A presentation that I have done in the past is one on the characteristics of a good essay. In this presentation I would use an exemplary essay to explain to students these important characteristics:
* Momentum is built in the opening.
* There is movement and flow throughout.
* It sticks to the topic.
* It brings you back to an earlier point in the essay.
* It leaves you with something memorable.
However, the above procedure is top-heavy with teacher talk and could be vastly better with the addition of just the right video. An idea that I got from Dr. Roger Everett is to use various activities or sports as metaphors for a good essay. Some of these activities/sports are: a roller coaster ride; scuba diving; a small airplane ride; flying a kite; and car racing.
Dr. Everett shows his students a YouTube video of a good roller coaster ride. Coincidently, a good roller coaster ride has exactly the same qualities of a good essay given above. (For the third bullet point substitute the word tracks for the word topic.)
After having the class view the video twice, students in small groups can come up with their own examples of metaphors for good essays and present them to the class. The class can then read and analyze an essay to see if it has the above characteristics. Take a look at a video of a roller coaster ride to see if it demonstrates the characteristics of a good essay.