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How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022.
A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.
The main goals of an introduction are to:
- Catch your reader’s attention.
- Give background on your topic.
- Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.
This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Table of contents
Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.
Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.
Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.
Examples: Writing a good hook
Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.
- Braille was an extremely important invention.
- The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly why the topic is important.
- The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
- The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.
Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.
Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.
Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:
- Historical, geographical, or social context
- An outline of the debate you’re addressing
- A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
- Definitions of key terms
The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.
How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:
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Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.
This is the most important part of your introduction. A good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.
The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.
Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.
As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.
For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.
When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.
It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.
You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.
Checklist: Essay introduction
My first sentence is engaging and relevant.
I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.
I have defined any important terms.
My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.
Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.
You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.
- Literary analysis
This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.
This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).
In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.
To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
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How To Write The Perfect Essay
Jan 29, 2019 Blog Articles , English Language Articles , Humanities Articles , Law Articles , Politics Articles , Writing Articles
If you decide to study English or a subject within Arts and Humanities at university, it’s going to involve a lot of essay writing. It’s a challenging skill to master because it requires both creativity and logical planning, but if you ensure you do the following whenever you write an essay, you should be on the way to success:
T his may sound time-consuming, but if you make a really good plan you will actually save yourself time when it comes to writing the essay, as you’ll know where your answer is headed and won’t write yourself into a corner. Don’t worry if you’re stuck at first – jot down a few ideas anyway and chances are the rest will follow. I find it easiest to make a mind map, with each new ‘bubble’ representing one of my main paragraphs. I then write quotations which will be useful for my analysis around the bubble.
For example, if I was answering the question, ‘ To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men ? ’ I might begin a mind map which looks something like this:
Y ou can keep adding to this plan, crossing bits out and linking the different bubbles when you spot connections between them. Even though you won’t have time to make such a detailed plan under exam conditions, it can be helpful just to sketch a brief one, including a few key words, so that you don’t panic and go off topic when writing your essay. If you don’t like the mind map format, there are plenty of others to choose from: you could make a table, a flowchart, or simply a list of bullet points.
2. Have a clear structure
Think about this while you are planning. Your essay is like an argument or a speech – it needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question. Start with the basics: it is best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs. Three main paragraphs is a good number for an exam essay, since you will be under time pressure. Organise your points in a pattern of YES (agreement with the question) – AND (another ‘YES’ point) – BUT (disagreement or complication) if you agree with the question overall, or YES – BUT – AND if you disagree. This will ensure that you are always focused on your argument and don’t stray too far from the question.
For example, you could structure the Of Mice and Men sample question as follows:
‘To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men?’
- YES – descriptions of her appearance
- AND – other people’s attitudes towards her
- BUT – her position as the only woman on the ranch gives her power as she uses her femininity to advantage
If you wanted to write a longer essay, you could include additional paragraphs under the ‘YES/AND’ category, perhaps discussing the ways in which Curley’s wife reveals her vulnerability and insecurities and shares her dreams with the other characters; on the other hand, you could also lengthen your essay by including another ‘BUT’ paragraph about her cruel and manipulative streak.
Of course, this is not necessarily the only right way to answer this essay question: as long as you back up your points with evidence from the text, you can take any standpoint that makes sense.
3. Back up your points with well-analysed quotations
You wouldn’t write a scientific report without including evidence to support your findings, so why should it be any different with an essay even though you aren’t strictly required to substantiate every single point you make with a quotation, there’s no harm in trying. a close reading of your quotations can enrich your appreciation of the question and will be sure to impress examiners..
When selecting the best quotations to use in your essay, keep an eye out for specific literary techniques. For example, you could discuss Curley’s wife’s use of a rhetorical question when she says, ‘An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs’:
The rhetorical question “An’ what am I doin’?” signifies that Curley’s wife is very insecure; she seems to be questioning her own life choices. Moreover, the fact that she does not expect anyone to respond to her question highlights her loneliness.
Other literary techniques to look out for include:
- Tricolon – a group of three words or phrases placed close together for emphasis
- Tautology – using different words that mean the same thing, eg ‘frightening’ and ‘terrifying’
- Parallelism – ABAB structure; often signifies movement from one concept to another
- Chiasmus – ABBA structure; draws attention to that phrase
- Polysyndeton – many conjunctions in a sentence
- Asyndeton – lack of conjunctions; can speed up the pace of a sentence
- Polyptoton – using the same word in different forms for emphasis, eg ‘done’ and ‘doing’
- Alliteration – repetition of the same sound; different forms of alliteration include assonance (similar vowel sounds), plosive alliteration (‘b’, ‘d’ and ‘p’ sounds) and sibilance (‘s’ sounds)
- Anaphora – repetition of words; often used to emphasise a particular point
Don’t worry if you can’t locate all of these literary devices in the work you’re analysing – you can also discuss more obvious effects, like metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia. It’s not a problem if you can’t remember all the long names – it’s far more important to explain the effect of the literary techniques and their relevance to the question than to use the correct terminology.
4. Be creative and original right the way through
Anyone can write an essay using the tips above, but the thing that really makes it ‘perfect’ is your own unique take on the topic you’re discussing. If you’ve noticed something intriguing or unusual in your reading, point it out: if you find it interesting, chances are the examiner will too.
Creative writing and essay writing are more closely linked than you might imagine; keep the idea that you’re writing a speech or argument in mind, and you’re guaranteed to grab your reader’s attention.
It’s important to set out your line of argument in your introduction, introducing your main points and the general direction your essay will take, but don’t forget to keep something back for the conclusion, too. Yes, you need to summarise your main points, but if you’re just repeating the things you said in your introduction, the essay itself is rendered pointless.
Think of your conclusion as the climax of your speech, the bit everything else has been leading up to, rather than the boring plenary at the end of the interesting stuff.
To return to Of Mice and Men once more, here is an example of the ideal difference between an introduction and a conclusion:
In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men , Curley’s wife is portrayed as an ambiguous character. She could be viewed either as a cruel, seductive temptress or a lonely woman who is a victim of her society’s attitudes. Though she does seem to wield a form of sexual power, it is clear that Curley’s wife is largely a victim. This interpretation is supported by Steinbeck’s description of her appearance, other people’s attitudes, her dreams, and her evident loneliness and insecurity.
Overall, it is clear that Curley’s wife is a victim and is portrayed as such throughout the novel, in the descriptions of her appearance, her dreams, other people’s judgemental attitudes, and her loneliness and insecurities. However, a character who was a victim and nothing else would be one-dimensional and Curley’s wife is not. Although she suffers in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through the manipulation of her femininity – a small rebellion against the victimisation she experiences.
Both refer back consistently to the question and summarise the essay’s main points; however, the conclusion adds something new which has been established in the main body of the essay and yet complicates the simple summary which is found in the introduction.
- Start by writing a thorough plan
- Ensure your essay has a clear structure and overall argument
- Try to back up each point you make with a quotation
- Answer the question in your introduction and conclusion but remember to be creative too
Next Steps for Prospective English Students
- Explore the Guardian’s research into how to write better essays
- Want to write for a living? Read our blog post on How to Become a Writer
- See these top tips for English literature students
- Prepare for university and experience what it’s like studying on the Oxford University campus in our Oxford Summer School .
Want to learn more skills for academic success?
Summer Courses at the Oxford Scholastica Academy combine hands-on learning experiences with stimulating teaching and masterclasses, for an unforgettable summer amongst students from around the world.
Hannah is an undergraduate English student at Somerville College, Oxford, and has a particular interest in postcolonial literature and the Gothic. She thinks literature is a crucial way of developing empathy and learning about the wider world, and is excited to be Scholastica Inspires’ Literature Editor! When she isn’t writing essays about 17th-century court masques, she enjoys acting, travelling and creative writing.
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How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks
Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.
When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay.
No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash
Types of Essays
Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic.
When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals.
For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay.
Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:
This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.
Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.
This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event.
In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.
Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.
Compare and Contrast Essay
You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.
The Main Stages of Essay Writing
When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case.
There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.
So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:
Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.
Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).
In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.
The Five-Paragraph Essay
We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use.
The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.
Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.
As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more.
Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay.
You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.
Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic.
In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.
That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.
Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work.
You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement.
Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument.
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Steps to Writing an Essay
Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.
Understand Your Assignment
When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.
Research Your Topic
Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay.
Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.
After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:
- Think about what you found during your research that interested you the most
- Jot down all your ideas, even if they’re not yet fully formed
- Create word clouds or maps for similar terms or ideas that come up so you can group them together based on their similarities
- Try freewriting to get all your ideas out before arranging them
Create a Thesis
This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise.
Write Your Outline
Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline.
In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look.
A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph.
If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step…
Write a First Draft
The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward.
Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward.
Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did.
Revise, Edit, and Proofread
The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete.
However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.
After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.
Add the Finishing Touches
Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc.
Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style .
Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in.
A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.
Essay Writing Tips
With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Start your essay early. This is the first tip for a reason. It’s one of the most important things you can do to write a good essay. If you start it the night before, then you won’t have enough time to research, brainstorm, and outline — and you surely won’t have enough time to review.
- Don’t try and write it in one sitting. It’s ok if you need to take breaks or write it over a few days. It’s better to write it in multiple sittings so that you have a fresh mind each time and you’re able to focus.
- Always keep the essay question in mind. If you’re given an assigned question, then you should always keep it handy when writing your essay to make sure you’re always working to answer the question.
- Use transitions between paragraphs. In order to improve the readability of your essay, try and make clear transitions between paragraphs. This means trying to relate the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one so the shift doesn’t seem random.
- Integrate your research thoughtfully. Add in citations or quotes from your research materials to back up your thesis and main points. This will show that you did the research and that your thesis is backed up by it.
Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.
If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary.
How to Title an Essay, With Tips and Examples
If you read this blog regularly, you’ll notice something about our blog posts’ titles: They all summarize what their post is about. This is so you know exactly what you’ll find in the post, so if you’re looking for specific tips, you know exactly which post to read.
An essay title does the same thing. There are a lot of similarities between essays and blog posts , and one of those similarities is that for the title to be effective, it needs to be concise and clear. It should also contain one or more keywords, which tells readers the essay’s main topic. Write papers with confidence Grammarly helps you make the grade Write with Grammarly
What is the purpose of an essay title?
An essay title tells readers what your essay is about. This gives them a heads up on what to expect from the essay and, if they’re reading it to conduct their own research, whether it’s relevant to their area of study.
Ideally, an essay title also catches readers’ attention and stokes their curiosity, prompting them to read your work. How important it is to achieve this depends on the kind of essay you’re writing—if it’s an assigned essay and your instructor has to read it, an engaging title isn’t your top priority. But if you’re submitting your essay to a contest, as part of an application to college or graduate school, or pitching it for publication, it needs a catchy, intriguing title because the title is the first part of your work the editor or admissions committee will see. And depending on the title’s catchiness and other circumstances of your submission, it could be the deciding factor in whether they read your essay.
As we mentioned above, a strong essay title gives a clear preview of what the reader will find in your writing . You don’t have to give it all away, but it should act as a general briefing on what to expect from your work and make them want to continue reading it.
>>Read more: How to Start an Essay: 7 Tips for a Knockout Introduction
What are the rules for essay titles?
Guidelines for essay titles in mla format.
