Why is an essay of different types
Especially in German lessons you can't avoid writing essays. In class, the students learn to write and structure texts independently. They practice spelling and grammar and can encourage their creativity. However, the many different types of essays sometimes create confusion. Sometimes it is important to write a discussion, then again a synopsis or description, a narrative of experiences or a picture story. From my many years of experience in teaching practice, I know that this can quickly lead to a topic being missed. So that this doesn't happen, I'll give you writing tips and introduce you to the most important types of essays. So the next essay will definitely succeed! 👍
What is an essay?
An essay is a written text on a given topic, which has a certain form depending on the type of essay. Essays are mainly used in language lessons - they can be used to train sentence structure, spelling and grammar as well as the feeling for language. It is not only about the writing of a text and its linguistic correctness, but also about a comprehensible content structure.
6 tips for a successful essay! 🔥
An essay is usually graded according to various factors that result in an overall grade. In my teaching units, I grade spelling and grammar, form, content and style. In the following, I'll tell you my best practice tips on how to best master the requirements of these four sub-areas.1. Note the task 🧐
Read the assignment carefully so that you are sure which type of essay to write. This is how you avoid missing a topic. Then familiarize yourself with the nature of the text (see below) and consider what the main message of the essay is.
If the students have to choose the topic of the text themselves, for example in the case of an experience narration, a topic should be chosen that interests your child and about which they may already know something. It is always easier to write on a topic that you are familiar with and interested in.
2. Collect ideas and take notes
To write wildly, usually leads to a very unstructured, in the worst case even incomprehensible text. In preparation for writing, you should first collect ideas and take notes.
Ask your child what they can think of about the topic without thinking. Imagination and creativity are required here! The imaginative ideas should then be structured. It is particularly clear to arrange these thoughts in a mind map. This gives you an overview that you can refer to when you then write the text.
3. The structure of essays 📝
Most types of essays have the same basic structure: At the beginning of the text there is an introduction, followed by the main part and finally the conclusion. The "top-hat" mouse can serve as an aid: like the snout of a mouse, the introduction should be short and crisp, the main part should be long like the body and the end should be short like the bottom and the mouse tail. 🐁
⇨ The introduction consists of only a few sentences and is intended to introduce the reader to the topic of the text and to provide an overview. When describing a person, for example, the person is introduced in one to three sentences in order to go into this information later in the main part.
In the case of an experience narration, it is advisable to introduce the place, time and the people participating in the experience in the introduction. The point is that the reader can orientate himself. It is best to answer the questions in the introduction When?, Where?, What? and Who?This provides the reader with all the basic information he needs to understand the text.
⇨ The main part is the core of the essay and therefore the longest and most detailed of the three parts. Here you go into more detail on the information from the introduction. Depending on the type of article, processes are described, arguments put forward and justified. Living beings, things or events are described and analyzed. The main part should contain the questions How?Why? and What exactly? get answered.
⇨ Just like the introduction, the conclusion is only made up of a few sentences. At this point, the statement and the content of the article are briefly summarized. You can present insights and also express your own opinion (Attention! Your own opinion has no place in the introduction and main part!)4. Traceability 🤔
When writing a text, you should always make sure that it is understandable for others. What seems logical to us is sometimes difficult for an outsider to understand. Make sure that the content is not too extravagant and that there is a common thread. This mainly applies to free texts. Don't get lost in details!5. Write in a varied way 🤩
An essay should be easy to read. Avoid repeating words and use varied sentence beginnings. It damages the style of a text if the same words appear over and over again. In the online dictionary of the dude you can search for synonyms of the recurring terms. Instead of “going”, write “for a walk”, “dawdle”, “run” or “stroll”.
The possibilities are endless! Make sure that the sentences don't always start the same and are not too long. Both of these make reading difficult and may make the text lengthy and unnecessarily complicated. The more different words and phrases you use, the more interesting your essay will be!6. Revise and correct 👌
In the end, it is essential that you take the time to read the essay again calmly - several times at best. Watch out for spelling mistakes and carelessness and work on the wording. Read the text through once too, without paying attention to spelling and grammar. Focus entirely on the content. Is the text structured logically? Are the arguments clearly explained?
The most important types of attachments and their features!
I have taught many students who get lost in the jungle of different types of essays. Essays have different requirements and characteristics. So that you have an overview, I will introduce you to the most common types of essays
In a discussion, you present your point of view on a particular topic. Typical topics for discussion are, for example "Living in the country or in the city?""Facebook & Co - what are the advantages and disadvantages of social media platforms?" or "Cell phone in class - yes or no?"
In the introduction to a discussion, students briefly introduce the topic. In the main part, students provide several arguments for and against, as neutrally as possible. In the final part you give your own opinion. It is particularly important that your own view is well justified.
There are descriptions of people, animals and objects. This type of essay places high demands on the visual perception of children. Ideally, a person should describe a person who is present while writing, for example. So observations can be made and written down directly.
In the introduction the basic data of the person are briefly presented: their name, age, occupation and how you relate to the person (family member, friend ...).
in the Bulk the external characteristics as well as character traits, preferences etc. are presented. At the end you can put your own assessment of the person on paper. Above all, use a lot of varied adjectives when describing it. As you write the personal description, consider how you would introduce this person to someone who has never seen them.
A table of contents is about summarizing the content of a text briefly and meaningfully. It is therefore important to filter out the essentials and not dwell on details. To do this, one has to read the text whose content is to be reproduced carefully. Meanwhile, you can use a highlighter to highlight important people and action steps in bright colors. With this type of essay, you have to be careful to stay factual - your own opinion is not relevant. The table of contents is written in the present tense and should always be shorter than the text to which it relates.
This essay focuses on an experience that should be reported in an exciting and entertaining way. On the one hand, this can be an incident that your child has experienced himself - for example an eventful day at the sea. On the other hand, a topic can also be given in school, such as "But I was lucky!", and you can come up with a creative story for it.
Let your imagination run wild!
In both cases, the text must be written in the past tense. There is a climax in the main part. So start the story with a calmer narrative style to work towards the exciting climax. After the climax, the final part tells how the story ends, i.e. how the puzzle or problem is solved.
With this type of essay, first look carefully at the pictures and decide what the story is about by and large. Then pay attention to the details - maybe a bird is hiding in a tree or a person has a mustache or wears glasses.
Use these details for your story! Usually only certain scenes are shown in a picture story. Think about what happens between these scenes, so what is not shown. Then, as in the storytelling of experiences, build up an arc of tension that reaches its climax in the main part.
Practice writing essays in a playful way!
Your child can benefit in many ways from writing an essay: it helps them develop a confident sense of language, increase their vocabulary, apply grammar rules in practice and practice correct spelling. This not only has advantages for German lessons, but also affects all other school subjects.
There are many ways to practice essay writing at home without spending too much time and energy. For example, ask your child to describe another family member to you in as much detail as possible - and you have to guess who is meant. Or it should invent a fictional person and introduce you to it. You can also enter a few stimulus words, for example "ghost", "lock", "noise" and "scary", from which a fantasy story should be "tinkered" - each stimulus word must appear at least once.
Elisabeth is a GoStudent learning expert all around Read, Write, language and playful learning. She has many years of experience in book design, teaching German and editing. Her tips include language learning, text writing, and improving student reading skills, among other things. It is very important to her that learning is fun. That's why she has lots of tips for you to learn through play! 💪
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