“Which of the four seasons of the year appeals to you the most? Why?”

 

As a child, I remember my mother fishing my jacket out from the back of the closet as the cool northerly winds approached suburban Atlanta. This would always be a time of excitement for me because I knew that we would have to trek to the store to find a new jacket because my old one would invariably be too small. Twenty-something years later, I have stopped growing. But as I slip on the same jacket I have owned for years, I am again reminded why autumn is my favorite season.

Note that the author begins the introduction with a personal anecdote—a few details from his childhood--and then leads to his general thesis statement (in yellow). He does NOT list the reasons that autumn is his favorite season. He makes the general statement that answers the essay question—Which of the four seasons appeals to you the most? His answer is AUTUMN.

 

          I have never acclimated well to the hot, blistery days of summer. Autumn is a time of refreshing renewal. The cool evening breezes bring welcome relief to the early days of fall when the afternoons are still hot. Sitting on my porch with a glass of tea after a long day of yard work, I enjoy a few moments of rest as the sun begins to set. This is also the time of year that I open all of the windows in the house and let the crisp, cool air flow through every room.

In this first body paragraph, his topic is the lovely weather of autumn. Through his specific details, you can “see” him on his porch enjoying the weather and the air flowing through the house.

 

          Not only do I enjoy the cool breezes of autumn, but I also look forward to roasting marshmallows and hotdogs. At the first sign of fall, I begin to gather wood to stack next to the shed. Not a week goes by that my family and I are not sitting on benches or tree stumps in the back yard, huddled around a fire with coat hangers, offering sacrifices of marshmallows and hot dogs to the fire gods. There is nothing better than crunching on a freshly blackened hotdog.

Notice the nice transition phrase NOT ONLY… referring to the first body paragraph that segues to BUT ALSO for his next topic—roasting marshmallows & hotdogs. Here he also has a nice metaphor—sacrifices/fire gods. He also uses sensory language—crunching on a freshly blackened hotdog.

 

          I also love to see the leaves change colors as the weather turns cold. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the red, gold and auburn leaves that can be seen at every turn of the road. It is as if the land suddenly becomes alive with color in one last show of splendor as it prepares for the frigid winter ahead. I find myself frequently pulling my camera out and capturing the beauty of nature around me.

For the final point—leaves changing color—the author adds details that convince the reader of the importance of this final point.

         

In conclusion, autumn helps me remember the simple truths in life: take time to rest, spend time with family, and stop and look at the wonder of nature once in a while. As a child, I was too young to appreciate these truths. But as a husband and a father, I realize that with each passing season, I am more and more thankful for them.

Notice the author’s final point—autumn helps him remember simple truths—and he again refers to his childhood (from the introduction) to bring the essay to closure. He does NOT restate his thesis nor his three points from the body.

--Chris Nixon