In MLA format , your essay’s title should be in title case. That means every principle word— words that aren’t articles , prepositions , coordinating conjunctions , or the word “to” paired with an infinitive —is capitalized. The only exception to this is when one of these words is the first or last word in the essay’s title. Here’s a quick example:
Looking Through the Rear Window: Perspective in Hitchcock’s Films
Guidelines for essay titles in APA format
Similarly to MLA format, APA format requires essay titles to be in title case. In addition to this formatting requirement, APA requires that essay titles be succinct and specifically not contain any abbreviations or unnecessary words. Here is an example of how an essay title looks in APA format:
Effects of Blue Light on Boston Lettuce Crops
See how straightforward this essay title is? You know exactly what the essay is going to be about: How exposure to blue light impacts growing Boston lettuce crops. Keep in mind that APA format is typically used for scientific and technical work, so it’s unlikely you’ll use figurative language in your title.
Guidelines for essay titles in Chicago Manual of Style format
Chicago style also requires that essay titles be in title case. Other than that, Chicago style doesn’t have specific guidelines for what a title should or shouldn’t include. Here is an example of an essay title in Chicago style:
2021 Returns: What We Projected vs. Actual Returns
How to brainstorm your essay title
When you’re brainstorming for your essay, think about the potential titles you can choose. Jot down your keyword and the kind of essay you’re writing, such as an analytical or compare-and-contrast essay . This won’t only help you determine an effective title, but it can also help you determine the best way to structure your essay .
Stay away from punny or otherwise funny titles unless you’re writing a humorous or personal piece—your creative writing class is probably the only course where that kind of title is appropriate.
Here’s what your essay title should include
- One or more relevant keywords to your subject
- Any other necessary words or phrases that tell the reader what to expect from your essay
- When applicable, a catchy phrase or figurative language
Let’s take another look at the example essay titles from the section above. In the first example, Looking Through the Rear Window: Perspective in Hitchcock’s Films , we have the following elements:
- An attention-grabbing phrase that references one of Hitchcock’s most well-known films
- The keyword “perspective,” which tells us immediately what this essay is about
- Clarity around how the essay specifically explores perspective in Hitchcock’s films and instances where Hitchcock used perspective as a storytelling device
Now take a look at the example APA title essay, Effects of Blue Light on Boston Lettuce Crops. This one is more straightforward and technical. But still, it’s got the key elements that make up a strong essay title:
- A clear preview of exactly what’s in the essay: data on how an environmental factor affects specific crops
- Clear keywords: “blue light” and “Boston lettuce crops”
Additionally, notice how the tone is different from the tone in the MLA essay title. This essay title feels more objective and detached from its subject, giving a preview of the tone the reader will find in the essay.
What not to include in your essay title
It’s usually best to stay away from negative or controversial terms. Do this even if your essay is taking a stand against something or arguing that another position is harmful. Instead, reframe your position using neutral or positive words to avoid potentially offending a reader or undermining your own position by coming across as aggressive or bitter. Compare these two essay titles:
- Why Rerouting Campus Traffic Is a Terrible Idea
- Finding Solutions to Campus Traffic Challenges
See how the second option, the one that avoids negative language, sounds more engaging and promises a more resolution-oriented read? Remember, your reader is supposed to draw their own conclusions from your essay—don’t attempt to do their work for them by telling them what to think in your title.
As you brainstorm titles, write them down so you can revisit them after you complete your first draft. Once you have a finished draft , it can be a lot easier to determine the title that fits your essay best.
Essay title examples
Take a look at these example essay titles and take note of how the tones and vocabulary vary between essay types. A title that’s perfect for a persuasive essay might not be right for a college application or expository essay . And similarly, a title that works for a comparative essay might be too lackluster for a personal or argumentative essay .
Why I’ll Never Wear a Blue Baseball Cap Again
How 20 Years in Corporate America Made Me a Better Parent
What is Love? How Romantic and Modern Artists’ Answers Differ
Three Reasons Why We Won’t See a Repeat of the 2008 Bubble
The Correlation between New School Buildings and Higher Test Scores—Three Stats You Can’t Ignore
Are We Using the Right Success Metrics for Students?
Four Ways Free Wi-Fi Will Boost the City’s Economy
Unless We Take Action, This Heat Wave Is Just the Beginning
Dynamite, Profit, and the Pursuit of Power: Chasing White Whales in Moby Dick and Jaws
Outdoor Growth Patterns of Shiitake and Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
College application essays
What Scooping Ice Cream Taught Me about Human Nature
Dancing and Math Are More Similar than You Realize
Essay title FAQs
What is an essay title.
An essay title concisely states what an essay is about.
Why is an essay title important?
An essay title is important because it accomplishes a few things:
- Tells readers what the essay is about
- Catches potential readers’ attention
- Helps researchers sort essays and find the ones most relevant to their work
What should you consider when creating an essay title?
When creating an essay title, think about the essay’s purpose. Then, explain the essay’s subject and purpose in a brief clause or short sentence, making it appropriately intriguing to draw readers’ attention.
Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated for 2021)
Content is king. The substance of what you write is the most important thing in your essays and term papers .
However, you also have to nail the mechanics of academic writing. You need to master good grammar and sentence structure, and use appropriate vocabulary for your subject or assignment. Many instructors take points off for incorrect formatting.
You also need to understand different types of essay format, and use the one that is appropriate to your assignment. This article introduces you to the basic elements of essay format, and helps you to improve your essay formatting.
What is Proper Essay Format?
The format of an essay refers to its basic structure , layout, and even its appearance on the page. Although it seems confusing at first, mastering the different essay formats is not that hard.
There are different formats you will use in different classes, but they share many elements in common. After you write enough essays, you will become familiar with the main essay formats used in typical college classes. Also, some subject areas have preferred essay formats or styles.
Standard College Essay Format
Technically, there is no “right” college essay format. Each teacher will have personal preferences for how they want their students’ papers to appear. Each class will have its own rules, and it is up to you to follow whatever rules your professor provides.
However, there are some basic elements in a college essay format including font or typeface, linen spacing, margins, and whether to include page numbers, headers, headings, and/or a title page. With a few possible variations, the common formatting elements in college essays include the following:
Standard college essays use standard fonts to create a uniform appearance. The most widely acceptable font used in college essays is Times New Roman, but Arial is sometimes acceptable too. Typically, you will be asked to standardize the size of your font to 12 point, but some instructors prefer 10. Read this article for more information on how to write an essay .
Most of the time, you will be asked to use double spacing in your college essays. Occasionally you will be asked to use single spacing, or even 1.5 spacing.
The most common margin size is one inch all around.
Page Numbers and Title Page
Short essays usually do not take a title page, but some do. Likewise, you may be asked to include page numbers only for longer assignments.
First Line Indent
Your college essay will be formatted a lot like the books you read, with the first line of each paragraph being indented. Typically, the first line indent is .5 inch. Also, your college essay should be left aligned, as opposed to centering the text on the page.
Essay Format Headings vs. Headers
Some of your college professors may request that you use a heading, while others will ask that you use a header. Some may ask for both. What is the difference between a heading and a header ?
A heading appears only on the first page, and will typically include your name, your professor’s name, the name of the class, and the date of the assignment. For example, MLA style formatting frequently asks for a heading in addition to a running header.
A running header appears on all the pages of your college essay and typically includes only the title of the essay and the page number. Your pages will look like this:
Essay Format Outline
Essay outlines also have their own formats. If you have to create a formal outline for an academic essay, it is always best to check with your professor to see if there is a specific style you are supposed to follow. A typical college essay outline is as follows, using Roman numerals as the top level:
A. Body section
B. Body section
Essay Format Templates
Scholarship essay format.
If you ever hope to earn a scholarship, now is the time to master the scholarship essay . A scholarship essay should be tailored to the specific fund you are applying for, and it is best to avoid a generalized essay. The main components of the scholarship essay format are similar to those in a standard college essay:
- 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial)
- First line indent
- 1-inch margins
Unlike most college essays, a scholarship essay is going to be written in the first person, because it is about you. You are supposed to talk about yourself in a scholarship essay, whereas in a college essay, you should be writing in third person unless instructed otherwise. The scholarship essay will give you a chance to show how much work you have done to reach your goals, and why you stand out from the crowd.
Even for needs-based scholarships, you will want your reader to know that receiving financial aid is not the only reason you are worthy of receiving the scholarship. Talk at length about what motivates you and what makes you tick. Even if your future goals and career plans are not etched in stone, you can share information about your visions and dreams for the future and how you believe a college education will help you contribute to society.
College Application Essay Format
Like a scholarship essay, a college application essay should be written in the first person. Some college essays will be as short as 100 words, whereas others will be 1500 words or even more. Always follow the instructions, while also keeping in mind the standard rules for what the admissions committee wants:
If you are sincere about getting into a school, spend time on your admissions essay. Make sure the formatting is correct, that you answered the question or responded to the prompts, and that you use good grammar.
For many college application essays, you want to start with a powerful introduction. Telling a brief story about something that happened in your life to shape your character is a good start. Then, be honest and tell the admissions committee about who you are, and why you are interested in their institution. You should ideally share information about your interests and goals, and what courses you are interested in as well. Many college entrance essays have prompts that ask you to reflect on a personal experience that shaped who you are, a position of leadership that you held, or a story about how you overcame a challenge or defeated an obstacle. Because a college application essay is a high stakes situation, it is advisable to seek help from a professional writer or tutor to help you polish your prose. Remember, you are competing with hundreds of applicants and your essay needs to stand out.
Reflective Essay Format
A reflective essay is naturally less formal than an ordinary expository essay. However, there are still formats that you would be expected to follow when you prepare a reflective essay. Some reflective essays are written in the first person, whereas others are more formal like a typical college essay. The format of the reflective essay will include the basic rules of font, paragraph and line formatting, and page setting like margins.
Some reflective essays ask you to reflect on an event in your life or on your own personality. However, not all reflective essays are that personal. Many reflective essays ask you to comment on a specific text that you have been reading in class, a work of art or music, or a current event. When asked to write a more formal reflective essay like this, it helps to begin with an introduction to the object of reflection. If you are reflecting on a scholarly article, your introductory paragraph would include information about the author and title of the publication, and a brief summary of the main arguments. Then, you would begin the reflection as if you were having a conversation with the author.
A sample reflective essay outline is as follows:
A. Name, date, and title of the article, piece of music, or work of art.
B. Brief overview or summary of the object of reflection
C. Thesis: Your opinion or take on the article.
1. Do you agree or disagree with the author, or like or dislike the piece?
2. Introduce a new angle or line of thinking that adds to or challenges the original piece.
A. Focus on one element of the source, weaving in your own ideas or personal experiences.
B. Focus on another element of the source, weaving in your own ideas or personal experiences.
A. Wrap up the reflective essay with a brief summary
B. Suggestions for further research or reflection
Persuasive Essay Format
When you write a persuasive essay , your goal is to influence your reader. For example, you want to talk your reader into changing his or her voting habits, or you want your reader to stop eating meat. When you write a persuasive essay, you have the opportunity to use all the rhetorical strategies you have been learning, such as pathos, ethos, and logos. Use strong and emotionally powerful diction, tone, and imagery, but also rely on credible evidence to substantiate your claim.
A persuasive essay can be of almost any length, and is written in formal academic style. You will follow the structure and outline used for a standard academic essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Persuasive essays are also strongly driven by a thesis statement .
