Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts. Following this process is the easiest way to draft a successful essay, whatever its purpose might be.
According to Kathy Livingston’s Guide to Writing a Basic Essay, there are seven steps to writing a successful essay:
1. Pick a topic.
You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.
If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?
Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down.
Finally, evaluate your options. If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic.
2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.
In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. By taking what’s already in your head and putting it to paper, you are able to see connections and links between ideas more clearly. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them.
To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines. Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas.
If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay.
3. Write your thesis statement.
Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas?
Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. For instance, if you were writing about Bill Clinton and his impact on the United States, an appropriate thesis statement would be, “Bill Clinton has impacted the future of our country through his two consecutive terms as United States President.”
Another example of a thesis statement is this one for the “Winning Characteristics” Scholarship essay: “During my high school career, I have exhibited several of the “Winning Characteristics,” including Communication Skills, Leadership Skills and Organization Skills, through my involvement in Student Government, National Honor Society, and a part-time job at Macy’s Department Store.”
4. Write the body.
The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.
Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position. Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together.
5. Write the introduction.
Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.
Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction.
6. Write the conclusion.
The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis.
7. Add the finishing touches.
After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Wrong. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details.
Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Also, make sure that your paragraph order makes sense. If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a great chocolate cake, make sure that your paragraphs fall in the correct order.
Review the instructions for your essay, if applicable. Many teachers and scholarship forms follow different formats, and you must double check instructions to ensure that your essay is in the desired format.
Finally, review what you have written. Reread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Congratulations! You have just written a great essay.
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What is the best advice you ever received? Why? And did you follow it?
The best advice I have received was the advice from my mom who said " everything thing happens for good". My mothers advice was so true and applicable . It gave me hope that when bad things happened to me or things don't turn out the way I want them because of my mom's advice I understood it was is for a reason. I followed it also because through out my life it was easy to find situations where I could get upset.
Since I was a little girl I heard my mom say "everything happens for Good" I heard her say it both for the good and the bad things that happened. hearing her telling me this when she saw me upset made me put it in my mind and apply it in my everyday life. Finding myself in small situations being mad like missing the bus to get to school or being rejected by a friend, I remember always getting mad at myself , people or even God. The time I applied for a job and after waiting two weeks for interview I was mad because I didn't the new job. This days thanks to God I have been changed because my mom' advice was so true and applicable. Now rather than just worrying myself why things always don't work out as I expected I learned not to give in or give up easily in every situations I found myself in but always I try to see beyond what is in front of me or try to focus on the positive sides of situations as they saying goes " you can either think the cup is half full or half empty".
The best counsel that I got from my mother when I connected it with what I read on the bible where it says in new testament "Give thanks in all circumstances" . I really believed that all things happens for a reason and that gave me hope. I was just wondering, pondering and thinking all the good and bad things that happened in my life. Even more I was just thinking about the good and bad things that happen in people lives and how even though at times it is very difficult to be thankful for the bad things that happen in my life but just remembering it in difficult situation helps me to clam down. I found it to be a good reminder to just keep on being optimistic .
The more I lived life there were more situations coming my way that I got me upset easily. To mention a few friends made me upset when they stopped calling me. Strangers made me upset because they cut line in front of me at a grocery store. The dog make me mad because it pee on the sofa. The microwave made me mad because it stopped working. Sometimes it was easy for me just to get upset rather that to be happy and being thankful for the lots of things I possess . But now since two or three years ago my mom's advice really sync in and I got to apply it and at times it was difficult to believe everything was happening for a reason as the saying goes " Everything happens for a reason and a reason" but just not getting upset because I missed the bus to go to school or that I broke up with my boyfriend really felt good. It made me feel that I was doing the right thing. That I was living my life to the fullest which when I look back at my life I was sure not to find any regrets.
Ever now and then as I go through this life this two advices pop in my mind and remind me how my moms advice "everything is for good" is such an outstanding advice it gives me happiness a sense of meaning that things are not just happening but for a reason.
"Everything thing happens for good," was the best advice that I received from my mom.
Please correct the above sentence. The rest is fine. YOU always have to impress the reader in the beginning, and to do so, you need to put the quote in the very front.
Here is some help for the first part, where you had the important errors:
The best advice I have received was the advice from my mom, who said, "everything thing happens for good." My mother's advice was so true and applicable . It gave me hope when bad things happened to me or things don't turn out the way I wanted them, that perhaps it was is for a reason. I followed it also because through out my life it was easy to find situations where I could get upset.
Since I was a little girl I heard my mom say, "Everything happens for Good." I heard her say it both for the good and the bad things that happened. hearing her telling me this when she saw me upset made me put it in my mind and apply it in my everyday life. Finding myself angry in some situations, such as being mad when I missed the bus or being rejected by a friend; I remember always getting mad at myself, other people or even God.
The counsel that I got from my mother was enhanced when I connected it with what I read in the New Testament, "Give thanks in all circumstances."
What the first guy said is a good idea. You don't want to bore the reader who has just read hundreds of other essays right at the beginning. Try to focus on a specific idea or instance.