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Guide: How to Write a Good Essay

The Five Paragraph Essay

❶Choose your language carefully.

Step Two: Collect Information and Learn about the Right Structure

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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. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction.

The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic.

Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis. After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details. Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Also, make sure that your paragraph order makes sense.

If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a great chocolate cake, make sure that your paragraphs fall in the correct order. Review the instructions for your essay, if applicable. Many teachers and scholarship forms follow different formats, and you must double check instructions to ensure that your essay is in the desired format.

Finally, review what you have written. Reread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas.

Check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes. Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify. Join today to get matched to scholarships or internships for you!

Check Out Fastweb's App. College Dorm Packing Checklist. End of Summer Scholarships. Back to School Scholarships. Why Citizen Kane is the best movie of the 20th century. Why American citizens should be forced to vote. Write your essay as though you are conducting a debate. When you speak in a debate, you introduce your topic, list your evidence and draw a conclusion for the people who are listening.

A persuasive essay has a similar structure. Collect facts from good sources to justify your opinions. Support your argument with reasoned facts.

A well-written essay is great, but a well-argued essay is undeniable. In addition to doing research, you can perform empirical experiments including taking surveys, doing interviews or conducting experiments. Survey results or interviews could be great pieces of information to start your essay with.

Tell a story about the facts. Don't just list the facts; tell a story! How would you like to be one of those wrongfully-convicted inmates?

Present the other side of your argument and use logic and facts to show why the other side's opinion is either inaccurate or not up-to-date. You're showing the reader you are unbiased and considered the other arguments, but you concluded that your argument is the best.

Time after time, evidence has disproved this theory. The death penalty, in fact, does not act as a deterrent to crime: Tie all your ideas together in a gripping conclusion. Be sure to stress your thesis, or what you are arguing for or against, one last time. Use some of the information you have discussed, or a story you've saved, to color your conclusion a little bit. Choose a subject for your essay. You'll be investigating a topic and presenting your viewpoint about the topic based on evidence.

Research papers usually fall under this category of writing. For example, you could write an expository essay arguing that embryonic stem cell research can lead to cures for spinal cord injuries and illnesses like Parkinson's or diabetes.

Expository essays differ from persuasive essays because you aren't stating an opinion. You're stating facts that you can back up with research. Select your strategy and structure. Some common strategies and structures for expository writing include: Definition essays explain the meaning of terms or concepts.

Classification essays organize a topic into groups starting with the most general group and narrowing down to more specific groups. In this type of essay, you'll describe either the similarities and differences or both between ideas or concepts. These essays explain how topics affect each other and how they are interdependent. How-to essays explain the steps required for completing a task or a procedure with the goal of instructing the reader. Keep your views unbiased. Expository essays aren't about opinions.

They are about drawing a conclusion based on verifiable evidence. You might even find that, with new information, you'll have to revise your essay. If you started out writing about the scarcity of information regarding global warming, but came across a bunch of scientific evidence supporting global warming, you at least have to consider revising what your essay is about.

Use the facts to tell the story. The facts will tell the story itself if you let them. Think like a journalist when writing an expository essay. If you put down all the facts like a reporter, the story should tell itself. Don't mess with structure in expository essays. In narrative essays, you can twist and turn the structure to make the essay more interesting. Be sure that your structure in expository essays is very linear, making it easier to connect the dots.

Tell your story vividly and accurately. A narrative essay recounts an incident that either you or others have experienced. In a narrative essay, you could describe a personal experience in which embryonic stem cell research could have helped you or someone you love conquer a debilitating condition.

Include all of the elements of good storytelling. You'll need an introduction, setting, plot, characters, climax and conclusion. How are you going to set the story up? Is there something useful or important here that gets mentioned later on? Where the action takes place. What does it look like? Which words can you use to make the reader feel like they are there when they read it? The meat of the story, the essential action. Why is the story worth telling?

Who's in the story. What does the story tell us about the characters? What do the characters tell us about the story? The suspenseful bit before anything is resolved. Are we left hanging on the edges of our seat? Do we need to know what happens next? What does the story mean in the end? How have things, people, ideas changed now that the end is revealed?

Have a clear point of view. Most narrative essays are written from the author's point of view, but you can also consider other perspectives as long as your point of view is consistent. Utilize the pronoun "I" if you are the narrator. In a narrative essay, you can use first person. However, make sure that you don't overdo it. In all essays, you sound more authoritative if you state facts or opinions in third person. You're telling a story, but the purpose of the story is to make a specific point.

Introduce your main idea in your thesis statement, and make sure that all of your story elements tie back to your thesis statement.

What did you learn? How is your essay an exploration of the things that you learned? How have you changed? How is the "you" that started the essay different from the "you" now? Related to, but different from, the "what did you learn? Choose your language carefully. You will use words to evoke emotions in your reader, so choose your words deliberately. Essay Help Essay Template.

