How to Write an Essay Following 3 Basic steps
Essay writing is an important exercise for the brain as well as a measure of your mental abilities. Many student find writing an essay tedious and often burdensome. One would wonder why, given this information age where everyone can start a blog to share and express opinions. Better think of an essay as an expanded post in Facebook or a tweet in Twitter. You may get to choose your topics or if not, you can always Google the information you need to make a decent essay. All you really need is an understanding of the basic tools and mechanics in essay writing. Once you have accomplished that, you will find how to write an essay a breeze and not as tough as it seems.
Stages in essay-Writing
How to write an essay often covers three crucial stages. First, the brainstorming of ideas on what you would like to share or various aspects of the subject matter given to you. Second comes the writing of the first draft, providing the skeletal background of the topic of your essay. The third and the last is the revising, which is performed by checking, correcting, and improving the content and flow of the whole essay.
#1 Brainstorming for Topics or Ideas
The brainstorming stage is literally storming your brain for great ideas. If you were to choose your topic, it is best to start with your interest. Writing and researching about things you like make the process enjoyable. Once you have picked out a topic, determine the information you would like to tackle. For instance, if you want to write about global warming, you may come up with various angles. See the chart below to understand this.
With such a comprehensive topic as “Global Warming”, you may want to just stick to one angle. Remember that a standard essay may not be more than 3 pages. More often, your instructor will provide instructions as to the length. There are instances that the essay length is indefinite and it is up to you on how long or short you may want your essay to be. Just make sure you consider your audience or your reader for they may not be interested to read a 30 pages essay on your skiing adventure. For general topics with topics like “How I spent my summer vacation?” or “My grandpa’s visit”, stick to 2 to 3 pages. For essays on subjects like history, literature, philosophy, psychology, or religion, you may opt for longer essays. In addition for general essays, three is often a good number when it comes to sub-topics as well as sources.
#2 Writing the First Draft
After picking out your sub-topics and doing some research, commence your writing to create an outline. A key element on how to write an essay is to have interesting ideas and facts. You may want to do a bit of reading to add to your knowledge. You will not have anything substantial to say if you know nothing. Even for general essays like “My Hawaiian Vacation”, you may want to get a few trivia about the place. In this way, your readers will not only witness your story but also pick out a few facts about new places.
At this stage, go for free flowing writing and do not let grammar hinder you. Did you know that professional writers have created their outline from just simple ramblings and musings? In truth, many essays have been written without a care for grammar , Some sentences are even not punctuated properly and filled with wrong spellings. Naturally, you would need to correct this later on, but for now keep on writing. In truth, many students can make great essays given ample time. It gets easier with practice. When you need to write essays for competitive examinations like TOEFL and IELTS, you may only have 40 minutes to complete it.
It is easy to organize your ideas when you have a few details on hand. For every main idea, you would need to elaborate on to complete the body of your essay. Study this outline and understand how to organize your thoughts.
When you write, always start with your main idea or your topic sentence so that from the beginning your readers will know what you will be discussing in your essay.
As you can see, main ideas are main assumptions or claims about your topic. The general format is to separate main ideas by paragraphs. This does not say that all the details of the main idea will be squeezed into just one paragraph. You can have several paragraphs for every main idea. Go to this link to know about how to write a paragraph.
Be particular about writing your introduction. Make sure you write it in a way to capture the interest of your readers. Allot some time to make a good introduction because the chances of your readers finishing your essay rely on a great introduction. After you have passed this hurdle, you can now start writing the body of the paragraph, which are additional information from your readings or sources.
#3 Final Revision
Now, you are done with your first draft. This time go through the whole essay for revisions. Some points may not be clear so you need to rewrite it. You can either delete parts that are not essential especially if you are dealing with a length topic. You may also add a few notes to support your claim further. Revising a draft also entails proof-reading it for grammatical errors and misspelling as well as changing words to a more suitable term. At this stage, you assume the role of a critical reader, analyzing every implication of the words used and finding out if questions are being answered.
You did it!
With a satisfied grin and that great feeling of accomplishment, press print or publish. You have just performed an essential task that every student should master, that is, how to write an essay.