A. Hook your reader with a fun or controversial opening statement.
B. Lead into the main topic with background information.
C. State your case, persuade your reader with a strong thesis statement.
A. Reason one
B. Reason two
C. Reason three
D. Acknowledge the opposing or alternative points of view
E. Respond to and refute the opposing points of view
A. Restate your claim
B. Urge the audience to take action
Use the same essay format for standard college essays, with 12-point Times New Roman font throughout and double spacing.
APA Essay Format
The American Psychological Association (APA) offers one of the most widely used essay formats. It is unlikely you will get through college without having to write at least one essay using APA style citation . Psychology classes almost always rely on APA formatting, but APA formatting is standard in a range of other social science disciplines including criminal justice and nursing.
APA formatting follows the basic rules for a standard college essay:
- 12-point font (Times New Roman)
However, APA formatting also includes a title page, a running header with both title and page numbers, and in some cases, an abstract.
APA Title Page
A title page helps your completed essay look polished and presentable in class. On the APA formatted title page, you will include the title of your essay, centered on the page. On a line immediately below the title, also centered, you will write your name. You may also write the name of your class or institution below your name, as well as the date.
APA Running Header
A running header is what appears at the top of every page of the completed essay. In APA format, your essay header will include the TITLE OF THE ESSAY IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, and also the page numbers. An example of a title page with the running header in APA format is as follows:
Longer research papers in APA format may include an abstract. An abstract is similar to a summary in that it includes the main points of your research. Especially if you are preparing the results of your own research, you will include an abstract that reviews the methods and results of your experiment. Not all papers require an abstract. Usually an abstract accompanies original research in which you want the reader to have a snapshot or overview of how you conducted the study and what the results indicate.
Some APA format papers follow the standard format of research publications, which include the following sections after the abstract:
Introduction or Background
- Review of Literature
Not all APA format papers are research reports, though. Some will be standard college essays, some will be article reviews, and others will be responses to essay questions or prompts.
In APA formatting, when you have a longer paper it helps to organize it with subheadings. The subheadings help draw the reader’s eye to the different sections of your paper. You can use bold font to identify the subheadings, as follows:
This is the introduction to your topic, and where you hook the audience into reading the rest of the paper.
The review of literature is where you describe some of the most important research studies that have already been done on this topic.
The methods section is where you describe the research participants and procedures of the experiment. If you did not conduct an experiment, then you would discuss how you went about compiling data, such as through a search of academic databases or through interviews.
This is the section where you list the raw data from your survey or experiment, or where you simply discuss the results without making inferences or analyses.
In the discussion section of an APA paper, you analyze the results of your research, placing those results into the context of prior literature. Talk about whether you proved your hypothesis. Also discuss limitations to the research, and suggestions for future research.
Wrap up all your research neatly, mentioning how your research contributes to the growing body of knowledge on the topic.
Always list the sources you used in the paper, but do not list any sources that you do not cite directly in the body of the essay using parenthetical citations.
Appendix or Appendices
Include the survey instrument you used, a list of interview questions, or important tables and charts.
MLA Essay Format
Another one of the common essay formats you will encounter in college is from the Modern Language Association (MLA). Used most commonly in the arts and literature classes, MLA format shares some elements in common with other college essays, such as:
Unlike APA formatting, MLA does not typically require a title page. However, you may be asked to put your name, professor’s name, class name, and date in the upper left corner of the first page of your essay instead. For example:
Another thing that differentiates MLA format from APA and other types of essay formats is how you cite your sources. In MLA, you always offer the page number even when you do not quote directly. This may seem problematic when you are paraphrasing an author’s main idea, but it is nevertheless standard practice. MLA papers tend to be discursive. You are expected to engage a work of art or literature in a sort of conversation, weaving in what other people have said on the topic.
Chicago Essay Format
Chicago style format is also common in college essays, particularly in classes in history, political science, and public policy. With Chicago style, you can stick to the basics:
Chicago style formatting also has a title page, similar to APA format. However, you will insert a lot of space between the title of the essay and your name and date as follows:
Another thing that differentiates Chicago style from other styles of essay formats is the citation style. Whereas APA and MLA style essays use in-text parenthetical citations, Chicago style usually takes footnotes.
Additional Elements of an Essay
Some types of essays, such as longer research papers or dissertations , also include other elements. A table of contents is one thing that is unnecessary in all shorter essays, but essential for long assignments like dissertations or Masters theses. Software like Microsoft Word can help you create a table of contents that takes into account the important headings or subheadings of your document.
Types of Essay Formats
The most common types of essay format you are likely to encounter in college include the following:
- APA essay format
- MLA essay format
- Chicago essay format
- Harvard essay format
- Persuasive essay format
- Argumentative essay format
- Research essay format
- Reflective essay format
- Expository essay format
- Compare and contrast essay format
- Cause and effect essay format
- Analytical essay format
Essay Format Example
The main elements of any standard college essay include the following:
- Running Header (Title and Page Number)
- Bibliography/References/Works Cited
The main elements of an APA format essay include the following:
The format of an essay is important for its overall appearance and structure. When you master the different essay formats, you will find it much easier to complete your assignments. Each essay format has its own set of rules and guidelines, but all college essays share certain elements in common.
Almost all essays have an introduction, body, and a conclusion. In some cases, you will also need a title page, an abstract, and a running header. Each class and each instructor will give you specific instructions about the formatting of your essay.
After reading this article, you have a better understanding of the most common essay formats you will encounter during your academic career. You can apply what you have learned about standard college essays to any assignment you encounter. In addition to this guide, you can also consult with a writing coach or assistant to help you with your work.
- Creating A Study Guide
- How To Write A Research Proposal 2021 Guide
- Guide To Citing In MLA
- Guide To Citing In APA Format
- Chicago Style Citation Guide
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This writing tool and over 126,443 example essays, tutorials, study guides and more are available for immediate download!
The Five Steps of Writing an Essay
Mastering these steps will make your words more compelling.
- Tips For Adult Students
- Getting Your Ged
- B.A., English, St. Olaf College
Knowing how to write an essay is a skill that you can use throughout your life. The ability to organize ideas that you use in constructing an essay will help you write business letters, company memos, and marketing materials for your clubs and organizations.
Anything you write will benefit from learning these simple parts of an essay:
- Purpose and Thesis
Body of information.
Here are five steps to make it happen:
Echo / Cultura / Getty Images
Before you can start writing, you must have an idea to write about. If you haven't been assigned a topic, it's easier than you might think to come up with one of your own.
Your best essays will be about things that light your fire. What do you feel passionate about? What topics do you find yourself arguing for or against? Choose the side of the topic you are "for" rather than "against" and your essay will be stronger.
Do you love gardening? Sports? Photography? Volunteering? Are you an advocate for children? Domestic peace? The hungry or homeless? These are clues to your best essays.
Put your idea into a single sentence. This is your thesis statement , your main idea.
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Choose a title for your essay that expresses your primary idea. The strongest titles will include a verb. Take a look at any newspaper and you'll see that every title has a verb.
Your title should make someone want to read what you have to say. Make it provocative.
Here are a few ideas:
- America Needs Better Health Care Now
- The Use of the Mentor Archetype in _____
- Who Is the She-Conomy?
- Why DJ Is the Queen of Pedicures
- Melanoma: Is It or Isn't It?
- How to Achieve Natural Balance in Your Garden
- Expect to Be Changed by Reading _____
Some people will tell you to wait until you have finished writing to choose a title. Other people find that writing a title helps them stay focused. You can always review your title when you've finished the essay to ensure that it's as effective as it can be.
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Your introduction is one short paragraph, just a sentence or two, that states your thesis (your main idea) and introduces your reader to your topic. After your title, this is your next best chance to hook your reader. Here are some examples:
- Women are the chief buyers in 80 percent of America's households. If you're not marketing to them, you should be.
- Take another look at that spot on your arm. Is the shape irregular? Is it multicolored? You could have melanoma. Know the signs.
- Those tiny wasps flying around the blossoms in your garden can't sting you. Their stingers have evolved into egg-laying devices. The wasps, busying finding a place to lay their eggs, are participating in the balance of nature.
Vincent Hazat / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images
The body of your essay is where you develop your story or argument. Once you have finished your research and produced several pages of notes, go through them with a highlighter and mark the most important ideas, the key points.
Choose the top three ideas and write each one at the top of a clean page. Now go through your notes again and pull out supporting ideas for each key point. You don't need a lot, just two or three for each one.
Write a paragraph about each of these key points, using the information you've pulled from your notes. If you don't have enough for one, you might need a stronger key point. Do more research to support your point of view. It's always better to have too many sources than too few.
Anna Bryukhanova/E Plus / Getty Images
You've almost finished. The last paragraph of your essay is your conclusion. It, too, can be short, and it must tie back to your introduction.
In your introduction, you stated the reason for your paper. In your conclusion, you should summarize how your key points support your thesis. Here's an example:
- By observing the balance of nature in her gardens, listening to lectures, and reading everything she can get her hands on about insects and native plants, Lucinda has grown passionate about natural balance. "It's easy to get passionate if you just take time to look," she says.
If you're still worried about your essay after trying on your own, consider hiring an essay editing service. Reputable services will edit your work, not rewrite it. Choose carefully. One service to consider is Essay Edge .
Good luck! The next essay will be easier.
Watch Now: How to Write a Strong Essay Conclusion
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- How to Write a College Essay
College admissions experts offer tips on selecting a topic as well as writing and editing the essay.
Students can go online to review essay requirements for the colleges they want to apply to, such as word limits and essay topics. Many students may start with the Common App, an application platform accepted by more than 900 schools. (Getty Images)
Not only is the college essay a place to showcase writing skills, it's one of the only parts of a college application where a student's voice can shine through.
Unlike test scores and transcripts, the college admissions essay offers students a chance to showcase their personality.
"The essays are important in part because this is a student's chance to really speak directly to the admissions office," says Adam Sapp, assistant vice president and director of admissions at Pomona College in California.
Prospective college students want their essay, sometimes called a personal statement, to make a good impression and boost their chances of being accepted, but they have only several hundred words to make that happen.
This can feel like a lot of pressure.
"I think this is the part of the application process that students are sometimes most challenged by," says Niki Barron, associate dean of admission at Hamilton College in New York, "because they're looking at a blank piece of paper and they don't know where to get started."
That pressure may be amplified as many colleges have gone test-optional in the past year, meaning that ACT and SAT scores will be considered if submitted but are not required. Other schools have gone test-blind and don't consider such scores at all. In the absence of test scores, some admissions experts have suggested that more attention will be paid to other parts of an application, such as the essay.
But just as each applicant is unique, so are college admissions policies and priorities.
"Being test optional hasn't changed how we use essays in our selection process, and I wouldn't say that the essay serves as a substitute for standardized test scores," Barron wrote in an email. "A student's academic preparation for our classroom experience is always front and center in our application review process."
Essay writing tips offered by experts emphasize the importance of being concise, coherent, congenial, honest and accurate. An applicant should also flex some intellectual muscle and include vivid details or anecdotes.
From brainstorming essay topics to editing the final draft, here's what students need to know about crafting a strong college essay.
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a College Application Essay
- 1. Explore essay prompts and select a topic.
- 2. Start your college essay outline before jumping in.
- 3. Write the essay and leave time for multiple drafts.
- 4. Edit and proofread your essay.
- 5. Submit your essay.
