For most people going through college or coming towards the end of secondary school, they are going to come face to face with many essays. Knowing how to write a good essay is key to making sure you get the grades and exam results you want when you leave school or college. For some, it comes naturally but others can struggle and need some extra help. That is perfectly fine and exactly what this guide is for, to help you understand how to structure your essays and make sure you are preparing yourself as best as possible for the essays you need to write, once you have cracked it then it will help you for years to come in your education and work.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you to learn the best way to write an essay and ensure your essay writing will get you the grades you’re after.
When struggling to write an essay you should make up a plan of writing. This is a great idea to help you get started. What you could do is write out all of the arguments you want to make in your essay from both sides and what points to hit. This gives you a plan of everything to be included in your essay, from larger arguments as paragraphs and the more detailed quotes and facts to use. This will make up the bulk of your essay content and it can be far easier to get started when you have something written out in front of you.
Another method to use when planning your essay is to make up a mind map of everything you would like to include. If you are having trouble making a plan or even imagining what to say, this could be the most useful step as it will help you visualise the essay as a whole and create a storyline/arguement.
Now that you have managed to take down the ideas for your essay, it is time to set out your essay structure. Literally all essays will follow a logical standard structure that is there to support the overall argument that you are trying to make. It can seem complicated to some people but it doesn’t have to and here is why.
There are three main parts to an essay, only three, that is the introduction which is where you are going to outline what you are going to be discussing in your essay so you are introducing the reader to your topic. Then you will move on to the main bulk of the essay which is the middle and this is where you will make your argument and explain what you think about your topic for the essay (in some cases this will be split into two different arguements). Finally you will move on to the conclusion, this is where you wrap up your essay and summarise your argument.
Within this structure it is also advisable that you stick to one point per paragraph, this allows the reader to easily follow what you are saying and gives you the chance to explain each point in detail. So the structure will be the introduction, middle and then the conclusion, which is pretty simple when you think about it.
Now that you have the structure and planning thought out for the essay it is now time to tackle the harder part, the actual content writing. This is the part that can seem quite daunting to some but you have made it this far and already put the effort in so it is now just seeing it through. The main issue that some people have with writing the essay is coming across as if they actually know about what they are writing about, if you have flimsy facts and poor knowledge it will show through so you are going to need to research the subject of your essay to make sure the content you are writing is going to make sense and be accurate.
Once you have researched the subject you can easily find online other essays about similar topics this is a good place to start when preparing as you can get ideas about structure and how they wrote it, now do not copy it or use their content you just need it for research and aid in understanding writing your own content, also do not be scared to speak to your teacher about it, they will be more than happy to help you understand the best way to write the content for your essay.
With most essays, especially in school or university, they are going to want a reference to all the facts, statements and quotes that you have used in your text. If you have taken anything word-for-word from textbooks or online you need to be referencing that in your essay, you can do this simply by putting it in quotes as you should for something taken from someone else then number it.
What you then do at the end of your essay is have a reference page or bibliography and you put down the numbers correlating to the references. What you then do is write down with the number, what site or book it was from and who said it and at what date it was said, this is very important as you can lose marks for incorrect referencing and this is not what you want when you have put so much effort into a piece of writing.
If you are struggling to write an essay whether in secondary school or at college the same rules will mostly apply, and for some people it can be tough task to undertake, so this guide should help to give you an understanding of how you can plan your essay, what structure to use and then the content in which you need to put in.
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