Writing Academic Essays for Dummies: Expert Tips

If you are a schooler, you will surely write essays. Lots of essays. Schools, colleges, and universities demand essay writing because it develops critical thinking, sharpens writing skills, and helps to logically express personal thoughts.

An essay is a paper that can be formal or informal, long or brief, subjective or objective. Each teacher tells a student what type of essay to present and how to do it. The most common types of essay in schools and colleges are

  • narrative,

  • compare and contrast,

  • argumentative,

  • analytical,

  • critical analysis,

  • descriptive,

  • cause and effect,

  • expository.

All these essays have their peculiarities. When speaking about essay writing steps, it is impossible to give a universal guideline. Nevertheless, it is possible to give hints on how to structure, what to include, and what to avoid. This article is a detailed explanation of essay writing. You will understand the basics even if you are a beginner.

3 Steps to Take to Write a Compelling Essay

3 Steps to Take to Write a Compelling Essay
3 Steps to Take to Write a Compelling Essay

Academic writing services often compare essay writing with the cooking process. First, you learn the recipe, then you prepare ingredients, after you mix them in the correct order, and, finally, taste it. If the dish tastes bad, you will try to improve the taste by adding spices. The same happens when you write an essay. Professional academic writers from Custom Writings outline the following steps:

  1. You learn your tutor's instructions (topic, volume, essay type, person narrative, format)

  2. You investigate the topic by reading articles on the Internet, books, or remembering personal or someone's experience.

  3. You create an outline to make everything sound logical and interrelated.

  4. You write an essay.

  5. You revise it and edit parts that sound not convincing or have mistakes.

So, you need to take three main steps - get ready, create, correct.

Step 1. Getting ReadyStep 2. CreationStep 3. Editing
  1. ✔️ Learn the requirements
  2. ✔️ Get the topic or select it on your own (if possible)
  3. ✔️ Research an essay topic
  4. ✔️ Formulate a thesis statement
  5. ✔️ Compose an outline
  1. ✔️ write an introduction + a thesis statement
  2. ✔️ Write a body (do not forget about paragraphs)
  3. ✔️ Write conclusion
  1. ✔️ Check if everything sticks to the rules
  2. ✔️ Proofread your paper
  3. ✔️ Correct mistakes and rewrite sentences (where necessary)
  4. ✔️ Read everything again
  5. ✔️ Scan it for plagiarism

1. Prepare Materials and Organize Your Ideas

If you must write an informal narration, you will probably need only to remember some things and reflect them on a paper. Informal writing usually serves to entertain by telling a funny story or personal experience. Formal essays demand proper structuring, language, facts, and format. Argumentative essays must have a central discussion point while compare-and-contrast essays need two objects or ideas for comparison.

Consequently, one has to learn the requirements first. It might sound like, 'write an expository essay about how to behave in case of fire at school in 3rd person singular. Required style - MLA'. This task is to provide instructions. A person should learn the school building plan, find booklets or get instructions from firemen, and support the main idea with some facts. For example, you can provide mistakes people make during evacuations or what punishment to expect if you are guilty of fire. The purpose of expository essays is to inform someone about something. It is a factual presentation of information.

So, you should read information about the required essay type. If you use emotional language and lots of stylistic figures in an expository essay, you will have to lose points or rewrite it.

The next step is to create a thesis statement. It must reflect the reason for your writing. You write each part of your essay to explain, support, or disprove its idea. One should also jot down interesting quotes or facts and their source not to twaddle in a paper. Reliable facts sound solid and guarantee credibility.

If you have a right to select a topic, it will be better to search for urgent problems or discussions on the Web. Professors appreciate the novelty and value that an essay brings.

2. Write Your Essay

An essay begins with the presentation of the problem. Then, it discusses it and summarizes it in the last paragraph. What to mention in each essay part?

  • Introduction. It must hook the reader's attention. One should use vivid descriptions, facts, life experiences, or questions to do that. After, an experienced writer introduces a thesis statement and provides a background. It is important to explain the value of the researched topic and be convincing. If an essay is going to be long, it will be better to say what to expect in the body section. It might be a single sentence that intrigues the reader with unique information one might find if continuing reading.

  • Body. This part is the analysis of the main idea and its development with the help of samples and considerations. This part makes up to 80% of the whole essay and often needs several paragraphs not to scramble ideas. Each paragraph has a topic sentence. To guarantee logical flow, one usually uses transitional words. Shreds of evidence bring value to the paper, but they are not to be fake.

  • Conclusion. This part aims at stressing the idea of the thesis statement. One should not present here new ideas and thoughts. You draw conclusions trying to impress the reader. Professionals use rhetorical questions, impactful quotes, or unfinished sentences to create a powerful ending. Besides, a conclusion is not to repeat things but to strengthen the idea of the thesis statement.

3. Edit Your Essay

Here, you go back to your college requirements and check if everything matches. After, you read your essay without fuss. If something sounds ridiculous, one will better rewrite sentences to make them perfect. It is essential to consider grammar and formatting. One might use grammar checkers, plagiarism detectors, and citation generators. Your essay is to be without mistakes, unique, and correspond to the format requirements (MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago).

You may send your paper to your good friends to learn their impressions. One can ask if the intro was catchy enough or whether it needs corrections or not. Your friends might notice grammar or formatting errors you could miss.

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