Getting Started on the College Essay
A good time for students to begin working on their essays is the summer before senior year, experts say, when homework and extracurricular activities aren't taking up time and mental energy.
Starting early will also give students plenty of time to work through multiple drafts of an essay before college application deadlines, which can be as early as November for students applying for early decision or early action .
Students can go online to review essay requirements for the colleges they want to apply to, such as word limits and essay topics. Many students may start with the Common App , an application platform accepted by more than 900 schools.
In addition to the main essay, some colleges ask applicants to submit one or more additional writing samples. Students are often asked to explain why they are interested in a particular school or academic field in these supplemental essays , which tend to be shorter than the main essay.
Students will want to budget more time for the writing process if the schools they're applying to ask for supplemental essays.
"Most selective colleges will ask for more than one piece of writing. Don't spend all your time working on one long essay and then forget to devote energy to other parts of the application," Sapp says, noting there may be additional questions on an application requiring thoughtfully written responses.
How Long Should a College Essay Be?
Though the Common App – which students can submit to multiple colleges – notes that "there are no strict word limits" for its main essay, it suggests a cap of about 650 words.
"While we won't as a rule stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as you'd hoped it would," the Common App website states.
The word count is much shorter for institution-specific supplemental essays, which are typically around 250 words.
How to Pick a College Essay Topic
The first and sometimes most daunting step in the essay writing process is figuring out what to write about.
There are usually several essay prompts to choose from on a college application. They tend to be broad, open-ended questions, giving students the freedom to write about a wide array of topics, Barron says.
The essay isn't a complete autobiography, notes Mimi Doe, co-founder of Top Tier Admissions, a Massachusetts-based advising company. "It's overwhelming to think of putting your whole life in one essay," she says.
Rather, experts say students should narrow their focus and write about a specific experience, hobby or quirk that reveals something personal, like how they think, what they value or what their strengths are. Students can also write about something that illustrates an aspect of their background. Even an essay on a common topic can be compelling if done right.
Students don't have to discuss a major achievement in their essay, a common misconception. Admissions officers who spoke with U.S. News cited memorable essays that focused on more ordinary topics, including fly-fishing, a student's commute to and from school and a family's dining room table.
What's most important, experts say, is that a college essay is thoughtful and tells a story that offers insight into who a student is as a person.
So, no matter what topic students choose, they'll ultimately be writing about themselves, says Ethan Sawyer, founder of the College Essay Guy website, which offers free and paid essay-writing resources. "What we think of as the topic is just the frame or the lens that we're using to get into other parts of you."
If students are having trouble brainstorming potential topics , they can ask friends or family members for help, says Stephanie Klein Wassink, founder of Winning Applications and AdmissionsCheckup, Connecticut-based college admissions advising companies. Wassink says students can ask peers or family members questions such as, "What do you think differentiates me?" Or, "What are my quirks?"
The essay should tell college admissions officers something they don't already know, experts say. Students should ensure they're writing about something that isn't mentioned elsewhere in their application, perhaps in the activities section, or expand greatly on the topic if it is noted elsewhere.
Writing the College Essay
Some experts encourage students to outline their essay before jumping into the actual writing.
But there isn't one correct way of doing things, says Sara Newhouse, senior consultant at Enrollment Research Associates and former vice president for admission and financial planning at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama.
"Your writing process is your own," she says. Newhouse encourages students to use whatever process worked for them in the past when they completed writing assignments for English and other high school classes.
The first draft of an essay doesn't need to be perfect. "Just do a brain dump," Doe says. "Don't edit yourself, just lay it all out on the page."
If students are having a hard time getting started, they should focus on their opening sentence, Doe suggests. She says an essay's opening sentence, or hook, should grab the reader's attention.
Doe offered an example of a strong hook from the essay of a student she worked with:
"I first got into politics the day the cafeteria outlawed creamed corn."
"I want to know about this kid," she says. "I’m interested."
But Sawyer cautions that students shouldn't get so caught up in writing the perfect hook that they neglect the rest of their essay. He also says he's read some essays that were excellent overall, even though they had what he would consider mundane hooks.
Editing and Submitting the College Essay
While admissions officers try to learn about students via the essay, they are also gauging writing skills, so students want to make sure they submit top-notch work.
"The best writing is rewriting," Sapp says. "You should never be giving me your first draft."
When reviewing a first essay draft, students should make sure their writing is showing, not telling, Doe says. This means students should show their readers examples that prove they embody certain traits or beliefs, as opposed to just stating that they do.
After editing their essay, students should seek outside editing help, experts recommend. While there are individuals and companies that offer paid essay help – from editing services to essay-writing boot camps – students and families may not be able to afford the associated fees.
However, there may be options to defray the costs. Sawyer, for example, says he offers scholarships to students from low-income families that cover the cost of one-on-one essay consultations.
The availability of and level of feedback from free essay advising services vary. Some college prep companies offer brief consultations at no charge. Free essay workshops may also be available through local high schools, public libraries or community organizations. Khan Academy, a free online education platform, also offers a series of videos and other content to guide students through the essay writing process.
Colleges themselves may also have resources, Barron notes, pointing to pages on Hamilton's website that offer writing tips as well as examples of successful admissions essays. Likewise, Hamilton also holds virtual panel discussions on writing admissions essays.
Students have other options when it comes to essay help. They can ask peers, teachers, school counselors and family members for help polishing an essay.
Newhouse says it works well to have other people proofread an essay in two stages. The first stage focuses on content. Readers should look for information gaps in the essay – anything they are confused about. Once the content is nailed down, the second proofing stage focuses on style, including grammar, punctuation and spelling.
But proofreaders should not change the tone of the essay. "Don't let anyone edit out your voice," Doe cautions.
And while proofreading is fair game, having someone else rewrite your essay is not.
When an essay is ready to go, students will generally submit it online along with the rest of their application. On the Common App, for example, students copy and paste their essay into a text box.
Sapp says even though students often stress about the essay in particular, it's not the only thing college admissions officers look at. "The essay is the window, but the application is the house," he says. "So let's not forget that an application is built of many pieces."
Strong College Essay Examples
Below are two examples of strong essays written by students accepted into Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
"This is a personal statement, so what works in these essays works because of who the student is and how it fits into the rest of his or her application," notes Ellen Kim, dean of undergraduate admissions at Johns Hopkins.
Hover over the circles along the sides of the letters to read more about what worked.
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10 Ways to Discover College Essay Ideas
- See College Essay Examples
- Colleges Weigh in on Common Essay Topics
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- Read 2 Transfer Essays That Worked
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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.
The focus of such an essay predicts its structure. It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. Thus your essay's structure is necessarily unique to the main claim you're making. Although there are guidelines for constructing certain classic essay types (e.g., comparative analysis), there are no set formula.
Answering Questions: The Parts of an Essay
A typical essay contains many different kinds of information, often located in specialized parts or sections. Even short essays perform several different operations: introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don't. Counterargument, for example, may appear within a paragraph, as a free-standing section, as part of the beginning, or before the ending. Background material (historical context or biographical information, a summary of relevant theory or criticism, the definition of a key term) often appears at the beginning of the essay, between the introduction and the first analytical section, but might also appear near the beginning of the specific section to which it's relevant.
It's helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. (Readers should have questions. If they don't, your thesis is most likely simply an observation of fact, not an arguable claim.)
"What?" The first question to anticipate from a reader is "what": What evidence shows that the phenomenon described by your thesis is true? To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. This "what" or "demonstration" section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Since you're essentially reporting what you've observed, this is the part you might have most to say about when you first start writing. But be forewarned: it shouldn't take up much more than a third (often much less) of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description.
"How?" A reader will also want to know whether the claims of the thesis are true in all cases. The corresponding question is "how": How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you're making? Typically, an essay will include at least one "how" section. (Call it "complication" since you're responding to a reader's complicating questions.) This section usually comes after the "what," but keep in mind that an essay may complicate its argument several times depending on its length, and that counterargument alone may appear just about anywhere in an essay.
"Why?" Your reader will also want to know what's at stake in your claim: Why does your interpretation of a phenomenon matter to anyone beside you? This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering "why", your essay explains its own significance. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular.
Mapping an Essay
Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea.
Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this:
- State your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why it's important to make that claim. Indicate, in other words, what a reader might learn by exploring the claim with you. Here you're anticipating your answer to the "why" question that you'll eventually flesh out in your conclusion.
- Begin your next sentence like this: "To be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is . . ." Then say why that's the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. This will start you off on answering the "what" question. (Alternately, you may find that the first thing your reader needs to know is some background information.)
- Begin each of the following sentences like this: "The next thing my reader needs to know is . . ." Once again, say why, and name some evidence. Continue until you've mapped out your essay.
Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. It is not a contract, though—the order in which the ideas appear is not a rigid one. Essay maps are flexible; they evolve with your ideas.
Signs of Trouble
A common structural flaw in college essays is the "walk-through" (also labeled "summary" or "description"). Walk-through essays follow the structure of their sources rather than establishing their own. Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one. Be wary of paragraph openers that lead off with "time" words ("first," "next," "after," "then") or "listing" words ("also," "another," "in addition"). Although they don't always signal trouble, these paragraph openers often indicate that an essay's thesis and structure need work: they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text (in the case of time words: first this happens, then that, and afterwards another thing . . . ) or simply lists example after example ("In addition, the use of color indicates another way that the painting differentiates between good and evil").
Copyright 2000, Elizabeth Abrams, for the Writing Center at Harvard University
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How to Write an Essay
Last Updated: March 6, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 37 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 7,749,112 times.
An essay is a common type of academic writing that you'll likely be asked to do in multiple classes. Before you start writing your essay, make sure you understand the details of the assignment so that you know how to approach the essay and what your focus should be. Once you've chosen a topic, do some research and narrow down the main argument(s) you'd like to make. From there, you'll need to write an outline and flesh out your essay, which should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. After your essay is drafted, spend some time revising it to ensure your writing is as strong as possible.
Understanding Your Assignment
- The compare/contrast essay , which focuses on analyzing the similarities and differences between 2 things, such as ideas, people, events, places, or works of art.
- The narrative essay , which tells a story.
- The argumentative essay , in which the writer uses evidence and examples to convince the reader of their point of view.
- The critical or analytical essay, which examines something (such as a text or work of art) in detail. This type of essay may attempt to answer specific questions about the subject or focus more generally on its meaning.
- The informative essay , that educates the reader about a topic.
- How long your essay should be
- Which citation style to use
- Formatting requirements, such as margin size , line spacing, and font size and type
Christopher Taylor, PhD
Christopher Taylor, Professor of English, tells us: "Most essays will contain an introduction, a body or discussion portion, and a conclusion. When assigned a college essay, make sure to check the specific structural conventions related to your essay genre , your field of study, and your professor's expectations."
- If you're doing a research-based essay , you might find some inspiration from reading through some of the major sources on the subject.
- For a critical essay, you might choose to focus on a particular theme in the work you're discussing, or analyze the meaning of a specific passage.
- If you're having trouble narrowing down your topic, your instructor might be able to provide guidance or inspiration.
Planning and Organizing Your Essay
- Academic books and journals tend to be good sources of information. In addition to print sources, you may be able to find reliable information in scholarly databases such as JSTOR and Google Scholar.
- You can also look for primary source documents, such as letters, eyewitness accounts, and photographs.
