I think the idea of writing an “essay” is intimidating because students tend to think of it as being more complicated than what it is. Today, we discussed the characteristics of an effective essay (I try to avoid using the phrase “good essay” because I think it’s vague). Effective in doing what? The one and only goal of an essay is to communicate a thought in a clear and cohesive presentation. That’s it. All the thing we look for in an effective essay serve that one purpose: clearly communicate an idea, a thought, an argument, a position, or a claim. Organization, evidence, supporting details, explanations, analysis, grammar, spelling, punctuation, transitions, and so on… they have a purpose. One purpose: communicate the writer’s idea. That’s it.