Skip Nav

General Essay Writing Tips

Step Two: Collect Information and Learn about the Right Structure

❶Be sure that your structure in expository essays is very linear, making it easier to connect the dots.

Introduction:

1. How to write an essay
Essays can be crucial to admissions and scholarship decisions.
Brainstorm ideas in response to the question

The structure of the body paragraphs is simple. In the very beginning, the characteristic that will be discussed should be mentioned. Then, the author should conclude that this feature is important for the understanding of the phenomenon of free trade. The concluding paragraph should feature the full definition that was adjusted after each of the keywords was properly examined.

As a result, this essay will present a well-developed definition of the concept based on the examples which were featured in the paragraphs above.

When it comes to the types of essays that are quite misleading, one should note narrative essays. Some might suggest that this may be one of the easiest types of essays because it simply presents a narrative in the form of an essay. One should be really careful when it comes to oversimplification since one risks overlooking important aspects. It is true that the major focus of this type of essay is the narrative.

However, if some guidelines are not adhered to then the essay will turn out to be a story. This is exactly what a writer should to avoid. There is great temptation to focus on the narrative entirely, but this will have a negative impact on the fundamental elements of the essay. This type may be compared to a hybrid of a narrative story and an expository essay. On the one hand, it tells a certain story that the audience will focus on, while on the other hand, it is structured in a peculiar way that sets it apart from other writing.

Therefore, the author should not be deceived by the simplicity of this type as it is quite easy to make a mistake. Now, it may be useful to learn how to write a narrative essay. To begin with, one should keep in mind that one is not writing a story, one is writing an essay. This means that the actual narration should not start until the first body paragraph.

When writing the introductory paragraph, it may be important to provide a certain background to the story so that the reader knows what the essay will be about. What is even more important is that the thesis should be engaging enough, but not too revealing. Otherwise, it will not be interesting for the audience to read the essay. Speaking of the body paragraphs, one should note that they should reflect the major development stages of the story. Some might suggest that the five paragraph structure might resemble the classic model of plot development.

Nevertheless, it may be useful to devote the first two body paragraphs to rising action and present the climax and the exposition. As a result, this will make the narration even more interesting and the attention of the audience will be maintained longer. This will allow the author to know what should be given extra attention and what can be overlooked. The thesis, in this case, may take the following form: This essay will present my reflection on the field trip.

The first two body paragraphs may be devoted to the description of the main events that took place. It is true that it may not be useful to pay too much attention to some trivial details regarding traveling or the place of action.

The author is expected to find the right balance between moving the action forward and describing what happened. Speaking of the climax, there may not have been any climax in the field trip, so the author should identify one particular aspect that should be mentioned as the most important one.

This aspect will be presented in the third body paragraph. Speaking of the conclusion, one might suggest that it is useful to provide the summary of the trip and make the audience develop a broad picture of what happened. Some types of essays are designed to serve a particular purpose that is often well defined. Thus, when a person reads an argumentative essay, one may have the goal of developing a proper understanding of a phenomenon.. Contrary to that, a process essay always has a clear application.

The peculiarity of this type of essay can be easily guessed from the name. This is a piece of writing that describes a process. Nevertheless, one should not confuse it with the descriptive essay. In spite of the fact that the two have many similarities and primarily aim to provide a thorough description, the ultimate goals are quite different.

Therefore, the goal of this type of essay is to help a person perform an action that one may not have a sufficient amount of knowledge of. It goes without saying that the author has to have extensive expertise in what is being written about. It is unacceptable to copy and paste the existing instructions or paraphrase what other people have already said about the issue. Therefore, it is essential to point out that the author is often expected to share their own experience or at least comment on some common mistakes that should be avoided.

If one wants to know how to write a process essay, one should follow these steps. First of all, it may be useful to write down all of the steps of a particular operation or action.

These categories will form the body paragraphs of the future essay. It is extremely important to take into account all the possible situations that may occur while performing the action in question. For example, performing a certain action under normal conditions. After all the steps are outlined and grouped, the author may start writing.

Once again, the standard structure will be relevant. The introduction provides the background of the issue and spells out the requirements, the body paragraphs represent the actions that should be taken, and the conclusion provides some remarks and advice.

Ideally, any person will be able to perform a certain action after reading the essay, so it is expected that the language will be precise, and not particularly sophisticated so that it can be easily followed. The best way to learn how to write such an essay is to take a close look at the examples. Suppose a person was given the task to write a process essay that depicts the process of frying eggs.

While many may believe that this is a rather simple task, it is advised that the author writes a plan prior to writing. This plan should list all the actions required and the groups that they correspond to. The introduction paragraph will feature some general information about frying eggs, calling it one of the easiest dishes that one could prepare. The thesis statement, in this case, will be quite simple: This paper will describe the process of frying eggs. Then the first body paragraph will describe what is needed to fry eggs: It is essential to mention all the ingredients that will be mentioned in the further paragraphs so that the audience is well-prepared to follow the instructions.

The second body paragraph will be the most important because it will describe the process of frying eggs. The author should be able to find the right balance between precise and sophisticated words. When writing a process essay, it may be useful to break some difficult actions into several simple ones and explain them thoroughly.

The third body paragraph may feature some comments about serving. Finally, the concluding paragraph will provide a quick summary of the actions. A critical essay is one of those types of essay that are quite misleading. On the one hand, some might suggest that the purpose of this essay is to criticize something, but this is not always,the case.

On the other hand, some may confuse this type of essay with analytical essays. Given all the peculiarities of meaning that were mentioned above, it may be useful to determine what is a critical essay. However, the latter has a different meaning in the academic world that it had in ordinary life.

