You should always pinpoint your thesis before writing. The rest of your essay, then, supports your thesis. You can include empirical evidence, testimonials, logical deductions, or even persuasive rhetoric—whatever gets the job done. Like any form of writing, essays come in many different types. Sometimes the assignment dictates the type, as with admissions essays, and other times the thesis will determine it. Regardless, it helps to know what your options are, so here are some of the most common essay types:.
Argumentative essays assert or defend a position. This is the most common type of school paper, so keep that in mind when writing your first college essay. A persuasive essay is just as it sounds: an essay to persuade or convince the reader of a certain point. When you want to devote equal attention to two opposing things, a compare-and-contrast essay works better than argumentative or persuasive essays, which lean to one side over the other. Personal essays are often anecdotal or real-life stories of the authors, like the works of David Sedaris.
Because they tend to follow narrative structures, the thesis can be flexible or interpretive. Your final consideration is who will read your essay—a teacher, an admissions counselor, your peers, the internet at large, etc.
For one thing, your readers determine whether the essay is formal or casual, which has an enormous impact on language, word choice, and style. Even if you prefer the stream of consciousness style for writing your rough draft, you still need to have an orderly system that allows you to revise and hone. For essay writing, we recommend the standard five-step writing process :. It always helps to collect your thoughts before you begin writing.
Based on your prompt or thesis, try to generate as many ideas as possible to include in your essay. The preparation phase consists of both outlining your essay and collecting resources for evidence. Take a look at the results of your brainstorming session. First, isolate the ideas that are essential to support your thesis and then organize them in a logical and progressive order. If you want empirical evidence or complementary citations, track them down now.
This is the main stage of essay writing where you roll up your sleeves and actually write the first draft. The revisions stage involves your second draft, your third draft, or even your twelfth draft if necessary. Address all the nuances and subtleties you glossed over in the first draft.
Pay attention to both word choice and clarity, as well as sophisticated writing techniques like avoiding the passive voice. Grammarly helps catch common mistakes with sentence structure—like run-on sentences, sentence fragments, passive voice, and more. Go through your essay and correct misspellings, formatting issues, or grammatical errors.
Essay structure almost always follows a simple beginning-middle-end format, or in this case, an introduction-body-conclusion format. Essays follow the same guidelines for introductions as any other piece of writing, with an extra emphasis on presenting the thesis prominently, ideally in the topic sentence. By the end of your introduction paragraph, your reader should know without a doubt what your essay is about. From there, follow the conventional best practices on how to write an introduction.
Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the different topics that fit the purpose of your essay. Once they're all down on paper, start by eliminating those topics that are difficult or not as relevant as others topics. Also, get rid of those topics that are too challenging or that you're just not that interested in.
Pretty soon you will have whittled your list down to just a few topics and then you can make a final choice. Some students get scared to start writing. They want to make sure they have all their thoughts organized in their head before they put anything down on paper.
Creating a diagram or outline allows you to put pen to paper and start organizing your ideas. Don't worry or agonize over organization at this point, just create a moderately organized format for your information. Whether you use a diagram or outline doesn't really matter. Some people prefer and work better with the flowing structure of a diagram. Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline.
Don't fret, once you get started, you can always change formats if the format you chose isn't working out for you. The following are useful steps for developing a diagram to organize ideas for your essay. Outline The following are useful steps for developing an outline to organize ideas for your essay.
Once you have an idea for the basic structure of your essay, and what information you're going to present in your essay, it's time to develop your thesis statement. A thesis statement states or outlines what you intend to prove in your essay. A good thesis statement should be clear, concise, specific, and takes a position. The word "thesis" just sounds intimidating to most students, but a thesis is actually quite simple.
A thesis statement 1 tells the reader what the essay is about and 2 what points you'll be making. If you've already selected an essay topic, and developed an outline or diagram, you now can decide what points you want to communicate through your essay. A thesis statement has two key components. The first component is the topic, and the second is the point s of the essay.
The following is an example of an expository explanatory thesis statement:. The life of a child raised in Pena Blanca is characterized by little playing, a lot of hard work and extreme poverty. An example of an analytical thesis statement:. An analysis of the loan application process for citizens of third world countries reveals one major obstacle: applicants must already have money in order to qualify for a loan. Instead of sending tax money overseas to buoy struggling governments and economies, U.
Once you're done developing a thesis statement that supports the type of essay you're writing and the purpose of the essay, you're ready to get started on your introduction. The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. It introduces the reader to the idea that the essay will address.
