How Can Writing an Essay Become a Simple and Satisfying Task?

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Answered by: April, An Expert in the Grammar and Composition - General Category
As a high school or college student, you will probably spend a lot of time writing essays. You will probably spend even more time wishing you didn’t have to write an essay ever again. It is understandable – essays are a pain in the butt. However, once you master the technique, you may find comfort in writing an essay, and you’ll see why it is such an excellent way to evaluate understanding.

The first step to writing any type of essay is to choose your topic. If you are given options for topics, pick the one that best represents your interests or knowledge. Teachers and professors often allow students to choose their own topics when writing an essay. This can be a great advantage, but for some, such freedom can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry – choosing a topic is fun! Choose something you are comfortable writing about or interested in. Doing so will allow you to write with a natural flow; it will improve your essay enormously. Avoid topics that you dislike or do not believe in. Choose something and trust it wholly!

Once you have selected an interesting and explainable topic, it is time to consider your thesis. A thesis is the main idea in your essay. Tell us the purpose of your entire paper in one clear and complete sentence. This sounds difficult, but once you narrow down your ideas like this, the rest of the paper should come easily. Your thesis should be your best assertion regarding your topic - something you agree with, understand, and can explain fully.

With a thesis in hand and a clear-defined purpose, you can technically start writing your essay. Different people will go about this in different ways. Some prefer to just begin writing, correcting and organizing their paper as they go or after they write it. Others prefer to start with an outline or some other form of organization. While you may begin your paper in the way that is most appropriate for you, some attempt at organization is recommended. This can be in the form of an outline, in which you list your main ideas for each paragraph, or it can be in the form of a web, which is a diagram of your ideas. However, some people may just jot down a few ideas in a list on a scrap of paper. There is not really a right or wrong way to do this; the important thing is just to pick a topic per paragraph, make sure it supports your thesis, and to not waver from topic to topic in each paragraph.

Once you have an idea of how you will set up your paragraphs and present your ideas, you can really start writing your essay. Some people skip the introduction and write the body first, desiring to focus on their main points in the beginning. For others, starting fresh with the introduction helps get those ideas flowing. It may set the tone for the entire essay and thus help you write the rest with ease.

After writing an essay, it is important to proofread for error. Do not expect the computer to have corrected your errors for you! It is very fallible, and nowhere near as smart as you are! So proofread several times; print out the essay and proof it a final time. If you feel that you may be missing errors, ask a friend or family member for a second eye. This will ensure that your essay is clean and presentable to turn in to your teacher.

With the steps to writing an essay outlined like this, it is not really so difficult. Remember: the hardest essays to write are the ones on topics you hate, so find a way to make them fun and interesting. Find controversy, mystery, uniqueness in everything. This will make writing an essay not only tolerable, but possibly enjoyable. You may even end up with a few pieces of written work that you actually like!

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