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Basic Steps on How to Write an Essay

by Feb 23, 2017Writing

Writing an essay for assignments, examination or essay contests is an overwhelming task for students. We face the question of how to write an essay from an early age. Essay writing involves recollection of appropriate thoughts and facts and constructing well-knit paragraphs to convey a purpose.

Essays are of different types – descriptive, narrative, critical or biographical. Each one has a different way of approach and intention. While descriptive essays are mostly factual narrative essays are based on personal experiences. On the other hand biographical essays are written on life accounts of important people.

Like any other complex task, writing an essay can be made easy by breaking it down into manageable tasks.

  1. Picking a topic

The first thing you need to do while writing an essay is choosing a topic. Most assignments and examinations already mention a topic on which to write the essay. But in case topic has not been provided, you should think of a topic which you feel you can write freely.

Your topic must be narrow and concise. This is necessary to develop a fixed set of ideas to write on.

You should also pick a topic depending on whether your theme is descriptive, narrative or critical.

  1. Outline of essay

An important step before writing the essay is organizing your ideas and thoughts on the theme. If possible, write your outline in the form of points sequentially. This should make your essay writing whole lot easier. The outline is the plan of your essay. The more time you invest in framing an outline, the less effort you will require while writing an essay.

Create a plot or scene of the theme and decide how the ideas are going to unfold in the course of the essay.  For descriptive or biographical essays, it is easier to create the setting of the essay. If you are writing a narrative essay, be sure to set a mood for the readers. Read more about some key notes on how to write a narrative essay.

Decide on the number of characters you are going to write about and their roles in the essay.

You should research the theme more and analyze well-written essays before actually writing the essay.

  1. Writing

Be as methodical as possible while penning down your essay. Stick to the outline you’ve framed. Divide your essay in distinct parts. Yet the theme should be presented in a continuous manner.

  • Introduction:

It’s always advisable to start off your essay with an apt introduction. Place a statement or purpose in the very beginning which sets the mood the essay. The whole essay will revolve around the statement and on how you support or contradict it.

  • Body:

Unfold the supporting ideas to the initial statement and build the body of the essay. Break up your essay in appropriate number of paragraphs. Use of proper sentences and vocabulary of varying complexities is very important.

Use first person in narrative essays. Extensive use of ‘I’ in such essays engrosses the readers. Events can however be written in past tense. Dialogues between characters can be incorporated to make narrations livelier.

Even descriptive and biographical essays must not sound boring and commonplace. Interesting facts can always be added.

Do not be overtly critical in your tone while writing descriptive or narrative essays.

It is necessary to support your facts and statements with evidence or relevant examples. Cite historical examples of similar context in biographical essays. Sequence of events or ideas has to be maintained in order. Your essay must guide the readers through a correct chain of thoughts.

  • Conclusion:

End your essay with a concluding paragraph. It should be a sum-up of your message for the readers. Re-state the initial statement that you made in the essay and convey the point you want to prove to the readers. The concluding sentences must be powerful without any suspense. The readers should feel that the chain of thoughts has come to an end.

  1. Review

Do not publish or submit you essay before reviewing it. Go through the essay multiple times till you are sure that readers will receive the intended message. Check your essay for all grammatical and syntax errors. If you feel the need to change certain details, characters or plots, reedit your essay. Redundant dialogues or ideas should be removed as when required.

An essay written in a hurry is most likely to miss the attention of the readers. You must monitor the flow of ideas throughout the essay, check if your point of view is consistent till the end and be able to convince the reader of your intention.

The fear of how to write an essay can be overcome only by sheer practice. Write more essays on various topics regularly and remember the important tips on how to write an essay.