Modern Classical Essay Form

Modern Classical Essay Form
A general structure for an essay that can be modified to suit your purpose:
Introduction: identification of problem(s) or context or topic
1. gets the reader interested;
2. tells the reader what is to come;
3. focuses the reader on your topic;
4. indicates what the writer will discuss and reveals his/her stance/position/attitude about the
general subject; and
5. indicates the parts of your argument (possibly), i.e., where you are headed with this topic.
An introduction should include a sentence that introduces the general subject; a
sentence or two that limits the subject to your specific aspect of the topic; and a
sentence or two that asserts your point about the subject.
Thesis: assertion (usually in paragraph 1)
Explanation of the argument
Support for the argument/proposal: first evidence
Support for the argument/proposal: second evidence
Support for the argument/proposal: third evidence
Other support.
Responses to probable objections
6. either summarize your evidence (without being repetitious);
7. restate the thesis with new emphasis;
8. place your argument in a larger context by indicating the effect of such and such;
9. raise further questions or implications; or
10. introduce a solution to the problem (if that is what you are discussing) or suggest a course of
Eleven Ways to Begin an Essay
The Anecdote
A Well-Known or Appropriate Quotation
The Rebuttal
The Generalization
The Definition
A Warning
The Strong Statement
A Question or Problem
The Setting or Background
In Medias Res ("in the middle of things")
Sensational Details