Steps To Composing An Essay

Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts. Following this process is the easiest way to draft a successful essay, whatever its purpose might be.

According to Kathy Livingston’s Guide to Writing a Basic Essay, there are seven steps to writing a successful essay:

1. Pick a topic.

You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.

If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?

Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down.

Finally, evaluate your options. If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic.

2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.

In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. By taking what’s already in your head and putting it to paper, you are able to see connections and links between ideas more clearly. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them.

To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines. Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas.

If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay.

3. Write your thesis statement.

Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas?

Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. For instance, if you were writing about Bill Clinton and his impact on the United States, an appropriate thesis statement would be, “Bill Clinton has impacted the future of our country through his two consecutive terms as United States President.”

Another example of a thesis statement is this one for the “Winning Characteristics” Scholarship essay: “During my high school career, I have exhibited several of the “Winning Characteristics,” including Communication Skills, Leadership Skills and Organization Skills, through my involvement in Student Government, National Honor Society, and a part-time job at Macy’s Department Store.”

4. Write the body.

The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position. Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together.

5. Write the introduction.

Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.

Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction.

6. Write the conclusion.

The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis.

7. Add the finishing touches.

After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Wrong. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details.

Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Also, make sure that your paragraph order makes sense. If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a great chocolate cake, make sure that your paragraphs fall in the correct order.

Review the instructions for your essay, if applicable. Many teachers and scholarship forms follow different formats, and you must double check instructions to ensure that your essay is in the desired format.

Finally, review what you have written. Reread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Congratulations! You have just written a great essay.

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Most of the students get confused or even stressed when they are asked to come up with this piece of writing assignment. Essay writing is a very big part of the process. You will face with it throughout the academic year. No matter where you study whether it is high school, college or university, you need to know steps to a persuasive essay. It will not be difficult to create a good text if you will know the main steps to writing an essay. We highlighted the 5 steps to write an essay that will help you build a nice composition and get a high grade. Basic essay steps include researching, planning, writing, and proofreading.

What Are The 5 Steps To Writing An Essay?

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How To Write An Argumentative Essay Step By Step

Do The Research

Prewriting is just getting all of your ideas on paper. Don’t start writing without fully knowing what you are supposed to write about. It will be much easier for you to write if you pick the topic by yourself. Look for the tips how to write an argumentative essay step by step. An essay will not be strong without a deep research to support your main idea. Research is a crucial part of every writing assignment. Begin by collecting the necessary data. Think about the topic thoroughly and begin collecting the information. You can take necessary materials from text books, websites, or any other potential source of info. Visit the library or look on the Internet for the needed information about your topic. Once this is done the writing process will be much easier. There are many sites with useful information about how to write a critical analysis essay step by step. If you have any questions concerning your topic or format you need to use, do not hesitate and ask your professor for more clarification. You need to understand the requirements to fulfill them correctly. Follow the instructions and you will know what steps to a persuasive essay you need to take. Organize your thoughts and all collected information and start writing your informative essay.

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Begin The Process

Start your composition with writing an introduction. Catch the reader’s attention and tell what exactly you want to describe, inform or educate about in your text. Knowing easy steps to writing an essay outline will make you stay focused on a structure of the text. After the introduction go the body paragraphs. At this section, you need to hold the reader's attention by offering compelling, interesting and substantial ideas that support, make graphic illustrations in your brain, exemplify and expand the topic of the essay. Having prepared a step by step essay outline will ease your writing process. The first paragraph of the body should contain the strongest argument. The body paragraphs will explain your essay's topic. The body of an essay may include three, four or five paragraphs. Each paragraph should contribute to the overall argument or idea that you are trying to present. It will be very helpful for you to look for the effective steps to write argumentative essay. Many students find conclusions the most difficult part of an essay to write. In conclusion, an author needs to persuade the readers to one’s point of view and convey a sense of completeness and closure. Restate your main points and argument. Try to make your conclusion informative as well as short and simple. It is important to be aware of the style you need to use and features it should contain. These are the main styles of an essay you can be asked to write:

  • Argumentative - gives arguments, pros and cons for a particular position or situation. Find steps for writing an argumentative essay which will help you create a good piece of writing. Consider these steps to write argumentative essay and you will gain great success on the exam.
  • Informative - educates the reader about a given topic.
  • Personal reflective - reflects on the experience and outline how you have changed as a person and how your life has been affected.
  • Biographical or autobiographical – provides information about a person or about yourself.
  • Narrative – is like a story about a single personal experience.
  • Expository - evaluates the issue and the make a conclusion based on findings.
  • Analytical - analyzes and critically evaluate a topic.
  • Discursive - investigates an argument by offering two opposing perspectives
  • Response – is also called a reaction, gives a response to something – to a book, a movie, a speech or anything else.
  • Critical - analyzes the strengths or weaknesses of things, events, people.
  • Persuasive – discusses the topic and persuade the readers that your opinion is correct.

Knowing how to write a character analysis essay step by step you will produce a well-written paper and improve your writing skills.

Do not underestimate the importance of proofreading. It is crucial that you do not submit any spelling and grammar errors. Double check your citations and references and make sure that they meet university standards. Pay attention to paragraph layout and how well it flows as it is read. A good English paper must be technically correct and easy to read. Try to link sentences and paragraphs logically. You can ask your friends or relative to read your paper with fresh eyes which will help to find any misspellings. There are plenty of helpful sites online, which can assist you in editing and proofreading of your text. Check online for rules on using commas, semi-colons, etc. Present the information in a clear and concise manner, write from your heart and you will definitely exceed your professor’s expectations.

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