9 tips on how to write an essay

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Check out 9 easy steps to understanding how to write an essay

For many students, writing an essay is a real challenge. Unfortunately, most students don’t get the proper training to write an essay. This should be part of their education. If we add the lack of good writing skills, then writing an essay can be overwhelming.

However, writing an essay is something that you can learn. It takes some practice, but you won’t need any special talent to do it. You can follow some “standard” steps to write an essay that can get you a good grade. Or if you need an essay for a different purpose (a scholarship application, for example), these steps will guarantee success too. Read on. We’ll tell you how to write essays more easily.

So, what are these steps that you can follow? Let’s list them first:

  1. Choose a topic for your essay.
  2. Do thorough research on the chosen topic.
  3. Through brainstorming, get ideas of how to approach your topic.
  4. After considering different positions on the discussion matter, define your position clearly.
  5. Sketch and write the different paragraphs of your essay.
  6. Summarize all the main ideas that you have discussed to write your conclusions.
  7. Now that you have the body and conclusions of your essay, write the introduction. If necessary, amend your thesis statements as required.
  8. Clear up your mind by taking a short break.
  9. Now, read your entire essay. Edit whatever you deem necessary. Finally, proofread it and format it according to the instructions.

Now, we must note that you don’t have to follow these nine steps in the order that we listed above. You can start by writing the introduction, no problem. However, make sure you always write the conclusions at the end. It will be much easier to summarize and draw conclusions from a completed draft.

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Guidelines on how to write an essay

When your teacher or professor asks you to write an essay, you must know what to write first. This leads us to ask, what is an essay? It is simple. It is a text highly focused on an issue under discussion. You use an essay to argue and defend your position on the issue. For this sake, you use solid evidence as well as an in-depth analysis of the evidence. Your interpretation of the evidence is also important.

So, how to start an essay? First and foremost, you must read carefully the instructions provided by your teacher or professor. You must fulfill all the requirements of length, subject, and format. Different types of essays exist, and the instructions will probably indicate what type to write. The most common essays that you will write in college are argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive.

Each type of essay requires some particular writing skills. This makes some students wonder, who can write my essay? Well, there’s little to worry about. The steps listed previously apply to most types of essays. So, you’ll be able to write your essay in any case. However, whatever type of essay you must write, make sure your writing is impeccable. You must proofread your completed draft to remove grammar errors and typos.

How to write an essay step by step

To make things easier, we can group the nine previous steps into three stages: preparation (steps 1- 3), writing (steps 4-7), and revision (steps 8-9). We will describe all these steps in detail. So, if you don’t have any experience with writing essays, the following guide will be very useful. If English is not your mother tongue, you should check some material about how to write essays in English.

Hence, the following description is according to the grouping described above. This will allow you to focus more orderly on the different stages of the writing of your essay. This is the best way to describe how to write an essay for beginners. When you get more experience with these types of academic papers, you won’t need such a grouping. You’ll be able to write more freely following the order that you deem more convenient.

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The preparation stage

Choose a topic

Here, there are two possibilities. The first one is that your teacher or professors assign you the topic to discuss in your essay. The second one is that you are free to select the topic you want to write about. If you are assigned a topic, you still have to think about how you will approach it. Also, you must decide whether your essay will have a broad scope or will be focused on a specific aspect.

If you are free to choose your topic, then you can choose to discuss something you are passionate about. This will make the entire writing process more interesting to you. Also, the completed essay will be likely more appealing to the audience. However, always choose a topic that is of interest to you and your audience.

Do your research

Read as much as you can about the issue under discussion. Go to your library and read specialized books and journals. Always take notes from all the sources you are reading. Later, you will use your notes as evidence and references for your argument. Make sure to use reliable sources only. Most professors consider Wikipedia and other online resources as unreliable. Hence, any reference to such sources is considered weak evidence in academics.

Brainstorm ideas

Now that you have a topic and information about it, you must come up with some ideas to present your argument. A good strategy is to ask some questions about the topic. Write down everything that you have in your head. This will help to organize your thoughts. On the paper, it will be much easier to visualize how all your different ideas can be connected. You can make a diagram to visualize everything more clearly. Such a diagram will be useful later to sketch the content of your essay.

The writing stage

Define your position

Now that you have gained a much better understanding of the issue, take a clear position in the debate. You should write it down. You will summarize your position in your thesis statement. You must be ready to defend your position using logical arguments and solid evidence. Hence, make sure that you have the evidence to back all your claims.

Outline and write the body

Now that your position is clear, you can plan a “strategy” to defend it. The body of the essay will contain all your arguments in defense of your thesis. So, you can use one paragraph for each point in favor of your position. You must find the most logical order to introduce all your arguments. As the reader advances in the text, he or she must be more and more convinced of the correctness of your position.

Now, the writing itself takes place. Use short and clear sentences to explain your ideas. Describe and interpret the evidence that you present. You have to argue formally. This means that every claim you make must be backed up by solid evidence. Give a reference for every idea or result that is not yours.

Open each paragraph with one of your main ideas in favor of your thesis. Then, proceed to describe the evidence and thoughts that support this idea. If possible, give examples and include statistics and other supporting data.

Write the conclusions

This is one of the most difficult parts to write. Many students wonder how to write a conclusion for an essay. You can summarize your different arguments in favor of your thesis statement. However, in the conclusions, all the ideas must come together. The conclusions should be short. It is enough to write three sentences. You can write up to five sentences if necessary.

However, the concluding sentences must be solid and strong statements. Your conclusions can be seen as the last opportunity to convince the reader that your thesis is correct.

Write the introduction

This is another part of an essay that most students have difficulties writing. Don’t worry. We’ll tell you how to write an essay introduction. The introduction must give a clear “picture” of the entire essay. Begin with a sentence that grabs the attention of the reader. This can be a controversial statement or a surprising statistic. The reader must get a clear idea of the focus of your work. The thesis statement is generally the last sentence of the introduction. Hence, make sure that all the sentences of the introduction are logically connected with the thesis statement.

The revision stage

Take a break

Congratulations! Now you have a draft of your essay. Take a break to clear your mind up.

Edit and proofread

Finally, make sure that the English writing of your essay is impeccable. All the text must be logical. So, edit whatever you deem necessary. You can use software tools to scan the text for grammar errors and typos. The last step is to format the essay according to the instructions.

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