Basic Instructions For Newbies In Academic Writing: How To Compose A Great Essay

Writing an essay is not an easy task, especially when it is a critical assignment that is extremely important to your class mark. What makes an essay great is the unique spin that you put on the topic, and how interesting and thought-provoking it is. Catching and keeping the reader's attention is vital if you want to get your point across. As a general rule, all essays follow the same basic format, so even if you are a newbie to the essay world, the following 5 steps will have you producing "A" papers with very little effort.

  1. Pick a GREAT topic: Quite likely you will have been assigned a general topic. Now you need to think of an expanded area of that topic that is unique, interesting, and that has plenty of supporting information content available for you to do your research from. Attempt to choose a topic that you are really interested in learning about.
  2. Write out a draft: The next step that you will take is to compose a rough draft of what the essay is going to contain. No one except for you will ever see the draft so your brainstorming does not even have to be in full sentences.
  3. Create the basic outline: To keep things simple, we are going to pretend that the essay you are writing will contain 5 paragraphs. Construct an outline for each of the 5 paragraphs that contains the following headings: Introduction, Supporting Evidence and Examples #1, Supporting Evidence and Examples #2, Supporting Evidence and Examples #3, and finally, Summary and Conclusion. By following the outline that you have created, you will more easily remain focused on writing a concise essay.
  4. Fill the holes in the outline with research: Now it is time to fill in all of the blank spaces. Develop each paragraph with relevant information as you do your research, properly citing sources as you go along.
  5. Write, revise, and proofread: Once the outline has been filled in, now is the time to make sure that everything flows together. Ensure that each idea flows logically into the next. Go back to the beginning of the essay and read it out loud to see how it sounds. This can help you to pick up on awkward phrasing, improper grammar, and other mistakes. Do any corrections as they are needed and proofread again before handing in the essay.

This example was only for a 5 paragraph essay but it is a simple matter to adapt it to the length that you may need. As long as you are following the proper format you can add in paragraphs wherever they may be needed.

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