How to Write an Essay: The Dos and Don’ts
If you are wondering how to write an essay, our professional writers have a few tips to help you get better at it. Below are their expert recommendations. Learn the basics they use in their writing, and you will be well on your way to churning out terrific papers, just like them. But first, let us address what is an essay.
What Is an Essay – Necessary Guidelines
There is no singular official essay definition. But it can be defined as a common assignment given out in schools to test a student’s writing skills, along with the knowledge they have gained. Another meaning is a piece of writing that is written along with an application to a tertiary educational institution.
There are 4 types of essays. Knowing which one of the four you are required to write is essential to answering the question right. Ergo, below are the essay examples elaborated:
- Descriptive essays. The point of this paper is to develop a subject matter. As a writer, you are supposed to, as the name suggests, describe your topic inside and out. This description aims to delve deeply into a theme and to excite the audience’s emotions through their use of language in the essay.
- Narrative essays. They may be considered similar to descriptive essays. In this case, however, writers describe a story about themselves—a personal experience that they have gone through. The narrative perspective is from a first-person view. Thus, the writer should use the personal pronoun “I” as they write to give the audience a feeling of being included in the story they are telling.
- Persuasive essays. For this write-up, your goal must be to convince the audience to accept your version of things. Your writing should develop your arguments clearly so that the readers are swayed towards a similar conclusion or recommendation that you came to as well. Facts, examples, professional opinions, and logic are how you achieve this persuasion.
- Expository essays. The goal of this writing is to inform your audience through your analysis and critique of a subject. Facts, figures, examples, and statistics are essential when you are analyzing a topic. There are three kinds of expository essays:
- Contrast and comparison essays that pit two ideas against each other.
- Cause and effect essays that interrogate why a particular phenomenon exists as it is and the effects of the same.
- A how-to essay requires you to breakdown the procedures for achieving a goal.
You can access college essay examples from our site that can help you better understand the differences between these kinds of writings. Once you have figured out exactly what type of essay you should tackle, the next step is the preparation part.
How to Start an Essay: Getting Prepared
How to start an essay is a question that you should answer after you have adequately prepared for the task ahead.
Choose an Excellent Topic
In most cases, you would have your topic already chosen that hinges on the kind of assignment you have to write. Otherwise, your teacher may leave this part for the students. Do not panic. First of all, ensure that you understand the information around what you are required to write about. Choosing your subject can prove to be immensely beneficial. You should find a problem that you find fascinating to talk about. Essay topics you decide on should stimulate you to investigate the issue further. Research diligently, investigate the interests you have thoroughly to find a suitable topic and the angle you will use as you write.
Create an Outline to Structure Your Writing
An essay outline serves to help you structure your arguments in a logical way. Since the basic structure of most write-ups is first the introduction, then the body, and finally the conclusion. Your ideas should, therefore, follow a similar format in how they stream from your first to your last paragraph.
Consider the outline as the first draft. You can represent this blueprint diagrammatically if it helps you visualize the work ahead. First, write your topic and the ideas you want to go into the paper. Make sure you add the credible sources you will use when you are writing. It is critical to ascertain that you have enough reliable information to support your points.
Provide Your Thesis Statement
So, what do you aim to achieve from writing your essay? Your intentions should be identified through your thesis statement. The main points of your writing should inform your thesis statement. Assuming you are writing a scholarship essay, your thesis statement should include your qualities and how you have acquired them.
Begin with Your Introduction
This is the ‘make or break’ section of your paper. A terrific introduction should hook your readers into wanting to read the entire article. Tell your audience what your essay is about by disclosing your intention. You can grab the readers’ attention by using something shocking. A quote, statistic, an anecdote, or just a concise run-through of your topic. Remember that your attention-grabber is relevant to your subject.
Delve into the Body of Your Article
The essay format you decide on should have the ideas you listed in your outline as separate sections of the body. Logical flow is imperative. You can begin each paragraph with your topic sentences—the main ideas you identified in your outline. Follow this up with your supporting ideas. Keep in mind that you are trying to provide information to your reader. Elaborate each approach with examples that have been appropriately cited from reliable sources. After finishing the body, you should find out how to end an essay.
How to Conclude an Essay: Hint on Summarizing
After we have covered what goes into introducing and building your article, you should learn how to conclude an essay. Begin by summarizing your main points. Afterward, you can have some confrontational questions that would evoke some vivid imagery in your readers. Finally, have your results and recommendations explained.
