Essay writing can be an art as well as a science, and today we are looking at the steps that you can use to master the art of essay writing. After all, creating the perfect essay isn’t just about plugging keywords and references into a template. Instead, it’s about expressing your own ideas in a creative and informative way to communicate key information to your audience so that they will understand and absorb the conclusions you deliver.
In this guide, you’ll learn some of the ways you can master essay writing to develop the best papers every time.
- Read the assignment. The first step to mastering essay writing is to know what you are writing about. Read the assignment carefully and be sure that you understand each part. When you are confident that you know what the question is asking, you can begin to plan your attack.
- Develop a topic for your paper. To fully answer the essay question, you’ll need to choose a topic. If you have a good understanding of the subject, you may be able to do it off the top of your head. However, if you are less confident, you might benefit from proceeding directly to the research phase and use that research to choose a topic.
- Begin your research. When you start your research, don’t just jump to Google or Wikipedia. Instead, visit your school’s online library and take advantage of databases that can give you access to full-text academic articles from scholarly journals. This will give you a stronger academic foundation for your paper and also impress your instructor.
- Develop a list of references. While you are researching, create your reference list so you don’t have to go back and recreate it after you have started writing your paper. If you have your references already written out, you can plug and play as you use them.
- Identify key information you want to use. Similarly, creating a list of key facts and quotes before you start writing will let you plug that information into your paper without having to stop to go back and reread the articles you researched in the library.
- Develop your thesis statement. Be sure that you have a strong thesis statement that explains what your essay will demonstrate or prove. Your thesis should be specific and ought to give your reader enough information that the reader will know exactly what the paper will cover and in what order. If a reader only reads the thesis, they should understand what the whole paper was about.
- Create an outline. Before you write your paper, outline the major parts and which facts and references will appear in each paragraph. This will help you to stay on track and to make sure that you don’t waste time writing digressions that would just have to be cut out later.
- Save the introduction for last. By waiting to write the introduction at the end of the paper, you will save yourself effort and make sure that the introduction will be aligned with your conclusion. Often, our ideas change as we write, so rather than lock yourself into an introduction that may not match your final ideas, wait until you have written your conclusion and then use that information to inform your introduction.
- Revise, edit, and proofread more than once. Leave yourself enough time to carefully revise, edit, and proofread your paper to catch awkward sentences, missing references, mechanical errors, and formatting mistakes. It’s a good idea to read through your paper at least twice, preferably a day apart, so you can find errors that you didn’t see the first time. The more time you spend revising and proofreading, the more professional and polished your paper will be.
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