• Objectives
  • Paragraphs
  • Introduction to Essays
  • The Writing Process
  • Narrative Essays
  • Descriptive Essays
  • Classification Essays
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  • Shape

    Before anyone reads your essay, you communicate something about your skill by the shape of the essay. You should divide your essay (more or less evenly) into paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion can be a little shorter than the body paragraphs if they need to be, but they should be pretty equal to each other.

    Short essays typically have four, five, or six paragraphs: one introduction paragraph; two, three, or four body paragraphs; and one conclusion paragraph. The number of body paragraphs you need can change depending on the essay's topic, style, or time requirement.

    When your essay will be printed (especially for your teacher to give you feedback), you should be careful to format the essay according to the directions your teacher gives you.


    Here are some common formatting directions you may need to know about:

    • Write your name at the top of the paper (at left or right).
    • Use 12 point font.
    • Use 1 inch margins (2.54 cm).
    • Double-spaced (2.0 spacing).
    • Make each paragraph left-aligned.
    • Indent the first line of each paragraph.

    This content is provided to you freely by Ensign College.

    Access it online or download it at https://ensign.edtechbooks.org/foundations_c_writin/shape_essay.