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The gist of writing an Essay

Shakespeare may have put it best: “the pen is mightier than the sword,” but it isn’t to say that a pen is all you need to be a great writer. While we’d all want to believe that inspiration alone is all that’s required to write a winning essay, the reality is much different. It’s not as complicated as you may think to follow the standard format for English Essay Writing; in fact, it’s often as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. How to Write an Essay: Step by Step

Get the greatest outcomes by adhering to these 7 guidelines.

Don’t just read the question and answer it; read and comprehend it. Be aware of the precise nature of the request. Breaking the question down into its component pieces is a solid strategy.

Plan: When it comes time to write your essay, you’ll have a lot simpler time with things if you’ve spent some time beforehand brainstorming and arranging your thoughts. Building a network of your thoughts and the evidence that backs them up is a smart strategy.

Make use of and reference your sources: Seek out information. Utilize direct quotations and paraphrase, but never plagiarise.

Start with a Draft: The first draught of any work is garbage, as Ernest Hemingway famously put it. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, but it is certain that draughts are a great location to get “crappy” ideas out of the way and are typically needed by professors and instructors.

Develop a convincing argument: The thesis statement (primary argument) is the most crucial part of your essay. You should emphasize this point heavily.

In response, please: You may go on to drafting the essay’s final draught after you’ve ironed out any problems with the rough draught.

Proofread: Make sure there are no typos or details you forgot to include in your answer by reading it over carefully.

It goes without saying that you should always keep in mind that your essay assignment is unique. When writing an essay, you may skip any of these phases that don’t apply.

  • Common Essay Format: 5 Paragraphs

While more complex academic papers fall into their own category, the fundamental high school or college essay follows this tried-and-true five-paragraph format:

Paragraph One: An Overview

Paragraph 2 of the Main Text

Third Paragraph of the Second Body

3rd Paragraph of the Main Body

In here, the last paragraph, we draw our final conclusions.

This formulaic framework may look like it wasn’t put much thought into, but it’s there to help the reader make sense of the arguments you’re making in an essay. If your essay follows the standard pattern, any reader should have no trouble locating the specifics that are of greatest interest to them.

Getting Started

Looking for some essay examples to use as inspiration?

You may find examples of scholarship essays, admissions essays, and more in our Sample Essay area.

While it is true that you should state your thesis or argument in the initial paragraph, there is much more to a good introduction than just that. The essay, for instance, should start with a “hook” that catches the reader’s interest and makes them want to keep reading before you even introduce your thesis statement. Relevant phrases (such as “no man is an island”) or shocking figures (such as “three out of four physicians report that…”) may serve as good hooks.

After you’ve “hooked” the reader, it’s time to introduce the thesis. The thesis statement should be a single line that sums up your argument and makes it immediately evident to the reader whose side you’re on.

One other advantage of this approach to crafting the last phrase is that it leads naturally into the first paragraph of the paper’s main body. This illustrates how an effective introduction may be written in as little as three or four phrases. Maybe shorten it a little if it’s considerably longer than mine!

In answer to the prompt, “Do we learn more from finding out that we have made errors or from our successful actions?” the following statement serves as a sample introduction to a potential essay.

The Main Parts of the Text

Body paragraphs make up the bulk of an essay and, as was referred to up above, serve to provide more specific evidence in favor of your thesis statement.

Unless a more clear starting point is necessary (such as in the case of chronological explanations), your strongest argument or most noteworthy example should serve as the first paragraph of the body. This paragraph’s first phrase should serve as the paragraph’s main sentence, which should connect back to the introductory paragraph’s mini-outline in some way.

However, a single phrase in the body just stating that “George Washington” or “LeBron James” is an example is not sufficient. Instead, a good essay writing would elaborate on the main phrase by discussing who or what the example is and why it is pertinent.

The most well-known instances still need background. George Washington’s life, to use just one example, was very intricate; by choosing him as an illustration, do you want to emphasize his integrity, courage, or maybe even his lack of tooth enamel? It is your responsibility as a writer to provide this information to the reader. If you want to convince your reader that your life or event is the best example of your topic, give them the five or six most important details.

After that, you must explain how this particular illustration supports your argument. This is the entire point of offering the example; it is too crucial to ignore. Finally, make your case by explaining how this example applies specifically to the situation at hand.

A body paragraph like the one below may be used to expand on the essay that was introduced before.

Consider Thomas Edison as an example. Although the well-known American inventor had great success in the late 19th century, he believed that his achievements were in part due to the numerous times he had failed. One of his most well-known inventions, the lightbulb, was not a success on his first attempt or even on his 101st. It took him over a thousand tries to perfect the first incandescent bulb, but he picked up a lot of valuable experience along the way. I did not fail a thousand times; I just found a thousand ways in which it would not work, as he put it. Thus, Edison showed via his own actions and reflections how errors may be a stepping stone to growth.

Suggested Remarks on Changing Situations

Though the aforementioned paragraph conforms closely to the plan, the first few words deviate significantly. These phrases are an example of transitional phrases, which are the hallmark of effective writing (additional examples include “further,” “moreover,” “by comparison,” and “on the other hand”).

Using a transitional phrase between sections is an easy way to signal to the reader that they have moved from one to the next. They may be thought of as the written version of the spoken cues used to denote the conclusion of one group of thoughts and the beginning of another in formal speeches. In effect, they serve as transitional devices between different parts of the same paragraph.

Take a look at the second paragraph of the text we’ve been using to demonstrate this point.

We may all see similarities to Edison within ourselves. Whether it’s learning to ride a bike, operate a motor vehicle, or bake a cake, we all make errors along the way and eventually perfect the task at hand. Very few people are able to move directly from using training wheels to completing a marathon, but the lessons we learn from our early missteps may help us become better athletes overall. We learn by doing, and doing implies making errors, just as you can’t bake a cake without breaking a few eggs.

Final Thoughts

It’s possible to see the conclusion as a second introduction due to the similarities between the two sections. It doesn’t have to be lengthy (four strong sentences will suffice), but it’s crucial to a successful essay.

Effective summaries begin with a transition indicating the end of the discussion (such as “in conclusion,” “in the end,” etc.) and a reference to the “hook” introduced in the first paragraph. Next, restate your argument in a single sentence.

It is fine to utilize some (but not all) of the original wording you used in the introduction since this should be the fourth or fifth time you have reiterated your argument. This repetition not only serves to bolster your case but also serves to smoothly transition into the second essential component of a conclusion, which is a quick (two or three lines is adequate) recap of the paper’s three most important arguments.

After you’ve done all that, wrap things up with a “global statement” or “call to action” in your essay’s last phrase to let the reader know the topic is over.

Therefore, one thing is evident: errors aid in learning and development considerably more than victories. Science and common experience show that there is no ceiling on personal growth if we see setbacks not as failures but as opportunities to grow.