How to Write an Essay

How to Write an EssayDecide what kind of essay to writeNarrative EssayTell a story or impart information about your subject in a straightforward, orderly manner, like in a storyPersuasive EssayConvince the reader about some point of viewExpository EssayExplain to the reader how to do a given process. You could, for example, write an expository essay with step-by-step instructions on how to make a peanut butter sandwichDescriptive EssayFocus on the details of what is going on. For example, if you want to write a descriptive essay about your trip to the park, you would give great detail about what you experienced: how the grass felt beneath your feet, what the park benches looked like, and anything else the reader would need to feel as if he were thereArgumentative EssayTake a position on a controversial issue and present evidence in favor of your positionCompare and Contrast EssayIdentify similarities and differences between two subjects that are, typically, under the same umbrellaProblem Solution EssayDescribe a problem, convince the reader to care about the problem, propose a solution, and be prepared to dismantle objectionsBrainstorm your topicWrite down everything that comes to mind as you can always narrow those topics down laterUse clustering or mind mapping to brainstorm and come up with an essay idea. This involves writing your topic or idea in the center of the paper and creating bubbles (clouds or clusters) of related ideas around itBrainstorming can be a great way to develop a topic more deeply and to recognize connections between various facets of your topicResearch the topicDevelop a thesisOutline your essayDon't jumble too many ideas in each paragraph or the reader may become confusedEnsure you have transitions between paragraphs so the reader understands how the paper flows from one idea to the nextFill in supporting facts from your research under each paragraph. Make sure each paragraph ties back to your thesis and creates a cohesive, understandable essayWrite your essayRevise for clarity, consistency, and structureSupport your thesis adequately with the information in your paragraphs. Each paragraph should have its own topic sentence. This is the most important sentence in the paragraph that tells readers what the rest of the paragraph will be aboutMake sure everything flows together. As you move through the essay, transition words will be paramount. Transition words are the glue that connects every paragraph together and prevents the essay from sounding disjointedReread your introduction and conclusion. Will the reader walk away knowing exactly what your paper was about?Edit your writing to check spelling and grammarRevise for technical errorsCheck for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. You cannot always count on spell check to recognize every spelling error. Sometimes, you can spell a word incorrectly but your misspelling will also be a word, such as spelling "from" as "form"Another common area of concern is quotation marks. It's important to cite your sources with accuracy and clarity. Follow these guidelines on how to use quotes in essays and speechesYou might also want to consider the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Quoting is reserved for lines of text that are identical to an original piece of writing. Paraphrasing is reserved for large sections of someone else's writing that you want to convey in your own words. Summarizing puts the main points from someone else's text into your own words. Here's more on When to Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize
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