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Mastering the art of essay writing – a comprehensive guide.

How write an essay

Essay writing is a fundamental skill that every student needs to master. Whether you’re in high school, college, or beyond, the ability to write a strong, coherent essay is essential for academic success. However, many students find the process of writing an essay daunting and overwhelming.

This comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate the intricate world of essay writing. From understanding the basics of essay structure to mastering the art of crafting a compelling thesis statement, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the tools and knowledge you need to write an outstanding essay that will impress your teachers and classmates alike.

So, grab your pen and paper (or fire up your laptop) and let’s dive into the ultimate guide to writing an essay. Follow our tips and tricks, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled and confident essay writer!

The Art of Essay Writing: A Comprehensive Guide

Essay writing is a skill that requires practice, patience, and attention to detail. Whether you’re a student working on an assignment or a professional writing for publication, mastering the art of essay writing can help you communicate your ideas effectively and persuasively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key elements of a successful essay, including how to choose a topic, structure your essay, and craft a compelling thesis statement. We’ll also discuss the importance of research, editing, and proofreading, and provide tips for improving your writing style and grammar.

By following the advice in this guide, you can become a more confident and skilled essay writer, capable of producing high-quality, engaging essays that will impress your readers and achieve your goals.

Understanding the Essay Structure

When it comes to writing an essay, understanding the structure is key to producing a cohesive and well-organized piece of writing. An essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, the body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Introduction: The introduction is where you introduce your topic and provide some background information. It should also include your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument that you will be discussing in the essay.

Body paragraphs: The body of the essay is where you present your supporting evidence and arguments. Each paragraph should focus on a separate point and include evidence to back up your claims. Remember to use transition words to link your ideas together cohesively.

Conclusion: The conclusion is where you wrap up your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis. It is also a good place to make any final thoughts or reflections on the topic.

Understanding the structure of an essay will help you write more effectively and communicate your ideas clearly to your readers.

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Essay

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Essay

One of the most crucial steps in writing a successful essay is selecting the right topic. The topic you choose will determine the direction and focus of your writing, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect topic for your essay:

By following these tips and considering your interests, audience, and research, you can choose a topic that will inspire you to write an engaging and compelling essay.

Research and Gathering Information

When writing an essay, conducting thorough research and gathering relevant information is crucial. Here are some tips to help you with your research:

Crafting a Compelling Thesis Statement

When writing an essay, one of the most crucial elements is the thesis statement. This statement serves as the main point of your essay, summarizing the argument or position you will be taking. Crafting a compelling thesis statement is essential for a strong and cohesive essay. Here are some tips to help you create an effective thesis statement:

  • Be specific: Your thesis statement should clearly state the main idea of your essay. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Make it arguable: A strong thesis statement is debatable and presents a clear position that can be supported with evidence.
  • Avoid clichés: Stay away from overused phrases or clichés in your thesis statement. Instead, strive for originality and clarity.
  • Keep it concise: Your thesis statement should be concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary words or phrases.
  • Take a stand: Your thesis statement should express a clear stance on the topic. Don’t be afraid to assert your position.

By following these guidelines, you can craft a compelling thesis statement that sets the tone for your essay and guides your reader through your argument.

Writing the Body of Your Essay

Once you have your introduction in place, it’s time to dive into the body of your essay. The body paragraphs are where you will present your main arguments or points to support your thesis statement.

Here are some tips for writing the body of your essay:

  • Stick to One Main Idea: Each paragraph should focus on one main idea or argument. This will help keep your essay organized and easy to follow.
  • Use Topic Sentences: Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Provide Evidence: Support your main points with evidence such as facts, statistics, examples, or quotes from experts.
  • Explain Your Points: Don’t just state your points; also explain how they support your thesis and why they are important.
  • Use Transition Words: Use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas and create a smooth flow between paragraphs.

Remember to refer back to your thesis statement and make sure that each paragraph contributes to your overall argument. The body of your essay is where you can really showcase your critical thinking and analytical skills, so take the time to craft well-developed and coherent paragraphs.

