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Essay format

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The only way I was taught to write an essay was in 5-paragraph form. I learned I had to have a topic sentence and conclusion sentence for each paragraph. The thesis statement should include the 3 points I'm going to develop in the body of the essay. But I've heard others say their children don't use a 5-paragraph format. What else is there? Aren't all essays set up the same way, but sometimes there might be more than 3 points to develop?


My son started an essay from Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings today and I'm not sure it's a good introduction. But it does have a thesis statement with the 3 points mentioned. It's just so wordy! I hate, hate trying to teach writing.


BTW, I do have him using Write Shop Volume 1 because he isn't a strong writer. I usually have to prompt him on every sentence he writes. But I need essays from this English program because I'm keeping a portfolio for Keystone National High School so they'll give me and English credit for his transcript.

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