Understanding the Basics of an Essay
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Essay writing becomes increasingly important as you advance through school. Moreover, the complexities and requirements of essays will increase as you progress through school. The ability to communicate clearly and achieve specific goals through well-written essays is a skill that should be honed early on.
Our essay-writing experts at Essay Basics have compiled a detailed article for you to understand the basics of an essay.
What is an Essay?
A brief piece of writing developed around a particular topic or concept is typically produced by students as part of their required coursework at the school or university. Essays are an exceedingly common form of written expression and are typically assigned as homework in school settings such as colleges and universities. They are an excellent resource for developing various abilities that are important in life, such as analytical thinking, research, creative thinking, and so on.
How to start writing an Essay like an expert?
To become an expert in the process of essay writing, you will need to remember the following:
- Pick an essay type and its appropriate format.
- Consider a matter in-depth to choose a topic
- Carry out some research
- Outline your essay
- Design the three main components; Introduction, Body Content & Conclusion
- Draft the essay
- Check spelling and grammar
These points collectively sum up your basics of essay writing. Let’s explain how to master each aspect of essay writing basics in detail.
Determine the Purpose of Your Essay and Select a Type
There are four primary types of essays, which are as follows:
- Descriptive – refers to a specific topic or scenario.
- Persuasive – To be persuasive is to persuade the reader to accept one point of view over another.
- Informative – defined as an essay that teaches your audience something new.
- Explanatory – describes writing that elucidates a certain method or circumstance, such as “how to bake a cake.”
The following are the most common types of essays:
- 5-Paragraph Essay: An essay in the standard five-paragraph format. It works well as an introduction to an expository, narrative, or argumentative paper.
- Argumentative Essay: to sway the reader’s opinion towards a particular subject or concept.
- The Cause-and-effect Essay: After presenting the results of this study, this essay then provides an in-depth examination of those results.
- The Compare-and-Contrast Essay: This method necessitates an in-depth investigation into the parallels and dissimilarities between two distinct entities.
- Creative Writing: In this essay, the author creates an interesting story by selecting his topic and writing style.
- Narrative Essay: When writing a narrative essay, the author produces a story, just like when writing creatively; however, in this instance, the author must adhere to a particular set of formatting guidelines.
- Expository Essay: This essay aims to provide the reader or audience with information about a specific subject or concept. This does not include any opinions or other forms of persuasion.
- Process Essay: This is an assignment that explains the “How.” the process is as follows. In most cases, it has a sequential, step-by-step format.
- Descriptive Essay: This essay’s purpose is to analyze a particular subject or item comprehensively. It provides an in-depth analysis of each of the five senses individually.
- Analytical Essay: calls for a comprehensive examination of the subject matter or the concept being investigated. There is a requirement for both analytical thinking and the application of personal insights.
Choosing an Essay Format
The introduction, body, and conclusion comprise the three primary components of a standard essay. The ability to adapt is also very crucial. Your writing and structure should be based on the topic of the essay you are working on and the specific assignment instructions.
In terms of the standards for the format typically employed for essays, essays can be quite stringent. Although articles formatted with a single gap between paragraphs are often accepted, it is customarily preferable to have your article formatted with two spaces between paragraphs. Additionally, it would be beneficial if you properly outlined each paragraph in your writing. Furthermore, a solitary tab at the beginning of each section is acceptable. Times, Arial, Calibri, and Cambria are the types of typefaces used most frequently.
You can cite sources you’ve used in your study in many ways. The academic field that you focus on at your high school or college often dictates the format of the citations you must utilize. Take, for instance:
- Students that focus their studies on education, psychology, or the sciences are the most likely to follow the American Psychological Association (APA) format.
- For most assignments in the humanities, the Modern Language Association (MLA) format is required.
- The Chicago/Turabian style is most commonly utilized in business, history, and the fine arts.
When it comes to the length of an essay, a normal high school essay can be anywhere from 300 to 1000 words long, essays written for college application range anywhere from 200 to 650 words, and the length of an undergraduate college essay can range anywhere from 1500 to 5000 words. Naturally, you must always pay attention to the requirements that your professor has given you, typically presented together with your work.
Choosing a Suitable Topic
It is now time to think of a topic for discussion. It may be helpful to write down anything that comes to mind when you question yourself, “what should I write about?” and then limit it down afterward. You can simplify the procedure by using clustering or mind mapping to generate ideas for your essay and speed up the brainstorming phase of the process. The usage of brainstorming at this stage is beneficial because it enables you to develop your topic(s) in a more in-depth manner. In addition, it enables you to see the links between the many different aspects of your topic.
Think about the following things before settling on a subject to write about:
- Before beginning to write a paper, make sure that you have access to all of the materials that you could require. If you have the option, select a subject you have prior knowledge of. Writing about a subject in which you are well-versed will be both simple and entertaining for you to do.
- Specify the Objective – Are you intending to enlighten the audience about something fascinating, or do you want them to embrace the viewpoint that you have presented? Even if your sole intention is to narrate a tale, it is important to have a firm grasp of why the writing is being done. This guarantees that the audience will understand you correctly and that you will save time and effort explaining things to them.
- The scope of the subject – Where exactly do you plan to be on the depth spectrum you plan to reach? How specific do you want your debate to be, or do you want it to be more general? Locating the sweet spot in the argument is your best bet. Be sure your topic is simple enough as if no one but you could comprehend what you are talking about. The next step is to verify that it is neither very broad nor specific, as this will affect your ability to locate sufficient information.
- Explain what the heading is. The heading needs to be condensed, specific, and understandable. It should express the topic of your thesis very clearly and do so in the most effective way feasible. Additionally, it must be captivating and fascinating.
