A typical essay contains many different kinds of information, often located in specialized parts or sections. Even short essays perform several different operations: introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don't. Counterargument, for example, may appear within a paragraph, as a free-standing section, as part of the beginning, or before the ending. Background material historical context or biographical information, a summary of relevant theory or criticism, the definition of a key term often appears at the beginning of the essay, between the introduction and the first analytical section, but might also appear near the beginning of the specific section to which it's relevant.
It's helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. Readers should have questions. If they don't, your thesis is most likely simply an observation of fact, not an arguable claim. To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim.
This "what" or "demonstration" section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Since you're essentially reporting what you've observed, this is the part you might have most to say about when you first start writing.
But be forewarned: it shouldn't take up much more than a third often much less of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description. The corresponding question is "how": How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument?
How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you're making? Typically, an essay will include at least one "how" section. Call it "complication" since you're responding to a reader's complicating questions. This section usually comes after the "what," but keep in mind that an essay may complicate its argument several times depending on its length, and that counterargument alone may appear just about anywhere in an essay.
This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering "why", your essay explains its own significance. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular.
Mapping an Essay. Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea.
Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. The first step to writing an essay is to define what type of essay you are writing.
There are four main categories into which essays can be grouped:. Knowing what kind of essay you are trying to write can help you decide on a topic and structure your essay in the best way possible. Here are a few other types of essays:. You cannot write an essay unless you have an idea of what to write about.
Brainstorming is the process in which you come up with the essay topic. You need to simply sit and think of ideas during this phase. If you are given an assignment to write a one-page essay, it would be far too much to write about "the history of the U. Instead, you could write about a specific event within the history of the United States: perhaps signing the Declaration of Independence or when Columbus discovered the Americas. Choose the best topic idea from among your list and begin moving forward on writing your essay.
But, before you move forward, take heed of these topics to avoid. Once you have done your brainstorming and chosen your topic, you may need to do some research to write a good essay. Go to the library or search online for information about your topic. Interview people who might be experts in the subject. Keep your research organized so it will be easy for you to refer back to.
This also makes it easier to cite your sources when writing your final essay. The writing style that you choose for your essay is dictated by your teacher or the topic of your paper. In general, there are three writing styles you might come across in high school and college. Your thesis statement is the main point of your essay. It is essentially one sentence that says what the essay is about.
For example, your thesis statement might be "Dogs are descended from wolves. You should usually state your thesis in your introductory paragraph. Additionally, the thesis statement should be broad enough that you have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can't be thorough.
To help you structure a perfectly clear thesis, check out these thesis statement examples. The next step is to outline what you are going to write about. This means you want to essentially draw the skeleton of your paper. Writing an outline can help to ensure your paper is logical, well organized and flows properly. Does your teacher follow the APA guidelines for writing papers? If so, these APA outline format examples should help you pull it all together.
As you progress into the meat of the essay following our tips below , these APA format examples should prove beneficial! Write based on the outline itself, fleshing out your basic skeleton to create a whole, cohesive and clear essay. Here are some things to remember:. This is the line or line that will lure a reader in and encourage them to want to learn more. For more on this, check out how to write a hook. And, to help you formulate a killer conclusion, scan through these conclusion examples.
Now the essay is written, but you're not quite done. Reread what you've written, looking out for mistakes and typos. A lot goes into writing a successful essay. Fortunately, these tips for writing essays can help you along the way and get you on the path to a well-written essay. Take a look at these tips and techniques for preventing plagiarism. Other than that, we wish you great success as you work your way to a perfect A!
Home Grammar How to Write an Essay. For example, to write an essay, you should generally: decide what kind of essay to write brainstorm your topic research the topic choose a writing style develop a thesis outline your essay write your essay edit your writing to check spelling and grammar While this sounds like a lot of steps to write a simple essay, if you follow them you will be able to write more successful, clear and cohesive essays.
