Whether you need it for a high school project, part of a college course or perhaps just to practice your creativity, writing an essay is no easy task. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to conquer for many students around the globe. Whether you’re writing purely out of pleasure, or to get a grade or scholarship, essay writing can be easy – if you know how to tackle it. Here are some of the best tips to start writing an effective essay, for both beginners and pros.
If you have an assigned essay, make sure to read the instructions and understand them fully before you begin writing. If you can choose the topic on your own – let’s dig in.
Prepare a topic
If you already have an assigned topic by a teacher or someone else – you may think you’re off the hook here. However, an assigned topic is just a general guideline of where your essay needs to go, while you still control the direction. Should it be an overview or a detailed analysis? Should you take a critical approach or be objective? The choice is yours to make. If you don’t know where your essay should be headed, you can take a look at essay samples from professional creative writing services.
On the other hand, you may have the freedom to choose the topic on your own. As beautiful as this sounds, it is also troublesome as you will have a hard time choosing exactly what to write about. Whatever your choice, do thorough research before settling on one topic so you know what you are getting into. We strongly suggest checking out what others have written on the topic already. You can use that info to see the existing body of work out there and write something better.
Prepare a thesis statement
So, you have a topic – now let’s get on with the work. Thesis statement is the second most important part of your essay. It is essentially telling the reader what the main point of your essay will be. In other words, it’s the stance you will take regarding a certain topic.
For example, a good thesis statement would be “Friends is the most iconic sitcom in the past 3 decades and has influenced the majority of sitcoms in American TV ever since its creation.“ You’ve chosen the topic (Friends) as well as your point (the series has had an immense impact on sitcoms ever since).
Set an outline
The outline is the skeleton for your essay’s body. In order to write an essay that is coherent, you first need to lay down the way you want it to be structured. This means taking your main ideas and putting them onto paper – to visualize how you want your ideas to be presented.
You can use this by simply writing down the main points in a chronological order. However, some people are more visual and need a drawing – you can do that too. We suggest drawing bigger clouds for main ideas, with smaller, supporting ideas as smaller clouds linked to the big ones.
Write the essay body
We may be taking an unconventional approach here, but we prefer writing the body first. The reason is quite simple – you get to lay down your most important ideas first, before tackling the introduction and conclusion.
Present each of your ideas a separate paragraph. Make sure to present your own thoughts, along with supporting arguments. One of the best tips for writing the body is just to write the first sentence in each paragraph first, and then finish the paragraphs one by one. This way you get to see what your body’s structure will be from the start. As an added bonus, you will be able to make smoother transitions between paragraphs, naturally linking thoughts to one another.
When presenting your ideas, it’s absolutely critical to express your own opinion. However, it is also necessary to base your thoughts on credible sources. Depending on the type of essay you’re writing, it’s a good idea to list a couple of relevant sources for the information you’re presenting.
Write the conclusion
In the conclusion, present the summary of all of your main points listed in the essay body. In an essence, recap what you have written and finish off the essay with a strong closing statement. Your conclusion should not introduce any new information – just summarize what you have already mentioned.
Write the introduction
We’re strong supporters of writing essays upside-down. This means that introduction comes last, and for a good reason. Once you’ve written a great body and finished it off with an effective conclusion, it’s time to get the reader hooked and make them read the masterpiece you’ve laid out for them.
Your first sentence is where you win or lose readers – make it count. Show the main point of your essay but make it brief and engaging.
Revise before you finish
Once you’ve typed out the last words of your introduction (or conclusion, if you’re going the logical way), you may think that your work is all done. However, you still have quite a bit to go before calling it a day.
First, read it several times through and through. Make sure to edit anything that seems out of place and disrupts the flow of the article. Speaking of which, sentences may flow smoothly one after another as they are, but something could be off with them. For this reason, read your essay backwards once too – if something’s out of place, you’ll notice.
In the final run, check for the most basic elements. That means grammar and spelling, run-on sentences, the sentence structure, etc. Even the best works of written art aren’t so impressive if you confuse they’re for their every now and then.
Another good practice is to have someone else read your essay before you send it in. Even though they may not be an author or editor, a fresh pair of eyes always helps.
Send in your essay, kick back and relax
If you’ve followed all of these steps, your literary masterpiece is ready to send in to your college professor or whoever else needs to review it. By following these essential writing guidelines, you’ll be able to write a spectacular essay every time.