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Remember when you were in middle school and you had to learn to write a five-paragraph essay? Because now it’s time to learn how to do it all in German. Although essays in many foreign languages are structured differently than in English, German essays are actually quite similar to their English equivalents. )And it’s very important to learn how to write and structure an argument in German if you’re planning to study there someday, or even if you’re simply interested in taking a class at the Goethe Institute or another German-language school at some point.Remember learning about thesis statements, opening paragraphs, conclusions and proving your point? So read on to discover everything you need to know about writing essays Are you ready to start writing?
Let’s take a look at an example opening paragraph and outline of an essay about the effect of World War I on German government and life.
Opening paragraph: Der Erste Weltkrieg war ein totaler Krieg, der Deutschland völlig veränderte.
At the beginning, the First World War strengthened old-fashioned ideas and systems.
However by the end, this war destroyed these old-fashioned things.)Notice that this opening paragraph is not very different at all from the first paragraph of an English essay.
Dieser Krieg hat 1914 angefangen, und 1918, als der Krieg zu Ende kam, waren die deutsche Gesellschaft, Regierung und Kultur nicht mehr erkennbar.
Am Anfang hat der Erste Weltkrieg altväterliche Ideen und Systeme verstärkt.
You can use the same structure you’ve always used to write your German essay, leaving you free to focus on grammar and vocabulary.
Notice also the use of phrases such as (on the other hand) is an ideal transition word to show that you’re moving into another section of your essay.
There’s another, less tangible reason why it’s not a good idea to write in English and translate to German.
Sure, in the example above, you could just remember that you need to change the word order when translating into German.