Essay Guide

How to Write an Essay

How to write an essay? This question is among the most common online requests, and it tends to come from students who have to write their papers on a weekly basis. A professor could be too busy to explain all the specifics as thoroughly as you would prefer, so looking for help from other experts is the only viable solution. First thing you should know is, it doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are — these skills could be sharpened with time. 

Even beginners are capable of writing essays in an effective way as long as they understand instructions and follow technical rules. An essay is defined as an average-sized piece of writing that presents writer’s perspective on the specific issue. It has unique structure and requires exceptional grammar, proper sentence length, and particular style. But let’s take a closer look at all these nuances so that you would understand what’s needed with absolute clarity.

3 Main Stages of an Essay Writing Process

Essays could be divided into different types. In the beginning, it might look overwhelming as there are persuasive, narrative, descriptive, argumentative essays, etc., but don’t worry — all of them follow the same rules. There are three major stages that people should cross when they’re working on their assignments. The first one is preparation. Then there is actual writing, the most important and substantial moment of your work. The final stage is revision, and despite the fact that lots of people consider it redundant, it has utmost importance, too. Each of these stages combines some specific steps, and we’re going to outline them for giving you a better idea of what academic essay writing is.

Stage 1. Preparation

Funnily, few individuals seek help with this writing aspect. They are anxious to get to the next stage and dismiss the relevance of preparation. You should try to avoid this mistake because a big part of your success is going to depend on it.

Understand Your Assignment

First, you need to get as much guidance from your college professor as you can. Read the instructions they gave you several times; repeat each sentence and ensure you understand what it’s about. If there is any confusion at all, clarify it right away. Sometimes guidelines could be bewildering. It’s also possible that you failed at understanding the way your professor phrased their request — do not worry about asking questions because it’s better to ascertain that you know what you’ll have to do and how to write a good essay rather than be forced to redo the assignment from scratch because of simple miscommunication.

Understand our Audience

Writing changes depending on an audience. If students are told they’ll be writing an essay for experts in business industry, they won’t have to explain every basic business concept to them. But if they have to share their ideas with general public, the approach should be more careful. These people would need help with understanding the intricacies, so future writers should take it into account.

Choose a Topic

In most cases, there will be a list that students could choose their preferred essay topic. But sometimes they are just given an essay writing guide and prompt — for example: “Analyze some of the most impactful stories you have read.” It’s essential to think carefully here because being personally interested in a topic is huge contributor to academic success. What would you like exploring, what book stands out in your memory? It does not matter whether it’s too old, too violent, or too vanilla — if you liked it, then use this chance for talking about it. The same principle applies to any other essay type. Even seemingly boring topics could be made interesting if you found personally fascinating angle for exploring.

Conduct Preliminary Research

Start Googling or searching for info early. Find the main object of your assignment, such as a book central to it. For learning how to do an essay properly, student should have clear idea of what aspects they’ll be focusing on, so if they need historical background, they have to find appropriate sources; if they are exploring consequences of some phenomenon, they should read related articles and seek out direct examples online. Prepare a list of literature sources you will be using.

Develop Thesis

This is the last sentence of introduction that presents the main claim an essay revolves around. It must be strong and all-encompassing: that’s a description of an entire paper in a single sentence. Pretend that it is the only thing your audience would read. They should be capable of understanding your end-goal with its help.     

Create Semi-detailed Outline

One of relevant steps to writing an essay is creating an outline. It allows for making things easier because you have a plan you could follow. When working on an essay, you could see each point you should explore and stick to them instead of losing track and jumping between different vague ideas. Outlines provide clarity, and this makes them an essential component of writing assignments.

Stage 2. Writing as the Heart of an Essay

This is the most complex but also an exciting part of writing process. The majority of your efforts will be invested into it, so be patient and follow the outlined rules for the best results. So, how do you write an essay?

Create an Intriguing Introduction

The first part of a paper must attract readers and make them want to read more. It has to introduce a student’s topic in broad strokes: they should find a balance between oversharing and remaining vague. People must understand what an essay is going to be about, but they should also look forward to knowing more rather than figuring out an outcome right from the start. Look at introduction as a teaser: establish your background in a few sentences, explain the relevance of selected topics, and formulate a compelling thesis. Keep in mind that intro shouldn’t exceed 10% of the overall content.

Build a Body and Support It With Evidence

This would be the meat of a paper — students have a chance of receiving the biggest number of points for it, so in case your intro is faulty, it’s possible to improve the situation by presenting a great and developed essay body. If you face problems at any stage, look for help online or ask professor for consultation because this is essential for understanding how to make an essay. Every paragraph should deal only with one point of an argument. Paragraph length itself should not surpass 200 words; it must start with a clear opening sentence and end with a concluding phrase. Provide evidence for supporting the point you’re making by citing relevant sources. When using a direct quote, watch so that it wouldn’t be long — it should present only vital information. Be sure you explain what it means and why you used it. Clarity is an effective tool that could help even the most inexperienced writers succeed in producing quality essay.

Write a Solid Conclusion

Students should know not simply how to write essay but also how to finish your paper. Present only information derived from previous paragraphs as no new facts can be introduced in this part. Repeat key points, paraphrase thesis, and leave several concluding remarks. Try making it sound final. You could also create a prognosis about the implication of your findings, but it depends on the type of your essay. Clarify it too if you need (and remember that conclusion should be no longer than 10% from the text, just like introduction). That’s it, your essay has come to an end! But it doesn’t mean that your job is done since there is still a third stage you will have to cover.

Stage 3. Revision

When a person pours hours into researching and writing an essay, they have no desire to spend even more time on it. Unfortunately, this decision leads to poor results as even if you are fantastic writer fluent in English, there could definitely be some mistakes you’ve missed. Grammar could be tricky, formatting is often a nightmare, and content could look good one day and disastrous the next. That is why you have to perfect and polish what you wrote.

Start with evaluating essay organization. Are there overly long or short paragraphs? Maximum preferable size is 200 words, like we said, while minimal size is usually 3 sentences. Intro and conclusion should be short yet concise — don’t make them longer than 10% or shorter than 5%. Review the content of each paragraph, especially when it comes to a body. Opening and closing sentences must be relevant, and your point has to be explored gradually bit by bit. Make certain you didn’t mix different information in one place chaotically.

Another strategy for how to do an essay lies in proofreading everything. Yes, it could seem time-consuming, but each sentence has to be read at least one more time because annoying errors could hide in the most unexpected places. Watch for missing words, punctuation problems, grammar issues, and unfinished sentences. The last stage is plagiarism check. After you are certain that your content is ready, test it via several reliable plagiarism checkers. If there are some improperly formatted quotes or phrases you’ve taken from somewhere without consciously realizing it, you will know and have a chance to correct it. After this is done, feel free to submit your work for a teacher’s evaluation because you’ve done your best.

Enjoy Good Grades With Our Help

Now you know how to write essays, so all that’s left is starting putting theory into practice. No need to feel worried — essays are such a common task that you’ll have plenty of time for sharpening your skills and increasing your understanding of writing mechanics. If you are having problems, just be open about it. Discuss it with your professor or search for help on the Internet as many other students are undergoing the same issues at this very moment. Remember the rules about structure; never forget about adding thesis at the end of introduction and make your body as strong as possible. The more essays you write, the better grasp on this process you’ll gain — this is guaranteed to improve your grades.

Elizabeth Baldridge

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

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