Will you believe if someone tells you that writing an essay is not as convoluted as it seems? This article will explain how to write an essay in 3 phases solidly. Perhaps this is your chance to learn how to develop an extremely useful genre. Once you understand the logic of writing essays, you can become a very skilled essayist in no time. Let’s get to it!
What is an essay?
Before answering the question of how to write an essay, let’s briefly talk about this genre that took shape from Montaigne’s Essays in the 16th century.
The essay is the prose writing of a thesis, i.e., a personal position on a specific topic supported by arguments. This topic is usually controversial: there is no unanimity in the academic community.
The essay aims to present your ideas to persuade readers of your position. Therefore, it is not meant to be dogmatic. It is the strength of the arguments that, in the end, should lead you to achieve this goal.
Moreover, the essay is considered a literary genre. As an author, you should aim for an artistically tinged narrative style, as your ideas should be presented in a friendly and unambiguous manner within a formal register.
So, is everything written an essay?
No. Not everything you write is an essay. Often, teachers and students use the term “essay” loosely to refer to any prose writing of a certain length that deals with a particular topic. It is not entirely clear how and when to write an essay. This affects the other genres that share some of its characteristics, such as review, summary, or report.
How to write essays?
The process of writing a good essay has three stages:
1. Pre-writing stage
Before writing your piece, you should take the time to read up on the topic in question. This approach will lead to the generation of ideas, which you should organize and support with selected documentation.
Once you have the ideas you want to present, make a list and ask yourself what logical order you would put them in. Throughout this preliminary process, you will discover and shape your own position on the topic, i.e., the thesis.
As we know, the essay is about a thesis, the main idea you will defend. This thesis should not be too general but rather concrete, cut, and clear. According to the experts of https://www.paperhelp.org/,the thesis is the core of the essay. It implies a clear statement of something that is, in principle, questionable and therefore needs to be argued.
2. Writing the draft
You are now ready to start writing. However, remember that whatever you write first does not have to be final. This is a draft. The draft will allow you to visually present all the central ideas and arguments.
Depending on the medium you have chosen to write on, we will talk about one draft or several drafts. Word processors for writers offer the possibility to erase and rewrite easily on the same document.
On the other hand, if you write by hand on paper, you will need to write and rewrite several versions until you get to the final draft. Allow yourself to write as many drafts as you need to reach the level you are happy with.
The organization of the ideas you did in the first stage will guide you in deciding how to make an organized essay. There are 3 main parts to an essay:
Your essay’s first part is called an introduction. It has the task of introducing the reader to the topic you are arguing about while you begin to establish your position on it. Therefore, there should be limits to your approach so that the reader is always clear about what you are talking about. Ideally, you should present a series of questions that you ask yourself about the topic, which will help you arrive at the thesis’s development.
In this part, you should develop the aspects indicated in the introduction. The content should be profound, and the discourse should be strong; otherwise, it will not be convincing. Remember that the topic of the essay allows for opposing positions.
What resources are available? This is the time to use quotations from authors on which we base our position, which must be exposed following the appropriate citation standards (APA, Vancouver, ICONTEC, or those requested by your university or college).
In addition, you must show that you are not unaware that different positions exist. However, you must confidently state the reasons why, despite yourself, you defend this thesis and not others and show credibility. The challenge of essay writing is not in getting right and wrong but in thinking and arguing.
Your essay’s last part is called the conclusion. Here, you should answer the questions you raised in the introduction and briefly review the ideas presented in the thesis. The conclusion reverses the formula of the introduction: you begin with a brief summary of the essay and end with a strong sentence that draws the reader’s attention to the vital point of the essay.
3. Revision and proofreading
Once you have organized your draft well and all the ideas and arguments are already part of the discourse, the third phase of revision and proofreading comes.
But what do you pay attention to when revising? In an essay, you judge:
- Whether its content is relevant and well documented.
- Whether it has an appropriate and well-organized argument.
- Whether it presents a correct use of language.
Sometimes the work of self-correction can become difficult. And don’t be surprised, because this is more normal than you think. What happens is that, after so many re-readings of your material, you become saturated and may overlook weaknesses in organization and grammar.
If your work is to be submitted to a board competition or will go through a marking process, consider enlisting the services of a proofreader who is an expert in academic essays.
The essay is an excellent style of written expression because it assumes the debate of ideas and the possibility of not being right. There may be other grounds that, when reflected upon, make it possible to broaden the authors’ knowledge and worldview.
An added value of the essay genre is the exercise of humility, of learning to value one’s own ideas and those of others. The essayist must always assume the possibility of being wrong and learn from others. In any case, remember that you have not arrived at a position on your own; through textual quotation, we recognize the legacy of other thinkers and their contributions.