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IBDP Language and Literature - Essay Structure (Paper 1)

How to Organise your essay?

You can easily choose a question you are familiar with and write an essay. What counts, however, is how you organise your essay. It is better to have a well-structured essay with mediocre content than an unstructured essay with great content.

The introduction, body, and conclusion of a well-structured essay should all be solid. Let's look at how to write a good essay using some effective steps.

  1. Introduction
    Introduction is deemed to be the most important aspect of your answer, impress the examiner by an opening with a concise and factual statement. This plays a significant role in deciding the grade for the rest of your essay. As a result, start with a strong thesis or statement concerning the topic/theme/idea of your essay. Then present your text using GAPS:
    G- Genre
    A- Audience
    P- Purpose
    S- Style
    This is an effective way to begin your essay. Bear in mind that you must be precise in this situation. Here, you introduce the text by describing the genre it belongs to, the type of audience it was written for, the text's meaning, and finally, the text's style, which includes diction, narrative, and writing style, among other things.

  2. Body
    The body consists of the main points you wish to explore in your essay. PEALRAW is a tool for integrating all of the points into your essay in a clear and cohesive way.

P- Point
E- Evidence
A- Analysis
L- Link to the guidance question
R- Reader’s response
A- Alternative interpretations
W- Writer’s intention/choice

Select a point that you desire to emphasize and discuss, substantiate that point via evidence, deeply analyse the point, link this to the guidance question. After you've completed the first section, put yourself in the shoes of a reader and consider what they'll think when they read this text. Next, consider some alternate interpretations of the text, and finally, write about the writer's purpose and how they successfully (or ineffectively) expressed it in their choice of words. You'll have a well-defined body once this is completed.
Now is the time to concentrate on your conclusion, which is the next aspect of your essay after the introduction.

  1. Conclusion
    In most cases, students wrap up their essays by reiterating the points made earlier. This is widely regarded as the most inefficient way to end an essay. Your conclusion should be just as strong as your opening paragraph. As a consequence, you'll have to write this through the prism of persuasion.
    The three persuasive appeals that should be used are as follows:
  • Ethos
    (sometimes called an appeal to ethics), then, is used as a means of convincing an audience via the authority or credibility of the persuader, be it a notable or experienced figure in the field or even a popular celebrity.
  • Pathos
    (appeal to emotion) is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response to an impassioned plea or a convincing story.
  • Logos
    (appeal to logic) is a way of persuading an audience with reason, using facts and figures.
    Using these in your conclusion lends legitimacy to your work and will leave a lasting impact on the examiner.

Examiners will usually skim through your essay. As a consequence, ensuring that your introduction and conclusion are strong will give you more marks. As previously mentioned, a well-structured essay with poor content is preferable to an unstructured essay with excellent content.

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IBDP Language and Literature - Essay Structure (Paper 1)
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