It is also intended to capture the reader's attention and interest. The first sentence of the introduction paragraph should be as captivating and interesting as possible. The sentences that follow should clarify your opening statement. Conclude the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement. The body of your essay is where you explain, describe or argue the topic you've chosen.
Each of the main ideas you included in your outline or diagram will become of the body paragraphs. If you wrote down four main ideas in your outline or diagram, then you'll have four body paragraphs. Each paragraph will address one main idea that supports the thesis statement. The first paragraph of the body should put forth your strongest argument to support your thesis.
Start the paragraph out by stating the supporting idea. Then follow up with additional sentences that contain supporting information, facts, evidence or examples — as shown in your diagram or outline. The concluding sentence should sum up what you've discussed in the paragraph. The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph. This paragraph should put forth your second strongest argument supporting your thesis statement.
Likewise, the third and fourth body paragraphs, like the first and second, will contain your third and fourth strongest arguments supporting your thesis statement. Again, the last sentence of both the third and fourth paragraphs should sum up what you've discussed in each paragraph and indicate to the reader that the paragraph contains the final supporting argument. The final paragraph of the essay provides the conclusion.
This paragraph should restate your thesis statement using slightly different wording than employed in your introduction. The paragraph should summarize the arguments presented in the body of the essay. The last sentence in the conclusion paragraph should communicate that your essay has come to an end.
Your concluding paragraph should communicate to the reader that you're confident that you've proven the idea as set forth in your thesis statement. Having the ability to write effective essays will become increasingly important as you progress through high school and into college.
If you'll internalize the format presented above, you'll develop the ability to write clear and compelling essays. Below we'll explore the basics of writing an essay.
Use examples that validate the claim before concluding the paragraph and using transition words to lead to the paragraph that follows — meaning that all of your body paragraphs should follow the pattern of "statement, supporting ideas, transition statement. Words to use as you transition from one paragraph to another include: moreover, in fact, on the whole, furthermore, as a result, simply put, for this reason, similarly, likewise, it follows that, naturally, by comparison, surely, and yet.
The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim from your thesis sentence. It should point out your main points, but should not repeat specific examples, and should, as always, leave a lasting impression on the reader.
The first sentence of the conclusion, therefore, should be used to restate the supporting claims argued in the body paragraphs as they relate to the thesis statement, then the next few sentences should be used to explain how the essay's main points can lead outward, perhaps to further thought on the topic.
Ending the conclusion with a question, anecdote, or final pondering is a great way to leave a lasting impact. Once you complete the first draft of your essay, it's a good idea to re-visit the thesis statement in your first paragraph. Read your essay to see if it flows well, and you might find that the supporting paragraphs are strong, but they don't address the exact focus of your thesis.
Simply re-write your thesis sentence to fit your body and summary more exactly, and adjust the conclusion to wrap it all up nicely. Students can use the following steps to write a standard essay on any given topic. First, choose a topic, or ask your students to choose their topic, then allow them to form a basic five-paragraph by following these steps:.
Once a student can master these 10 simple steps, writing a basic five-paragraph essay will be a piece of cake, so long as the student does so correctly and includes enough supporting information in each paragraph that all relate to the same centralized main idea, the thesis of the essay. The five-paragraph essay is merely a starting point for students hoping to express their ideas in academic writing; there are some other forms and styles of writing that students should use to express their vocabulary in the written form.
Students should instead be asked to write other forms, such as journal entries, blog posts, reviews of goods or services, multi-paragraph research papers, and freeform expository writing around a central theme. Although five-paragraph essays are the golden rule when writing for standardized tests, experimentation with expression should be encouraged throughout primary schooling to bolster students' abilities to utilize the English language fully.
Share Flipboard Email. An Introduction to Essay Writing. Introduction Choosing a Topic. Writing an Introduction. Structuring and Outlining. Types of Essays. Editing and Improving. The introduction sets the tone for your essay. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
Our hook can make a strong statement that about the topic:. The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:.
It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop. The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability.
The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe.
It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Write your essay introduction. The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
The length of the body depends on the type of essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6, words, the body could take up 8—10 pages. To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs. Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence. The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument. Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society.
Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation Weygand, While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture Weygand, This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society.
Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education. See the full essay example. The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. A strong essay conclusion :. A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression. The most common mistakes are:. Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them.
In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
Write your essay conclusion. My essay follows the requirements of the assignment topic and length. My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay. I use paragraphs to structure the essay. I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph. I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas. I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.
I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources. My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style. Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence. An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills. Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation. The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.