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This is a traditional five-paragraph essay.  Its key components are labeled in the left column.  The table colors match
the colors on the Essay Structure Revealed page.

The introduction comes first and has a general to specific idea structure (look at the bolded words).  The last sentence is the thesis.  It is the most specific because it tells what the whole essay is about.  I wrote a nice explanation of the introduction writing process using this introduction.  Just click the link above, do some reading, and come back here.

The thesis—the essay’s whole focus in a compact, easy to understand sentence
.

 
Some American cities have a bland history, but some are steeped in the rich lore created by its citizens. Few cities can boast of the legends and history that Hollywood can. Ever since it first become the film capitol of the world, it has drawn the attention of Americans from coast to coast. Its silent movies became talkies; its black and white movies, color ones; its actors, stars. While the movies themselves make money, it's the actors that have made Hollywood interesting. Some actors were discovered in drugstores. Others started as stuntmen or cowboys. However, few made their debut as Errol Flynn did--as a corpse. Flynn's first Hollywood scene featured him as an unidentified body. Flynn's career may have started on a macabre note, but by the time it peaked, he was Hollywood's highest paid actor. Today, few people under forty would recognize the name, but despite that fact, Flynn still holds one claim to fame that many actors then and now cannot. Errol Flynn lived life on his own terms regardless of the consequences on his movie career, his personal life, and his twilight years.

The first body paragraph begins with its topic sentence, a sentence that tells the point of the paragraph.  Its point helps explain or prove the thesis. 

The [bracketed numbers] correspond to the numbers found at The Art of Styling Sentences page.  They aren’t tough to use, and they distinguish your writing from a third grader’s. 

Transitions lead the reader from one idea to the next in a very brain-friendly way by showing the relationship the ideas have.  You can find a nice categorized list at transitions.







The clincher sentence states the paragraph’s main idea one more time and gives the reader another chance to get your point.
This method for living both created his movie career and destroyed it.  [R2 12 10] Born in Tasmania not far from Australia, Flynn tried a number of vocations as a young man in his twenties: reporter, copra plantation manager, slave trader, and gold prospector.  When gold digging didn’t pan out, he took up the metaphorical variety looking for an easy way to riches.  He left home, acted in the British theatre for a time, and wound up on a ship bound for America via England.  [10a] On board was one of America’s top actresses of the twenties and thirties—Lili Damita.  Flynn worked his magic on Damita, and soon after they married.  Consequently, it was Damita who promoted Flynn around Hollywood and got him his first starring role in Captain Blood.  [18] His stardom assured, Flynn divorced Damita and left the raising of their son Sean largely to Damita.  Now internationally known, Flynn felt he could set his own terms and became noted as troublesome on the set, dictated his own work hours by showing up late, and often didn’t show up at all.  In between films he sailed on his yacht, often missing the start date for his next film.  Indeed, only the box office success of Flynn’s films, like the now classic Robin Hood, kept him on the Warner Brothers payroll.  [11] Flynn, in his autobiography My Wicked, Wicked Ways, told the tale of his painting the word “Tears” on a water bucket and presenting it to Jack Warner prior to a salary negotiation, telling Warner he would fill the bucket when he found out how much he would pay Flynn. While this anecdote is humorous, it does depict the adversarial relationship Flynn had with the studio throughout his tenure there.  Had he been more professional toward the studio and not seen it as a leech on his talent but rather as the source of easy work and a fountain of income during the Depression years, they would have kept him the payroll. [4] Instead, they ended his contract when his pictures were no longer grossing enough to allow the studio to put up with antics they saw as unprofessional, tedious, costly.  Flynn’s terms for his professional life ended it early.
The second body paragraph’s topic sentence also has a transitional phrase.  The transitional phrase mentions the previous paragraph’s idea before presenting the new paragraph’s idea.  Notice the reference to Flynn’s movie career at Warner Bros. followed by the new topic—his personal life.  I didn’t need a transitional phrase in the first body paragraph since it was so close to the thesis.








Clincher Sentence
Many of the same factors that ended Flynn’s stint with Warner Brothers also affected his personal life.  [N 30] The chief reason for Flynn’s failure in both arenas was his hedonistic pursuit of pleasure.  After reading Confessions of an Opium Eater, Flynn felt that he too had to explore the world of narcotics.  Already a user of marijuana, Flynn graduated to heroin and later to morphine, feeling all the while that he could quit his “experimenting” at any time.  [11a] Combined with his penchant for hard drinking—it was a time when men were judged by how much they could drink—his drug use drove him to some bizarre behavior.  Ever unwilling to say no to adoring female fans, Flynn often failed to discover their age prior to romantic interludes and was twice charged but never convicted on statutory rape charges.  For example,During his second marriage, he kicked his pregnant wife Nora in the stomach when she told Flynn’s father of his drug use.  His abuse toward her during his bouts with drinking and drugs ended their marriage.  Flynn’s third marriage began after he had been cut loose by Warner’s and was often living abroad.  As his drug use increased, this marriage too began to founder and was made worse as Flynn, pushing fifty and using more drugs, took up with a teenage girlfriend.  [16a] Flynn often told friends how regretful he was that he hadn’t been much of a father for his three children, but the terms he set for his life targeted pleasure, not the rigors of fatherhood. [11] His personal life, wherein he chose the roles to play, should have been more than a regret.
This topic sentence also has a transitional phrase that mentions the topics the previous two body paragraphs—professional life and personal life—before tackling his twilight years.

 












Clincher Sentence
The twin failures of his professional life and his personal life definitely left their marks on his twilight years.  The twilight came much sooner for Flynn than for most.  Thanks to drinking, his liver stopped functioning.  Furthermore, when he tried to quit, he couldn’t go for more than three days at a time without his morphine, and he didn’t often try.  [16] One of the sadder truths for addicts is the longer they use, the more they need.  [3] Flynn’s need prevented him from learning short speeches; he needed cue cards hidden on the set.   Ironically, the only time film critics paid much attention to Flynn was in his twilight years when years of drug and alcohol use had given him the body and looks of a man twenty years older and was able to realistically play a man who was the shadow of his former self and the pain that comes with a troubled life.  In fact, he made something of a comeback, one that hinted that he had real talent over and above that expected of the Hollywood pretty boy he once was, but his drug use finally turned him into a glassy-eyed man, uninterested in anything besides his next hit. [12] Falling into debt, he had to sell his house and his yacht, the only possession he really loved.  Consequently, Flynn’s twilight years came decades too soon.  [N 36] How did Flynn fail in his pursuit of pleasure? The pursuit via drugs deprived him of the personal and professional laurels that would have made his last years his best, most pleasurable years.
The thesis is restated here in the conclusion as the first sentence. It is not a repeat of the thesis in the introduction, but it is the same idea.

Using the same topics generated for the introduction but in reverse order, I wrote new sentences and achieved the specific to general structure of the conclusion as well as a definite ending.
Errol Flynn paid a price for living life his way. At the end as a heroin addict who owed money to most of the people he knew, Flynn was a pale shadow of the legend he once was. His life became a morality tale, a tawdry lesson, a bad example. He probably wouldn't have picked this sad end for himself. However, the other legendary actors that died sad deaths didn't pick their fate either. For some actors life was harder than the movies they made. For them Hollywood itself is the drug that damages the ego and eats away at the man from the inside. Hollywood, the most celebrated city in America, is more than the white-lettered sign on a hillside. It's the graveyard of legends.
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