How to Write a Perfect Essay
Table of Contents
- 1 Understand and analyze the question first
- 2 Make a schedule of your essay writing process
- 2.1 Research extensively
- 2.2 Create a clear and specific thesis statement
- 2.3 Outline before you write an essay
- 2.4 Begin drafting the body
- 2.5 Use a topic sentence to start each body paragraph
- 2.6 Cite from credible sources only when writing an essay
- 2.7 Write your introduction and conclusion
- 2.8 Proofread and edit repeatedly
- 3 FAQs
As a student, writing an essay seems like a mundane activity for you by now. But, no matter how often you do it, you still do not find it easy. Every time your teacher instructs you to write an essay, you feel anxious and unsettled. It is because you already know how challenging and time-consuming this task is. Besides, your teacher might be expecting you to write a perfect essay, which you still struggle to accomplish. That thought alone terrifies you.
However, it would be best if you remembered why you need to do this. As a student, it would be best to have good writing skills because it can help you in many ways in the future. You will not only be doing this in school but even at your future workplace. Moreover, it is a critical skill that employers want these days. It is why schools tend to prioritize and give writing activities in almost all subjects.
Now that you know why you have to make your assignment, you might want to learn how to write a perfect essay. To help you with your concerns, below are pieces of advice and suggestions that will benefit you.
Understand and analyze the question first
One of the significant factors contributing to a student’s low remark is the content of the output. This usually happens when he or she does not provide appropriate or pertinent answers to the given prompt. It is because content makes up the biggest score in most scoring rubrics. If you do not construct a relevant essay or provide the expected answer, you might get many comments and a low score.
To make sure your essay is perfect, you should read, understand, and analyze the question first. If there is any word, concept, theory, or reference that you did not understand, search it online. And if you still cannot draw an analysis, it would help if you ask your teacher or professor for more information. Take courage and seek help because they might just be waiting for someone to ask. It is better to ask now instead of receiving a failing mark later on.
Make a schedule of your essay writing process
After figuring out how to answer the question or prompt, you need to make a plan to manage your time. Sometimes, students tend to procrastinate during the entire writing process. It leads them to have more unproductive periods that could have been used to make progress. Therefore, it would help if you make a schedule of your entire writing process.
You can maximize your time once you set a clear goal for yourself. You can do this by using your schedule and sticking to it no matter how hard it is. In your plan, set a time for understanding the question, researching and collecting resources, drafting, proofreading, and editing. Ensure that your schedule is not in conflict with any essential activity, like eating, sleeping, and attending classes.
In doing any academic essay or paper, you have to do ample research. Because these kinds of outputs require substantial evidence and proof, it would be best to do a prior study first. It is not enough to research only to understand the question. You also need to have a deeper understanding of the topic and to draw analyses.
To do this, you can search on the internet for relevant sources. You can read information from university or educational websites, official government websites, and articles with credible writers for general information. Meanwhile, you can use physical or online library resources for academic papers or scholarly journals. When you do these, take note or bookmark where you found them to retrieve them easily. Then, use your newfound understanding and learning to start a perfect essay.
Create a clear and specific thesis statement
Writing your essay without a thesis statement is like traveling in a foreign country without a map—you will wander around. But, coming up with it is not an easy task either. Your prior research can help you get some ideas from other people’s perspectives. However, you still have to create a distinct, clear, and specific thesis statement. It will determine your paper’s flow and structure, thus making it easier for you to write in the process.
Since the thesis statement is a crucial element in any essay, you need to brainstorm about it carefully. It should reveal your claim as the writer and support it with your reasons. It would be best to provide at least three main points or reasons to support your claim. You can use these points as you write the body paragraphs, and they may vary depending on the essay type you need. Lastly, make sure that your thesis answers the question or is relevant to the given prompt.
Outline before you write an essay
Before you start writing your paper, it would help if you outline it first. Why? It is because you can use it to organize your thoughts logically. You can do this by breaking down your thesis statement into different subtopics and supporting details or evidence. By doing this, you exactly know what to include in each paragraph for good paragraph development.
Although there are several kinds of outlines, you can use the standard outline since it is easy to follow. But, avoid taking a lot of time in outlining and use more time in constructing your essay instead.