Perfecting Your Essay with Editing and Proofreading

Perfecting Your Essay with Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading are essential steps in the essay writing process to ensure your work is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you perfect your essay:

  • Take a Break: After writing your essay, take a break before starting the editing process. This will help you look at your work with fresh eyes.
  • Focus on Structure: Check the overall structure of your essay, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Make sure your ideas flow logically and cohesively.
  • Check for Clarity: Ensure that your arguments are clear and easy to follow. Eliminate any jargon or confusing language that might obscure your message.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Review your essay for grammar and punctuation errors. Pay attention to subject-verb agreement, verb tense consistency, and proper punctuation usage.
  • Use a Spell Checker: Run a spell check on your essay to catch any spelling mistakes. However, don’t rely solely on spell checkers as they may miss certain errors.
  • Read Aloud: Read your essay aloud to yourself or have someone else read it to you. This can help you identify awkward phrasing or unclear sentences.
  • Get Feedback: Consider getting feedback from a peer, teacher, or writing tutor. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improving your essay.

By following these editing and proofreading tips, you can ensure that your essay is well-crafted, organized, and free of errors, helping you make a strong impression on your readers.

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How to Write an Essay Quickly: 7 Speedy Steps to Success

Do you think you could write a 2000 word essay in 2 hours? How about a 20 page paper overnight? What if it’s getting into the small hours of the last night before due date and you’re starting with … 3 hastily written paragraphs? A title? A blank page? There’s hope. Let’s take a close look at how to write an essay quickly with 7 easy steps.

I’m going to save the lecture about how you should not have gotten yourself into this situation for another day. Right now, there’s more pressing matters. The essay itself.

It’s time to get started. There’s no time to waste.

Below, I have outlined 7 straightforward steps on how to write an essay quickly. Be warned: this list is full of shortcuts and emergency measures. It’s not the best way to do things, but it’s the best way to do it in your situation.

So here goes. Buckle in and get going on these 7 speedy steps to getting that paper written. I hope you’ve poured yourself a coffee:

1. Hack your teacher’s lecture slides

If I had 2 hours to write a 2000-word essay, this is exactly where I’d start – every time.

The lecture slides are your cheat sheet. They’re a summary of your teacher’s (yes – the one who will be marking your piece) thoughts on the issues. It’s literally a teacher’s translation of the content. They’ve read it, taught it to themselves, then put together slides translating the content into a way that they – your marker – thinks is relevant .

That’s the closest to a cheat sheet you’ll ever get off these people. So use it to write your essay quickly.

Go onto your course’s webpage (Canvas? Blackboard? Moodle?) and download the lecture slides for every week that seems slightly relevant. You know? The weeks where:

  • Your teacher introduced the key theorist, scientist or scholar behind an idea;
  • Your teacher explained the ideas you need to write about;
  • Your teacher analysed different perspectives on that ideas.

It might be one week’s slides, it might be ten week’s slides. But you need to download them and start reviewing them.

Each time you find a point that you think is relevant to your assessment outline or question, quickly make a note of what key point is being made.

Also write down any ideas that come to mind that might fit into the essay. I find when I review lecture slides more ideas come to mind to add in.

If your lecture hasn’t provided lecture slides, some other places to look for ideas on what to write in your paper include:

  • Your own lecture notes ;
  • Readings your teacher set for you;
  • Any online videos, websites or other content your teacher provided.

2. Write down ten to fifteen key points to discuss

Hopefully your research in step 1 got you a lot of key points written down so you’re off to a hasty start to writing your essay quickly.

Now’s your time to brainstorm – are there any other interesting points you can make about the topic that come to mind after reviewing the course materials?

Aim to gather between ten and fifteen key points. Anywhere less than 10, you’re not likely to have enough to say unless you’ve got a paper that’s less than 2000 words. Anywhere over 15, your teacher’s mind is going to wander while they go through all your ideas!

