How to write an essay
An essay is a type of writing based mainly on interpretation, evidence, and research. Although you may come up with many different types of essays, the purpose is almost always the same.
What are essays for?The purpose of an essay is to persuade readers of a perspective or position by providing solid arguments.
Define an essay topic
Start writing introduction
Continue with the body
Read your essay once again for content
Find a thesis statement
Summarize in conclusion
Proofread the paper
Prepare an outline
Let your friend have a look
Check for plagiarism
Essay writing process usually consists of three consecutive stages; preparation, writing, and revision.
However, the time and effort on each stage depends on your essay type. If you are working on a college-level argumentative essay, you may have to spend much more time on preparing your argumentation.
But when you are assigned to a two-page expository essay for high school, you can start writing almost instantly, without comprehensive research.
What to do before writing
First, understand the type of essay and its requirements. Take the steps below to ensure a structured approach.
1. Understand your assignment
Pro tipFeel free to ask further clarification from your institution or instructor if instructions of your assignment seems confusing.
2. Choose your topic
Some instructors allow students to choose their own topic. Just make sure it is interesting to grab the readers’s attention.
If you’re not feeling creative, simply read our blog post on, “Essay Topic Ideas.“
3. Start researching
4. Draft your thesis statement
The thesis statement is the goal of an essay. Find a clear and strong thesis statement and keep highlighting it throughout your essay.
More on thesis statementThesis statement is usually the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. It gives the overall claim and idea of your essay.
5. Prepare an outline
Now, map out your essay in an organized outline. You will see the benefits of an outline as you continue writing.
Outlining helps a lotSay your thesis statement is about benefits of hybrid learning. With proper outlining, you can map each benefit to a single paragraph to keep an organic flow for readers.
Introduction guide and example
Introduction paragraph is where you need to grab the reader’s attention by informing what you will include in your essay.
This part generally is around 10% of the whole essay.
Look at the below example and hover over the sentences to see a detailed example of introduction.
1. Grab reader's attention with a hook sentence
Think of yourself as a reader. Would you read an essay that lacks interest right from the beginning?
So, start with a hook sentence to trigger the reader’s interest. You may start with a shocking statistic, a question, or even a quote.
Say you’re writing an essay about the relationship between social media and psychological disorders. Your hook could be like the below example to boost the interest of readers:
Hook sentence exampleHave you ever felt an unexpected anxiety when scrolling down your Instagram or Facebook account?
2. Elaborate by providing background information
Good essay topics create curiosity for the reader. It is important to provide historical or academic context on your topic, which helps reader comprehend your essay topic.
3. State your thesis statement
Now, present your thesis statement, which is the central argument of your whole paper.
Readers will understand your position on the topic by reading your thesis statement. Generally, a thesis statement is one or two sentences long.
Thesis statement exampleAlthough much research highlights the benefits of social media in terms of communication and accessibility, social media, in the long run, results in psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression for specific individuals.
Body paragraph guide and example
1. Length of the body paragraphs
2. Structure of paragraphs
An understandable structure is vital when writing an academic essay. So, with each paragraph, present a central idea or argument, which are called “topic sentences.“
When starting a new paragraph, make transitions from the previous paragraph with a transition sentence.
Topic sentence determine the purpose and scope of its paragraph. It is usually the first sentence of paragraph.
After the topic sentence, present some evidence, examples, data, or even quotes. But, don’t forget to paraphrase and reference primary and secondary sources to avoid plagiarism.
Conclusion paragraph and example
This step is the last paragraph of an essay, and it takes around 10% of the whole essay. Writing a conclusion is as significant as an introduction and thesis statement.
Best practices in conclusion paragraph
Things to avoid in conclusion paragraph
A memorable and solid conclusion is essential for the last impression. There are some steps to avoid while writing a conclusion, which are:
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start writing an essay?
Before starting, understand the type of essay and its requirements. There are specific steps to be taken on how to prepare for the writing process.
What are some good essay topics?
Good essay topics create curiosity for the reader. It is significant to provide historical or academic context that helps the reader comprehend your essay topic.
Thank you for reading. If you need further information, feel free to have a look at our essay samples.
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