Essay writing—we’ve all been through it. From our elementary to high school days, then followed college and the corporate world, essay writing has always seemed to find its way on our list of tasks. Be it on homework before and on business reports now, writing an essay is indeed a skill that is useful in our lives. However, it cannot be denied that every time we are given a task to write one, we still find it hard to make our ideas flow on paper.
Here is a 5-step basic guide on essay writing that can be useful whenever we need to refresh our minds on how to write an essay:
Before we get that pen moving on the paper or our hands on the keyboard, we have to get a hold of ourselves because the first thing we need to do in order for us to write an essay is to read a lot of essays of different types and with various topics. While most essay writing guides would start by making us think of a topic first, this basic guide will highlight the need to read on essays before anything else. It is in reading essays by other writers that can make us get familiarized with the plethora of styles and techniques that can be used in essay writing. And if we are already writers in our own right, being exposed to people’s work can help us improve our way of writing.
Unless given a specific topic, we have to choose a topic we can write with our eyes closed and hearts out. In using this freedom to our advantage, we get to have a flow of ideas and insights without limitations.
However, if there is an assigned topic, we have to write it in a way that we actually know what we are writing about and not to write just for the sake of having something to submit. Most of the time, we find it hard to write about the topic that is assigned to us because we did not choose it ourselves. But if we try to narrow it down to a strand of similar ideas, writing assigned topics would be much easier since we would have lesser points to tackle on. In thinking of how to develop a topic, chosen or assigned, we must always determine the purpose and end goal of what we have been meaning to write about.
Planning the outline of an essay consists of brainstorming and organizing. By brainstorming, we generate ideas about our chosen or assigned topic. Allow ideas to flow in whatever form—in writing or drawing—because the main purpose of brainstorming is to just let all the ideas flow without minding whether the grammar is correct or that it needs arranging. Leave the arranging part to the second part of the planning process which is the organizing. From the ideas that we have generated from brainstorming, the ideas are now to be organized. In organizing, the basic parts of an essay should be used as the heading. The parts of an essay consist of the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. For every part, the details of how we are going to write the essay must be detailed.
This the part where we have to grab the attention of the reader to make him keep hooked on reading down to the last word of the composition. It does not have to be long; three sentences should be enough as long as it sets the main idea in action and introduces the subpoints of the essay.
The body is the part where the main idea of the essay will undergo development. Each sub-point mentioned in the introduction must be further developed in this part of the essay. In five to seven sentences for each of the two to three paragraphs that the body of an essay is usually made up of, the evidence or argument must be constructed coherently enough to support the main idea.
The conclusion is where we sum up the entire parts of the essay. Additional inputs should no longer be introduced since it all belongs to the body of the composition. In this part, the main idea of the essay must be reiterated briefly and the sub-points should also be summarized briefly.
Concluding your essay should not be treated lightly. While the introduction will try to keep you hooked on reading, the conclusion would give the readers a lasting impression that may or may not affect the readers.
The best essays out there are filled and based on facts. It is important to research the topic so it would be grounded on facts and not just simply filled with personal ideas and opinions. The ideas that came from brainstorming might not just be enough; we need solid facts to make sure our arguments are well-grounded.
We can get important information at the library, or now we would usually get the information on the Internet. We also have to make sure that we keep track of the sources. In doing our research, we must never make the mistake of ignoring information that goes against the standard we are on. Like in verbal arguments or debates, a healthy one can be determined if it tackles both the proposition and the opposition sides.
In order to master the art of essay writing, consistently writing essay pieces would be an effective way. We also have to try writing various essay types, namely: expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive, so that our flexibility in writing essays of any type will be enhanced. We should also not restrict ourselves into writing a similar topic over and over again.
It is in writing various topics that we develop our writing skills. The mastery of the art of essay writing does not also consist of constant writing; we should also keep on editing our works. We might have missed some small details that actually has a great impact to the entire essay. We have to check that the spelling and grammar are checked. We have to check that every sentence is related to the main idea of the essay. We have to make sure every argument is on point. We have to make sure every paragraph has transitioned smoothly from the introduction to the body, and down to the conclusion.