The Secret of Writing an Essay – How the Professionals Do It

What is good essay writing? How can we write the best essay? Well written – what does that mean? These are challenging questions that students around the world put to themselves every year. Certainly, to write an essay is not the easiest thing to do. Like any apprentice, we have to learn our trade the old-fashioned way. How? First, by writing. And second? We need to seek out books and essays we can learn from. It is necessary to read some good writing before to write your own essay. Surely good writers can inspire you by way of example. Here we will examine some techniques and strategies that can easily be applied to writing assignments.

One of the most important things is to learn that you should always plan your essays before you write them. Recall that writing is a process: it consists of a series of steps. Before beginning, you should answer three questions:

A) what is the primary objective for the essay? That is, to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to argue, to question or to inspire;

B) what is the question of the essay? Notice that you can state the question you want to answer in the essay itself;

C) what is your answer? Present your answer in a strong and clear thesis statement: a one-sentence summary. This thesis statement should clearly indicate the specific subject of your essay.

That was easy, wasn’t it? So, having answered these questions, you are now ready to jot down ideas and then list them in complete sentences. Basically, we have the following steps: choose a topic (theme), narrow the topic (be sure to address only one main idea), research the topic, analyze the question, and make an argument. The theme or idea is the abstract subject of a text. Okay, it is important to work with this template, thus avoiding starting with a blank page.

We all know that careful organization is a key point in writing a college-level essay, but for now get the ideas without regard to structure. This is because you are creating a rough draft outline. Further you will need to make some decisions about organization. The writing trainers always recommend that your writing style should be lively and engaging. But how? Be sure that your writing excels when you use direct style, strong verbs, and simple vocabulary. Besides, remember to vary your sentences structures by alternating short and long sentences and dependent and independent clauses.

It is now time to define the chief sections and subsections of the essay. Notice that each part serves a distinct function. The introductory paragraph is the strongest paragraph in the essay. It sets the mood: it should deliver what the first sentence promises and to synthesize information, establishing both a historical context and a deep personal connection to the theme presented throughout the essay. Keep in mind that the first sentence of the essay is punchy, essential to grabbing reader’s attention.

The second and third paragraphs organize the ideas. What arrangement will you use to organize your ideas? For example: chronological order, point by point, categorizing, deduction/induction, most important to least important or vise-versa, a single cause leading to a single effect or multiple effects/multiple causes leading to a single effect or multiple effects, spatial order, etc. Be careful not to cede to the pitfall of telling instead of showing; the trick is to choose relevant details and use examples, analogies, quotes, statistics, stories, images, etc. In other words, your idea should be effectively supported with examples. Remember: be very convincing in explaining your views. Then, for each point: introduce it, explain it, and discuss how it is connected to your thesis/claim.

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