It is not something that is related to expressing negativity, it is more related to evaluating the phenomenon. This particular aspect makes this type of essay quite unique since it is one of the rare types that requires an evaluation of the topic.

Sometimes the latter may be subjective and will reflect the views of the author completely. It may also be based on the view of other scholars, thus presenting a discussion of the topic. The main idea is that a critical essay will focus on the strong and weak sides of a particular topic. Those who are wondering how to write a critical essay may be interested in the following guidelines.

First of all, it is essential to determine the position that the author will defend. In order to do so, one should carefully examine the topic and highlight important aspects of it. This way, the author will be able to see the strong and weak sides of the topic and describe them in the essay.

It is generally expected that they should be grouped evenly. Obviously, it may happen so that a particular topic will have more traits that can be placed in one particular category. However, it is essential to achieve objectivity by addressing the issue from different points of view or trying to balance the positive with the negative aspects.

Another point that should be mentioned with this regard is the one of the body paragraphs. They should be devoted to examining how the different aspects that were identified above interact with each other. It rarely happens that a topic has only positive or only negative traits.

The latter is particularly important since it shows that the evaluation is grounded in some evidence and the audience will be easily convinced by it. As a result, the author should gather substantial basis that will be later used to prove the point. Consider the following example of a critical essay. The introduction, in this case, will feature some information about the poet, though he is widely known, the actual text, and feature the following thesis statement: The sonnet that Shakespeare wrote has both positive and negative aspects to it.

The first body paragraph may be devoted to the examination of the merits of the poem. For example, vivid images, excellent rhymes, and so on. The author should focus on the advantages of the text by providing the examples from it, thus convincing the audience that there are some merits.

On the other hand, the second body paragraph may deal with the weak sides of the sonnet. Another point that should be mentioned is the language: The third body paragraph will be devoted to the interplay between the advantages and the disadvantages of the poem, saying that while there are some shortcomings, it is still quite moving. The conclusion will provide a summary of the two points of view on the poem. The last type of essay that will be discussed in this paper is the compare and contrast essay.

It is quite obvious that one will be able to identify a lot of other types. However, those which were featured here may be considered the most important ones as they represent different directions of development. Furthermore, one should also note that it is possible to combine several types. Nevertheless, this is rarely required. A good essay often sticks to a single paradigm.

The goal of a compare and contrast essay is revealed by its name. This also leads to an important requirement: One should also keep in mind that compare and contrast essays may be deceivingly easy.

That is why people often make mistakes while writing them. For example, they may choose two topics that are incomparable. Some believe that this shows the mastery of the author since one is able to find a relationship between two seemingly different topics. However, it is generally advised that those phenomena that will be compared have a least something in common. That is why the author should have a clear goal in their mind before starting this type of essay.

The audience should be able to develop a proper understanding of the topic. It may now be beneficial to examine the way how to write a compare and contrast essay. To begin with, it is essential to mention one important thing. It is crucial to group the characteristics of different topics together. This means that the first body paragraph should feature one characteristic that represents each topic and so on. There is another way to write a compare and contrast essay: However, once again, the differences should be grouped together.

What is even more important is that a person should have a clear plan about what one would like to write about. It goes without saying that if there are several characteristics that can be identified in two topics.

The major point to keep in mind is that the process of comparison should be thought through beforehand. It is essential to have a plan to write this type of essay. Suppose, one has to write a paper about cats and dogs. Here is the best way to structure it: Then, think about three differences that they have and how each difference is manifested. The introductory paragraph may focus on some general remarks about pets as well as that people often fall under one of two categories. As a result, the thesis statement may be taken the following form: It may be useful to compare and contrast cats and dogs as pets.

The first three body paragraphs will be devoted to three characteristics that cats and dogs have in common. For example, they both are pets, they can provide emotional support for their owner, and a person is equally responsible for them. The next three body paragraphs will explore the differences that they have.

For example, dogs need to go for a walk every day while cats can live at home and never leave. Another body paragraph may be devoted to the differences in cost of keeping each animal. It is essential that the differences should be examined in pairs. Otherwise, there will be two separate essays in one. The concluding paragraph will summarize the comparison of the two animals, pointing out that there are similarities and differences that the owners have to keep in mind.

At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me. Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked. The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.

For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point as in the case of chronological explanations is required. The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.

A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "LeBron James" is not enough, however. No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant.

Even the most famous examples need context. The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them. To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life in general or event in particular you believe most clearly illustrates your point. Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis. The importance of this step cannot be understated although it clearly can be underlined ; this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place.

Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly.

Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over.

You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing. Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another.

In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another. Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them. Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format.

Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them. To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines.

Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas. If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one.

In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay. Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement.

Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas? Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position.

Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together. Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic.

Step One: Choose a Fresh Topic

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Writing an essay is like making a hamburger. Think of the introduction and conclusion as the bun, with the "meat" of your argument in between. The introduction is where you'll state your thesis, while the conclusion sums up your case.

Privacy FAQs

Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.

About Our Ads

A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essay. It is not the only format for writing an essay, of course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind, especially as you begin to develop your composition skills. How-to essays, also known as process essays, are much like recipes; they provide instruction for carrying out a procedure or task. You can write a how-to essay about any procedure that you find interesting, just as long as your topic fits the teacher's assignment. Steps for Writing a Process Essay.

Cookie Info

An essay can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what. You may be writing an essay to argue for a particular point of view or to explain the steps necessary to complete a task. In order to understand how to write an essay in MLA format, one should develop a proper understanding of what a format is. Simply put it is a set of rules that guide the way in which the essay will be presented, namely its layout.