- Always evaluate your sources critically. Even research papers by reputable academics can contain hidden biases, outdated information, and simple errors or faulty logic.
Tip: In general, Wikipedia articles are not considered appropriate sources for academic writing. However, you may be able to find useful sources in the “References” section at the end of the article.
- You might find it helpful to write your notes down on individual note cards or enter them into a text document on your computer so you can easily copy, paste , and rearrange them however you like.
- Try organizing your notes into different categories so you can identify specific ideas you'd like to focus on. For example, if you're analyzing a short story , you might put all your notes on a particular theme or character together.
- For example, if your essay is about the factors that led to the end of the Bronze Age in the ancient Middle East, you might focus on the question, “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?”
- One easy way to come up with a thesis statement is to briefly answer the main question you would like to address.
- For example, if the question is “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?” then your thesis might be, “Natural disasters during the Late Bronze Age destabilized local economies across the region. This set in motion a series of mass migrations of different peoples, creating widespread conflict that contributed to the collapse of several major Bronze Age political centers.”
- When you write the outline, think about how you would like to organize your essay. For example, you might start with your strongest arguments and then move to the weakest ones. Or, you could begin with a general overview of the source you're analyzing and then move on to addressing the major themes, tone, and style of the work.
- Point 1, with supporting examples
- Point 2, with supporting examples
- Point 3, with supporting examples
- Major counter-argument(s) to your thesis
- Your rebuttals to the counter-argument(s)
Drafting the Essay
- For example, if you're writing a critical essay about a work of art, your introduction might start with some basic information about the work, such as who created it, when and where it was created, and a brief description of the work itself. From there, introduce the question(s) about the work you'd like to address and present your thesis.
- A strong introduction should also contain a brief transitional sentence that creates a link to the first point or argument you would like to make. For example, if you're discussing the use of color in a work of art, lead-in by saying you'd like to start with an overview of symbolic color use in contemporary works by other artists.
Tip: Some writers find it helpful to write the introduction after they've written the rest of the essay. Once you've written out your main points, it's easier to summarize the gist of your essay in a few introductory sentences.
- For example, your topic sentence might be something like, “Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are among the many literary influences apparent in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels.” You could then back this up by quoting a passage that contains a reference to Sherlock Holmes.
- Try to show how the arguments in each paragraph link back to the main thesis of your essay.
- When creating transitions, transitional phrases can be helpful. For example, use words and phrases such as “In addition,” “Therefore,” “Similarly,” “Subsequently,” or “As a result.”
- For example, if you've just discussed the use of color to create contrast in a work of art, you might start the next paragraph with, “In addition to color, the artist also uses different line weights to distinguish between the more static and dynamic figures in the scene.”
- For example, if you're arguing that a particular kind of shrimp decorates its shell with red algae to attract a mate, you'll need to address the counterargument that the shell decoration is a warning to predators. You might do this by presenting evidence that the red shrimp are, in fact, more likely to get eaten than shrimp with undecorated shells.
- The way you cite your sources will vary depending on the citation style you're using. Typically, you'll need to include the name of the author, the title and publication date of the source, and location information such as the page number on which the information appears.
- In general, you don't need to cite common knowledge. For example, if you say, “A zebra is a type of mammal,” you probably won't need to cite a source.
- If you've cited any sources in the essay, you'll need to include a list of works cited (or a bibliography ) at the end.
- Keep your conclusion brief. While the appropriate length will vary based on the length of the essay, it should typically be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs.
- For example, if you're writing a 1,000-word essay, your conclusion should be about 4-5 sentences long.  X Research source
Revising the Essay
- If you don't have time to spend a couple of days away from your essay, at least take a few hours to relax or work on something else.
- Excessive wordiness
- Points that aren't explained enough
- Tangents or unnecessary information
- Unclear transitions or illogical organization
- Spelling , grammar , style, and formatting problems
- Inappropriate language or tone (e.g., slang or informal language in an academic essay)
- You might have to cut material from your essay in some places and add new material to others.
- You might also end up reordering some of the content of the essay if you think that helps it flow better.
- Read over each line slowly and carefully. It may be helpful to read each sentence out loud to yourself.
Tip: If possible, have someone else check your work. When you've been looking at your writing for too long, your brain begins to fill in what it expects to see rather than what's there, making it harder for you to spot mistakes.
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- ↑ https://www.gallaudet.edu/tutorial-and-instructional-programs/english-center/the-process-and-type-of-writing/styles-of-essays/guide-to-different-kinds-of-essays
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/moving-assignment-topic
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/how-read-assignment
- ↑ http://www.easybib.com/guides/students/writing-guide/ii-research/a-finding-sources/
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/outlining
- ↑ https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/writing-essays
- ↑ https://intranet.ecu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/20609/essay.pdf
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
- ↑ http://www.nus.edu.sg/celc/research/books/cwtuc/chapter01.pdf
- ↑ https://www.plagiarism.org/article/how-do-i-cite-sources
- ↑ https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/Intros-Conclusions.pdf
- ↑ https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/questions-to-ask/questions-to-ask-when-editing
About This Article
If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Take detailed notes and keep track of which facts come from which sources. As you're taking notes, look for a central theme that you're interested in writing about to create your thesis statement. Then, organize your notes into an outline that supports and explains your thesis statement. Working from your outline, write an introduction and subsequent paragraphs to address each major point. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that briefly explains the main point of that paragraph. Finally, finish your paper with a strong conclusion that sums up the most important points. For tips from our English Professor co-author on helpful revision techniques, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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67 Business Administration Essay Topic Ideas & Examples
🏆 best business administration topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 good research topics about business administration, 🔍 interesting topics to write about business administration, 💯 free business administration essay topic generator.
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- The Prospects of Taking Master of Business Administration Arguably the most preferred post graduate course in the world, the Master of Business Administration has brewed a fair share of controversy over the years whenever issues pertaining to its suitability in the business world […]
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- Business Administration as a Professional Activity The choice of the field of study is a responsible step in everyone’s life. Business administration is a study of the proper ways of management of different types of organization.
- Business Administration in the Healthcare Field Precise and states the objectives of the hospital, the market segment that it intends to serve, and how it intends to serve it.
- Master of Business Administration and Its Benefits I believe that I will be a very successful student in pursuing my MBA because my Jungian personality is that I am always time conscious and that I am able to compete with my peers.
- Master of Business Administration Programs: Interview The following is the ladder that was designed based on the interview: According to the presented interview, it becomes clear that MBA qualification is not fully familiar to the respondent.
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- Business Administration: Managing Direct Marketing Besides, the development of media opportunities influenced the growth of the direct marketing providing it with new effective offers which help to attract more and more customers to its sphere.
- Master of Business Administration Program vs. Market Demand Thus, the answer for all of that is an MBA degree; it used to be the sure ticket to achieving all of the above.
- Ph.D. Degree Program in Business Administration Program Consequently, I am applying for a Ph.D.degree in Business Administration with the view of majoring in Information Systems. Therefore, it is no longer viable for anyone to master the business side of information systems, but […]
- The Master of Business Administration Program Therefore, the three valuable things that have been gained from this program and which in turn have facilitated the overall development of becoming a “world class manager” are business knowledge, leadership abilities and networking.
- Whistleblowing in Business Administration and Law In particular, it is necessary to explain the importance of this activity for the protection of investors and customers. On the whole, whistleblowing is particularly important for the protection of investors who place their trust […]
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- Building a Career in Business Administration
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- Business Administration: Early Theories of Motivation
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- Keynesian Economics and Small Business Administration
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- The United States Small Business Administration
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How to Write an Essay
- DESCRIPTION Steps to How to Write an Essay
- SOURCE Neliakott / iStock / Getty Images Plus
- PERMISSION Used under Getty Images license
Essays are common in middle school, high school and college. You may even need to write essays in the business world (although they are usually called reports at that point). An essay is defined as a short piece of writing that expresses information as well as the writer's opinion. Learn how to write an essay using 8 simple steps.
8 Steps to Writing an Essay
For some, writing an essay is as simple as sitting down at their computer and beginning to type. But a lot more planning goes into writing an essay successfully. If you have never written an essay before, you struggle with writing and want to improve your skills, or you're tasked with writing an essay fast , it is a good idea to follow a number of important steps in the essay writing process.
For example, to write an essay, you should generally:
- decide what kind of essay to write
- brainstorm your topic
- research the topic
- choose a writing style
- develop a thesis
- outline your essay
- write your essay
- edit your writing to check spelling and grammar
While this sounds like a lot of steps to write a simple essay, if you follow them you will be able to write more successful, clear and cohesive essays.
1. Choose the Type of Essay
The first step to writing an essay is to define what type of essay you are writing. There are four main categories into which essays can be grouped:
- Narrative essay - Tell a story or impart information about your subject in a straightforward, orderly manner, like in a story.
- Persuasive essay - Convince the reader about some point of view.
- Expository essay - Explain to the reader how to perform a given process. You could, for example, write an expository essay with step-by-step instructions on how to make a peanut butter sandwich.
- Descriptive essay - Focus on the details of what is going on. For example, if you want to write a descriptive essay about your trip to the park, you would give great detail about what you experienced: how the grass felt beneath your feet, what the park benches looked like, and anything else the reader would need to feel as if he were there.
Knowing what kind of essay you are trying to write can help you decide on a topic and structure your essay in the best way possible. Here are a few other types of essays:
- Argumentative essay - Take a position on a controversial issue and present evidence in favor of your position. If you’ve been assigned an argumentative essay, check out these top 10 argumentative essay topics .
- Compare and contrast essay - Identify similarities and differences between two subjects that are, typically, under the same umbrella.
- Problem solution essay - Describe a problem, convince the reader to care about the problem, propose a solution, and be prepared to dismantle objections.
- Informative essay - Educate the reader on a particular topic with facts.
2. Brainstorm Your Topic
You cannot write an essay unless you have an idea of what to write about. Brainstorming is the process in which you come up with the essay topic. You need to simply sit and think of ideas during this phase.
- Write down everything that comes to mind as you can always narrow those topics down later.
- Use clustering or mind mapping to brainstorm and come up with an essay idea. This involves writing your topic or idea in the center of the paper and creating bubbles (clouds or clusters) of related ideas around it.
- Brainstorming can be a great way to develop a topic more deeply and to recognize connections between various facets of your topic.
- Once you have a list of possible topics, it's time to choose the best one that will answer the question posed for your essay. You want to choose a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow.
If you are given an assignment to write a one-page essay, it would be far too much to write about "the history of the U.S.," since that could fill entire volumes of books. Instead, you could write about a specific event within the history of the United States: perhaps signing the Declaration of Independence or when Columbus discovered the Americas.
Choose the best topic idea from among your list and begin moving forward on writing your essay. But, before you move forward, take heed of these topics to avoid .
3. Research the Topic
Once you have done your brainstorming and chosen your topic, you may need to do some research to write a good essay. Go to the library or search online for information about your topic. Interview people who might be experts in the subject.
Keep your research organized so it will be easy for you to refer back to. This also makes it easier to cite your sources when writing your final essay.
4. Choose a Writing Style
The writing style that you choose for your essay is dictated by your teacher or the topic of your paper. In general, there are three writing styles you might come across in high school and college.
- MLA (Modern Language Association) is designed for humanities and language arts essays. It uses the author-page number citation style. This is the most common writing style used by high school and college students.