Begin drafting the body
You may have always started drafting your essays by writing the introduction. Most of the time, it takes you a long time to do it. Because it feels like going nowhere, you end up stopping midway. It will help if you draft your paper with the body paragraphs first not to lose your momentum. You can write the introduction with the conclusion later on when you have finished writing the body.
By doing this, you can concentrate on developing your ideas and putting them logically and sensibly. You can also use the resources and materials you had gathered before. While writing, you have to keep on referring to the thesis statement and outline you made previously. Lastly, it would be best to use transitional devices for a more cohesive flow of ideas and sentences. Some examples of these are “meanwhile,” “nonetheless,” and “furthermore.” A perfect essay in English should be both comprehensive and cohesive.
Use a topic sentence to start each body paragraph
A topic sentence is an essential part of an essay but is usually not present. It gives the readers an overview of what will be discussed in the paragraph. Therefore, it should reflect each main point found in your thesis statement. Since you have already specified it in your outline, you should not forget to include it in each paragraph. Afterward, the body paragraphs should contain evidence or proofs that support the idea of the topic sentences. Also, use these supporting details to defend your claim.
Cite from credible sources only when writing an essay
Because putting proofs and details is a part of essay writing, it would be best to use credible sources alone. It is indeed tempting to cite the most accessible information on the internet. However, taking the time to choose among the credible sources is what will make your output more substantial and noteworthy.
Since going through a vast range of materials can take so much time, you need to strategize. To filter out the not-so-credible ones, you should use Google Scholar. In it, you can find a lot of journal articles and other papers that are best for academic writing. Although your usual Google search can give good references, you can find several false or wrong information, too. Nowadays, fake news and misinformation are all over the internet. So, be wary of sketchy websites and editable web pages as well.
Write your introduction and conclusion
The introduction in an essay can make or break your reader’s interest. Because it is the first thing that they will read, it would be best to write a compelling one. It should draw them into reading your work and not stop without even finishing. So, always start with an attention-getter or hook that will reel them. It can be a mind-boggling question, exciting trivia, humorous anecdote, or alarming news. It should always be connected to the topic and not just a random funny statement.
Afterward, you can write the conclusion. It should be a concise but complete summary of the essay to help the readers remember its content. You should also reiterate the thesis statement and supporting details. Then, you can end with a thought-provoking idea or suggestion to make them think and reflect on the issue.
Proofread and edit repeatedly
The writing process does not end with drafting the conclusion—it ends with final revision. It would be best to go through with your work from beginning to end. This way, you can check if you have made some unintentional grammar mistakes or missed some important details. You can also read your output out loud. It is so that you check if the thesis statement is present and the ideas are all coordinated. Afterward, you can make the necessary edits and adjustments.
Writing a perfect college essay comes with knowing what went wrong and how to change it. Your teachers taught you several lessons on grammar and writing so that you can edit your work. But, you can also use free grammar and spelling checkers. So, do not pass your work without ever revising the draft. Despite containing insightful thoughts, an output filled with mistakes can make your teacher stop reading midway. You could receive a low score because of this.
Below are frequently asked questions and simple answers that can help you in dealing with essay writing activities.
How do you write a good essay?
You can accomplish this if you clearly understand the topic to give a clear and specific thesis statement. Because the thesis statement is your claim or argument, you need to defend it. You can do it by citing credible sources and giving logical explanations and profound analysis.
What are the five basic steps to writing a good essay?
The five basic steps in writing a good essay are the following:
2. Have a clear and specific thesis statement;
3. Write comprehensive and cohesive body paragraphs;
4. Use an attention-getter and brief conclusion; and
5. Proofread and edit.
How can I improve my essay writing skills?
It is commendable that you want to improve your skills. You can do this by reading more books and articles. It will help you expand your vocabulary and know different writing styles and techniques. Moreover, you can keep practicing during your free time. Then, have someone read your work and give you feedback.
Lastly, it would be best if you learned to accept constructive criticisms. If your friend or teacher gave you comments on your work, you should consider them instead of getting mad. Afterward, apply their suggestions to your following output to ensure that you will not make the same mistake again.
Learning how to make a perfect essay is not an easy thing to do. With all the tasks you need to do as a student, you might think it is impossible. But you can do it by understanding the question, making an outline and a thesis statement, writing an in-depth and mistake-free output. By following these practical tips, you can always feel confident about your work and receive higher scores than before.