Writing an essay is frequently regarded as a dreaded task by students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or even a contest, many students frequently struggle with the task.
While an essay is a large project, there are numerous steps that a student can take to break the task down into manageable components. Following this process is the simplest way to write a successful essay, regardless of its purpose.
There are seven steps to writing a successful essay, according to Kathy Livingston’s Guide to Writing a Basic Essay.
(Of course, if these types of scholarships aren’t for you, you can always opt for no-essay scholarships – but you’d be severely limiting your scholarship options.)
Essay Tips: Seven Effective Essay Writing Techniques
1. Decide on a subject
You may be assigned a topic or given free rein to write about whatever you want. If you are assigned a topic, you should consider the type of paper you wish to write.
Should it be a broad overview or a detailed analysis of the subject? If necessary, narrow your focus.
If you have not been assigned a topic, you will have to do some additional work. However, this opportunity also allows you to select a subject that is personally interesting or relevant to you.
To begin, define your purpose. Is the purpose of your essay to inform or to persuade?
Once you’ve established the purpose, you’ll need to conduct research on topics that interest you. Consider your own life. What piques your interest? Make a note of these subjects.
Finally, weigh your choices. If your goal is to educate, select a subject that you are already familiar with.
If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that interests you. Whatever the essay’s purpose, ensure that you are invested in the subject.
2. Create an outline or diagram outlining your ideas
To write an effective essay, you must first organize your thoughts. By committing what is already in your head to paper, you can more clearly see connections and connections between ideas.
This structure establishes the framework for your paper. Use an outline or a diagram to jot down and organize your ideas.
Write your topic in the center of your page to begin creating a diagram. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic, and at the ends of these lines, write your main ideas.
Create additional lines from these central ideas and include any thoughts you have on them.
If you’d rather create an outline, begin by writing your subject at the top of the page. Begin by listing your primary ideas, leaving space beneath each one.
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Make sure to include any subordinate ideas that relate to each main idea in this space. This enables you to see connections and aids in the organization of your essay.
3. Compose a thesis statement
After you’ve chosen a topic and organized your ideas into relevant categories, you’ll need to develop a thesis statement.
Your thesis statement informs the reader of the essay’s purpose. Consider the outline or diagram you’ve created. What are the central ideas?
Your thesis statement will be divided into two sections. The first section discusses the subject, while the second section discusses the essay’s purpose.
4. Write the body of the essay
The body of your essay makes an argument, clarifies, or describes your subject. Each major concept that you outline or diagram will become a separate section within the body of your essay.
Each paragraph in the body will follow the same basic structure. Begin by writing an introductory sentence that contains one of your central ideas.
Following that, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence form, but leave three or four lines between each point to return and provide specific examples to support your position.
Fill in these blanks with relative information that will assist in connecting smaller ideas.
5. Compose an introduction
After you’ve developed your thesis and the essay’s body, you’ll need to write an introduction. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and establish the essay’s focus.
Begin with an attention-grabbing statement. You can include shocking details, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a brief summary of your subject.
Whichever angle you take, ensure that it is connected to your thesis statement, which will appear as the final sentence of your introduction.
6. Conclude your conclusion
The conclusion brings the topic to a close and summarizes your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on it.
Three to five strong sentences should comprise your conclusion. Simply summarize your main points and provide evidence to support your thesis.
7. Complete the project by adding finishing touches
After writing your conclusion, you may believe that your essay is complete. That is incorrect. Prior to declaring this a completed work, you must attend to all the minor details.
Verify the sequence of your paragraphs. The first and last paragraphs of the body should be the strongest, with the remaining paragraphs falling in the middle. Additionally, ensure that the order of your paragraphs makes sense.
If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a delicious chocolate cake, check that your paragraphs are in order.
Examine the essay’s instructions, if any. Numerous teachers and scholarship applications require essays to be formatted differently, and you must double-check instructions to ensure that your essay is formatted correctly.
Finally, go over your writing. Reread your paper to ensure that it makes sense. Assemble sentences smoothly and incorporate phrases to aid in the connection of thoughts or ideas. Examine your essay for grammatical and spelling errors.
Essays for Scholarship, College, and Other Purposes
These essay tips will not only assist you in writing scholarship essays and college admissions essays; they will also help you improve your overall writing ability.
With these fundamental pieces of advice, you’ll be able to write thoughtfully and effectively for your classes’ essays and research papers.
As a college student, regardless of your major, you will find that the majority of your coursework will consist of writing papers.
Even STEM majors are required to write research papers in order to substantiate a hypothesis, thesis, or theory.
Regrettably, this is more difficult for students today than in the past. While social media and texting are excellent tools for staying connected and informed, they have contributed to our development as sluggish writers. Consider this: we don’t even have the time – or, in some cases, the energy – to type out complete sentences correctly, or to use words at all!
As with most things, developing into a great writer takes a great deal of practice. While research papers and exams at school are excellent ways to hone your skills, you can also practice mastering the written word in everyday life.
Let’s return to those text messages, Instagram posts, and email correspondence. Resist the urge to be slothful.
Make the most of those opportunities for sharing and connecting by expressing your ideas clearly and using proper grammar and punctuation.
You’ll be surprised at how much growth you’ll experience as a writer simply by altering a few daily habits.
Additionally, read excellent books. Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, reading will teach you how to structure your thoughts and tell a story through writing.
And even if you become absorbed in a good story, your mind is still absorbing information about writing style and formatting.
With some organization and practice, you can elevate your scholarship and college essays to true works of art.
They might even attract the attention of a scholarship or admissions committee.