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Ten steps for writing an essay

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❶The point is that in a definition essay you are to write about a single word. It is true that the major focus of this type of essay is the narrative.

Essays can be crucial to admissions and scholarship decisions.

1. How to write an essay
Read the essay question carefully
The Five Paragraph Essay

Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages. Copyright material available on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4. This allows you to share and adapt this material for any purpose as long as attribution is given to: For more information go to http: Read the essay question carefully Highlight key words. Use the dictionary to check the meaning of any unfamiliar words. Finish any necessary reading or research as background to the essay Be selective: Write notes in your own words.

Write down quotations that may be particularly useful, but ensure the source of these quotes is acknowledged if they're used. Take note of sources so they can be provided in footnotes and the bibliography. Brainstorm ideas in response to the question Jot down any relevant points. Make note of any relevant evidence or quotes that come to mind. Use a mind map to help stimulate lateral thinking. You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.

The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position this is also known as the "thesis" or "argument" on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that. Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations "no man is an island" or surprising statistics "three out of four doctors report that…".

Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about. Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.

In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length. If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!

Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question:. Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible. The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it. At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me.

Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked. The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis. For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point as in the case of chronological explanations is required.

The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph. A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "LeBron James" is not enough, however.

No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant. Even the most famous examples need context. The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them.

To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life in general or event in particular you believe most clearly illustrates your point. Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis.

The importance of this step cannot be understated although it clearly can be underlined ; this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place.

Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly.

If one wants to learn how to write a definition essay, one may follow the guidelines that will be discussed in this section. First of all, it is essential to find a good definition. One of the best sources include dictionaries as well as peer-reviewed articles.

One should note that sometimes the author may be interested in developing their own definition of the phenomenon. In this case, the working definition will become the thesis of the paper. One would make no mistake arguing that every definition has certain keywords that it relies on. It would be logical to assume that these keywords will become the points which will be discussed in the body paragraphs. Clearly, a definition may have more than or less than three keywords that it will rely on.

It is generally advisable that the number of characteristics that will be discussed is limited to this number. Furthermore, it is advised that each body paragraph feature several examples that would support the major claim. In this case, the audience will see that the author does not adjust the fact to the theory, but vice versa.

The concluding paragraph will feature the full definition that was developed by the author or a reflection on the existing definition. Let us consider the following example in order to gain a proper understanding of the issue. Suppose a person was given the task to write on the definition of free trade. It is quite obvious that one can open a dictionary and look up the definition of it however, a good definition essay would try to come up with a unique definition based on the characteristic features of the phenomenon.

So, the introduction should feature some considerations about the role that free trade plays in the contemporary world and how important it is to develop a proper understanding of it. The thesis should feature the working definition of free trade which was developed by the author beforehand.

There will be three major aspects that will be highlighted in the thesis and each of them will become the major element of each body paragraph. The structure of the body paragraphs is simple.

In the very beginning, the characteristic that will be discussed should be mentioned. Then, the author should conclude that this feature is important for the understanding of the phenomenon of free trade.

The concluding paragraph should feature the full definition that was adjusted after each of the keywords was properly examined. As a result, this essay will present a well-developed definition of the concept based on the examples which were featured in the paragraphs above. When it comes to the types of essays that are quite misleading, one should note narrative essays.

Some might suggest that this may be one of the easiest types of essays because it simply presents a narrative in the form of an essay. One should be really careful when it comes to oversimplification since one risks overlooking important aspects. It is true that the major focus of this type of essay is the narrative. However, if some guidelines are not adhered to then the essay will turn out to be a story. This is exactly what a writer should to avoid.

There is great temptation to focus on the narrative entirely, but this will have a negative impact on the fundamental elements of the essay.

This type may be compared to a hybrid of a narrative story and an expository essay. On the one hand, it tells a certain story that the audience will focus on, while on the other hand, it is structured in a peculiar way that sets it apart from other writing. Therefore, the author should not be deceived by the simplicity of this type as it is quite easy to make a mistake. Now, it may be useful to learn how to write a narrative essay. To begin with, one should keep in mind that one is not writing a story, one is writing an essay.

