Writing An Effective Essay With Ease: Basic Instructions

An essay is a short piece of writing that has the goal of explaining, describing, convincing, or analyzing a subject. In order to write an effective essay, the writer must have a clear goal in mind, present facts that support this goal, and tie all of the information together in a logical manner. Writing an effective essay does not have to be overwhelming or difficult as long as you plan out what you want to say and follow these basic instructions.

  • Select your topic: Topic selection will be guided first and foremost by your assignment. Your teacher or professor will most likely give you the type of essay (narrative, descriptive, expository or persuasive) to be written, and then it will be up to you to narrow down a topic based on the guideline. Your teacher or professor can help you select an appropriate topic – you do not want a topic that is too general (too much information) or too specific (not enough information). Remember that you only have a short amount of space for writing.

  • Create an outline: Outlining your topic allows you to organize your thoughts. You will work from your topic when you write.

  • Develop a thesis statement: The thesis statement tells your readers what to expect from the document. It is your main idea. The rest of your paragraphs will support this thesis statement.

  • Write your introductory paragraph: This will give some information on the background of the topic and why you chose it, and will end with the thesis statement.

  • Write the body: The five-paragraph essay is standard in middle school and high school. In college, you may be called upon to write a longer assignment, but the format remains the same. Each paragraph in the body of your paper (three, in the five-paragraph form) should develop one idea that supports your thesis. You should typically go from weakest to strongest idea.

  • Write your conclusion: This is not the place to present new information. You should briefly synthesize all of the ideas in the body and reinforce your thesis statement.

  • Edit for grammar and clarity: When you are finished writing, check for spelling, grammar, and syntax. Most importantly, read to make sure that the ideas presented actually support your thesis statement. Check for proper formatting: heading, font, margins and spacing should conform to the original assignment.

  • Writing an effective essay does not have to be terrifying. The writing process is logical and straightforward, as you can see, if you follow these basic instructions. The secret is to plan ahead of time and to leave yourself enough time to write effective supporting arguments, then to edit your writing when it is completed.

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