10 Easy Steps to Writing a Great Essay

Step 1. Research Your Topic

Don’t start writing your essay until you have become familiar about your topic. Start your investigation from sources like web articles, newspapers, and magazines. This will give you an outline of the topic and will prepare you to find more serious sources from academic databases, books, and encyclopedias. Read all the sources you can find and remember to write down quotes, interesting ideas, any questions you have, and your own thoughts. Don’t forget to write down the source and the page. While searching the web, don’t limit yourself to only Google by trying other search engines and by mixing up the keywords.

Step 2. Analyze the Found Information

Being able to analyze is important and here are a few tips on how to do it better. Collect different points of view, facts, ideas, and evidence that other authors provide. Analyze every single idea by marking its claims and arguments. Claims are core statements and arguments are the reasons that support the statement. Learn to single out both. This will help you to keep your own point of view while synthesizing the ideas of others.

Step 3. Develop Your Own Original Ideas

A good essay gives a fresh take on a topic. Analyzing what others say is important to have a deep understanding of the subject. But then you should come up with your own position, solution, or explanation. Brainstorm a few original ideas and ask yourself questions.

Step 4. Develop the Essay’s Thesis

Your thesis is the core of your paperwork. A thesis is a clear and short presentation of your own position regarding the topic and is your essay’s main claim that normally appears in the introduction. The best way to introduce a thesis is to present it as a controversial idea. Don’t give it as a simple fact. Instead, try to adopt an arguable position. “Although…actually” is a brilliant way to present the main idea, to state that there is another point of view, to pose a question, and to catch readers’ attention. Take great care to make your thesis very specific and narrow in focus.

Step 5. Make an Outline of Your Papers

Having a detailed outline is very important for writing the best body paragraphs. Make a list of all the arguments you are going to discuss and dedicate a separate paragraph to every statement. State the main idea of the argument in ten words or less and elaborate on how you are going to prove the idea. At this point, your task is to work out the progression of facts and arguments so that your essay reads persuasively and logically. Give your strongest ideas at the beginning and end of the paper while leaving your weakest arguments in the middle.

Step 6. Write the Essay’s Introduction

The main goal of an introduction is to get your reader’s attention. There are many ways to achieve this but the easiest is to create intrigue that makes your reader want to read further. Some ways to do this is by asking a question, telling an anecdote, giving an astonishing fact, etc. Make sure that your essay introduction isn’t too long and doesn’t clash with general ideas and phrases. Make your introduction come together around the thesis statement.

Step 7. Write Body Paragraphs

Follow this rule of thumb: one idea should be equal to one paragraph. Introduce your paragraph with a topic sentence that contains the main point you are going to discuss. Then concentrate on discussing the idea from various points of view, giving evidence, providing relevant quotes, and illustrating with examples. Don’t try to lengthen your body paragraphs by repeating the same general ideas. Instead use different terminology or switch to other subjects.

Step 8. Write the Conclusion

Normally, the conclusion is your thesis statement formulated in a new way. You should summarize everything that is mentioned in the essay and leave a memorable impression. Consider posing a new question to the reader, describing the research results, discussing why this topic is so important, or giving a provocative quotation. You could also provide some images that will grab your readers’ attention.

Step 9. Check Reference Formatting

Provide a full list of all the sources you used and write a reference page. Identify the quotes and ideas within your text and mark them in your essay according to the required style, MLA style being the most common.

Step 10. Proofread the Essay

At this point, you should polish your essay’s language use. When you were writing body paragraphs, you were concentrating on the content not the form. However, now it’s time to closely examine your work so it reads easily. Check for word repetitions, awkward wording, run-on sentences, and spelling and grammar mistakes.

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