- APA (American Psychological Association) uses the author-date citation style and was created for social science and psychology research papers and essays. It is the second most common writing style out there.
- Chicago Manual of Style , also known as Turabian, has two writing styles: author-date and notes-bibliography. Mostly used by college students and professionals, the author-date style works for scientific papers, while notes-biblio makes arts and humanities papers a breeze.
Each different writing style has its own unique format for in-text and reference list citations.
5. Develop a Thesis
Your thesis statement is the main point of your essay. It is essentially one sentence that says what the essay is about. For example, your thesis statement might be "Dogs are descended from wolves." You can then use this as the basic premise to write your entire essay, remembering that all of the different points throughout need to lead back to this one main thesis. You should usually state your thesis in your introductory paragraph.
Additionally, the thesis statement should be broad enough that you have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can't be thorough. To help you structure a perfectly clear thesis, check out these thesis statement examples .
6. Outline Your Essay
The next step is to outline what you are going to write about. This means you want to essentially draw the skeleton of your paper. Writing an outline can help to ensure your paper is logical, well organized and flows properly. If you’ve been tasked with an argumentative essay, here’s the best formula for an argumentative essay outline .
- Start by writing the thesis statement at the top, then write a topic sentence for each paragraph below that. This means you should know exactly what each of your paragraphs is going to be about before you write them.
- Don't jumble too many ideas in each paragraph or the reader may become confused.
- Ensure you have transitions between paragraphs so the reader understands how the paper flows from one idea to the next.
- Fill in supporting facts from your research under each paragraph. Make sure each paragraph ties back to your thesis and creates a cohesive, understandable essay.
Does your teacher follow the APA guidelines for writing papers? If so, these APA outline format examples should help you pull it all together. As you progress into the meat of the essay (following our tips below), these APA format examples should prove beneficial! Or, if MLA is your teacher’s preferred style, check out these MLA format examples .
7. Write the Essay
Once you have an outline, it’s time to start writing. Write based on the outline itself, fleshing out your basic skeleton to create a whole, cohesive and clear essay.
You’ll want to edit and re-read your essay, checking to make sure it sounds exactly the way you want it to. Here are some things to remember:
- Revise for clarity, consistency and structure.
- Support your thesis adequately with the information in your paragraphs. Each paragraph should have its own topic sentence. This is the most important sentence in the paragraph that tells readers what the rest of the paragraph will be about.
- Make sure everything flows together. As you move through the essay, transition words will be paramount. Transition words are the glue that connects every paragraph together and prevents the essay from sounding disjointed. You can even use a list of transition words to help get you started.
- Reread your introduction and conclusion . Will the reader walk away knowing exactly what your paper was about?
In your introduction, it’s important to include a hook. This is the line or line that will lure a reader in and encourage them to want to learn more. For more on this, check out how to write a hook . And, to help you formulate a killer conclusion, scan through these conclusion examples .
8. Check Spelling and Grammar
Now the essay is written, but you're not quite done. Reread what you've written, looking out for mistakes and typos.
- Revise for technical errors.
- Check for grammar , punctuation and spelling errors. You cannot always count on spell check to recognize every spelling error. Sometimes, you can spell a word incorrectly but your misspelling will also be a word, such as spelling "from" as "form."
- Another common area of concern is quotation marks. It’s important to cite your sources with accuracy and clarity. Follow these guidelines on how to use quotes in essays and speeches .
- You might also want to consider the difference between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing . Quoting is reserved for lines of text that are identical to an original piece of writing. Paraphrasing is reserved for large sections of someone else’s writing that you want to convey in your own words. Summarizing puts the main points from someone else’s text into your own words.
Planning Pays Off
A lot goes into writing a successful essay. Fortunately, these tips for writing essays can help you along the way and get you on the path to a well-written essay. Out of all these “how-tos,” the worst thing you could do is plagiarize someone else’s writing (intentionally or unintentionally). Take a look at these tips and techniques for preventing plagiarism . Other than that, we wish you great success as you work your way to a perfect A!
Learn the Standard Essay Format: MLA, APA, Chicago Styles
Being able to write an essay is a vital part of any student's education. However, it's not just about linearly listing ideas. A lot of institutions will require a certain format that your paper must follow; prime examples would be one of a basic essay format like MLA, the APA, and the Chicago formats. This article will explain the differences between the MLA format, the APA format, and the Chicago format. The application of these could range from high school to college essays, and they stand as the standard of college essay formatting. EssayPro — dissertation services , that will help to make a difference!
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What is an Essay Format: Structure
Be it an academic, informative or a specific extended essay - structure is essential. For example, the IB extended essay has very strict requirements that are followed by an assigned academic style of writing (primarily MLA, APA, or Chicago):
- Abstract: comprised of 3 paragraphs, totaling about 300 words, with 100 words in each.
- ~ Paragraph 1: must include a research question, thesis, and outline of the essay’s importance.
- ~ Paragraph 2: Key resources, scope and limits of research, etc.
- ~ Paragraph 3: Conclusion that you’ve already reached in your essay.
- Table of Contents (with page numbers)
- ~ Research question
- ~ Introduction
- ~ Arguments
- ~ Sub-headings
- ~ Conclusion
- ~ Works cited (bibliography)
- ~ The research question is required
- Bibliography (Works Cited)
This outline format for an extended essay is a great example to follow when writing a research essay, and sustaining a proper research essay format - especially if it is based on the MLA guidelines. It is vital to remember that the student must keep track of their resources to apply them to each step outlined above easily. And check out some tips on how to write an essay introduction .
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How to write an essay in mla format.
To write an essay in MLA format, one must follow a basic set of guidelines and instructions. This is a step by step from our business essay writing service
- Font : 12pt Times New Roman
- ~ Double spaced everywhere
- ~ No extra spaces, especially between paragraphs
- Heading : Example of the heading on the first page of the essay (upper left corner)
- ~ Your name (John Smith)
- ~ Teacher’s / Professor’s name (Margot Robbie)
- ~ The class (Depends on course/class)
- ~ Date (20 April 2017)
- Margins : One-inch margin on the top, bottom, left and right.
- Page Numbers : Last name and page number must be put on every page of the essay as a “header”. Otherwise, it would go in place of the text.
- Title : There needs to be a proper essay title format, centered and above the first line of the essay of the same font and size as the essay itself.
- Indentation : Just press tab (1/2 inch, just in case)
- Align : Align to the left-hand side, and make sure it is aligned evenly.
It’s important to remember that the essay format of MLA is usually used in humanities, which differs from other types of academic writing that we’ll go into detail later. For now, feast your eyes upon an MLA format essay example:
Essay in MLA Format Example
Mla format example essay, mla vs. apa.
Before we move on to the APA essay format, it is important to distinguish the two types of formatting. Let’s go through the similarities first:
- The formatting styles are similar: spacing, citation, indentation.
- All of the information that is used within the essay must be present within the works cited page (in APA, that’s called a reference page)
- Both use the parenthetical citations within the body of the paper, usually to show a certain quote or calculation.
- Citations are listed alphabetically on the works cited / reference page.
What you need to know about the differences is not extensive, thankfully:
- MLA style is mostly used in humanities, while APA style is focused more on social sciences. The list of sources has a different name (works cited - MLA / references - APA)
- Works cited differ on the way they display the name of the original content (MLA -> Yorke, Thom / APA -> Yorke T.)
- When using an in-text citation, and the author’s name is listed within the sentence, place the page number found at the end: “Yorke believes that Creep was Radiohead’s worst song. (4).” APA, on the other hand, requires that a year is to be inserted: “According to Yorke (2013), Creep was a mess.”
Alright, let’s carry over to the APA style specifics.
How to Write an Essay in APA Format
The APA scheme is one of the most common college essay formats, so being familiar with its requirements is crucial. In a basic APA format structure, we can apply a similar list of guidelines as we did in the MLA section:
- Spacing : Double-space that bad boy.
- Margins : One Inch margins on all sides.
- Page Numbers : Insert a header at the top left of every page that includes a shortened title of your essay, below 50 characters including punctuation. Slap a number in there too (top right corner).
- Title Page : Title of the paper, author’s name, institutional affiliation. Additional information may be required, such as course title, instructor name and date.
- Headings: All headings should be written in bold and titlecase. Different heading levels have different additional criteria to apply.
You can also ask us to write or rewrite essay in APA format if you find it difficult or don't have time.
Note that some teachers and professors may request deviations from some of the characteristics that the APA format originally requires, such as those listed above.
Note that some teachers and professors maybe have deviations to some of the characteristics that the APA format originally requires, such as those listed above.
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Essay in APA Format Example
Apa format essay example, chicago style.
The usage of Chicago style is prevalent in academic writing that focuses on the source of origin. This means that precise citations and footnotes are key to a successful paper.
Chicago Style Essay Format
The same bullet point structure can be applied to the Chicago essay format.
- ~ Chicago style title page is all about spacing.
- ~ Down the page should be the title, with regular text. If longer than one line, double-spaced.
- ~ Next, in the very middle, center your full name.
- ~ Down the page - course number, instructor’s name and the date in separate double-spaced lines.
- Margins : Use one-inch margins apart from the right side.
- ~ Double spaced everywhere.
- ~ No extra spaces, especially between paragraphs.
- Font : Times New Roman is the best choice (12pt)
- Page Numbers
- ~ Last name, page number in the heading of every page on the top right
- ~ Do not number the title page. The first page of the text should start with a 2.
- Footnotes : The Chicago format requires footnotes on paraphrased or quoted passages.
- Bibliography : The bibliography is very similar to that of MLA. Gather the proper information and input it into a specialized citation site.
Essay Format: Video Guide
Tips for writing an academic paper.
There isn’t one proper way of writing a paper, but there are solid guidelines to sustain a consistent workflow. Be it a college application essay, a research paper, informative essay, etc. There is a standard essay format that you should follow. For easier access, the following outline will be divided into steps:
Choose a Good Topic
A lot of students struggle with picking a good topic for their essays. The topic you choose should be specific enough so you can explore it in its entirety and hit your word limit if that’s a variable you worry about. With a good topic that should not be a problem. On the other hand, it should not be so broad that some resources would outweigh the information you could squeeze into one paper. Don’t be too specific, or you will find that there is a shortage of information, but don’t be too broad or you will feel overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to ask your instructor for help with your essay writing.
Start Research as Soon as Possible
Before you even begin writing, make sure that you are acquainted with the information that you are working with. Find compelling arguments and counterpoints, trivia, facts, etc. The sky is the limit when it comes to gathering information.
Pick out Specific, Compelling Resources
When you feel acquainted with the subject, you should be able to have a basic conversation on the matter. Pick out resources that have been bookmarked, saved or are very informative and start extracting information. You will need all you can get to put into the citations at the end of your paper. Stash books, websites, articles and have them ready to cite. See if you can subtract or expand your scope of research.
Create an Outline
Always have a plan. This might be the most important phase of the process. If you have a strong essay outline and you have a particular goal in mind, it’ll be easy to refer to it when you might get stuck somewhere in the middle of the paper. And since you have direct links from the research you’ve done beforehand, the progress is guaranteed to be swift. Having a list of keywords, if applicable, will surely boost the informational scope. With keywords specific to the subject matter of each section, it should be much easier to identify its direction and possible informational criteria.