These points can be scrawled all over a piece of paper or listed on a word document, but make sure they’re written down!

Once you’ve got 10 to 15 key points, it’s time to list them in order of relevance. What’s the most relevant or useful or informative thing you want to say? Put that first. Then go down the list, so your best ideas are at the top.

3. Turn each point into a 4 to 6 sentence paragraph

Starting from the top of your list of 10 to 15 points to discuss, start turning each point into a 4 to 6 sentence paragraph. This is the ideal paragraph length to obtain depth without losing your reader’s attention.

In each paragraph make sure you mention:

  • A topic sentence that explains exactly what your key point is.
  • An explanation sentence (or two) that adds detail to your first point.
  • An example sentence showing how the idea or point would link to the real-life.

You can keep expanding on that key idea if you want – but limit it to about 6 sentences max. Otherwise you’ll put your marker to sleep – who ever wants to read a super long paragraph!?

Make sure each key point is given one 4 – 6 sentence paragraph at least. You might find each key point needs two or three paragraphs to explain everything in enough detail.

4. Use readings while writing your paragraphs.

When providing explanations of your key points, go back to where you found these key points. What is the source? Did your teacher note on the lecture slides where this information comes from? If so, you’ll need to reference those sources in your paragraphs.

Then, add in more references from:

  • The Assigned Readings. Start referencing the set readings that your teacher provided. Go to the course’s webpage and download all the set readings for weeks relevant to your assessment topic. If you download your assigned readings and open them with Adobe Acrobat, you’ll be able to use the search function to find the exact key ideas you’re looking for. For example, if your topic is on “Issues of doctor-patient confidentiality in modern medicine”, you might search through your set readings for “confidentiality” in order to find the right sections of your readings where you could find explanations that you can use and reference in the piece. Aim to cite each relevant reading that was provided by your teacher at least once in the piece.
  • Google Scholar. You’ll also need to cite some other scholarly readings . I recommend going to google scholar and type in the keywords from your key idea. For example, if your key idea is “Climate change causes sea temperatures to rise”, you would want to type into the google scholar search bar: “Climate change” and “sea temperatures”. Find sources that have direct links to the pdf or html document of the text – these are sources that aren’t hidden behind paywalls. Make sure you get a good number of additional readings from google scholar (I usually aim for 50% assigned readings, 50% additional readings).

You might also want to make sure you have least one – preferably two –references per paragraph. If you have included two references, aim to reference two different sources rather than the one source twice.

5. Write a compelling Introduction and Conclusion

Keep an eye on that word count.

Hopefully for each paragraph you write you see that wordcount jumping by about 150 to 200 words. Before long you’ll be at 500, 800, 1400 words!

Make sure you stop writing when you get within 300 words of the word limit (about one page if you’ve been given a page limit). You’re going to want to use the last 300 words or so for creating an amazing introduction and conclusion.

If you hit the desired word count but don’t get around to some key points, that’s okay. We sorted the points from most to least relevant in Step 2 for just this reason: the ones you miss will be the least relevant, anyway.

Now, write your introduction.

A compelling introduction should:

  • Identify the key focus or argument of the essay in the first sentence
  • Explain the topic’s relevance. Why is it worth discussing at this particular time? What value does it have for your future profession?
  • Let your reader know what you plan on saying in the piece.

Then write your conclusion .

A compelling conclusion should:

  • Summarize your key points
  • Explain how your key points support your argument and/or address the essay question
  • Identify any contradictions , limitations or questions that remain unanswered within the topic area. What is the future direction of research into this topic in the next 5, 10 or 20 years?

Use the above bullet points to formulate your introduction and conclusion . Again, aim for 4 to 6 sentences (150 words or so) for the introduction and about 4 to 6 sentences for the conclusion. Make sure in the introduction and conclusion that you show your reader you have a good bird’s eye understanding of the topic you are covering and its relevance to real life.

