How to write an essay step by step?by Samantha Smiles
Essays are a common assignment both at school and college: if you don't know how to write them well, you are not likely to achieve high academic results. Many students tend to repeat the same mistakes every time they write an essay, which results in mediocre grades and wasted time. Quite often, they simply don't know what to start with and fail to plan their writing process properly. For you to succeed in your essay writing and to score high, we will provide a bunch of helpful tips on how to write an essay step by step:
1. Read the prompt attentively.
Make sure that you understand all the basic concepts and notions that it contains. Consult your professor if something needs to be clarified. Read the grading rubric, if available, to know what you should emphasize in your essay.
2. Choose an interesting topic.
Throughout your studies, you will mostly have your topics assigned by your professors, but once in a while you may be given the right to choose one at your liking. Use this opportunity to the full: think carefully and leaf through your course readings to identify a topic that arouses you interest. Preferably, it should be an issue that didn't discuss at length at classes. Also make sure that your topic is not overused so far.
3. Do preliminary research.
This stage is optional: you may go over right to brainstorming if you have an idea about your topic. If it is rather a gray matter for you, it pays to read some basic information, like encyclopedia articles, to know what it is all about.
4. Now you may start generating your own ideas.
You only need some brainstorming to let your ideas flow on the paper! The rule of thumb in brainstorming is to relax your mind and to free write without stopping to revise anything. When the session is over, it is time to review your ideas soberly and to point out the strongest of them.
5. Do your research.
However brilliant your ideas are, they won't impress your professor, unless supported with bright examples and scientific evidence. Locate the most relevant sources and read them with a pencil or a marker to highlight the most insightful citations. Keep the track of your bibliography while you are reading.
6. Make an outline.
Though many students start writing off the cuff, it is strongly advisable that you should make an outline first, especially when your essay in longer than five pages. Formulate your thesis precisely and sketch all you major and minor arguments in the most consistent order.
7. Write the first draft.
For now, it is enough to express all your thought without going into detail. Don't pay attention to your mistakes: they will be amended in due course. Just write freely.
8. Revise and write the second draft.
After you take a short break, you need to evaluate your essay objectively and critically. Read aloud and amend mistakes in grammar or style. Illustrate your arguments with more evidence wherever needed. Check whether you have managed to answer the essay question completely and whether you have met the requirements of your teacher. When you finally feel confident about your essay, you may proceed to writing the final copy, which still has to be proofread before submission.