Common mistakes made when selecting a topic for an essay:
- Picking a topic that could be more interesting simply because it is simple to write about. The resulting essay will also be uninteresting if you write about an uninteresting subject. Choosing a topic that is too general, such as “computer games,” rather than focusing on a more specific aspect of that issue, such as “the potentially negative effects that violent video games can have on children,” for example.
- A desire to appear intelligent by picking difficult and unusual topics to discuss. If a case is too difficult, it might be hard to find enough information about it or convey it to your readers.
- Developing an improper title that has little to do with the discussion’s main issue. Remember, a good essay title can make your paper stand out.
- Choosing a title that does not correspond with the specific assignment.
How to Begin the Research Process
Always remember to do some research before sitting down to compose an essay. You can conduct interviews with relevant individuals on the topic as an alternative to traveling to the library or conducting research online. Get out there and talk to people, ask them to share their stories, watch some interviews on YouTube and other platforms, and explore social media.
A Guide to Outlining Your Essay
An outline is the spine of your essay. It’s a terrific tool for making sure your work makes sense, is well-structured, and flows smoothly. Outlines show you how your essay will grow logically as you write it. Use it to compile your thoughts, primary points, and sources. You must create an outline before you start writing because it will serve as a map for your thoughts and help you stay on track.
How to Outline your essay efficiently?
Let’s check out a sample outline to see how this works:
- Hook Statement
- Preview of the main points to be covered.
- Thesis Statement
- The topic sentence should introduce the first topic and include a transition.
- A “claim” is an “argument piece” that needs to be defended.
- Followed by supporting evidence and further explanation.
- A reiteration of the thesis statement, a reformulation of the primary supporting ideas, and a final observation.
Understanding the Components of an Essay
A well-written essay presents a central thesis and provides relevant examples, details, and reasoning to back up that thesis. An essay can include as many paragraphs as necessary; nevertheless, the standard framework for an essay is the five-paragraph essay.
As the name suggests, a five-paragraph essay has five paragraphs. On the other hand, the essay’s body is divided into three parts: the introduction, the middle, and the conclusion.
Introduce the topic of your paper as the first section of your essay.
The following are the components of an introduction paragraph:
- Catch the interest of the reader by using a hook.
“My feet are killing me since I danced so much at my birthday party,” she exclaimed.
- The background information should enlighten the reader in a general sense about the topic of the essay.
“The birthday celebration my friends threw for me as a surprise was incredible.”
- Your opinion should be communicated to the reader, and the three reasons support it.
“I was so relieved that the party was kept a secret, my friends from my old neighborhood were there, and most shocking of all was the fact that I didn’t know I could still dance as much as I did,” she said.
Be sure that your introduction conveys a clear and general point and that you can support this point with particular examples as you lead up to your thesis statement.
Your essay’s major point or argument should be stated in a single line that is crystal clear and succinct, and that statement should come at the very end of the Introduction paragraph that you have written.
Denis Johnson, who works in the library at Rasmussen College, suggests that you consider a thesis statement to be a single, finished sentence that summarizes your argument or viewpoint in a nutshell. You might think of this as a sentence that “tells your tale in a nutshell.”
In every case, the Thesis Statement needs to take a stance and justify the continuation of the conversation.
Now it’s time to use those primary points that you gave in your thesis statement by supporting them in the Body of your essay. Construct one or more paragraphs for each point, and include specific evidence to support your claims. Your specifics could originate from either your study or your own experience. Please refer to the instructions provided for your task for the necessary supporting paperwork. The purpose of your analysis and discussion of your subject should be to serve as a connecting thread throughout your narrative and to draw conclusions that support your thesis.
If you want your essay to flow, connect your ideas, and move from one supporting assertion to another, you must use effective transition words and phrases.
Writing a Conclusion
The next step is to restate the thesis statement using various words, then summarize it. Connect the very last line to the hook statement.
“The surprise party my friends had planned for me was a wonderful trip down memory lane, bringing back so many happy memories. It was a pleasant surprise seeing old friends again and enjoying fun like we did when we were younger. My feet are so sore that they’ll never be the same again”.
Make sure to summarize and reiterate the key arguments you discussed in your essay in conclusion. You first need to restate your Thesis Statement (using slightly different phrasing this time). Put an end to your essay by settling any unresolved issues and concluding with a thought on your argument’s long-term or future implications. This will give your readers a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. When discussing them in conclusion, bringing up new points or ideas that should have been covered earlier in work is not appropriate.
Writing your Essay
Now that you thoroughly understand the basics of writing an essay, you can follow these steps and write a complete, well-organized essay.
Writing a first draft serves a straightforward goal. Nobody ever gets it perfect the first time they sit down to write an essay. Read your rough text once again and apply the following EssayPro tips:
- Ensure that your writing is easy to understand by reading aloud and editing any confusing or unnecessary passages. See that it is error-free from a grammatical standpoint as well.
- Verify your thoughts’ coherence and ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs (if not already there).
- Be careful to focus your paper on the subject you’ve selected.
Use the material in each paragraph to support your thesis statement. A topic sentence is a leading sentence in a paragraph that introduces the subject of discussion for the following sentences. Also, make sure that the piece as a whole makes sense. Words that serve as transitions can be extremely useful in this case. You can avoid a fragmented tone in your writing by using transitional phrases between paragraphs.
Reviewing your Essay
After completion, examining the completed paper for typos and other errors is an important step. Ensure your document is free of typos, grammatical flaws, and spelling mistakes. Be sure to connect your paragraphs with appropriate transitions so that your writing flows naturally from one thought to the next.
Important Points to remember;
- Did you find sufficient information on this topic?
- Is your thesis statement convincing?
- Have you provided the most relevant instances to back up your claim?
- Is your initial draft a convincing presentation of your argument?
- Is there a promising outlook for this topic in the final analysis?
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