6. Fix up that Reference List

Your reference list is probably a mess. It’s not likely to be in the correct referencing format that you need it to be in.

Thanks to Google Scholar, this part is a heck of a lot easier than it was ten years ago.

Here’s what you do:

  • Type the name of each source that you reference into the Google Scholar search bar
  • Find the source in the list that Google Scholar generates (it should be in the first few spots on the list.
  • Press the cite button underneath the source. A pop-up should appear showing how to cite the source in each referencing style.
  • Copy the citation and paste it into your paper’s reference list
  • Check to see if the citation is correct: are there any missing details?

Once you’ve listed all the sources you used in your reference list, you’ll need to sort them alphabetically. Highlight the whole reference list then sort it using:

  • Microsoft Word: The A>Z button under the ‘home’ menu

7. Edit it in the Morning

Once you’ve written a full draft, you’ve got a decision to make:

  • If the piece is due in the next few hours, you’ve got to crack on and start editing immediately;
  • If the piece is due tomorrow morning, give yourself permission to go to sleep. Having a break between writing and editing lets you look at your work with fresh eyes tomorrow. But, be prepared. In the morning you’ve still got some work to do.

Editing your work – even just once the morning before you submit – will earn you a big bump in your marks.

You probably will only have time to edit the work once, so I recommend this:

  • Print the work. Editing work on paper is far more effective than editing it on the screen. Errors jump out at you more if you’re reading it on paper.
  • Read through the work and cross out sentences that don’t make sense. Underline sentences that need rewording for clarity. Circle words that need to be changed or spell-checked.
  • The name of the game while editing is increasing clarity. If a sentence is too long, complicated or confusing when you’re editing it, you need to find a way to say it more clearly. Sometimes that means turning one sentence into two shorter sentences. That’s okay. A good way to find sentences that need shortening is to use the ProWritingAid app which produces a special report identifying sentences that are too long.
  • Once you’ve done scrawling your edits on the paper copy, jump onto the computer and go from the start: insert all the edits you wrote down on the paper copy into the computer copy.

This print-and-edit strategy is by far the most effective editing strategy. It dramatically increases the quality of any student’s work and bumps up their grades.

Editing your work is worthwhile, no matter how tight the deadline. It could be the difference between a C and a B or – even more importantly – a fail and a pass.

Read Also: 39 Better Ways to Write ‘In Conclusion’ in an Essay

Dictionary Definitions in Essays

Look, let’s face it. You should have written it earlier.

But, there’s always still hope. Now’s the time for action – get those top ten points you want to say on the issue done, then keep following the steps to the end. You can do it!

Let’s sum up those seven key steps one more time:

  • Hack your teacher’s lecture slides
  • Write down ten to fifteen key points to discuss
  • Turn each point into a 4 to 6 sentence paragraph
  • Use readings while writing your paragraphs.
  • Write a compelling Introduction and Conclusion
  • Fix up that Reference List
  • Edit it in the Morning

If you’ve finished all the steps – Congratulations. You got through! Now make sure you don’t do it again with these strategies that can help you get started early on even the toughest paper. You might recognise some of them?

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ What is Educational Psychology?
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ What is IQ? (Intelligence Quotient)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples

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how to write an essay quick

How to Write an Essay

Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:

Essay Writing Fundamentals

How to prepare to write an essay, how to edit an essay, how to share and publish your essays, how to get essay writing help, how to find essay writing inspiration, resources for teaching essay writing.

Essays, short prose compositions on a particular theme or topic, are the bread and butter of academic life. You write them in class, for homework, and on standardized tests to show what you know. Unlike other kinds of academic writing (like the research paper) and creative writing (like short stories and poems), essays allow you to develop your original thoughts on a prompt or question. Essays come in many varieties: they can be expository (fleshing out an idea or claim), descriptive, (explaining a person, place, or thing), narrative (relating a personal experience), or persuasive (attempting to win over a reader). This guide is a collection of dozens of links about academic essay writing that we have researched, categorized, and annotated in order to help you improve your essay writing. 

