How to Use an Essay TemplateThursday, April 29th, 2010
Essay templates can make your life simpler
Writing an essay is not something that can be done following strict directions from a template. An essay should not be written down on a formula, since the best possible essays should be personal: add interesting details and be written with passion and commitment. However, many students suffer from the so-called writer’s block (which is very common, even professional writers experiment it once in a while). In such cases, an essay template can come really handy.
Be careful with templates
When you need help organizing your essay in an effective way, you may find generic templates really useful. Online there are all kinds of essay templates for the most common essay types. Anyway, you should be very careful when using them. If you follow them strictly or you just “fill in the blanks”, the result will be unpleasant and you will probably fail. In fact, relying heavily on templates only will end up producing one of the worst essays possible!
Always keep in mind that essay templates are solely intended to give the student a quick general idea on how to organize their writing in the very first stages. You are supposed to develop your creative writing and only take the template as a “piece of advice”, that is, a general guideline. Feel free to change, add or take out some parts of it if you feel they are not good for you.
Most templates are designed for a five paragraph essay. That is why they are organized pretty much in the same way. That is: they begin with an introduction, follow with three body paragraphs -each of them focused on one main point-, and close the essay with a conclusion, very similar to the introduction but summarizing the ideas written in the body paragraph.
Each paragraph begins by stating a certain fact, then it is followed by comments and examples on such fact. That is the part where the student is supposed to do the research. And, of course, templates emphasize that the conclusion should be similar (although never identical) to the introduction. Paraphrasing and using synonyms is very important, then. Always remember this when you are working with an essay template.
Help with essay sentences
Finally, some templates provide the student with some of the most common essay sentences. If you use them constantly, they will sound totally cliche. However, they can be useful if you don’t manage to find the appropriate register when writing your essay. For example, “In the first place / Secondly / Last but not least” (for stating the main points in each body paragraph), “As far as I am concerned, I prefer…” (for giving your own opinion), “There is a reason that forces us to accept Mr. Y’s point of view…” (for quoting authorities), “So, based on all the above mentioned points, I think…” (for concluding an essay).
Every student should use a template only a few times. The important thing is that you eventually learn how to plan your essay in your own way.