A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essay. It is not the only format what an essay outline looks like writing an essay, of course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind, especially as you begin to develop your composition skills.
The following material is adapted from a handout prepared by Harry Livermore for his high school English classes at Cook High School in Adel, Georgia. It is used here with his permission. The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a transitional “hook” which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper. Edgar Allan Poe stories he read as a child gave him the inspiration and instruction he needed to become the writer that he is.
Poe, as does Stephen King, fills the reader’s imagination with the images that he wishes the reader to see, hear, and feel. His use of vivid, concrete visual imagery to present both static and dynamic settings and to describe people is part of his technique. Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a story about a young man who kills an old man who cares for him, dismembers the corpse, then goes mad when he thinks he hears the old man’s heart beating beneath the floor boards under his feet as he sits and discusses the old man’s absence with the police. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a careful reader can observe Poe’s skillful manipulation of the senses.
The topic is Poe’s use of visual imagery. The sense of sight, the primary sense, is particularly susceptible to manipulation. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Poe uses the following image to describe a static scene: “His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness . Poe used the words “black,” “pitch,” and “thick darkness” not only to show the reader the condition of the old man’s room, but also to make the reader feel the darkness.