How to write an essay
Many students dread the essay and the pressure of writing a good one. But it doesn’t have to be like this: with some planning and preparation, you can create an essay that is interesting to read and makes sense throughout. Here are some tips on how to write an essay successfully.
1) Choose your topic carefully
The first step in writing an essay is choosing a topic. Think about what you are interested in, so you won’t have to do loads of research later on. You also need to think about whether your topic is suitable for the essay format – if it’s too broad, then it’ll be difficult to write about everything you want to say!
2) Do some background research
Now that you’ve chosen a topic, spend some time finding out more information about it. Search for relevant articles or news stories online and use these as source material for your essay. Next, make an outline of what points you are going to cover in the essay, which will make writing much easier later on.
3) Write down key words
When you come up with an idea for your essay, write it down and make a list of any key words that you can use to explain it. This will help you structure your argument and ensure that every paragraph relates back to your topic sentence, which should tell the reader what you’re going to be talking about.
4) Write the first draft
Now sit down and start writing! Give yourself time (and space!) for this – there’s no need to rush as long as you meet your deadline. If you feel stuck, try thinking about some of those key words: they might give you inspiration for ideas or arguments. Aim for at least three solid paragraphs in each section of your essay, so if one idea runs out of steam quickly then move on and come back later. This way, your essay will be more interesting to read and you can avoid boring filler text.
5) Edit and proofread
The final stage is revision: go through your writing carefully and check for any spelling or grammar mistakes – these are common pitfalls in early drafts. Once you’re happy with the content, take a break from it before returning for an extra read-through: this time, really focus on how it sounds and look out for any cliches that might have crept in!
6) Make a final copy
Finally, print off what you’ve written so far and type up any further changes if necessary (don’t go overboard though – an essay should flow easily when read). If you like, add some diagrams or other visual elements to make it stand out. Make sure to include a works cited or references page at the end of your essay, which should list all of the sources from which you have obtained information.
7) Read it through!
Finally, read through your finished work as if you were an examiner: this will help you pick up on any errors and ensure that your argument is supported throughout. Congratulations – now all that’s left is to hand it in and wait for those marks!
Characteristics of a good Essay
To write an excellent essay, many characteristics must be taken into account. Some of them are presented below.
A good essay should have a clear structure, with one or more arguments being made in each paragraph or section of the essay. The order in which these arguments are laid out may vary depending on the topic, but they should follow logically from one another so that the whole argument is cohesive and flows well. If gaps in logic exist between paragraphs or sections of an essay, it can confuse and frustrate readers and cause them to lose interest quickly. This means that links between parts of the text must be clearly explained and not left for readers to figure out themselves. A common form of introduction used by writers is the ‘Three Point’ system, which presents the reader with three reasons why or explanations for an argument being made.
A good essay must have excellent organization and use stylistic devices that enhance communication. Stylistic devices can include word choice, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. A commonly used tactic is to begin sentences in a paragraph with words that begin with the same letter; this links all of the sentences together and makes it more entertaining to read. Sentences should flow easily into each other making writing appear smooth and effortless. Furthermore, if readers are expected to learn something from an essay, everything they need to know must be included either explicitly (written) or implicitly (implied). If information is missing, readers will feel confused and frustrated; their attention will be drawn to the missing information and they may never return to what is written.
A good essay also must have a strong conclusion. This doesn’t mean that a conclusion must summarize everything that has been said in writing, but it should provide readers with some kind of closure so they feel their time reading was worthwhile. An appropriate amount of detail should be included in a conclusion without being excessive or abrupt – this is where writers can ‘sum up’ the main points from each paragraph leading up to the conclusion. If readers are still confused by anything at this point, it is likely that there has not been sufficient explanation or organization within the text already provided for them; thus, they will most likely give up on reading and move on to something more relevant to their interests.
In addition, a good essay must have a strong introduction. This does not mean that it should overwhelmingly summarize everything that will be said later on, nor does it mean that an introduction should convince readers of the author’s point-of-view or draw them into the text with a gimmick. The main goal of an introduction is to present information so as to create interest in what follows – enough interest so that readers want to continue reading. Introductions may include a brief explanation of the topic and some background knowledge relevant to this topic so as give meaning or relevance to what is being discussed (i.e., provide context). Furthermore, an appropriate thesis statement (a concise summary of what is included within your writing)
What does my teacher look for in an essay?
Not everyone is a born writer, and not everyone can throw a decent argument together on the fly. When most people have to write an essay, they have some idea of what their topic should be about, but that’s usually as far as it goes. In order to produce a good essay, you need more than just inspiration – you need preparation too. If your teacher isn’t going to accept any old rubbish – and let’s face it – unfortunately for most students this happens all too often – then you’ll have to sit down and plan out exactly what you want to say before putting pen to paper (so-to-speak). What does my teacher look for in an essay? This article will tell you!
