The simple truth about the essay writing process: why you shouldn't be afraid of it
Starting a new piece of work is always challenging; it may put you in mind of when you were young and given a large piece of paper and told to ‘draw a picture and make sure that you fill the page’. Or as you got older, the same paper but this time ‘write a story and fill the page’.
The problem is not so much the drawing or the story; it’s about ‘filling the page’. But, one of the best things about writing an essay is that no matter what the type you have to write, there is a plan for you to follow. Follow the format for the type of work you need to produce and then you will be sure to succeed.
Back to Basics.
- You will need an introduction, a main part and a conclusion.
- Make sure that you follow the format for the type of work that you need to produce. If you need a write an argumentative paper, make sure that you balance each of your points with counter arguments.
- If you are writing a piece of descriptive work, then start with the bigger picture then hone in on sensory specifics.
- Always make time to look at examples of the type of work that you are aiming for. Your tutor should be able to provide examples, if not look at some online academic websites that provide samples of work.
- The introduction should give the reader a reason to carry on reading. You should give some indication for your choice of theme.
- The main part of the work should have paragraphs that are like mini-essays. Each paragraph should have an introductory sentence, a main part that deals with one aspect. The concluding sentence should sum up the points you have raised and guide the reader to the next paragraph.
- The Conclusion should draw together all the points you have raised. Draw inferences from what you have written, do not assume that the reader will do that on their own.
- Make sure that your work follows a logical progression of ideas. If your work does not flow well, then you will lose your reader and even the most experienced tutor will lose interest in your work while they are marking it.
- Find topics that are interesting to you, or take on a slightly different slant or opinion. You could also try using information that you have from study in a different field that holds your interest.
- Brainstorm a few ideas. If you cannot decide between a few topics, then allow yourself about ten minutes on each topic and write down what you know about the topic, what you find interesting and what you need to find out. Choose a topic that really interests you.
- Start you work with a quote; a relevant anecdote or a question. Some writers (where appropriate) may find the use of a joke at the being on the work will capture the interest of the reader.
- End your work with a question. If you leave your reader with food for thought you have done your work as a writer. If they read you work and cannot remember what you have written about that is not good. Be memorable for the right reason.
- Take the time to read through your work when you think you have finished. If you do any editing to your work, take the time to read through the paper again.
- Correct any glaring errors. Make sure that if you have given supporting evidence to any sweeping statements that you have made.
- When you think that you have finished, get someone else to read through your work as you may have misses a few errors.
- Follow the basic structure, take a deep breath and enjoy writing.