How to Write an Essay – 6 Simple Steps

It’s 2019 and more and more people – from different settings in life – are finding that the need to write an essay on one subject or another keeps arising. Whether you are a high school student, a college drop-out, an entrepreneur, an office clerk or a manager, you might be required to prepare and deliver an essay on a topic specific to your context.

The idea of having to construct an essay can appear to be quite a hard mission, especially if you don’t really write all that much often.

One of the most daunting tasks about writing an essay is the part when you actually have to start. Although you may have many ideas floating around, it’s easy to get stuck thinking about which one to put down first. After all, who wouldn’t like their work to be ‘just right’?

In an article from Thewritepractice.com, Bunting rightly stated that the main reason writing an essay can be so hard is because people usually concentrate on trying to attain external approval. He further remarked that this makes writing just significantly more difficult.

In this post, I am going to take you through six simple steps to help guide your essay-writing activity, and make writing a lot easier for you.

Let’s go.

1.   Have a Simple, Yet Compelling Introduction

The introductory part of an essay usually determines whether your reader would stay and read your work until the end, or if they would bounce off to somewhere else instead… like to their Facebook newsfeed.

Every essay should have an introduction. This is where you let the reader in on what your article is about. Almost every essay is written to address a question or a problem. A good way to start off your introduction would be to give a clear definition of your topic. You could follow your definition with a sentence or two about how this matter has been viewed or has evolved over the past 5 to 10 years. You could then proceed to inform your reader about what exactly (about your subject) you would be covering in your essay.

2.   Keep the Content in Your Body Relevant

The next part of an essay, after the introduction, is the body. A body is made up of several paragraphs, each contributing to the overall goal, which is to bring the idea home for your reader. Paragraphs do not have to be equal in length. Remember to always start a different paragraph when bringing about a new idea. Although paragraphs are divided in accordance with each new idea, they should still flow with the same rhythm.

It is very important to remain pertinent with your topic, by being cautious not to swerve away with unrelated ideas. It is very easy to get carried away with writing about bits or chunks of information that is not necessary. Keeping this in mind will also help you keep to your word count limit.

3.   Use Figurative Language in Moderation

While the use of hyperbole, idioms and personification can be very useful in engaging readers and creating word pictures for them (Writingcommons.org), you should be mindful not to over use figures of speech in your essay. The last thing you would like is for your readers to be turned off because they cannot understand your writing style. Keep your audience in mind and don’t write just to make an impression, but rather, write to make an impact.

4.   Keep Personal Pronouns Consistent

According to Traffis (Grammarly.com), a personal pronoun is “a short word we use as a simple substitute for the proper name of a person.”

In other words, if you were writing, for instance, about a man named “Bill Hatchers”, you would replace his name (a proper noun) with a “he”, “he’s” or “his” (personal pronouns) throughout your essay. This means that you would not have to refer to him by his name at all times, as this would be a complete breach of English grammar rules.

For a heads-up, keep in mind that personal pronouns occur in either the first-person pronoun (I), the second-person pronoun (you) or the third-person (he / she / they).

Your English teacher probably used to stress a number of times (…over and over) about how you should stick to the same personal pronoun form, in terms of addressing or referring to your reader. She (or he) was right!

If you, in your writing theme, have decided to take on an approach where you would address your reader directly, ensure that you remain consistent with this style throughout your entire essay. In this case, you would refer to your reader in the second-personal pronoun in your entire work. Avoid using a mixture of personal pronouns when referring to the same person.

5.   Stir Up Reflective Thoughts in Your Conclusion

A conclusion would usually include a brief summary of your total essay, and this is usually done in one paragraph. You would do well to evade bringing up completely new ideas for this part of your article. A good way to conclude would be to cause your reader to do some pensive thinking (where applicable). You could do this by ending your work with a quote from a renowned individual appropriate to your essay’s subject matter.

6.   Proofread Your Content

Make sure you go over your work to correct all grammatical errors you might have committed while writing. To ensure the best of results, accord at least a thirty-minute break to yourself, before taking on the proofreading task. This would allow your mind to clear and refresh after all your hard work, so as to enable you to apply better editing skills.

Conclusion

So in essence, an essay consists of three main parts – the introduction, the body and the conclusion. As you might have gathered, there aren’t fixed rules or approaches when it comes to how an essay should exactly be written. Instead, there are only guidelines to help compliment your unique ideas. Even though writing an essay can be a lot of hard work, you should always remember that your best source of inspiration and fresh ideas is your God-given mind. Creativity that only you can orchestrate comes from within. Materials such as books, videos and internet articles as aids to writing an article all come second to that built-in compendium of yours.

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