First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.
- Robert Cecil Day-Lewis
- Robert Cecil Day-Lewis
The above words aptly define the purpose of writing an essay. The word 'essay' is derived from the French word 'essayer' which means 'to attempt' or 'to try'. Essay indeed means to express your thoughts in words. We are required to write several essays in our academic and professional lives.
However, essay is not just any piece of writing, scribbled haphazardly with random ideas expressed in the same order as they appear in the writer's mind. A good essay always follows certain rules and norms regarding the structure. It portrays the writer's ideas in precise, clear points. If you are really interested in knowing how to write a good essay, you should go through the following tips.
Parts of an Essay
One needs to understand the three basic parts of the essay. No matter if you are writing an essay for second grade students or you are submitting it as a part of your Ph.D. thesis, you need to follow this structure all the time. Any essay can be divided into following parts:
Introduction is a short paragraph explaining what essay is all about. Title and introductory paragraph are the two most important things in an essay. Hence, try to make your introductory paragraph as attractive as possible. Having said that, I do not mean you use a flowery language complete with quotes or famous verses. A good introduction is the one that gives clear idea to the reader regarding the purpose of the essay. It should be short, precise and to the point.
Supporting paragraphs form the main body or the content of the essay. This is where you will be expressing your point by making arguments and counter arguments. Remember, your essay should cover all the points with the context of your topic. A good outline can help you to arrange your ideas in proper order. Each supporting paragraph revolves around a single idea.
This is a concluding paragraph in which you sum up all the ideas expressed in the supporting paragraphs. It reiterates the purpose or theme of the essay. In short, it is the introduction paragraph expressed in different language and supported by an argument in favor of your point. Creating a powerful impact upon the reader's mind should be the main focus when you think of writing an essay conclusion.
Process of Essay Writing
Deciding a Title
Oftentimes, a title is decided for you, thus you do not have much of choice. However, when you have the liberty of choosing your essay topic ideas, go for a topic that you are really passionate about. You are bound to write a good essay upon a subject of your interest. Kids can write far better essays upon topics that are close to their heart.
Once, you have your title with you, you can actually start looking for relevant information on your essay. Libraries, Internet serve as great sources of information. Collect the data from various sources available to you and compile it either online or take printouts.
Now that you have the requisite information at your disposal, it is time to actually analyze the information. A person who is good at writing essays is also skilled at analyzing essays written by others. Analyzing actually helps you to retrieve only the useful information.
This is the step, where you actually begin to develop ideas. Look out for strengths and weaknesses in the logic of your title. Develop your arguments and question yourself to find answers. It is advised that you do not rush into finalizing your thesis statement and wait until you have satisfied all the arguments by supporting enough of logical evidence.
Thesis statement is a single sentence which states your point in short. It is a direct argument which is explained in supporting paragraphs. Thesis statement is often the main idea around which the content revolves.
Form an Outline
Now that you are ready with your thesis statement and have all the necessary information at hand, you can actually move to writing an essay. Form a rough outline of your essay by noting down all the ideas. Divide the supporting paragraph by short self-explanatory subheads followed by a bulleted list which shows the contents of each paragraph.
This is the final step of essay writing where you actually begin to write an essay. Keep the structure of essay in mind and draft your essay accordingly. The introduction, body and conclusion should stick to the essay outline format as described in the previous point. Explain each idea effectively and in precise words. Summarize your ideas and write a good concluding statement. Proofread your essay and add finishing touches to it.
Essay writing is often a daunting task to many people. However, certain 'pre-writing' tasks can make this job quite easy and even enjoyable at times.