How To Write an Essay

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 The BBC method has never been bested;

advise of what you are going to tell them,

tell them, then remind them

of what you’ve just told them.

This method is ideal for essay writing.

As an example, suppose you were going to

write an essay on Robin Hood.

In your first paragraph you would touch on

the facets you intend to explore in your essay.

Depending on how you deal with Robin Hood;

a) a legend to be examined, where it began,

who and what perpetuated it, and how it is

considered in modern times


b) as a historical figure with reference to

the Crusades and the political situation in

England of the time;

your first paragraph would make your treatment clear.

An examiner would know where you were going with

your essay and what can be found within.

The succeeding paragraphs would explore each aspect

of the points raised in the first paragraph.

If you had chosen (b) you would write a paragraph on

the background to the Crusades, a paragraph on the

political situation before Richard II’s departure,

a paragraph on what transpired during his absence.

You would then introduce Robin in a paragraph which

described his background, his participation in the

Crusades and his return to England.

The next paragraph would describe why he became an

Outlaw and the next his ‘Merry Men’.

This would be followed by paragraphs covering the

various exploits, and the final paragraph would be

almost a mirror of the first.

This makes the reading of the essay simple, but

simpler still it the writing of it.

If you decide to include or omit something, you know

your first and last paragraphs must be changed.

There will be no unexplained points, no unexpected

intrusions. The essay hangs together.

When you edit it, you have a virtual ‘template’ in

your first paragraph so if you find your prose has

deviating towards the  (a) treatment,

(Robin Hood as legend), you can rework it.

Many essays are jammed with discordant bits of

information that seem to belong in a stream of

consciousness novel.

Others spend forever stagnating in one point made

three different ways.

By deciding on your first paragraph, you create

the order your essay will follow.

Easy to write, to read, and grade.


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