Essays provide information on a certain subject which, in most cases include the opinion of the writer. That being said, essay writing can be considered to be one of the most effective ways of disseminating both information and human opinion.
There are many ways of writing an essay, and many styles each writer can adapt. Each writer have his/her own writing style which he/she has developed over time. Good essay writers or essayists are considered good communicators. This is because while they continued to develop their writing skills, other communication skills also developed along with it. This goes without saying. After all, human communication skills are interconnected.
How to Outline an Essay
In writing an essay outline, a writer’s thoughts can sometimes be all over the place, and the resulting composition would be just a clutter of ideas waiting to be organized. This is why writers need to organize their thoughts first before writing the actual composition.
An outline is an effective tool for such dilemma. An outline is somewhat a plan of the points you want to include in your essay. Here are some effective ways in creating an outline.
- Know the topic. The first thing one needs to do is to know the focus of the essay—the topic.
- Identify the purpose of writing the essay. Why are you writing the essay?
- Begin by determining the format and structure of your outline. The most common structures are the alphanumeric structure, and the decimal outline structure.
- Create sections. Sections will contain the most important points in your composition. A typical essay outline will contain three sections: one for each essay parts (i.e. introduction, body, and conclusion).
- Develop subsections. Subsections will be under the sections. These will be the supporting points for each of your sections. This points will include the most specific points for discussion.
Guidelines for Writing an Effective Essay
An effective essay not only catches the attention of the readers, but also retains it making the reader want to finish reading the composition. A reader can immediately lose interest even after reading the first sentence if an essay is not well-written or persuasive writing. So here are some guidelines one needs to remember in order to write an effective essay.
- Remember the purpose for writing the essay. This will give your essay a focus.
- Refer to the outline you’ve made. You’ve made an outline, use it.
- Let your writing speak for you. Write as if you’re talking to your readers. Immerse yourself in a conversation between you and your composition.
- Keep it simple and clear. Don’t brag about your extensive vocabulary, no one wants it. Aside from confusing your readers, you’ll probably end up confusing yourself, too. So use a language that’s both simple and clear.
- Avoid quoting too much. Some writers have this habit of using too many quotations, which is not really a good practice. It is best to trust your own ideas, so your readers will also learn to trust you.
- Enjoy. Your writers will not be able to enjoy reading a composition if the writer himself/herself did not enjoy the process of writing it.
- Proofread. Good essays have undergone countless revisions before it’s considered “good.”