Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write Essays Like a PRO

The essay has become the standard unit of work in the world of higher education, both because instructors want to measure student success against a standardized type of assignment and because government regulations requiring accessibility limit the options for more creative assignments without also offering an essay alternative. Since the essay is the foundational assignments for students in nearly every educational path, it becomes essential to understand how to approach an essay the right way, and how to write one quickly and efficiently. Our tips for writing an essay will help you to save time and effort by following a standard approach to writing this most typical of college assignments.

Step One: Collect Facts

Every piece of writing requires a solid foundation in demonstrable facts which can become the basis for the essay’s main point. These facts, when combined with logical writing, carry the sense of the essay and provide useful information to the reader. An essay is not an exception to the general rule that good writing needs strong research to support it, so the student is expected to spend enough time in the library or on the Internet looking for up-to-date sources which can provide reliable facts and arguments for writing.

  • Make sure every sentence has a meaning. After all, an essay’s writing can be beautiful and sparkle with well-chosen words, but still fail if the sentences have nothing to say. Facts are essential to build a strong essay.
  • Focus on the latest studies. With the development of online magazines, libraries, data hubs, etc. students received unlimited access to the latest research papers, studies, articles, books etc. Most probably your college or university has contracts with most of the online academic libraries, and you won’t have to pay for using them. Benefits come with responsibilities — professors expect you to use only the most recent studies to cite in your essays. It is not a burden, however, if you know how to use a Google Scholar search.

Step Two: Take Notes

Finding facts will only help if you are able to make use of them in the essay. Therefore, it’s important to take notes to write down important information and where you found it so that you can refer to it while you are developing your essay. This advice is quite relevant, because more than 50% of students forget to take notes while collecting information and have to reread the sources twice to find the useful facts again. Of course, this problem is often related to a student’s inexperience in time management.

  • Take notes immediately after spotting a meaningful source. Don’t trust your memory or your browser’s history. Both can let you down in the most important moment. Make notes in a separate file not to lose them and waste time looking for them later.
  • Use citation generators to save time. Once you have encountered sources you will definitely use in your study, use a citation generator to make in-text citation and bibliography entry. A minute spent now is better than several hours you need to spend on citation formatting stressed with the deadline approaching.

Step Three: Develop Your Thesis Statement

The student should design and work out the main idea of the research for the essay at the very beginning of the writing process, so it is important to plan the whole process of writing at once. The first step in this process is to produce a thesis statement that clearly expresses the main idea of your paper. Based on your research, it should concisely indicate what your paper will demonstrate or prove. By making use of the thesis statement, you can then plan what information you will need to support and defend the thesis, as well as the best way to organize that information to make a convincing case.

  • Give yourself time and space. You are not expected to create a stellar thesis statement from the first try. Write as many sentences as you need to describe broadly the problem, the fundamental idea of the problem statement. Read it, cut it, make it beautiful and you will get your perfect 1-2 sentences of a thesis statement.
  • Get it approved. If you have such an opportunity, get your thesis statement approved by your professor. It is not very important as we are talking about an essay, not a research paper, but if there is such a chance, use it.

Step Four: Develop the Outline and Think about the Structure

An essay is not a chaotic and spontaneous piece of writing, but has a definite a strict structure which organizes the student’s thoughts logically. Every essay has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The initial chapter of the essay informs the reader about the problem under consideration in a specific way without the definite details. The body is the main part of the essay where one analyzes the problem and provides the reader with arguments. The final part of the paper is the conclusion, which summarizes the student’s research.

  • Write an impressive outline. The outline of the essay should contain the main points you will use in the body of the essay to support the thesis and prove it true. In an outline, you should develop a brief list of the main points of the research in the order you will use them.
  • Structure your essay from the very beginning. Drafts are fine, but it is a common practice that students don’t have enough time to deal with the structure before submitting the paper. Start writing using the formatted draft and you will not be stressed later.

Step Five: Write Your Introduction

An academic essay is a complicated piece of writing which has to follow all the professor’s recommendations, so the student is expected to know how to utilize the right structure of the paper and how to cite useful quotes correctly in order to meet the strict demands of the chosen format. After that, one is ready to start writing the paper. Once you have your outline and your thesis statement, you should select an opening strategy to capture the reader’s attention and encourage the reader to want to read more. By using an engaging opening, you can make your essay more interesting to the reader and make them interested in hearing your ideas. When they are favorably set up to enjoy your essay, you can help ensure a better reaction.

Step Six: Cover the Points in the Outline and Conclude the Essay

Having written the introduction and filled the essay’s body with arguments, one is ready to draw the adequate conclusion which would draw the whole essay together. After you’ve tied it together with a conclusion, be sure to revise the paper several times making sure it is absolutely grammatically and stylistically correct.

  • Boost your productivity. Procrastination is a common problem among students these days, and you can make your writing patterns better using simple techniques. Install some social media blockers and time-counting apps, like Pomodoro, and you will be amazed by the result.
  • Read your paper at least four times. Read it, check it with the help of online checkers, read aloud, and read again. There is no such thing as “too much proofreading.”

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