First of all, it’s important to figure out exactly what your topic is going to be. You should have a rough idea already if this is for a class assignment, but think about what your teacher may have said in the past about topics he or she likes and topics they hate. If you’re stuck for ideas, take a look at some books from the library. Are there any authors there who might have an interesting slant on something that could get people talking? Researching into other viewpoints can help your essay gain more credibility since it suggests that you’ve done more than just pluck a subject off the top of your head – even though that might actually be true…
Once you have a good idea of what your topic is going to be about, it’s time to plan out exactly how you’re going to organise the essay. Most teachers will have a standard format that they like their essays in, and this might include things like an introduction, where you contextualize the topic (and perhaps pose some questions), followed by an explanation of your stance on the matter, then an argument for that position with evidence from outside sources (books or websites are good ones to use here), and finally a conclusion which sums up everything nicely. This may sound like it takes forever – but trust me; if you get the hang of it quickly it will become second nature. It doesn’t need to be anything more complicated than that, but it will help you to get your point across much more clearly than if you just launch into your main thesis with no explanation whatsoever.
If you’re having trouble remembering all the various parts of an essay, it might be worth writing down things in bullet-point form like I’ve done here:
o contextualize the topic (pose some questions)
+ 3 good ones; 1. What is this? 2. Why should we care? 3. Who cares?
§ Then answer these questions by providing…
· An explanation of your stance on the matter
· Evidence from outside sources (books/websites etc.)
· Conclusion (summarizes everything)
There may be other things that your teacher wants you to include which go without saying, but it’s always worth checking in the syllabus what they want you to do. If there isn’t anything in writing about this, then it might be time to contact them and see what they suggest on a personal basis. It never hurts to get an idea of their preferences beforehand so you don’t waste time on unnecessary
After reading through some tips for writing essays on how-to websites, I have discovered that one of the most important aspects is APA citation style. This is where writers use parenthetical citations throughout the work with corresponding reference list at the end according to standard rules. The parenthetical citation should have the author’s last name and a page number, e.g., (Smith 271). The reference list must be in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names and include all of the information from the parenthetical citations plus more details such as editors, translators, title words, et cetera.
In writing an essay it is important to know APA style so that there is no confusion or lack of consistency throughout your work. This will also help increase your credibility as a writer because you are meeting all of the necessary requirements needed for this type of paper. A great way to learn APA style is through examples on websites like http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/. Here you can find out what your teacher is looking for, as well as how you should include the information.
APA style refers to the standard of referencing that writers use in an academic paper or essay, due to its credibility and accuracy. APA stands for American Psychological Association and was first published about sixty years ago (Sherman 1). There are several reasons why APA style is used throughout most types of school work today. It provides students with examples on how to reference their writing once it has been completed which helps them become better writers more quickly than if they do not use this particular format (Sherman 1). Another reason is because it tells you exactly where to place information so that there are no mistakes during any types of revisions. For example, the author’s last name and page number are placed in parentheses after a quote. Finally, APA always provides readers with readers with information about the original source which is an added convenience to everyone involved (Sherman 1).
Although there may be other formats available for writers to use when creating their papers, nearly all teachers will ask that you use APA style so it’s important to get used to using this format early on. This will also help students have better understanding of what they are writing because everything will be clear and concise. The best way to learn APA style is through examples provided online by different websites such as http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/.
Mistakes Students make when writing essays
You’ve been writing essays since you first entered school. In fact, your childhood book reports would have been some of the best if it weren’t for the occasional poor penmanship sprinkled throughout. But as you’ve gotten older and progressed into college, your essay-writing skills haven’t exactly developed at the same pace that you have. You might even be a little lost when it comes to writing an essay – what do all those words mean again?
In order to write a good essay, there are four main areas that must be mastered: organization, logic development, sentence construction, and grammar use. While no one likes being graded on their grammar or spelling abilities (we dread it more than anything during our years in high school), mastering these four areas can help you write essays that will earn you not just a passing grade, but an excellent one as well.
Below are the top six essay mistakes students make when writing their essays:
1. No introduction or conclusion paragraph to frame/summarize the argument.
2. Only three reasons why X is true and no other possibilities.
3. Unrealistic expectations for length and tone of paper (i.e., five pages on 5 minute speech).
4. Poor grammar and spelling distract reader from intended message(s).
5. Sentence structure confusingly jumbles main idea/purpose of essay together with background information (or vice versa). This makes it difficult to follow argument because the gist isn’t clear until last few sentences of each paragraph.
6. Paragraphs only focus on one reason/example and don’t transition between reasons/examples.
Essay writing is difficult for most students, especially those who struggle with the conventions of English grammar and sentence structure. However, mastering the four areas mentioned above can help you write an essay that will earn a good grade on your next paper – or at least a passing one. So instead of worrying about how many people you’re going to disappoint when they read your poorly written work, make sure you’ve mastered these main areas first before submitting your finished work!