Sample Tess of the d'Urbervilles Essay. Start with a great fact, story, or compelling idea, then grow from there. If you're stuck, many writers save their intro until the end, once they know the actual direction and evidence in the rest of the essay. Not Helpful 27 Helpful Not Helpful 18 Helpful Try to start with something intriguing and promising. Questions can be really effective for an introduction. Not Helpful 22 Helpful It depends on what the topic is about.

Normally all essays have an Introduction, paragraphs explaining the most important things about the theme about 2 or 3 , and a conclusion. Not Helpful 26 Helpful You don't have to conclude the body paragraph in any particular way. That's what the conclusion paragraph is for. Not Helpful 24 Helpful What can I do if I have to write an essay for an exam and can't do research for it? Know the topic well before hand.

Though the essay question could vary widely, know the historical context of events related to the class. You will likely be given a document, or several, to respond to, so you will have some resources available. However it is necessary to know the historical context of the event the documents talk about, so you can interpret them correctly and provide contextualization in your essay.

Contextualization is telling what led up to an event, and is often helpful to explain why things happened and understand the mindset of the time period. Not Helpful 21 Helpful Research several sides of the topic and form an opinion. Introduce the various arguments about it, both for and against your view. Summarize the concepts, and statenwhy you believe what you believe. Not Helpful 5 Helpful Unless your teacher says otherwise, use 12pt Times New Roman font and remember to double-space your essay.

Some teachers will prefer 10pt font, but still request double-spacing. Not Helpful 36 Helpful You can either tell a story about a moment in your life when you learned something valuable about yourself or just tell the story of your life from beginning to end.

Not Helpful 25 Helpful Read the proverb several times, looking at the tone, voice and intended audience. Dissect the proverb, thinking about the intended meaning, and historical context. Write everything down and arrange it inside the structure of the essay in a way that flows and makes sense to you.

Not Helpful 9 Helpful How to write an essay on a theme of a novel for literature? Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Did this summary help you? Tips Don't rush everything, but also don't take too long to write your essay.

Think about the main ideas as a priority before tackling the less important parts. Do not divert your attention to other things while writing an essay. Make your essay interesting, so that people understand and take a keen interest in it. Don't wait until the last minute to write your essay! You need to give yourself enough time to thoroughly follow the steps above. Otherwise, you could end up rushing through the work and find yourself with a poorly-written essay.

Don't procrastinate or you will find no time to finish it. Always be on the lookout for interesting information to add. Google is a good place to start your search. Refer to all illustrations and diagrams as Figure 1, 2, 3, etc.

You can refer to tables and charts as Table 1, 2, 3, etc. Photos can be referred to as Photo 1, 2, 3, etc. Avoid including a figure that you do not specifically mention in the body of the essay.

Ask for help at the start if you don't understand, don't leave it to the last minute to ask for help. Making columns of point-form lists. Making a comma-spliced list inside a paragraph. Using et cetera etc. When teachers see "etc. This gives you a good point to look for ideas, rather than being reliant on memory and risking losing useful points. Starting and ending can help the most Don't rush, but make sure you are very clear and your essay makes sense.

Make sure that there are no grammatical errors. First think for minutes before writing. Make a basic list before you do your rough draft. It helps to keep you on track and give the most basic starting place.

Parenthetically reference or footnote all borrowed quotes, facts and ideas that are not your own even if you are rewording them. Most faculty can quickly spot plagiarism, which can be verified either by a search engine or plagiarism-detection software. You can even be charged with plagiarism for reusing material that you've already written as you are expected to create new content every time. Plagiarism is a serious offense in the academic world; students have been expelled from colleges and universities for plagiarism, it is very risky.

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Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. JY Jacob Yap Aug EG Elizabeth Gland Aug SS Shahzad Saleem Jun Writing a - word essay is an essential question on the paper.

I searched a lot of websites for help, but this site helped me than any other site. GM Gabrielle Mattijetz May 8, I am still learning the trade, and the tips that asked questions helped me think more about the topic when trying to answer them. It helped me make my own ideas and claims for the paper. BG Barbara Gonzalez Aug 6, I usually concentrated on writing persuasive essays.

I recently had to write a first person or narrative style and was always told to refrain from using "I. KS Kniziel Sanders Oct 17, WK Wani Khaira Dec 5, This is very useful and helpful. RW Robert Wray Jun 28, O Onan Felix Feb Surely, my feelings towards essay writing have changed. Looking forward to more of this! TM Tatenda Mujue May 4, NS Nathan Salas Nov 30, MA Mayank Ahlawat Dec 7,

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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 .

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Introduction: Introductory Paragraph. See, first, Writing Introductory Paragraphs for different ways of getting your reader involved in your essay. The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about.

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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. Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts.

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Essay Structure. 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. Note: If you need help figuring out how to write an essay in philosophy specifically and at the college level, see my “Writing in Philosophy.” If you want to know how I evaluate students on a paper assignment, see my “ Grading Rubric for Paper Assignments.”.