“An essay is simply a piece of writing that gives information and the writer’s opinion on a particular topic.”
For most of the students, today’s essay writing is a challenging job. The time available is insufficient and the workload is increasing. The students find essay writing difficult, whether it is an assignment, for a scholarship application, or a competition. The students mostly consider it boring and have no idea where to start.
Essay writing is a broad project, and breaking it into parts makes the job easy. Also, i wrote a separate specialized article on how to write a Scholarship Essay for the students. Whereas, this article gives you the perfect plan to draft a winning essay for general purpose, no matter what purpose you are writing for.
6 Steps of Essay Writing
This researched article contains 6 most essential and most valuable steps you need to write an essay:
- Select a topic
There may or may not be options to choose from. If you are given a specific topic, think about the type of essay you want to write. You can write a typical overview or a detailed analysis. Don’t write an ambiguous essay; making the reader guess what type does it belong to.
If you are not assigned a particular topic and have the comfort of choosing from a list of topics, you ought to do some extra work. Nevertheless, you still have the opportunity of selecting the topic and you are not bound to write on the topic you don’t like. In the beginning, decide the objective. Is the essay a collection of information or a set of arguments to convince the reader? Research on the topic starts once you are done with deciding the objective. In short, assess the available options carefully before finally selecting the right topic. Assure that you select the topic you are interested to write on.
- Draft an outline
You need to structure your ideas before you start writing the essay. Brainstorm and put the ideas that come to your mind on a paper and try to create links between the ideas where necessary. The outline you create works as a plan to build your essay. If not an outline, you can also use a diagram to plan your essay.
To draw a diagram, write the topic and extend some lines from it. Then write your main ideas at the other end of the lines. Extend more lines from the ideas you have written and added more thoughts to the plan.
For writing an outline, write the topic and start brainstorming. Write the main ideas that come to your mind and leave some space below each. After this, fill the spaces with relevant sub-ideas. Performing this exercise will let you write a well-structured essay.
- Compose your thesis statement
After getting done with the outline, you need to devise a thesis statement for your essay. The thesis statement expresses the viewpoint you are going to prove in the body of the essay. The thesis statement typically has two segments. First declares the topic and second, tell the viewpoint. For example, if you are writing about junk food and its impact on health, a proper thesis statement would be, “Junk food is unhealthy.” The thesis statement expresses your take on the topic. It is written in the very first paragraph; the introductory paragraph. Ensure that you regularly use it in the body while proving your point. Don’t forget to reiterate the thesis statement in the conclusion.
- Write an introduction
It is the first and the most important paragraph of your essay. The main goal of an introductory paragraph is to engage the reader and increase his interest. The first sentence of the introductory paragraph should catch the reader’s eye. You can use a quote, surprising facts, or an anecdote. The thesis statement is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.
- Write the body
The body of the essay contains the arguments and information. Every main idea is to be discussed separately. Each paragraph of the essay explains only one main idea. The format of the paragraphs must be kept simple. A paragraph should start with a topic sentence and end with a concluding sentence. The topic sentence is a simple and brief sentence that states your main idea, while a concluding sentence is a restatement of the topic sentence in different words.
Between the first and last sentence come arguments. Only relevant arguments should be considered; which justify the topic sentence. To make the body coherent, use transition words to start every paragraph except the first paragraph- use words or phrases like at the same time, on the other hand, in contrast, similarly, correspondingly, likewise, etc.
- Write a conclusion
The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. It also deserves special attention. The conclusion is the last paragraph the reader reads, hence it creates the last impression. The conclusion must contain some striking sentences. You can also restate the main ideas you have discussed in the body of the essay.
Essay Format and Structure
A paragraph is simply a group of sentences that explains or justifies an idea. For an essay, it is mostly recommended that the writer should only discuss one idea in a paragraph.
The first sentence of every paragraph introduces the idea, and the subsequent sentences support that. To make a paragraph coherent you should use transition words. For example, if you are giving a number of arguments in a paragraph to support your main idea, you can start the sentences with words like besides, in addition, furthermore, moreover, etc. End each paragraph with a concluding sentence.
The concluding sentence simply re-states the introductory sentence. To indicate that the last sentence is a concluding sentence, start the sentence with words or phrases like to conclude, in short, hence, succinctly, therefore, briefly, etc.
What to avoid while writing an essay?
There are many common mistakes which people usually make while writing an essay. First, contractions should be avoided. A common example is using ‘wanna’ instead of ‘want to’ or ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to.’ Besides, no slang words should be used. Slang words make the reader think either you are not serious about writing it or you have no literary knowledge.
Furthermore, never use “I” in your essay. It reduces the spectrum of your essay. Moreover, sweeping statements are also considered nonacademic and should never be written. For example, writing that all politicians are corrupt, or a specific country can never win the football world cup. Exaggeration about anything spoils the potential of your arguments. Try stating facts and truths. On no account make any assumptions. It shows that you lack real explanation and only have assumptions to prove your point.
Final Take on Writing Your First Essay
First, always revise your essay for possible improvements. Look for points that need more details, unwanted diction, spelling or grammatical mistakes, etc. Revision might also help you find structural problems.
Second, if possible, let an expert check your work. Get the feedback and do corrections accordingly.
Third, refine the vocabulary of your essay; synonyms, idioms, and phrasal verbs can be useful.
Congratulations! Now you have the most perfect essay writing recipe. Write a winning essay and finally make it happen.