6 Tips for Writing an Effective Essay
Writing an essay is a task that many students dread. Whether it’s to be written for a scholarship, an assignment for class, or maybe even a competition, it can be a very overwhelming task for many students. Although an essay is usually a large project, the good news is that there are many steps that students can take to help break the task down into more manageable chunks. Whatever the purpose of your essay, following this process is the easiest way to make it an effective and successful one. These are the steps to writing an effective essay:
1. Pick a Topic:
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First of all, you will need to decide on the topic of your essay. Depending on the type of assignment, you may have already been given this, or you may have free rein to write on any subject of your choice. If you’ve been provided a topic, use this step to think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Will it be a general overview, or a specific analysis? If you can, narrow your focus. If you have not been given a topic, there’s a little more work to do. Choose a subject that you find interesting or is relevant to you. And define your purpose – is the essay going to be designed to inform, or persuade?
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2. Prepare an Outline of Your Ideas:
Next, it’s essential to organize your thoughts in order to write a successful essay. Use an outline or a diagram to write down your ideas and organize them, allowing you to see connections and links between them more easily. To do this, write your topic in the middle of the page and draw three to five lines from the topic, leaving space under each one. In the space, you can write other, smaller ideas relating to your main idea. Think about getting help with your essay if necessary.
3. Write Your Thesis Statement:
Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay and is essential for it to be effective. The first part states the topic, and the second part will state the point of the essay. Before you do this, think carefully about what you want the essay to do – whether it’s to explain, inform or persuade the reader of an idea related to your topic.
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4. Write the Body:
Now it’s time to get to business – the body of your essay argues, describes or explains your topic. Use your diagram from earlier and ensure that each idea is formulated into a separate section. Each body paragraph should have the same basic structure; begin by introducing your body with your main idea and backing it up with supporting ideas, arguments and opinions.
5. Write an Introduction:
Once you have the body of your essay together, you’ll need to write an introduction. The purpose of this is to attract the reader’s attention and explain your essay’s focus. It’s a good idea to begin with an interesting quote, story, shocking information, or a simple summary of your topic. No matter which angle you go with, ensure that it ties in well with your thesis statement.
6. Write the Conclusion:
The conclusion pulls everything together and brings closure of the topic, summing up all your ideas whilst providing a final perspective. The conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences, reviewing your main points and providing reinforcement of your thesis.
Once you’ve completed all these points, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your essay. Check the order of your paragraphs, proof read, and review the instructions for your essay if necessary.