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How to Write an Essay

How to Write an Essay

Writing an academic essay is a common requirement in any curriculum. Essays come in different forms – some argumentative, some informative – but no matter the form, the manner for writing an academic essay remains the same. Here are simple steps on writing an essay:

  • Decide on your topic. The process for deciding on an essay topic may vary depending on the task at hand. Some professors may assign the topic while others may instruct the student to pick out their own. Whatever the case, decide on a topic you think is suitable to the one on hand. Going over essay examples available in your university library can help you come up with ideas for good essay topics.
  • Do your research. Once you have decided on a topic, do your research. You can use references recommended by your professor, those available in your university library, or any resource you think is suitable for the essay you are preparing. Take copious notes, and remember to jot down your sources as well.
  • Outline or diagram your ideas. With writing an academic essay, or any type of essay, one should always organise his ideas. You can either diagram your ideas or outline them; whichever option you choose, always remember that the initial structure can always be modified to further improve the flow of your essay. Try going over example essays to see how the ideas are organised; this should give you an idea as to the manner of organising the points you want to include in your essay.
  • Create your thesis statement. The thesis statement informs the reader of what your essay is about and of the point you, as the author, are trying to make. To get an idea on how to write a good thesis statement, try going over example essays available in your library.
  • Writing the Essay. An essay can be divided into three parts -- the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction gives the readers essential information about the essay; the body discusses the points you want to make; and the conclusion provides closure.

The thesis statement, created earlier in the process, can be presented in the essay introduction. The ideas prepared and outlined can then be discussed point by point in the body of the essay. Any sub points that support the ideas you are discussing should also be presented thoroughly.

Writing an academic essay, specifically a good and convincing piece, takes diligence and practice. Once you have created your first draft go over it to ensure that all the arguments you wish to make are included. Edit and proofread the essay as you go. Remember, your ideas are as important as how they are presented.

If you find it difficult to start, or get stuck while in the process of writing an essay, do not hesitate to look for help. There are numerous sample essays you can read and essay writing guides available online.