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An effective essay involves developing an outline, planning

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An effective essay involves developing an outline, planning topic sentences, and identifying supporting points. How might you use these three concepts in planning and writing your expository essay? Additionally, where might you place the topic sentence in your supporting paragraphs? Why would you place it there? Why is the thesis statement usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph? How might you create unity and coherence in your essay? MUST BE ATLEAST 200 WORDS
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Short Essay (2 pages or less)
Expert:  LoriHR replied 2 years ago.

hintonrae :

Hi, fashionista. I can answer this for you--give me a few minutes to draft it in Word so I can verify the word count for you, and I will return shortly. :)

hintonrae :

Here you are:

hintonrae :

In planning and writing an expository essay, is important to first begin with an outline. An outline is a useful tool for assisting the writer with moving past writer’s block and helping him/her to organize the information in a logical, balanced sequence. It helps indicate the relationship of pieces of information to each other, and lets the writer know early in the process if he or she needs to acquire more information in a certain area, or if he has too much in another. Organizing the information ahead of time in this manner helps create unity and coherence throughout the essay, rather than the alternative, which is to write randomly about whatever ideas come to mind.


The outline will also help the writer determine topic sentences for each body paragraph, as each heading in a simple outline typically lends itself to be used for this. Once those key ideas have been established, the writer can fine tune the topic sentences, and move on from that point to further develop the supporting points. The supporting points are the sub-headings found in an outline, with details extending from those. For example, the structure might resemble something like the following:



  1. Topic Sentence (ex: One factor to consider with the growth of the world’s population is the effect on the environment.)

    1. Supporting Point (ex: As cities grow, natural areas diminish.)

    2. Supporting Point (ex: As humanity increases, natural resources decrease.)

    3. Supporting Point (ex: As humanity uses natural resources over and over again, such as land, it does not allow time for recovery.)



The topic sentence is generally placed at the beginning of each new paragraph, with a transitional statement to move the reader fluidly from one idea to the next. Transitional words and phrases might be those like “therefore,…” and “due to this,…”. These help to create unity and coherence throughout the essay, as well. Placing the topic sentence here cues the reader immediately in to what that paragraph’s main idea is.


The thesis statement, however, is usually placed toward the end of the introductory paragraph. This is done partially for effect, as it leaves the reader with a lingering curiosity about the topic and a desire to read more about it. Generally the thesis requires some introductory information, as well, which takes place in a couple of preceding sentences.

hintonrae :

This is roughly double the 200 word count--I hope that's okay. It was difficult to get all of that info in there! I can pare it down a bit if you need me to. Hope this helps you out--have a great day.

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