This means that the actual narration should not start until the first body paragraph. When writing the introductory paragraph, it may be important to provide a certain background to the story so that the reader knows what the essay will be about. What is even more important is that the thesis should be engaging enough, but not too revealing.

Otherwise, it will not be interesting for the audience to read the essay. Speaking of the body paragraphs, one should note that they should reflect the major development stages of the story. Some might suggest that the five paragraph structure might resemble the classic model of plot development.

Nevertheless, it may be useful to devote the first two body paragraphs to rising action and present the climax and the exposition. As a result, this will make the narration even more interesting and the attention of the audience will be maintained longer. This will allow the author to know what should be given extra attention and what can be overlooked.

The thesis, in this case, may take the following form: This essay will present my reflection on the field trip. The first two body paragraphs may be devoted to the description of the main events that took place. It is true that it may not be useful to pay too much attention to some trivial details regarding traveling or the place of action. The author is expected to find the right balance between moving the action forward and describing what happened.

Speaking of the climax, there may not have been any climax in the field trip, so the author should identify one particular aspect that should be mentioned as the most important one. This aspect will be presented in the third body paragraph. Speaking of the conclusion, one might suggest that it is useful to provide the summary of the trip and make the audience develop a broad picture of what happened.

Some types of essays are designed to serve a particular purpose that is often well defined. Thus, when a person reads an argumentative essay, one may have the goal of developing a proper understanding of a phenomenon.. Contrary to that, a process essay always has a clear application.

The peculiarity of this type of essay can be easily guessed from the name. This is a piece of writing that describes a process. Nevertheless, one should not confuse it with the descriptive essay. In spite of the fact that the two have many similarities and primarily aim to provide a thorough description, the ultimate goals are quite different.

Therefore, the goal of this type of essay is to help a person perform an action that one may not have a sufficient amount of knowledge of. It goes without saying that the author has to have extensive expertise in what is being written about. It is unacceptable to copy and paste the existing instructions or paraphrase what other people have already said about the issue.

Therefore, it is essential to point out that the author is often expected to share their own experience or at least comment on some common mistakes that should be avoided. If one wants to know how to write a process essay, one should follow these steps. First of all, it may be useful to write down all of the steps of a particular operation or action. These categories will form the body paragraphs of the future essay. It is extremely important to take into account all the possible situations that may occur while performing the action in question.

For example, performing a certain action under normal conditions. After all the steps are outlined and grouped, the author may start writing. Once again, the standard structure will be relevant. The introduction provides the background of the issue and spells out the requirements, the body paragraphs represent the actions that should be taken, and the conclusion provides some remarks and advice.

Ideally, any person will be able to perform a certain action after reading the essay, so it is expected that the language will be precise, and not particularly sophisticated so that it can be easily followed. The best way to learn how to write such an essay is to take a close look at the examples. Suppose a person was given the task to write a process essay that depicts the process of frying eggs.

While many may believe that this is a rather simple task, it is advised that the author writes a plan prior to writing. This plan should list all the actions required and the groups that they correspond to. The introduction paragraph will feature some general information about frying eggs, calling it one of the easiest dishes that one could prepare.

The thesis statement, in this case, will be quite simple: This paper will describe the process of frying eggs. Then the first body paragraph will describe what is needed to fry eggs: It is essential to mention all the ingredients that will be mentioned in the further paragraphs so that the audience is well-prepared to follow the instructions.

The second body paragraph will be the most important because it will describe the process of frying eggs. The author should be able to find the right balance between precise and sophisticated words. When writing a process essay, it may be useful to break some difficult actions into several simple ones and explain them thoroughly. The third body paragraph may feature some comments about serving. Finally, the concluding paragraph will provide a quick summary of the actions.

A critical essay is one of those types of essay that are quite misleading. On the one hand, some might suggest that the purpose of this essay is to criticize something, but this is not always,the case.

