SEX and Essays

SEX spices up your essays. Once you’ve stated what an essay paragraph is about in an attractive way (using an opening topic sentence as mentioned in a previous post), you have to do something with the rest of the paragraph! Your mission is to expand on the topic sentence and develop the point of the paragraph. This point should answer the essay question and convince your marker to give you marks. To craft a convincing essay, you will need strong evidence. Evidence is made up of two components: Examples and Explanations of those examples. How can you remember to include all the elements that make up an effective paragraph? Think of SEX:

Just Joking R18 Statement
(Many students find this acronym memorable for some unknown reason – it even seems to be more memorable than the logical acronym “SEE”!).

SEX gives you the framework to begin piecing together the evidence you need to develop your points. Examples show your content knowledge; they prove that you’ve done the research or read the text. They also show that you’re answering the question in some cases. For example, an essay question may ask you to specifically discuss imagery or sound devices. Each example is linked to an explanatory phrase which guides the reader to the essayist’s interpretation. This is where you show that you’re smart and that your analysis deserves marks. If you skip this important step, the marker is more likely to reach a different interpretation than yours and you will not score as highly.

So there’s an introduction to the art of developing your point. More on SEX is something to save for another time…

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  1. #1 by Jason Armishaw on October 15, 2010 - 11:54 am

    You almost had me, in fact, you did! Nice title…certainly worked for me. Content wasn’t bad either 🙂

    Well done guys,

    • #2 by jwrait on October 15, 2010 - 11:56 am

      Haha, thanks Jason!

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