Write a Draft
Before you jot anything down into the body of your essay, make sure that the outline has enough information to back up whatever statement you choose to explore. Do not be afraid of letting creativity into your paper (within reason, of course) and explore the possibilities. Start with a standard 5 paragraph structure, and the content will come with time.
Ask for a Peer Review of Your Academic Paper
Before you know it, the draft is done, and it’s ready to be sent out for peer review. Ask a classmate, a relative or even a specialist if they are willing to contribute. Get as much feedback as you possibly can and work on it.
Before handing in the final draft, go over it at least one more time, focusing on smaller mistakes like grammar and punctuation. Make sure that what you wrote follows proper essay structure. Learn more about argumentative essay structure on our blog. If you need a second pair of eyes, get help from our service.
Read also our movie review example and try to determine the format in which it is written.
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How to write a perfect essay
Need to write an essay? Does the assignment feel as big as climbing Mount Everest? Fear not. You’re up to the challenge! The following step-by step tips from the Nat Geo Kids Almanac will help you with this monumental task.
Sometimes the subject matter of your essay is assigned to you, sometimes it’s not. Either way, you have to decide what you want to say. Start by brainstorming some ideas, writing down any thoughts you have about the subject. Then read over everything you’ve come up with and consider which idea you think is the strongest. Ask yourself what you want to write about the most. Keep in mind the goal of your essay. Can you achieve the goal of the assignment with this topic? If so, you’re good to go.
WRITE A TOPIC SENTENCE
This is the main idea of your essay, a statement of your thoughts on the subject. Again, consider the goal of your essay. Think of the topic sentence as an introduction that tells your reader what the rest of your essay will be about.
OUTLINE YOUR IDEAS
Once you have a good topic sentence, you then need to support that main idea with more detailed information, facts, thoughts, and examples. These supporting points answer one question about your topic sentence—“Why?” This is where research and perhaps more brainstorming come in. Then organize these points in the way you think makes the most sense, probably in order of importance. Now you have an outline for your essay.
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, WRITE!
Follow your outline, using each of your supporting points as the topic sentence of its own paragraph. Use descriptive words to get your ideas across to the reader. Go into detail, using specific information to tell your story or make your point. Stay on track, making sure that everything you include is somehow related to the main idea of your essay. Use transitions to make your writing flow.
Finish your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your entire essay and 5 restates your main idea.
PROOFREAD AND REVISE
Check for errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Look for ways to make your writing clear, understandable, and interesting. Use descriptive verbs, adjectives, or adverbs when possible. It also helps to have someone else read your work to point out things you might have missed. Then make the necessary corrections and changes in a second draft. Repeat this revision process once more to make your final draft as good as you can.
Download the pdf .
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Good hooks for argumentative essays (with examples)
Many students find it hard to create good hooks when writing an argumentative essay. The hook is the first sentence or two of your essay, and it should interest the reader in your topic. A good argumentative hook for example can leave them thinking “Yes! I need to know why this is true!”
In this guide, we will learn how to write a good hook for argumentative essay and earn a top grade.
Some starter questions answered in this guide include:
Argumentative essay outline
Argumentative essay topics, argumentative essay structure, argumentative research paper outline, gun control argumentative essay, argumentative essay background information.
- How can I write a good hook for an argumentative essay?
- How do you get the reader interested in the topic of your essay?
- What are some examples of hooks for argumentative essays?
If you want to learn how to write a strong good hook for an argumentative essay, just follow these simple rules. If you need essay help , just fill out the order form here . We have over 3000 essay writers standing by ready to craft your paper, so there’s no need to worry about it! Let us know what type of essay paper you’re looking for and let our certified writer make your dreams come true.
What makes a good hook for an argumentative essay?
A good hook is a question or statement that catches the reader’s attention and piques their interest. It must directly relate to the topic of your paper, but it cannot be so on-the-nose that you sound like you’re complaining about something. Keep in mind that your thesis statement won’t be just one sentence; it will have several sentences that need to lead logically from the introduction into the bulk of the text.
Characteristics of a good hook for argumentative essay
So, what are some characteristics of a good hook for argumentative essay?
- A good hook does not announce itself as a hook right away; instead it lures readers into feeling like they’re reading something substantial and meaty before revealing its true nature. It goes beyond just mentioning an interesting argument or position by actually developing it in some way.
- A good hook will be original and creative without being too far-fetched or alienating.
- A good hook is an integral part of your argument, rather than just a starting point for it. It should have a clear purpose in the text as a whole. In other words, it’s less important that your essay starts with a good hook than it is that your essay has a strong and cohesive thesis throughout.
- A good hook does not merely state an opinion; rather, it presents an idea or asks a question (e.g., “Is writing about love more difficult than writing about hate?”)
- You need to use powerful words to make sure your hook doesn’t fall flat. If you’re talking about something like global warming, for example, don’t bother starting with the phrase “the recent rise in temperature.” You need to go deeper into discussion of the topic; this means using language that shows you’re familiar with the research and have a good grasp of the academic conversation surrounding your topic. Additionally, avoid clichés and empty phrases when coming up with a hook for argumentative essay.
6 Types of argumentative essay hooks
There are 6 types of argumentative essay hooks you can use to grab the attention of your audience:
Quotation or citation hooks
Factual hooks, personal experience hook, question hook, case study hook, definition hook.
Below is a detailed analysis of the 6 hooks for essays listed above with examples on how to write a hook for an argumentative essay (with detailed essay hook examples ).
Quotation or citation hooks involve using quotes, statistics, and other research data to support your argument.
For example, if you are writing about how people rely too heavily on cell phones to communicate with each other as opposed to giving face-to-face time as a priority, then one possible hook might be:
“A recent study by the Pew Research Center reveals that American teens between the ages of 12 and 17 send an average of 60 text messages per day.”
Factual hooks use facts and figures from surveys and polls. For example: “According to a survey conducted by CBS news, more than 50% of first year college students wish their parents had not pushed so hard for them to attend college.” Or, “According to the US Census Bureau, the average household spent $2400 on back-to-school supplies in 2014.”
Facts are very important when writing an argument essay because the facts present a valid way to support your argument. For example, if you are writing an opinion essay about how commercialism is damaging Christmas traditions, citing a statistic that shows that spending for Christmas has increased by 500% in the past ten years will help strengthen and support your argument.
Personal experience hooks are effective hooks in argumentative writing because they involve the audience directly. For example: “If I had it my way, students would have to give up social media for an entire semester just so that they could focus on their academics.” Or, “As a college student hailing from a low socioeconomic background, I can attest to how frustrating it is not being able to buy name brand items at school prices after graduation.”
By sharing a personal experience when starting an argumentative essay, the writer is able to catch the reader’s attention right away by either relating to a personal situation or revealing something that many people might find surprising. In addition to this, these hooks have an active voice which makes the argumentative essay feel more direct and forceful.
To use a question hook successfully, you must frame your argument as a question. For example: “Do you think life would be easier if you never had to deal with the in-between moments in life, when your life didn’t fit perfectly into any timeframe?”
Using a question as an argumentative paper hook allows you to organize your paper around a series of questions. The format for this type of paper is simple:
- Introduce the topic with a general question that may have one or two concrete answers.
- Discuss why these specific answers are correct or incorrect from a certain point of view, citing sources in the process if necessary.
- Include a final conclusion in which you state your own position and explain why it is valid based on the evidence you have already presented throughout the essay.
A case study hook allows you to illustrate examples using stories about real people. Using real life case studies can attract your readers’ interest in your paper because everyone loves a good story.
You may consider using this type of hook in any argumentative essay, but it is especially effective when you are writing an opinion essay or persuasive essay . This type of hook has the advantage over other types because it can be personal and easy to understand at the same time. You may use details about people’s lives to make your point clear and maybe even inspire emotions like empathy within your readers. The disadvantage however is that not every reader will find the case study equally interesting or involving; thus depending on what you are writing about, you may want to try out more than one type of hook before deciding which one is best for your particular scenario.
For example: “Jessica was excited to make new friends at college until she realized how difficult it was trying to find common ground between acquaintances.”
A definition hook allows you define terms that may or may not be familiar to the reader. For example: “Art is a form of expression that balances creativity, imagination, individuality, and beauty.”
Example of a definition hook in argumentative essay writing would be:
“Art is a form of expression that balances creativity, imagination, individuality, and beauty.”
Writing challenge: Practise writing good hook for argumentative essays
Now that you know how to write a good hook for argumentative essay, you need to practise writing argumentative hooks by choosing two types of hooks above and creating good argumentative hooks.
Share your views and the results of this challenge in the comment section.
- How to Start an Argumentative Essay | Introduction Paragraphs examples
argumentative essay format
- How to write a conclusion for an argumentative essay + Examples
Argumentative essay layout
Qualitative research question examples, related guides, how to write a thesis statement for an..., how to write a conclusion for an argumentative..., argumentative essay examples, argumentative essay transition words, how to start an argumentative essay | introduction....
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How To Write a Good Essay (From Introduction-Conclusion)
- June 30, 2018
Learn how to write a good essay. Read the best guide to avoid writing an essay full of mistakes and bad structure. In the end, you will be able to write a good essay that will receive maximum points.
The Truth About Writing an Essay
When most students are asked to write an essay their first reaction is to panic. The reason for doing so is that writing this type of academic work is not as enjoyable as most students would wish it was.
Notably, students who do not have great writing skills as well as ability to think creatively and critically find this academic exercise to be extremely challenging. Moreover, those students who do not have great time management skills find completing their essays on time to be quite hard if not impossible.
This implies that the skills that are put into test when writing this type of an academic paper are among others; critical thinking, time management, writing as well as creative thinking. If you are a student and you are really not sure about how to write an essay then you might find this post to be very informative.
What is an Essay?
Before you commence the process of writing an essay. You must first have a good idea of what it really is. Basically, an essay can be understood as a piece of writing in prose form on a specific topic. In other words, the given piece of writing that is known as an essay is comprised of sentences and paragraphs.
It is worth to note that such sentences and paragraphs have to be tied on a single theme or topic. Remarkably, students who know how to write an essay understand that there are different types of essays
Kinds of Essays
Before you write an essay you should know what kind of essay you have to write. Such types include but not necessarily limited to:
- Expository essays
- Descriptive essays
- Narrative essays
- Compare and contrast essays
- Critical analysis essays
- Argumentative essays
- Cause and effect essays
- Persuasive essays .
1. How to Begin Writing an Essay
Normally, the first process of writing an essay involves formulating a topic. It is important to keep in mind that in most instances students are provided with an essay topic to work on by their teachers or lecturers.
It is, however, worth to note that if you are required to come up with your own topic. You should look for a topic that interests you and the one that has sufficient sources of information. The selected topic must also be focused well-enough to enable the student to write a coherent essay.
If you really know how to write an essay then. You already know the importance of carefully reading the issued instructions before you can begin the process of writing it. If you are finding it hard to come up with a topic or to understand the issued instructions then you might want to consult professional online essay writers as they can help you.
2. Brainstorming for Ideas to be included in an Essay
Once you keenly read and understand the essay writing instructions, the second step that you ought to take is brainstorming for ideas.
In other words, you need to identify various points that can be included in your essay. One of the best ways of doing so is reading around your topic. This is what some students commonly refer to as researching an essay.
It is, however, good to note that doing so is more of reviewing the relevant literature than conducting research. It is very important to visit the library and read books that are relevant to your topic.