Essays are different from other forms of writing; in turn, there are different kinds of essays. This section contains general resources for getting to know the essay and its variants. These resources introduce and define the essay as a genre, and will teach you what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab

One of the most trusted academic writing sites, Purdue OWL provides a concise introduction to the four most common types of academic essays.

"The Essay: History and Definition" (ThoughtCo)

This snappy article from ThoughtCo talks about the origins of the essay and different kinds of essays you might be asked to write. 

"What Is An Essay?" Video Lecture (Coursera)

The University of California at Irvine's free video lecture, available on Coursera, tells  you everything you need to know about the essay.

Wikipedia Article on the "Essay"

Wikipedia's article on the essay is comprehensive, providing both English-language and global perspectives on the essay form. Learn about the essay's history, forms, and styles.

"Understanding College and Academic Writing" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This list of common academic writing assignments (including types of essay prompts) will help you know what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Before you start writing your essay, you need to figure out who you're writing for (audience), what you're writing about (topic/theme), and what you're going to say (argument and thesis). This section contains links to handouts, chapters, videos and more to help you prepare to write an essay.

How to Identify Your Audience

"Audience" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This handout provides questions you can ask yourself to determine the audience for an academic writing assignment. It also suggests strategies for fitting your paper to your intended audience.

"Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

This extensive book chapter from Writing for Success , available online through Minnesota Libraries Publishing, is followed by exercises to try out your new pre-writing skills.

"Determining Audience" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This guide from a community college's writing center shows you how to know your audience, and how to incorporate that knowledge in your thesis statement.

"Know Your Audience" ( Paper Rater Blog)

This short blog post uses examples to show how implied audiences for essays differ. It reminds you to think of your instructor as an observer, who will know only the information you pass along.

How to Choose a Theme or Topic

"Research Tutorial: Developing Your Topic" (YouTube)

Take a look at this short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to understand the basics of developing a writing topic.

"How to Choose a Paper Topic" (WikiHow)

This simple, step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through choosing a paper topic. It starts with a detailed description of brainstorming and ends with strategies to refine your broad topic.

"How to Read an Assignment: Moving From Assignment to Topic" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Did your teacher give you a prompt or other instructions? This guide helps you understand the relationship between an essay assignment and your essay's topic.

"Guidelines for Choosing a Topic" (CliffsNotes)

This study guide from CliffsNotes both discusses how to choose a topic and makes a useful distinction between "topic" and "thesis."

How to Come Up with an Argument

"Argument" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

Not sure what "argument" means in the context of academic writing? This page from the University of North Carolina is a good place to start.

"The Essay Guide: Finding an Argument" (Study Hub)

This handout explains why it's important to have an argument when beginning your essay, and provides tools to help you choose a viable argument.

"Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument" (University of Iowa)

This page from the University of Iowa's Writing Center contains exercises through which you can develop and refine your argument and thesis statement.

"Developing a Thesis" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page from Harvard's Writing Center collates some helpful dos and don'ts of argumentative writing, from steps in constructing a thesis to avoiding vague and confrontational thesis statements.

"Suggestions for Developing Argumentative Essays" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

This page offers concrete suggestions for each stage of the essay writing process, from topic selection to drafting and editing. 

How to Outline your Essay

"Outlines" (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via YouTube)

This short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows how to group your ideas into paragraphs or sections to begin the outlining process.

"Essay Outline" (Univ. of Washington Tacoma)

This two-page handout by a university professor simply defines the parts of an essay and then organizes them into an example outline.

"Types of Outlines and Samples" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL gives examples of diverse outline strategies on this page, including the alphanumeric, full sentence, and decimal styles. 

"Outlining" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Once you have an argument, according to this handout, there are only three steps in the outline process: generalizing, ordering, and putting it all together. Then you're ready to write!

"Writing Essays" (Plymouth Univ.)

This packet, part of Plymouth University's Learning Development series, contains descriptions and diagrams relating to the outlining process.

