Essay writing is one of the fundamental language skills that everyone must learn and master. Anyone can write a sequence of sentences but they do not become essays. Effectively writing an essay means creating a logical and cohesive prose, explaining a topic or theme, with the prime focus on the smooth flow of essay.
Learn the art of writing an Effective Research Paper.
Types and Kinds
There are various types of essays based on various criteria. One way to categorize is by length: short essays, long essays, very long ones and then there is huge prose. Also, essays can be narrative, analytical, comparative, expository and descriptive. The very first step in essay-writing is, to determine the type and length of the essay to be written. If they are not fixed initially, then the whole essay-writing process would become an aimless filling of pages.
Note: Thesis, research essays and such technical ones are unique and hence they follow their own style based on the field and depth of research.
Build the base
Essay is nothing but a cohesive presentation of facts and ideas. Ultimately the base of an essay is the collection of these facts and ideas that make up the essay. So, the second step is to gather them by either of the following strategies:
- Brain-storming: Form a group who know about the topic and ask them to throw in the ideas
- Books: The good old way of taking a load of books from library and collecting facts from them
- Internet: Internet is not only Google and Wikipedia, surf deep into forums, reference sites, etc..
- Previous works: Refer to essays, thesis, presentations,etc which have already been made on the same topic or similar related topics.
Structuring the essay
Presenting all your ideas as such would be a disaster. Follow a structured approach. Irrespective of the length and type, the following structure applies generally to most essays. It is always better if you can improvise.
- Getting into the theme
- Paragraph 1
- Paragraph n
- References – Bibliography
It is advisable to provide an logical order for the paragraphs based on some criteria such as importance, time, complexity. The typical way is chronological ordering.
Besides providing a proper order for the paragraphs, it is crucial that each paragraph is coherent with respect to its predecessor and successor. This is called transitioning. Smooth transition is achieved by:
- Pre-determine the theme of each paragraph
- Start with the basic one and end with the most complex one
- If any two paragraphs seem out of order, combine their ideas and split them in a different way.
- Repeat until all paragraphs seem coherent
Write, edit and re-edit
No one can produce the perfect essay in first attempt. So, do not hesitate to edit your essay. You can form sentences in a different manner, choose a different synonym or change the criteria of paragraph ordering. It is never too late to add extra ideas. So, make every draft as a rough one until the draft fulfills your expectation. Now, before moving on to making the final draft, there are three special sections that should be taken care of:
Readers must be in-sync with the author if the ideas are to be understood as intended. To ensure this, the easiest way is to provide the following crucial information in your introduction passage:
- Purpose of the essay: state clearly what you are trying to communicate
- Type: whether it is an analysis , a description or a narration
- Author’s view: the perspective from which the essay is written
Conclusion is where the final impressions are made. Conclusion must include:
- Concise recap of the essay
- Details about the extent to which the essay covered the topic
- Ultimate idea behind the essay.
This section must include the formal references to all sources of facts, ideas and concepts used in the essay. Also, bibliography must also be included here, citing the books, websites and authors of various sources.
Make it presentable
Essays are 80% brain and 20% beauty. You might have all facts in the perfect order but still something will be lacking: the Midas touch.
If written by hand,
- Write slowly if you have a bad handwriting and focus on your letters
- Give proper spacing between paragraphs
- Use variations to highlight important points and topic headers
- Use a professional font and design
- Make effective use of bold and italics
- Don’t make your essay look too bright or too dull; colors should be mild.
- Add figures and images at appropriate places if suitable.
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After all, putting your heart into the essay is the key ingredient for an effective essay. Good luck!