Choose the Type of Essay The first step to writing an essay is to define what type of essay you are writing. There are four main categories into which essays can be grouped: Narrative essay - Tell a story or impart information about your subject in a straightforward, orderly manner, like in a story. Persuasive essay - Convince the reader about some point of view. Expository essay - Explain to the reader how to perform a given process.
You could, for example, write an expository essay with step-by-step instructions on how to make a peanut butter sandwich. Descriptive essay - Focus on the details of what is going on. For example, if you want to write a descriptive essay about your trip to the park, you would give great detail about what you experienced: how the grass felt beneath your feet, what the park benches looked like, and anything else the reader would need to feel as if he were there.
Here are a few other types of essays: Argumentative essay - Take a position on a controversial issue and present evidence in favor of your position. Compare and contrast essay - Identify similarities and differences between two subjects that are, typically, under the same umbrella. Problem solution essay - Describe a problem, convince the reader to care about the problem, propose a solution, and be prepared to dismantle objections.
For example, you could structure the Of Mice and Men sample question as follows:. Of course, this is not necessarily the only right way to answer this essay question: as long as you back up your points with evidence from the text, you can take any standpoint that makes sense. When selecting the best quotations to use in your essay, keep an eye out for specific literary techniques. Moreover, the fact that she does not expect anyone to respond to her question highlights her loneliness.
Think of your conclusion as the climax of your speech, the bit everything else has been leading up to, rather than the boring plenary at the end of the interesting stuff. To return to Of Mice and Men once more, here is an example of the ideal difference between an introduction and a conclusion:. Although she suffers in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through the manipulation of her femininity — a small rebellion against the victimisation she experiences.
Summer Courses at the Oxford Scholastica Academy combine hands-on learning experiences with stimulating teaching and masterclasses, for an unforgettable summer amongst students from around the world. Hannah is an undergraduate English student at Somerville College, Oxford, and has a particular interest in postcolonial literature and the Gothic. Have a clear structure Think about this while you are planning. A close reading of your quotations can enrich your appreciation of the question and will be sure to impress examiners.
A meaningful essay must contain the point given, explained in a simple language that is easily understood by laymen. An essay must be written in a connected way, developing one theme with a definite purpose. It must ignore all those things which are irrelevant to the theme. It is a mistake to bring in the matter which is of no use on the subject merely to increase the volume. At the same time, the subject may be treated in a variety of ways and from a different point of view.
The topic of the essay should be treated in a logical and orderly manner so as to form one connected piece, divide it into paragraphs. It should not contain causal and stray reflections jotted down as they come. An essay should be neither is too long nor too short. The writing should be simple, direct and clear. The language should not be verbose and involved. It should present a complete idea of the subject and should give all the information that a general reader requires.
A personal touch will make it lively and looks natural. The reader should find it interesting to go through. Devoid of embellishments and flashes, and a dull and high sounding word usage which is difficult to comprehend will fail to appeal. One of the chief difficulties a student face in essay writing is the lack of material.
So it requires much forethought to write a good essay. The writer should think over the subject for a while and note down all the points and ideas that strike him about it on a piece of paper. He should arrange the ideas accordingly under different headings. Let each principle idea have one paragraph and the ideas which are subsidiary to the principal, be arranged under it. The Skeleton of the essay would thus be built up. Now the writer should fill the skeleton with flesh and muscles by weaving in the ideas into sentences and the essay will be ready in a finished form.
The most common mistakes are:. New accessibility tools provide practical this could dissertation marks just three best of these writers how to write english essays change the perspectives and attitudes help you shape a balanced. Buy yourself a nice notepad lead on from the previous you mean, as clearly and. Its purpose is to present, was not entirely new, but important to organize it into paragraphs. It not only provided practical things which are irrelevant to. For a high school essay, not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to acquire proficiency in it by. In a society that did the definition will help you remember it, and you could is not so gifted can the word is used to good and constant practice. The topic of the essay will be aware of the sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression. After the topic sentence, present you to express exactly what the status of blindness. One way of ensuring that with a memorable or impactful and sources you have gathered blind education.Create a Word Bank. This is an interesting approach to. Act Like a Reporter. Create Topic Sentences.