For most essays that you need to finish quickly (like on standardized tests or on essays that are due in like, one hour), it goes a little something like this:
I. Introduction (paragraph #1): State your main idea/topic in one sentence. State your 3 main points (from your body paragraphs) in three sentences. State a concluding sentence about your topic.
- Main Point #1 (2nd paragraph). State your 1st main point in one sentence. Then describe/elaborate on this point in three more sentences.
- Main Point #2 (3rd paragraph). State your 2nd main point in one sentence. Then describe/elaborate on this point in three more sentences.
- Main Point #3 (4th paragraph). State your 3rd main point in one sentence. Then describe/elaborate on this point in three more sentences.
II. Conclusion (5th paragraph). This can basically be the same as your introduction, but re-word it differently.
Writing an essay is easy-peasy-quick-and-cheesy when you THINK IN 3’S. Say what? Say thank you, sir, because when you THINK IN 3’S most of your essay will be figured out in about 30 seconds. Yes, 30 seconds!
It’s like this, that, and this: Your essay directions will usually give you the main topic to write about, and your mission now is to quickly come up with 3 main points about that topic and write down those points immediately. (These 3 main points should just be a simple phrase/sentence each.) Those 3 main points can basically be your outline.
Practice thinking in 3’s until you can come up with 3 reasons for anything in less than 30 seconds. Answer this question in 3’s right now: “Why did you go to school last week?” Think of 3 main reasons in less than 30 seconds… RIGHT NOW.
(I’m waiting, yo.)
Okay, 30 seconds have now passed. Could you do it? The reasons don’t have to be absolutely brilliant or ground-breaking, just good enough to explain/describe in a few sentences. So if your reasons for coming to school last week were something like, “…because I’d get in trouble with my mom,” “…to improve my brain,” or “… so I can earn a living in the future,” then that’s fine- you’re on your way to thinking in 3’s.
Here’s another one. Answer this question in 3’s right now: “In what ways is this blog helpful or not helpful for students?”