To write an essay about compassion, start by thinking about what the word “compassion” means to you. Once you have your ideas down, identify several of the most important aspects of compassion, and brainstorm examples for each aspect you identified. You should be able to use these ideas to help you structure your essay.

There is no one right way to organize an essay, but five-paragraph essays are probably the most popular format. Use your ideas about what compassion means to you as the thesis statement for your essay. For example, if you believe that compassion always means treating other people the way you want to be treated, you could say so in the introductory paragraph of your essay. The “aspects of compassion” you identified could then be used for writing body paragraphs. If you think, for instance, that kindness, generosity and forgiveness are key aspects of compassion, write a paragraph about each of them.

To complete your body paragraphs, start by introducing the main idea, and then tell a story that shows why the personality trait you identified as a key aspect of compassion is important. Including stories is a great way to make your writing clear, persuasive and interesting to your reader. End your essay with a concluding paragraph that ties all of your ideas together and reinforces your view on what compassion means.