You can also search for such information online by keying in certain keywords in your favorite search engine. Experts who know how to write an essay understand the importance of reading books and journal articles as well as other academic sources prior to beginning writing an essay.
3. Developing the Thesis Statement
One of the common mistakes that students make when working on an essay, is failing to include a thesis statement in the introduction or writing such a statement in the wrong format. As a rule of thumb, a conventional essay must have a thesis statement .
Basically, such a statement makes the specific position that the writer takes on the topic under study clear. This is to say that essays are written from a certain angle or point of view which is expressed in the thesis statement.
It takes an experienced essay writing expert to craft a sound statement. This implies that you can always higher such a writer to help you instead of submitting an essay introduction without an appropriate thesis statement.
How to write an Essay Outline
An essay outline is essentially the skeleton of your essay.
- It is such a terrible idea to commence writing the first draft of your essay without having first created an outline.
- It serves the purpose of helping the student to know the exact kind of information to include under each paragraph. This is why students are encouraged to maintain strong organization skills when brainstorming for ideas to be included in a specific essay.
- A good essay outline helps students to logically organize points in the essay. By doing so, one is able to come up with a coherent essay. It would be such a grave mistake in starting creating the first draft of your essay paper without first creating an appropriate outline.
4. Write the First Draft of Your Essay
After you are done with creating the outline of your essay, you can now go ahead and write the first draft. It is worth to emphasize the fact that when writing such a draft, you should be guided by the outline. It is equally important to note that all the points that you are supposed to include in the first draft must be in one way or the other relevant to the thesis statement.
Normally, an acceptable essay must have an interesting and informative introduction, a logically flowing body and a sound conclusion. Despite the fact that the introduction comes before the body and conclusion in an essay, writing it should be saved for last.
In case you are not sure about how you can handle this essay writing stage then you should be sure to consult professionals who offer reliable essay writing help . Such experts can easily guide you in using the outline to create the first draft of your essay.
5. Write an Essay Introduction
The introduction of an essay presents one with an opportunity to make the first impression. Going in line with this, this section of an essay is very important.
- The first goal that you should aim at accomplishing when writing an introduction is informing the reader what your essay is all about. Doing so involves including some background information on your topic.
- The second goal that you should be sure to meet is arousing the interest of the reader. A good essay introduction should be interesting and enjoyable to read. Most importantly, experts who understand how to write an essay agree that an acceptable introduction of an essay ought to have a thesis statement.
As mentioned above, you are supposed to write this part after you are done with writing the rest of your work. Specifically, the introduction must be in line with both the body and the conclusion of your work.
6. Write Body Paragraphs of an Essay
The section that comprises the majority of your essay is the body. In other words, body paragraphs normally account for about eighty percent of an essay . This means that when writing an essay, most students spend most of their time on writing the body paragraphs.
Each body paragraph is made up of a couple of sentences. The first sentence that a body paragraph must have is the introduction sentence. This is followed by a sentence expounding more on it. The sentence that follows introduces evidence supporting the main idea expressed by the introduction sentence. You are then expected to explain such evidence using one more sentence.
Lastly, you should include a concluding sentence to wrap up the given paragraph and signal the reader that you are moving to the next point.
How to Organize Essay Body Paragraphs
Merely writing body paragraphs is not enough. You ought to go a step further and organize them in a manner that makes reading your work easy to understand. As a rule of thumb, strong points must be discussed first. This means that you should be sure to discuss the ideas that strongly support your thesis statement before discussing the weak ones or those that might counter your argument.
If you actually understand how to write an essay then you are no stranger to the fact that you are supposed to include only one major idea in your work. Any attempt to include more than a single main idea in a paragraph makes it be not only unusually very long but also hard to read and understand. You should also come up with a way of organizing your essay in the most logical way possible.
7. Write an Essay Conclusion
The main purpose of your conclusion is, to sum up, your essay. You are also expected to convince the reader that indeed you have sufficiently supported your thesis statement using credible evidence and logical reasoning. This implies that restating the thesis statement in the conclusion is not such a bad idea. As a matter of fact, students are encouraged to do so.
One of the common mistakes that students who do not really understand how to write an essay make is discussing new points in this section. You must never attempt to include ideas that are not present in the body in the conclusion of your essay.
Your essay conclusion should remind the reader what has already been discussed and not introducing new evidence or points.
It is also worth to mention that you should avoid writing a very lengthy conclusion. A good conclusion should be precise and short.
8. Proofread and Edit The Essay
Majority of students are quick to submit their work essay right after they are done with writing the first draft. It is good to point out that doing so is such a grave mistake as you should keenly proofread it prior to submitting it for marking.
Proofreading is a systematic process that involves thoroughly reading of a given material with the goal of spotting and correcting errors that you might have done when writing it. The errors that you are expected to correct fall under two broad categories.
These categories are namely;
It is worth to note that there are online professional writers and editors who understand not only how to write an essay but also how to proofread it.
It is then needless to overemphasize the fact that it is possible to get professional essay proofreading assistance whenever you need it as all you need to do is to order for it online.
How to Make Sure That You Submit Your Essay on Time
One of the things that students struggle with when writing an essay is managing time. The result of this is that the majority of such students are unable to submit their essays before the set deadlines. Subsequently, they end up being penalized by for example being deducted some points due to late submission of their work.
Some course instructors at times even totally refuse to mark work that has been submitted late and this can result in a student failing in the given course.
It then goes without saying that you must learn how to properly manage time when writing your essay. One of the best ways of doing so is designing a practical work plan. Such a plan should clearly list all the tasks involved in writing your essay and the amount of time allocated in doing each of the listed tasks.
You should then try as much as possible to adhere to such developed work plan. If you are a student and you feel that your essay is fast approaching then you do not have to panic. This is because you can always order for urgent essay writing services .
This implies that if you know how to look then you will always find someone who capable of helping you beat your essay submission deadline no matter how soon it might seem to be.
What You Need to Know About Plagiarism When Writing an Essay
Usually, students are expected to write their essays from scratch. This is to say that directly copying information from other sources or presenting other people’s essays as if they were your own original work is totally unacceptable.
It is worth to note that there is no learning institution that condones plagiarism. In other words, when writing an academic essay you should put all the necessary measures to ensure that it does not contain any form of plagiarism.
Some of the strategies that students who know how to write an essay use to avoid plagiarism include: paraphrasing information from other sources, directly quoting, providing citations and including a list of references .
Essay Writing Tips
There are a number of tips that can help you in coming up with an A-plus essay.
- To begin with, you should feel free to seek clarification if there is any set of instructions that you do not understand.
- Before you commence writing your essay you must have a clear idea of; The writing style that you ought to use, type of essay that you are expected to work on the maximum and minimum length that your essay must adhere to.
- Secondly, you should be sure to start working on your essay long enough. Normally, one is prone to making a lot of mistakes when he/she is rushing through the process of writing an essay. Moreover, you should be sure to use credible sources of information.
For more tips for writing an essay, feel free to contact experts who perfectly understand how to write an essay .
What Really Differentiates a Great Essay from a mediocre one?
It is the desire of every student to write an A-plus essay but this desire is not always fulfilled. There are a number of things that makes up a great essay.
To start with, an essay that deserves good marks is normally coherent. In other words, you are expected to advance an argument that is easy to follow. The points should logically flow and must be in support of the thesis statement.
Moreover, an essay that deserves to be awarded a high grade is supposed to be well cited. There are different styles that one can use in citing his/her essay but you should be sure to use the one recommended by your course instructor.
If you really know how to write an essay and your desire is to score a good grade then you have no choice but to follow all the provided writing instructions.
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The essay writing process consists of three main stages: Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline. Writing: Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
For essay writing, we recommend this six-step writing process: 1 Brainstorming It always helps to collect your thoughts before you begin writing by brainstorming. Based on your prompt or thesis, try to generate as many ideas as possible to include in your essay.
Step 4: Map your essay's structure Step 5: Check and revise More examples of essay introductions Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction Step 1: Hook your reader Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.
Start by writing a thorough plan Ensure your essay has a clear structure and overall argument Try to back up each point you make with a quotation Answer the question in your introduction and conclusion but remember to be creative too Next Steps for Prospective English Students Explore the Guardian's research into how to write better essays
Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay. You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs. Body
Guidelines for essay titles in MLA format In MLA format, your essay's title should be in title case. That means every principle word— words that aren't articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, or the word "to" paired with an infinitive—is capitalized.
Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated for 2021) Download this writing tool in word format (.docx) Content is king. The substance of what you write is the most important thing in your essays and term papers. However, you also have to nail the mechanics of academic writing. You need to master good grammar and sentence structure, and use appropriate ...
Expert Answer. Read the Prompt Carefully: Before you start writing, read the prompt carefully to understand the question being asked. Make sure you know what you are being asked to do and what is expected of you. Plan Your Essay: Make an outline of your essay. Decide on your main points and the evidence you will use to support them.
Choose a title for your essay that expresses your primary idea. The strongest titles will include a verb. Take a look at any newspaper and you'll see that every title has a verb. Your title should make someone want to read what you have to say. Make it provocative. Here are a few ideas: America Needs Better Health Care Now
1. Explore essay prompts and select a topic. 2. Start your college essay outline before jumping in. 3. Write the essay and leave time for multiple drafts. 4. Edit and proofread your essay. 5.
Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative.
How to Write an Essay Download Article parts 1 Understanding Your Assignment 2 Planning and Organizing Your Essay 3 Drafting the Essay + Co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and Megaera Lorenz, PhD Last Updated: March 2, 2023 References Approved An essay is a common type of academic writing that you'll likely be asked to do in multiple classes.
Argumentative Essays. The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay.
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There are three main stages to writing an essay: preparation, writing and revision. In just 4 minutes, this video will walk you through each stage of an acad...
8. Write the conclusion. The closing is generally one or two paragraphs long and repeats your main points in the body. Try not to share new information and focus on relaying your personal message. End your essay with a sentence that sums up the lesson in your story and links the entire essay together.
The key to being successful in school is knowing how to write an essay. With these easy steps, make writing a simple task and get that A. Dictionary ... or you're tasked with writing an essay fast, it is a good idea to follow a number of important steps in the essay writing process. For example, to write an essay, you should generally: decide ...
To write an essay in MLA format, one must follow a basic set of guidelines and instructions. This is a step by step from our business essay writing service. ... Title: There needs to be a proper essay title format, centered and above the first line of the essay of the same font and size as the essay itself. Indentation: Just press tab ...
Use descriptive words to get your ideas across to the reader. Go into detail, using specific information to tell your story or make your point. Stay on track, making sure that everything you include is somehow related to the main idea of your essay. Use transitions to make your writing flow.
There are 6 types of argumentative essay hooks you can use to grab the attention of your audience: Quotation or citation hooks. Factual hooks. Personal experience hook. Question hook. Case study hook. Definition hook. Below is a detailed analysis of the 6 hooks for essays listed above with examples on how to write a hook for an argumentative ...
As mentioned above, you are supposed to write this part after you are done with writing the rest of your work. Specifically, the introduction must be in line with both the body and the conclusion of your work. 6. Write Body Paragraphs of an Essay. The section that comprises the majority of your essay is the body.
How to write a good nursing essay? Start by using ⬆️THIS APA formatted template (DOWNLOAD link is below). Create it once and reuse the template to make sur...