6 steps to writing an essay

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  1. Choose an essay topic

The first step is to have an essay topic. In most cases, you will be given an essay topic or alternatively you may be given the freedom to choose a topic of your choice. When you have topic assigned, you will have to plan around the topic provided. You will be lucky if you’re left to choose a topic of your choice as this gives you an ample opportunity to select a topic that is not only interesting but also relevant to you. Whether you have been assigned a topic or you have selected one by yourself, the most important question is to determine the purpose of the essay. Knowing the purpose of the essay is essential as it will help you in choosing the right approach, phrases and structure.

  1. Develop an Essay outline based on key ideas.

Frist and foremost, plan and organize your thoughts. To do this, brainstorm and jot down any random ideas that you deem relevant to the essay. Establish a link between diverse ideas and create a flow diagram. The adage goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. Draw a diagram and write down your main ideas using a tree topology. Add more ideas into the main ideas as they come through. Alternatively, use an outline to list all the relevant key ideas and be sure to leave room for additional comment under each idea. Next, list any conceived minor ideas under main ideas. Use the brainstorming diagram or outline to help organize and plan for your essay.

  1. Formulate and state your thesis statement

After you have selected your topic and are through with brainstorming, the next step is to formulate a thesis statement. Ensure that you create a relevant thesis statement that informs the reader about the main purpose of your essay. Derive your thesis statement from your essay outline. The thesis stamen should be in two parts. It should clearly state the topic and purpose of the essay.

  1. Start writing the body of your essay

The body of your essay should be structured around the key points identified in the essay topic. It should discuss, argue or explore the essay topic. Ensure that you match every main idea to each paragraph that comprises the essay body.  The essay body should comprise of paragraphs that discuss distinct points, but linked together using transitional phrases. Open every paragraph of the main body with an introductory sentence that restates the main idea. Always ensure that you provide examples to back up every point made.

  1. It’s time to write your essay introduction.

Although some books recommend that you write the introduction, body and conclusion, this tutorial recommends that you write the body and then follow it with the introduction. The advantage to this is that you will be able to write an introduction that appropriately captures the purpose and main ideas of your essay. Given that you already have a thesis and essay body, it’s the right time to now write your introduction. Remember, the introduction should be attention grabbing and should indicate the focus of your essay. Begin with an attention grabbing statement or sentence that should lead your readers to your thesis statement. Always remember that a thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction.

  1. Conclude and pump-up your essay

The conclusion sums up your discussion and leads the reader to the end of your essay. As it marks the end of your essay, ensure that you provide your readers with your closing perspective. The conclusion should revisit the introduction and sum up the main ideas in the essay body. It should not be excessively long, but compact and focused on affirming the key discussion points. Finally, ensure that you add final touches that include reviewing your essay structure, vocabulary, sentence structure, and the flow and transition of ideas. Review the essay instructions to ensure that the essay has not deviated from the main topic. Check that you have used the right essay format as per your institutional requirements. Lastly, ensure that you have a friend read the essay for you. This will help identify errors and grammatical mistakes that you may not have noted. Thoroughly spell check and proofread your essay before turning it in.

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