On the other hand, some may confuse this type of essay with analytical essays. Given all the peculiarities of meaning that were mentioned above, it may be useful to determine what is a critical essay. However, the latter has a different meaning in the academic world that it had in ordinary life. It is not something that is related to expressing negativity, it is more related to evaluating the phenomenon.

This particular aspect makes this type of essay quite unique since it is one of the rare types that requires an evaluation of the topic. Sometimes the latter may be subjective and will reflect the views of the author completely.

It may also be based on the view of other scholars, thus presenting a discussion of the topic. The main idea is that a critical essay will focus on the strong and weak sides of a particular topic. Those who are wondering how to write a critical essay may be interested in the following guidelines. First of all, it is essential to determine the position that the author will defend. In order to do so, one should carefully examine the topic and highlight important aspects of it.

This way, the author will be able to see the strong and weak sides of the topic and describe them in the essay. It is generally expected that they should be grouped evenly. Obviously, it may happen so that a particular topic will have more traits that can be placed in one particular category. However, it is essential to achieve objectivity by addressing the issue from different points of view or trying to balance the positive with the negative aspects. Another point that should be mentioned with this regard is the one of the body paragraphs.

They should be devoted to examining how the different aspects that were identified above interact with each other. It rarely happens that a topic has only positive or only negative traits.

The latter is particularly important since it shows that the evaluation is grounded in some evidence and the audience will be easily convinced by it. As a result, the author should gather substantial basis that will be later used to prove the point.

Consider the following example of a critical essay. The introduction, in this case, will feature some information about the poet, though he is widely known, the actual text, and feature the following thesis statement: The sonnet that Shakespeare wrote has both positive and negative aspects to it. The first body paragraph may be devoted to the examination of the merits of the poem.

For example, vivid images, excellent rhymes, and so on. The author should focus on the advantages of the text by providing the examples from it, thus convincing the audience that there are some merits. On the other hand, the second body paragraph may deal with the weak sides of the sonnet. Another point that should be mentioned is the language: The third body paragraph will be devoted to the interplay between the advantages and the disadvantages of the poem, saying that while there are some shortcomings, it is still quite moving.

The conclusion will provide a summary of the two points of view on the poem. The last type of essay that will be discussed in this paper is the compare and contrast essay. It is quite obvious that one will be able to identify a lot of other types. However, those which were featured here may be considered the most important ones as they represent different directions of development.

Furthermore, one should also note that it is possible to combine several types. Nevertheless, this is rarely required. A good essay often sticks to a single paradigm. The goal of a compare and contrast essay is revealed by its name. This also leads to an important requirement: One should also keep in mind that compare and contrast essays may be deceivingly easy.

That is why people often make mistakes while writing them. For example, they may choose two topics that are incomparable. Some believe that this shows the mastery of the author since one is able to find a relationship between two seemingly different topics. However, it is generally advised that those phenomena that will be compared have a least something in common.

That is why the author should have a clear goal in their mind before starting this type of essay. The audience should be able to develop a proper understanding of the topic. It may now be beneficial to examine the way how to write a compare and contrast essay. To begin with, it is essential to mention one important thing. It is crucial to group the characteristics of different topics together.

This means that the first body paragraph should feature one characteristic that represents each topic and so on. There is another way to write a compare and contrast essay: However, once again, the differences should be grouped together.

Brainstorm ideas in response to the question

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Strategies for Essay Writing. The links below provide concise advice on some fundamental elements of academic writing. How to Read an Assignment Moving from Editing the Essay, Part 2 Tips on Grammar, Punctuation, and Style.

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Writing an essay is easy of you follow the structure. Choose a good topic to interest your readers. Top Tips on How to Write an Essay and How to Get Your Essay Done Students have probably been writing essays since the whole concept of education has existed. Essays have survived time without modern technology.

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Essay Writing Tips. To begin with, it is worth pointing out that there is no manual that will teach you how to write a great essay every time. As the old saying goes, only practice makes perfect. Nevertheless, there are some college essay writing tips that are more important than others. First of all, when writing an essay, planning is key. Your essay can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. Try these tips to craft your college application essay.