How to Write a Good Essay: Skills to Master
Understanding the structure your paper follows is not enough. Each student should know how to write a good essay. There are two key things any student should strive to master to improve their writing skills.
Have a Diverse Vocabulary
Using the English language diversely can help make your writing engaging. A great way to expand your vocabulary is by exposing yourself to a lot of literature. Read as much as possible. Reading helps you find new words every day that can improve the quality of your write-up. As you read, use a thesaurus and a dictionary. You should use words whose meaning you understand. A thesaurus is a handy tool for finding synonyms and antonyms to employ in your paper.
As you learn new words, write them down in a journal that you can use for reference whenever you are writing. You need a way of remembering the new words you learn and listing them down along with their definition and synonyms helps. There are word games you can play to help you learn new words to use. You can make this learning process fun. Finally, use these new words. The more you employ these words in your writing and speaking, the more you learn how and when to use them.
Grammar refers to how language can be employed in communication. Grammar has several elements which you should master. Below are some of them:
- Get the word order right. If you are writing a declarative sentence, the word order would be — subject, verb, object, then adverbial phrases.
- The punctuation in your writing helps pass your message across. Especially when your sentences are complex, and they have two or more points conjoined.
- The aspect and tense of the verbs should be consistent. The past, present, and future are indicated by tenses and aspects of verbs. Hence, ensure that you maintain the time context of your writing.
- Use appropriate connectors for your compound sentences. Conjunctions show coordination, correlation, or subordination between clauses in your sentences.
- Use a determiner.
You can access a sample essay on our website that has been written by one of our experts. You can learn how these different elements are used in writing.
How to Cite an Essay
The credibility of your essay is contingent on the sources you have used. Consequently, you should learn how to cite an essay. The referencing style you are required to employ informs how you will cite your arguments. The chief referencing styles that most academic institutions require students to use the American Psychology Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA).
APA Citation Guidelines
In this format, an essay cover page comes into play. In it, ensure that you indicate your title, add a running head, your name, and your institutional affiliation. Avoid using abbreviations when you are penning your title and make sure it lies in the center of the page. The APA essay format guides; the margins of pages, the spacing between words, lines, and paragraphs, and both the size and type of font you should use.
The in-text citations — enclosed in parentheses and separated by a comma — use the surname of the author(s) and the year the paper was published. For the reference list, make sure it is on a new page titled “References.” Remember that the correct order of citing your sources depends on what the source is. However, a basic guide should have this order:
- A surname of the author.
- When this literature got published — the year.
- The name of the literature.
- Where the publisher is based, a colon, then their name.
- The place you got this publication: it could be a website or an online database.
MLA Citation Guidelines
In this format — like the APA style — there are punctuation, margin, font size, spacing considerations to make. It differs from the APA style in that the paragraphs requires the first sentence to be indented from the left margin. It also lacks the title page typical in APA formatted documents, and the title of the reference list — “works cited” would be the title. The spacing is also different for this format. When it comes to in-text citations, you write them as you would in APA format, but the two items are not divided by a comma.
There is an MLA handbook that further describes the intricacies of this format. The order that your listing should follow is:
- The main person responsible for compiling the publication.
- The name of the work.
- Others who lent a hand in accomplishing the literature.
- Version and then the number.
We Are Here to Help Your
Tertiary education can sometimes get overwhelming. Especially, when it comes to working on the assignments you are given. Students in all academic levels struggle with working on the homework they have. They often find themselves trying in vain to find time to work on essays along with their other assignments. It may be impractical to get help from their peers since they are going through the same issues as them. Thus, online services that offer homework assistance become the next step.
However, getting help from online companies is no simple matter. Many students have been conned out of their money by companies that do not deliver on their promises. You could have given them your essay to write, but the writer assigned to it lacks the knowledge or experience needed to do it. Hence, students who sought those services get a heavily plagiarized paper or just a poorly written one. In other cases, the skills might be present. So, it might be simpler for students to access samples instead of having the work done for them.
You can easily acquire essential skills from looking at work that has been done professionally. This means combing through examples of tasks that an expert writer has done. Consequently, you will be able to revise the essential elements that go into each essay type. On our site, you will have access to free samples from various disciplines to guide you through the writing process.