Suppose you are sitting in front of a laptop with a perfect mood and lots of thoughts in your mind to write an essay on the topic you have been assigned in your high school/college. You jot down all your thoughts and information on a paper. But, as you start typing on the Word document, you realize that you are completely blank and clueless about how to put your ideas and findings into words and structure them in the appropriate format.
This is the real situation of most students!
Easy writing is a mandatory academic assignment in all institutions, which helps instructors and educators evaluate the critical thinking abilities and writing skills of students. However, in the absence of the right guidance, even bright and intelligent students struggle to write an impactful essay, and gradually, they lose their confidence and harbor a deep-seated fear.
To help students conquer their fear of essay writing and presenting, we have provided a comprehensive guide in this article. This guide is standard and can be referred to while writing all types of academic essays.
Let’s go through it!
- Understand the Prompt
Thoroughly read the essay prompt to comprehend the expectations and requirements. For better understanding, you can divide the prompts into 3 parts- content terms, limiting terms, and directive terms.
For example, suppose the essay prompt is – “Discuss the Importance of Women Leadership in Business.” You can understand this prompt by dividing it into-
- Content Terms – business
- Limiting Terms – the importance of women leadership. This essay prompt is limited to a discussion of the importance of women leadership. If you write about other aspects, like how women can develop leadership skills, you end up deviating your essay from the prompt.
- Directive Terms – discuss. This term allows you to take into account different views, opinions, and ideas that you have read from different sources or academic literature (citing the source appropriately).
- Gather Information
Do meticulous research to gather relevant content for your essay. For this, you can go through databases, websites, books, academic journals, literature, etc.
To support your claims and arguments, use relevant and credible sources (citing specific works). You can include statistics, examples, quotes, illustrations, and reasoning to back your arguments.
- Organize Your Ideas
Organize your ideas, findings, and supporting points logically. This outline will help you stay on track and cover all points in response to the prompt. It will also aid you in giving a cohesive and clear structure to your essay.
- Write a Compelling Thesis Statement
Write a strong thesis statement highlighting the main argument of your essay. This thesis statement helps you create a roadmap for your essay and make the audience understand the key focus of it.
For example, suppose the topic of your essay is – Climate Change. For this topic, you can write a thesis statement in this way –
“The urgent need to mitigate the climate change issue is unquestionable, and it requires immediate action from all countries worldwide, policy reforms, and accountability on the part of each individual to combat its disastrous impacts on our planet.”
- Structure Your Essay
Generally, the high school or college essays are structured in the following 3 parts-
This part begins with a ‘hook’ that compels the audience to read the essay further. After that comes the one-sentence thesis or argument reflecting the key focus of your essay. Then, write a mini-outline supporting your thesis. Following this outline, write 1-2 lines that encourage the audience to move to the ‘body’ of the essay.
This section must not exceed 4-5 sentences.
This part comprises 3-4 paragraphs and elaborates the mini-outline of the introductory paragraph. You can cite examples from scientific work, literature, etc. You can also include reasoning, evidence, and facts.
Keep in mind the following points while writing paragraphs-
- Each paragraph must emphasize one supporting argument.
- Avoid writing long sentences.
- Use transitions between paragraphs, connecting each idea with the previous one.
This section is your last opportunity to make your case, so don’t make it an afterthought. Summarize the main arguments and points relating them to your thesis. The final sentence of the conclusion must be a ‘call-to-action’ or a ‘global statement’ indicating that the essay has come to an end.
- Revise and Edit
Once you create the final draft of your essay, revise it twice for punctuation, grammar, and spelling mistakes. Also, check the coherence and clarity of your essay and ascertain that it aligns with the prompt.
You can ask your instructors or peers to review your essay and provide their feedback. Based on this feedback, you can further improve and refine it.
- Practice to Present Impactfully
Practice a lot to make your essay presentation delivery smooth and engaging. Learn to vary the pace and tone of your voice, maintain eye contact, and use appropriate body language and gestures to hook the audience.
You can use visual aids and resources, such as PowerPoint or Google Slides templates, to showcase your essay in a visually engaging manner.
- Write simple sentences graced by advanced vocabulary and appropriate synonyms to reflect your language prowess.
- Stick to the prompt. While finalizing your draft, ensure you have covered all points mentioned in the prompt.
- Select the right format and style to make your essay readable and interesting.
- Instead of becoming emotional, be analytical and objective while writing a college essay.
- Revise the final version of the essay thoroughly to avoid incorrect sentence framing, typos, grammar issues, and spelling mistakes.
- Don’t overload your essay with facts, information, and clichés.
- Don’t overlook formatting guidelines.
- Don’t use phrases with negation, negative suffixes, etc.
- Don’t rely solely on software for checking grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Essay writing is not an insurmountable obstacle but a skill that can be honed with patience, persistence, and practice. By learning the skill to choose the right style, format, and words for your essay, you can show your teachers and professors that you are able to make an independent assessment of the established knowledge.
Hope this article helps you write and present your next essay without any challenge!