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Essay Writing

The Essay Writing Process

  • First think about the question.
    What do the key instruction words mean?
    What content is required?

  • Next, plan your answer.
    Jot down ideas and key points in logical order.
    These points will become the skeleton of the finished essay.

  • Now think about evidence for each of these points.
    Can you support or illustrate them with examples?
    Jot down a few additional supporting details.

  • Then, write your introduction in one or two paragraphs.
    Remember this should introduce and overview the whole question.
    Its style is important as it sets the tone for the rest of the essay and makes the reader want to read further.

  • Next, build up each planned point into a paragraph.
    Add 'flesh' (details, evidence, examples, comparisons) to that skeleton.
    Remember to be grammatical, formal, 'un-waffly' and concise.
    Think about literary style carefully.

  • Finally, having presented your key points, come back to the question as a whole and sum up your argument in a concluding paragraph.
    What was the most important point?
    What do you think about the question?

  • Now, if you've got some time, revise your essay.

A Well Written Paragraph

  • Should contain a topic sentence which expresses the main idea of the paragraph.
  • This first sentence should flow on from the previous paragraph.
  • The rest of the paragraph should contain further relevant information and examples that support the main idea.

The revision process

  • Go over your last draft with a red pen. Alternatively, discuss it with a fellow student, a parent or a teacher.
  • Tidy up grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Have you chosen effective words and phrases? Eliminate extra words or 'padding'.
  • Eliminate irrelevant content. Does your essay answer the question set?
  • Check sentences and paragraphs are carefully constructed and organised.
  • Are your essay's ideas clear and logical?
  • Does your essay show originality of thought?
  • Your teacher may have given you a list of the criteria on which your essay will be marked. Examine these. Does your essay measure up? Think about what particular skills you find most difficult.
  • Remember - although going through this process every time you write an essay may seem time consuming, it will soon pay dividends. The secret of successful essay writing is practice.

A Good Essay

  • Has an impact on the reader
  • Presents a fresh or new approach to an issue
  • Has a clear purpose
  • Is supported by strong arguments
  • Has correct spelling, punctuation and sentence structure

Essay Writing Guides

Guide to Writing a Basic Essay
Essay Info : Essay Writing Center

Argumentative Essay Writing Guides

Writing Persuasive/Argumentative Essays
Guidelines for Writing Argumentative Essays
Writing Argumentative Essays

Created: 14/1/2008 | Last updated: 6/5/2010 | URL: http://dckclib.wikispaces.com/essay
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