"How to Write A Good Argumentative Essay: Logical Structure" (Criticalthinkingtutorials.com via YouTube)

This longer video tutorial gives an overview of how to structure your essay in order to support your argument or thesis. It is part of a longer course on academic writing hosted on Udemy.

Now that you've chosen and refined your topic and created an outline, use these resources to complete the writing process. Most essays contain introductions (which articulate your thesis statement), body paragraphs, and conclusions. Transitions facilitate the flow from one paragraph to the next so that support for your thesis builds throughout the essay. Sources and citations show where you got the evidence to support your thesis, which ensures that you avoid plagiarism. 

How to Write an Introduction

"Introductions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page identifies the role of the introduction in any successful paper, suggests strategies for writing introductions, and warns against less effective introductions.

"How to Write A Good Introduction" (Michigan State Writing Center)

Beginning with the most common missteps in writing introductions, this guide condenses the essentials of introduction composition into seven points.

"The Introductory Paragraph" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming focuses on ways to grab your reader's attention at the beginning of your essay.

"Introductions and Conclusions" (Univ. of Toronto)

This guide from the University of Toronto gives advice that applies to writing both introductions and conclusions, including dos and don'ts.

"How to Write Better Essays: No One Does Introductions Properly" ( The Guardian )

This news article interviews UK professors on student essay writing; they point to introductions as the area that needs the most improvement.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

"Writing an Effective Thesis Statement" (YouTube)

This short, simple video tutorial from a college composition instructor at Tulsa Community College explains what a thesis statement is and what it does. 

"Thesis Statement: Four Steps to a Great Essay" (YouTube)

This fantastic tutorial walks you through drafting a thesis, using an essay prompt on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter as an example.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through coming up with, writing, and editing a thesis statement. It invites you think of your statement as a "working thesis" that can change.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (Univ. of Indiana Bloomington)

Ask yourself the questions on this page, part of Indiana Bloomington's Writing Tutorial Services, when you're writing and refining your thesis statement.

"Writing Tips: Thesis Statements" (Univ. of Illinois Center for Writing Studies)

This page gives plentiful examples of good to great thesis statements, and offers questions to ask yourself when formulating a thesis statement.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

"Body Paragraph" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course introduces you to the components of a body paragraph. These include the topic sentence, information, evidence, and analysis.

"Strong Body Paragraphs" (Washington Univ.)

This handout from Washington's Writing and Research Center offers in-depth descriptions of the parts of a successful body paragraph.

"Guide to Paragraph Structure" (Deakin Univ.)

This handout is notable for color-coding example body paragraphs to help you identify the functions various sentences perform.

"Writing Body Paragraphs" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

The exercises in this section of Writing for Success  will help you practice writing good body paragraphs. It includes guidance on selecting primary support for your thesis.

"The Writing Process—Body Paragraphs" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

The information and exercises on this page will familiarize you with outlining and writing body paragraphs, and includes links to more information on topic sentences and transitions.

"The Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post discusses body paragraphs in the context of one of the most common academic essay types in secondary schools.

How to Use Transitions

"Transitions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains what a transition is, and how to know if you need to improve your transitions.

"Using Transitions Effectively" (Washington Univ.)

This handout defines transitions, offers tips for using them, and contains a useful list of common transitional words and phrases grouped by function.

"Transitions" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This page compares paragraphs without transitions to paragraphs with transitions, and in doing so shows how important these connective words and phrases are.

"Transitions in Academic Essays" (Scribbr)

This page lists four techniques that will help you make sure your reader follows your train of thought, including grouping similar information and using transition words.

"Transitions" (El Paso Community College)

This handout shows example transitions within paragraphs for context, and explains how transitions improve your essay's flow and voice.

"Make Your Paragraphs Flow to Improve Writing" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post, another from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, talks about transitions and other strategies to improve your essay's overall flow.

