English Language: Middle School: Grades 6, 7 and 8 Quiz - Writing an Essay (Questions)

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An essay is a short piece of writing that generally gives the writer’s personal viewpoint on any given subject. An essay is comprised of three separate parts: an introductory paragraph, a thesis statement (3 or more paragraphs) and a concluding paragraph. At the very least, an essay will have five paragraphs.

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Introductory paragraph: An introductory paragraph informs the reader what the essay is about or, in other words, what is the topic of the essay. For example, let’s look at the following introductory paragraph. (Remember, the introductory paragraph needs to follow the rules of writing a complete paragraph.)

Charlotte Simpson, a fourteen-year-old girl living in the early 1800's, is learning how to be a proper young lady. She is learning how to dress properly, speak properly and even eat properly. However, all of that changes when she goes on board the Flying Sparrow bound for America.

This paragraph tells us what the essay is going to be about, i.e., Charlotte Simpson, and how her life changes.

Thesis statement: The thesis statement is the main body of an essay and will include at least three paragraphs. To make an essay complete, three points should always be addressed that relate back to the introductory paragraph. For example, let’s look at a portion of the following thesis statement:

Charlotte comes from a very wealthy English family. She attended the best schools in her country. She also wore the finest clothes in the latest fashions. She never wanted for anything. Life couldn’t be more perfect for a young girl on her way to becoming a young lady.

Once on board the Flying Sparrow, the first change that affected Charlotte was learning to communicate with the crew. Being considered a lower class than herself, this was something a lady did not do. Before long, however, Charlotte found that she very much enjoyed the crew’s friendship and even their questionable use of unsavory language.

The next change came when Charlotte put on a pair of baggy pants. If her grandmother could have seen her at that moment, she would have fainted. However, Charlotte found the pants to be very freeing as she walked out across the ship’s deck.

In these paragraphs there is one main point given in each. In the first paragraph we learn that Charlotte came from a wealthy family and it details some of the benefits she had from that. The second paragraph points out that Charlotte is communicating with a class of people that were different from her class and she was enjoying it. Finally, in the third paragraph, we have Charlotte putting pants on and telling the readers how she felt about it.

Concluding paragraph: The concluding paragraph is just as important to the essay as is the introductory paragraph. It sums up how the thesis statement supported the introductory paragraph and finishes the essay by resolving the topic at hand. For example, let’s look at the following concluding paragraph:

By the time the Flying Sparrow reached America, Charlotte had turned into a new person. No longer was she kept in a little box of proper respectability. Now she was a free young woman with a world of endless possibilities before her. Although she would miss the girl she had been, she was far more excited about getting to know the new girl she was blossoming into becoming.

This paragraph sums up the supporting paragraphs and readdresses the introductory paragraph that advised us that Charlotte would change.

