Do you want to get a high grade on your essay? Leave the guidelines for now, and focus on the way you’re presenting your ideas. Anyone can format an essay and adjust line spacing. However, only a few can pull the reader in and keep it informative, but simple.
Getting a well-written, balanced outcome isn’t difficult, but it doesn’t come at the first try. You’ll want your reader to get considerable value from your essay, as well as enjoy reading it. To achieve this, there’s a lot of training to do. These steps are an excellent place to start.
Step 1: Determine the Essay’s Goal
There are several types of essays, including argumentative, narrative, comparative, and explanatory. Your professor or your boss will likely point it out, but as long as you don’t know the goal of what you’re writing, you don’t have an essay.
The reason is simple; you won’t be able to understand what the reader is looking for. In turn, you won’t provide the needed answer.
Therefore, there are some questions you must ask yourself before writing. Their answers will determine how you’ll proceed:
- What’s the main question that needs answering?
- What’s the essay asking for? Personal opinions or facts?
- How long should the essay be?
- How can I tie the essay’s info to what I studied in class?
Step 2: Map Your Essay Out
This is the bit where most articles will tell you to create an outline, write your thoughts down, or something along these lines. And while it’s not necessarily wrong, it’s not the right place to start.
Firstly, two things should determine your essay’s structure: what your reader wants to know, and in which sequence. You should start by writing those down, and then move on to your thoughts. Meanwhile, keep in mind that this step is all about sections; forget about paragraphs for the moment.
Any section you’ll add will dictate the major arguments of your essay. So, you’ll need to give the outline some thought before jumping right into it. The right way to do this is by thinking more about what the reader wants to see, rather than what you want to add.
Step 3: Write Your Introduction
An introduction paragraph should summarize everything you intend to write later on. It should establish trust, provide a favorable first impression, and lay the groundwork for the conclusion.
It’ll be your only chance to pull your reader in and encourage them to keep going. If your introduction is lacking or monotonous, there’s a high chance your essay won’t get read.
There are several ways to pique a reader’s interest. You can do it by a question, a bold statement, or a surprising fact. We did it in this article’s intro, and you’re still reading, so you get the point!
Step 4: Write the Essay’s Body
The essay’s body is your battlefield. It’s where you’ll make your argument and support your statement. But that’s not what you came here to read, is it? Have you asked yourself what makes an essay successful?
It’s not the word count or the outline. It’s how long you can keep the reader’s attention on your words.
You can write a 100-word paragraph that tells the reader absolutely nothing, while a 10-word sentence is enough to make your point.
Remember that readers generally have fragile attention; they don’t need a cognitive load to add to the hardship. Thus, make sure to communicate your thoughts in a simple, understandable way.
You should start the essay’s body by your strongest argument. After laying out the topic sentence, support your facts by clear evidence.
You can do this through facts, examples, or scholarly sources. Bear in mind that the reader can’t see what’s running in your mind. Don’t leave anything to chance; readers shouldn’t have to do the work you should’ve done yourself.
Step 5: Conclude Your Essay
Think of your essay’s conclusion as a second introduction. You don’t want to stray far from the topic, but rather take it as a last chance to support your case. The reader will want to find a connection between all the points you mentioned in your essay, as well as the outcome of your thesis.
You can also throw in a broader view about your arguments to leave the reader craving for more. And keep in mind that you should end your essay with a memorable statement. That way, you’ll leave a solid final impression.
There are some things that you shouldn’t do in a conclusion. For starters, don’t undermine your statements by writing something like: ‘This is only one opinion regarding this matter’.
Also, don’t start new arguments or mention something that you didn’t already tell the reader in the essay. It should finalize your thoughts, not kick off new ones, or leave the reader wondering.
Done With the Essay? Here’s a Checklist
After finishing your essay, you can check this list off, so you’re sure you covered everything you need.
- The essay meets the guidelines of your professor or your boss.
- The introduction is interesting enough for the reader to proceed.
- All your paragraphs start with topic sentences.
- All your ideas appear in a clear, simple way.
- All your paragraphs are relative to the main topic.
- Your conclusion is merely connecting the essay without new arguments.
- All your sources are cited or linked.
- The essay is proofread and free of typos.
- The formatting goes according to the guidelines.
- The headlines are informative and engaging.
Writing an essay doesn’t have to be complicated. It only requires the five steps we mentioned, along with some patience to get your point through.
Here’s the thing, the reader shouldn’t have to look further or read the sentence twice to understand your point. Once you’re sure that the reader can fully understand your essay on the first try, you can say that you wrote a successful essay.