"Transition Words" (smartwords.org)

This handy word bank will help you find transition words when you're feeling stuck. It's grouped by the transition's function, whether that is to show agreement, opposition, condition, or consequence.

How to Write a Conclusion

"Parts of An Essay: Conclusions" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course explains how to conclude an academic essay. It suggests thinking about the "3Rs": return to hook, restate your thesis, and relate to the reader.

"Essay Conclusions" (Univ. of Maryland University College)

This overview of the academic essay conclusion contains helpful examples and links to further resources for writing good conclusions.

"How to End An Essay" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) by an English Ph.D. walks you through writing a conclusion, from brainstorming to ending with a flourish.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page collates useful strategies for writing an effective conclusion, and reminds you to "close the discussion without closing it off" to further conversation.

How to Include Sources and Citations

"Research and Citation Resources" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL streamlines information about the three most common referencing styles (MLA, Chicago, and APA) and provides examples of how to cite different resources in each system.

EasyBib: Free Bibliography Generator

This online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. Be sure to select your resource type before clicking the "cite it" button.

CitationMachine

Like EasyBib, this online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. 

Modern Language Association Handbook (MLA)

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of MLA referencing rules. Order through the link above, or check to see if your library has a copy.

Chicago Manual of Style

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of Chicago referencing rules. You can take a look at the table of contents, then choose to subscribe or start a free trial.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

"What is Plagiarism?" (plagiarism.org)

This nonprofit website contains numerous resources for identifying and avoiding plagiarism, and reminds you that even common activities like copying images from another website to your own site may constitute plagiarism.

"Plagiarism" (University of Oxford)

This interactive page from the University of Oxford helps you check for plagiarism in your work, making it clear how to avoid citing another person's work without full acknowledgement.

"Avoiding Plagiarism" (MIT Comparative Media Studies)

This quick guide explains what plagiarism is, what its consequences are, and how to avoid it. It starts by defining three words—quotation, paraphrase, and summary—that all constitute citation.

"Harvard Guide to Using Sources" (Harvard Extension School)

This comprehensive website from Harvard brings together articles, videos, and handouts about referencing, citation, and plagiarism. 

Grammarly contains tons of helpful grammar and writing resources, including a free tool to automatically scan your essay to check for close affinities to published work. 

Noplag is another popular online tool that automatically scans your essay to check for signs of plagiarism. Simply copy and paste your essay into the box and click "start checking."

Once you've written your essay, you'll want to edit (improve content), proofread (check for spelling and grammar mistakes), and finalize your work until you're ready to hand it in. This section brings together tips and resources for navigating the editing process. 

"Writing a First Draft" (Academic Help)

This is an introduction to the drafting process from the site Academic Help, with tips for getting your ideas on paper before editing begins.

"Editing and Proofreading" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page provides general strategies for revising your writing. They've intentionally left seven errors in the handout, to give you practice in spotting them.

"How to Proofread Effectively" (ThoughtCo)

This article from ThoughtCo, along with those linked at the bottom, help describe common mistakes to check for when proofreading.

"7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful" (SmartBlogger)

This blog post emphasizes the importance of powerful, concise language, and reminds you that even your personal writing heroes create clunky first drafts.

"Editing Tips for Effective Writing" (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

On this page from Penn's International Relations department, you'll find tips for effective prose, errors to watch out for, and reminders about formatting.

"Editing the Essay" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This article, the first of two parts, gives you applicable strategies for the editing process. It suggests reading your essay aloud, removing any jargon, and being unafraid to remove even "dazzling" sentences that don't belong.

"Guide to Editing and Proofreading" (Oxford Learning Institute)

This handout from Oxford covers the basics of editing and proofreading, and reminds you that neither task should be rushed. 

In addition to plagiarism-checkers, Grammarly has a plug-in for your web browser that checks your writing for common mistakes.

After you've prepared, written, and edited your essay, you might want to share it outside the classroom. This section alerts you to print and web opportunities to share your essays with the wider world, from online writing communities and blogs to published journals geared toward young writers.