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For each of the paragraphs listed below, determine if it is an introductory paragraph, part of a thesis statement, a concluding paragraph or if the paragraph is too confusing to know what it is about.
1. By the time I finished reading about Benjamin Franklin I felt like I could go out and discover my own new invention. He saw things as being simple rather than complex. I now find myself looking for the simple things in life rather than focusing in on complex stuff. With a clearer mind, I know that anything is possible.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
2. Our first stop was going onboard an airplane. Once there the stewardess showed us the flight instruction pamphlet. The pamphlet showed us how to use the breathing mask, how to get to the emergency doors and release the slide and how to use our seat cushion as a floatation device. We then each had a turn repeating the instructions to our make believe customers.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
3. I have always wondered what it would be like to be invisible. What possibilities would be open to me? More importantly, if I could become invisible, I wondered what things I could learn about myself through listening to other people. I wanted to find out if there was any possibility at all of making invisibility come true. Thus my journey began to find that answer.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
4. Coming to Las Vegas seemed like a good idea at the beginning. I’m not certain anymore. It’s really confusing and hot. Finding a place to live is hard too. I wanted to live near the Strip but it’s too expensive. Now I wonder if I made a really bad decision.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
5. Now that you have a good guideline to follow, you will be able to write a well written essay. No longer will essay writing make you feel a wave of fear. In fact, knowing how easy it really is, you can sleep easily and enjoy the writing. Best of all, you can find fun ways to capture your reading audience.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
6. Putting on a dress that was a replica to Dorothy’s dress in the Wizard of Oz was amazing! I also got to put on a pair of ruby slippers. The tour guide told us that the costumes were part of giving us the experience of being in the Land of Oz. It did make it feel real too!
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
7. Can it really be truth that anyone can be an artist? I often wondered about that, especially when you see my so-called creations. My art teacher, however, says that it is true and he gave me a book called Art for Dummies. Was I a dummy? After reading the book, I have come to a new conclusion about being an artist. I now believe anyone can be one and here is why I now believe that.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
8. Following the curving road was fun. At least my brother thought so. I like going to the beach better. I like the food better too. My mother always says she prefers going to our cabin in the mountains. I don’t because of the bears and spiders.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
9. After learning all about ghosts and how to communicate with them or how to find them, I am still not certain I believe in them. I guess I’m just one of those people who have to experience it personally before believing. I’m just not all that certain that I want to experience it. How about you? Would you like to have a ghostly experience?
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
10. We all climbed into the three waiting jeeps and headed to the plains. Our safari was finally underway. We were told that we would be able to see giraffes, zebras, elephants, rhinos and possibly even some cheetahs or lions. I was most looking forward to seeing the lions as they have always been my favorite wild animal.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
English Language: Middle School: Grades 6, 7 and 8 Quiz - Writing an Essay (Answers)
1. By the time I finished reading about Benjamin Franklin I felt like I could go out and discover my own new invention. He saw things as being simple rather than complex. I now find myself looking for the simple things in life rather than focusing in on complex stuff. With a clearer mind, I know that anything is possible.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[x] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This is clearly not an introductory paragraph nor does it provide a detailed point supporting or leading back to an introductory paragraph. It is also not confusing to the reader so Answers (a), (b), and (d) are not correct. It is, however, concluding a point, i.e., with a focus on simple things, anything is possible. The answer for this paragraph is Answer (c).
2. Our first stop was going onboard an airplane. Once there the stewardess showed us the flight instruction pamphlet. The pamphlet showed us how to use the breathing mask, how to get to the emergency doors and release the slide and how to use our seat cushion as a floatation device. We then each had a turn repeating the instructions to our make believe customers.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[x] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This paragraph appears to be part of the main part of an essay. It focuses on one specific point, i.e., learning the safety rules on an airplane. This paragraph is clearly part of a thesis statement so Answer (b) is the correct answer here.
3. I have always wondered what it would be like to be invisible. What possibilities would be open to me? More importantly, if I could become invisible, I wondered what things I could learn about myself through listening to other people. I wanted to find out if there was any possibility at all of making invisibility come true. Thus my journey began to find that answer.
[x] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This paragraph does not appear to be making a point or concluding a point, nor is it confusing. Rather, this paragraph appears to be an introductory paragraph about invisibility. The answer to this paragraph is Answer (a), an introductory paragraph.
4. Coming to Las Vegas seemed like a good idea at the beginning. I’m not certain anymore. It’s really confusing and hot. Finding a place to live is hard too. I wanted to live near the Strip but it’s too expensive. Now I wonder if I made a really bad decision.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[x] Too confusing
This is clearly not an introductory paragraph nor does it conclude anything. In fact, the reader is not totally certain as to what point is being addressed. Is it coming to Las Vegas? Is it confusing and hot? Is it finding a place to live? Is it about making bad decisions? It doesn’t seem to be supporting any one thing. In fact, it leaves the reader feeling a bit confused. Answer (d) too confusing is the answer that fits this paragraph.
5. Now that you have a good guideline to follow, you will be able to write a well written essay. No longer will essay writing make you feel a wave of fear. In fact, knowing how easy it really is, you can sleep easily and enjoy the writing. Best of all, you can find fun ways to capture your reading audience.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[x] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This is clearly not an introductory paragraph nor does it provide a detailed point supporting or leading back to an introductory paragraph. It is also not confusing so Answer (d) is not correct. It is, however, concluding a point, i.e., essay writing is easy. The answer for this paragraph is Answer (c).
6. Putting on a dress that was a replica to Dorothy’s dress in the Wizard of Oz was amazing! I also got to put on a pair of ruby slippers. The tour guide told us that the costumes were part of giving us the experience of being in the Land of Oz. It did make it feel real too!
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[x] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This paragraph appears to be part of the main part of an essay. It focuses on one specific point, i.e., putting on costumes that were replicas of the ones worn in the movie The Wizard of Oz. This paragraph is clearly part of a thesis statement so Answer (b) is the correct answer here.
7. Can it really be truth that anyone can be an artist? I often wondered about that, especially when you see my so-called creations. My art teacher, however, says that it is true and he gave me a book called Art for Dummies. Was I a dummy? After reading the book, I have come to a new conclusion about being an artist. I now believe anyone can be one and here is why I now believe that.
[x] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This paragraph does not appear to be making a point or concluding a point, nor is it confusing. Rather, this paragraph appears to be an introductory paragraph about how anyone can be an artist. The answer to this paragraph is Answer (a), an introductory paragraph.
8. Following the curving road was fun. At least my brother thought so. I like going to the beach better. I like the food better too. My mother always says she prefers going to our cabin in the mountains. I don’t because of the bears and spiders.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[x] Too confusing
This is clearly not an introductory paragraph nor does it conclude anything. In fact, the reader is not really certain what is being discussed. Is it the road? Is it going to the beach or going to the mountains? Is it about bears and spiders? It doesn’t seem to be supporting any one thing. In fact, it leaves the reader feeling a bit confused. Answer (d) too confusing is the answer that fits this paragraph.
9. After learning all about ghosts and how to communicate with them or how to find them, I am still not certain I believe in them. I guess I’m just one of those people who have to experience it personally before believing. I’m just not all that certain that I want to experience it. How about you? Would you like to have a ghostly experience?
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[ ] Thesis statement
[x] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This paragraph is clearly not an introductory paragraph nor is it providing any detailed point supporting or leading back to an introductory paragraph. In addition, it is also not confusing at all so Answer (d) is not correct. It is, however, concluding a point, i.e., not certain that ghosts exist. The answer for this paragraph is Answer (c).
10. We all climbed into the three waiting jeeps and headed to the plains. Our safari was finally underway. We were told that we would be able to see giraffes, zebras, elephants, rhinos and possibly even some cheetahs or lions. I was most looking forward to seeing the lions as they have always been my favorite wild animal.
[ ] Introductory paragraph
[x] Thesis statement
[ ] Concluding paragraph
[ ] Too confusing
This paragraph appears to be part of the main part of an essay. It focuses on one specific point, i.e., seeing animals on a safari. This paragraph is clearly part of a thesis statement so Answer (b) is the correct answer here.