for potential use later on. Here are a few options. Define by function. Explain what something does or how something works. Define by structure.
Tell how something is organized or put together. Define by analysis. Compare the term to other members of its class and then illustrate the differences. These differences are special characteristics that make the term stand out. When you write this type of essay, you do not adopt a stance or provide a point of view on the essay topic. Even if you write about a controversial topic, you need to explain all the sides of the controversy instead of taking one particular side.
This type of essay can be written on any essay length. If you are writing a concept paper for the first time, follow these simple steps to get started: 1. Select a Topic You may be given a specific essay topic or you may be told to write your essay on a topic of your choice. If it is the latter, look for a topic that you find interesting.Axelrod and Charles R. Cooper explain in "The St. Martin's Guide to Writing.
Examples of such topics would be racism, wisdom or communication. This distinction can sometimes clarify a definition and help a reader to better understand it. A thesis statement states or outlines what you intend to prove in your essay.
What is the process of electing a new president in the United States? Now what? However, it also helps to look up the concept online and also use interviews and surveys to help pinpoint what your audience knows and what they need to know. This technique helps you look at your subject from six different points of view imagine the 6 sides of a cube and you get the idea.
Try reading the sentences starting with the last sentence of the draft and moving up. You are educating someone about a topic, so make sure you know as much as possible about it. Or have you ever had an instructor who did teach clearly, but was boring? Be prepared to keep a scrap pile of ideas somewhere as you work.
If you have questions about points to emphasize, the amount of evidence needed, etc. Once students have a complete draft of a paper, they need ways to share their ideas to learn points where their ideas need further development. It introduces the reader to the idea that the essay will address. As you teach your ideas to someone, else you may begin to have more confidence in the shape of your ideas or you may be able to identify the holes in your argument and be more able to fix them.
The sentences that follow should clarify your opening statement.
Write about feelings about writing. Once you have done your research, you will decide how much of it to use. Writing a full draft, even if you think the draft has problems, is sometimes important. You may need to test out more than one idea before you settle into a particular direction for a paper. What causes pollution?
The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph.
Here are a few options. What is the history of the homeschooling movement or charter schools, or vouchers? Next, make a list of potential solutions. Give a clear definition.
Concept essays themes tend to be more abstract than the topics for other essays. Axelrod and Charles R. What is the process your body uses to fight infections? These decisions may be ones of word choice, organization, logic, evidence, and tone. If the object of the essay is to explain a process expository , then write down a step in each circle. That main point is stated in the topic sentence of the paragraph.