Writing an Essay: 11 Useful Tips

Writing an Essay: 11 Useful Tips

Before you ever sit down to start the writing of your essay, you need to know how to organize it. The easiest way to do this is by making an outline. No matter what type of paper you are writing, they are all going to follow the main general concept. Students learn about this as soon as they write their first report in grade school. It’s a concept that should be carried through to high school, college, and even when writing an essay in a professional setting. The main points of your essay are going to include the following ideas:

  • Introduction – answer the question being asked and make your argument or opinion known by writing a clear thesis statement.
  • Body – using at minimum two paragraphs, back up your thesis with researched facts to give the reader reason to believe or at least understand your point of view.
  • Conclusion – reinstate your thesis, summarize your main points, and leave the readers with more knowledge on the topic you have written about.

To get a more detailed idea of what an outline should look like for an academic essay, get a good example when you follow this link.

Start by Choosing a Topic

Sometimes, when the topic hasn’t been provided for you, it’s up to you to pick what you want to write about. When this happens, you have to think carefully about what subject you want to discuss. It is essential not to pick something that isn’t going to have a lot of information surrounding it. That will make it difficult to find facts to back up what you are saying.

When doing your research, you want all the help you can get. The more links you can use, the easier it’s going to be to come up with substance for your academic report. Take some time and read up on what you can surrounding your main idea before you ever write your first sentence. Be confident that you can get your message across with valuable facts.

Write Down Your Thesis Statement

After deciding what you will be writing about in your essay, it’s time to pick a side. Regardless of what the topic is, there is going to be a view that you have on the subject. Your view may not be the same as everyone else’s, and that’s going to be the point of writing your essay paper. The first step though is writing a thesis sentence that is clear, to the point, and easy for the audience to comprehend.

Planning Ahead for What’s to Come in Your Essay Writing

No matter how many essays you have written, you need to plan ahead to ensure you have enough time. You want every section to be adequately backed up with the details your university professor is going to expect to see. The most effective way to get ready for your essay writing is by doing a quick brainstorming search of what ideas you want to include in your paper. By doing this, you are going to come up with the most effective statements to back up your ideas, not just the first ones that you think of.

Write down a few words that are relevant to your topic, and do a broad search to start. You can decide what different ideas you want to use when you narrow down what you have in front of you later on. Eventually, those words will become phrases, and you will find the most appropriate information to include.

Create A Visual Before Writing an Essay

Before you start doing any writing of your essay, start with a simple diagram. Put your main idea or thesis sentence in a bubble in the middle of the page. Then, start drawing out branches and write down any ideas that you have that can support your message. Get a clear picture of what your diagram should look like here.

Under each main idea, leave space to write supporting facts or thoughts that you can use to expand on the topic. This might look a bit messy and confusing at first, but you can organize all of your thoughts later on.

Writing the Body Paragraphs for Your Essay

You may be thinking, why would I write the body before the introduction when the introduction comes first? This tip is one that you will be thankful for. The introduction will come next. It is easiest to write your body first, after you have all of the main ideas written down. Take your main ideas, and any supporting ones that have listed in your diagram, and start turning them into sentences.

Each body paragraph should start with a main topic sentence. This will be what the entire paragraph will be about. Every sentence after that should support what was stated in the first sentence. Leave a few spaces in between and then move onto the next paragraph with a new idea, following the same pattern.

Never try to include more than one idea per paragraph. It can confuse your reader and make it difficult for them to understand what you are trying to say. After all of your main paragraphs have been written for your essay, it’s time to fine tune them a bit. Go back to where you left that extra space and fill it in with more details.

Some of the details that you can include for support in the body part of your essay writing include:

  • Facts
  • Statistics
  • Data
  • Scientific research
  • Professional opinions

When writing an academic research paper, never include your own opinions as facts unless you are an expert in the subject. If you do, it can discredit your research and therefore make your essay look unreliable.

Writing Your Essay Introduction

Now that you have your body done, you can go back and do your introduction. You already have your thesis statement written so that is going to be part of the five or six sentences that you include in this first paragraph. The rest of the paragraph is going to explain what your paper is about. With the body complete, you can quickly scan your main topic sentences and use that to form a few sentences. Aren’t you glad you waited to do this part? Instead of trying to fit your body to your introduction, it’s much simpler to write your introduction to match your body.

When composing the introduction, you want to make it interesting. Start with a question or a statement that is going to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about the topic. A shocking fact or statistic is also a pretty safe bet when creating your intro.

Finish with Writing Your Essay Conclusion

Save your essay conclusion writing until the end. This is the easiest part of the whole process. All you have to do is reinstate what you wrote for an opinion or thesis so that he reader is reminded where you stand on the subject. Then, summarize all the major points you made throughout the essay. It doesn’t matter if your paper was two paragraphs or twenty, you want to keep the conclusion short and simple. It should be three to five sentences that are strong and leave your reader feeling satisfied about what information you have shared with them.

Polishing Up Your Essay Writing

Now that the main part of your essay writing is complete, it’s time to polish it up and give it all the final touches. You want your essay writing to be professional and clean, so start from the beginning and work your way through.

Check to make sure everything you wrote makes sense. It is common to get lost in your own thoughts when writing your rough draft. The result is a paragraph or string of ideas that aren’t easy to follow. One way to ensure the reader isn’t going to be confused is by reading your essay writing out loud. If it doesn’t sound good in speech, it’s going to be even harder to understand when reading silently.

Next, check to see if your essay writing is in a logical order. If your topic involves time, you want to start with the earliest period and end with the most recent. If there is no time, you should be starting with the most important ideas and wrap it up with the least supporting.

Go over the instructions that your teacher or professor has given you for writing your essay. Make sure that you have included everything that has been requested. Leaving out any required points can have a big effect on your grade, and it can even discredit the information that you have worked so hard to compose.

The last thing you are going to do is go through the entire essay from start to finish and check for grammar, spelling, and other errors. This is the fine-tuning part where you check that everything has been done clearly and it’s ready to be turned in.

Keep Your Essay Writing as Interesting as Possible

Let’s face it, some essay writing topics are just boring. No matter what you do to try and liven it up, you can’t seem to come with anything interesting. Instead of just leaving your essay writing as it is, know that there are other actions you can take to bring some life to your paper.

  • Aim for a bit of variety in sentence structure and vocabulary.
  • Avoid using the same words or phrases over and over again.
  • Make sentence and paragraph lengths different from one to the next.

Keep Working at Essay Writing

The only way you are going to get really good at writing is by practicing. This is your final and perhaps one of the most important tips there is. If you know you are going to be responsible for composing an essay for a class or exam, practice writing a few samples on different topics. Follow the tricks that are outlined here and you will be more prepared when it comes time for getting the real thing done.