Week 2


  • To gain a clear understanding of the essential parts of an essay.
  • To develop confidence approaching writing through familiarity with standard essay structure.

Sample Essay

Question: Some people prefer to cook and eat at home, others prefer going out to restaurants or eating at food stands. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

If I can choose between eating out and preparing dinner at home, I always opt for eating at a restaurant, or buying a snack from a street stall. Here in Korea, restaurants serve delicious food, and are cheap and convenient. After a long day at work, I prefer to relax in my free time rather than peel vegetables and wash dishes.

Many people say that nothing is as good as coming home to a homemade meal, prepared freshly by a mother or wife, but I completely disagree. Restaurants serve meals that are equally healthy and tasty, and moreover when I eat out I can choose exactly what I feel like from the menu with no restrictions. Further, restaurants often specialize in one or two particular dishes, and so the quality of the food is much higher than home cooking due to the expertise of the kitchen staff.

Further, eating out can be almost as economical as eating at home. Foreigners are often pleasantly surprised in Korea by restaurant prices, as here we can eat a tasty, complete and nutritious meal for only a few thousand won. If I add the price of food bought at the market to the time I would need to spend shopping, queuing, carrying, preparing and cleaning the kitchen after cooking, I find that eating out is actually the cheaper option.

In addition, nowadays women’s role in society has changed. In modern nuclear families, women are equally as likely to spend their days at work, pursuing professional careers, as their husbands or brothers. It is unrealistic to expect any man or woman to work eight to ten hours at the office (often with an additional one? two hours spent commuting), as well as making time for sports, leisure and family activities, and still find time to prepare dinner at the end of the day.

In conclusion, for modern lifestyles, eating out is much easier than cooking at home, and is equally satisfying. Restaurant food is often not only of equal or better quality than homemade dishes, but is also more economical when time is considered. Further, contemporary life means cooking nutritious meals at home every night is often impossible for families. Therefore, I choose to eat out, and save my precious few hours at home for enjoying my family, hobbies and relaxation.


  • Restate (paraphrase) the question in your first sentence. You should write as if your reader cannot see the question. This introduces the topic.
  • Grab the reader’s attention. Make a strong statement of opinion, also called the thesis statement (I always opt… I prefer)
  • Show direction to the reader in the last sentence of your introduction, let them know what the main points of the next paragraphs will be, and list them in the order they will appear.
Content Paragraphs
  • Signpost with a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph. This sentence introduces the main point of the paragraph clearly to the reader. Your reader should be able to know what the essays main points are even if they only read the introduction, topic sentences and conclusion.
  • Support your opinions. Give examples, suggestions and details to convince your reader that you are right. Just your opinion is never enough.
  • Stick to the plan! Don’t put in extra ideas just because you thought of them later? if they don’t support the point of the paragraph don’t use them. Don’t change the paragraph order, use the same order you used in the last sentence of your introduction.
  • Signpost more with transition signals, (also called discourse markers). Help the reader know if your next point or sentence is adding (In addition, further, moreover…), contrasting (However, on the other hand, despite this…) or just in a sequence (Firstly, Secondly, Finally).
  • Remind the reader of what you have already told them by summarizing the main points again. Do not introduce any new ideas!
  • Conclude with a strong statement that sums up your point of view, use clear, confident language to express certainty (eating out is much easier…Therefore, I choose…).