Sharing Your Essays Online

Go Teen Writers

Go Teen Writers is an online community for writers aged 13 - 19. It was founded by Stephanie Morrill, an author of contemporary young adult novels. 

Tumblr is a blogging website where you can share your writing and interact with other writers online. It's easy to add photos, links, audio, and video components.

Writersky provides an online platform for publishing and reading other youth writers' work. Its current content is mostly devoted to fiction.

Publishing Your Essays Online

This teen literary journal publishes in print, on the web, and (more frequently), on a blog. It is committed to ensuring that "teens see their authentic experience reflected on its pages."

The Matador Review

This youth writing platform celebrates "alternative," unconventional writing. The link above will take you directly to the site's "submissions" page.

Teen Ink has a website, monthly newsprint magazine, and quarterly poetry magazine promoting the work of young writers.

The largest online reading platform, Wattpad enables you to publish your work and read others' work. Its inline commenting feature allows you to share thoughts as you read along.

Publishing Your Essays in Print

Canvas Teen Literary Journal

This quarterly literary magazine is published for young writers by young writers. They accept many kinds of writing, including essays.

The Claremont Review

This biannual international magazine, first published in 1992, publishes poetry, essays, and short stories from writers aged 13 - 19.

Skipping Stones

This young writers magazine, founded in 1988, celebrates themes relating to ecological and cultural diversity. It publishes poems, photos, articles, and stories.

The Telling Room

This nonprofit writing center based in Maine publishes children's work on their website and in book form. The link above directs you to the site's submissions page.

Essay Contests

Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

This prestigious international writing contest for students in grades 7 - 12 has been committed to "supporting the future of creativity since 1923."

Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest

An annual essay contest on the theme of journalism and media, the Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest awards scholarships up to $1,000.

National YoungArts Foundation

Here, you'll find information on a government-sponsored writing competition for writers aged 15 - 18. The foundation welcomes submissions of creative nonfiction, novels, scripts, poetry, short story and spoken word.

Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

With prompts on a different literary work each year, this competition from Signet Classics awards college scholarships up to $1,000.

"The Ultimate Guide to High School Essay Contests" (CollegeVine)

See this handy guide from CollegeVine for a list of more competitions you can enter with your academic essay, from the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards to the National High School Essay Contest by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Whether you're struggling to write academic essays or you think you're a pro, there are workshops and online tools that can help you become an even better writer. Even the most seasoned writers encounter writer's block, so be proactive and look through our curated list of resources to combat this common frustration.

Online Essay-writing Classes and Workshops

"Getting Started with Essay Writing" (Coursera)

Coursera offers lots of free, high-quality online classes taught by college professors. Here's one example, taught by instructors from the University of California Irvine.

"Writing and English" (Brightstorm)

Brightstorm's free video lectures are easy to navigate by topic. This unit on the parts of an essay features content on the essay hook, thesis, supporting evidence, and more.

"How to Write an Essay" (EdX)

EdX is another open online university course website with several two- to five-week courses on the essay. This one is geared toward English language learners.

Writer's Digest University

This renowned writers' website offers online workshops and interactive tutorials. The courses offered cover everything from how to get started through how to get published.

Writing.com

Signing up for this online writer's community gives you access to helpful resources as well as an international community of writers.

How to Overcome Writer's Block

"Symptoms and Cures for Writer's Block" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue OWL offers a list of signs you might have writer's block, along with ways to overcome it. Consider trying out some "invention strategies" or ways to curb writing anxiety.

"Overcoming Writer's Block: Three Tips" ( The Guardian )

These tips, geared toward academic writing specifically, are practical and effective. The authors advocate setting realistic goals, creating dedicated writing time, and participating in social writing.

"Writing Tips: Strategies for Overcoming Writer's Block" (Univ. of Illinois)

This page from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Center for Writing Studies acquaints you with strategies that do and do not work to overcome writer's block.

"Writer's Block" (Univ. of Toronto)

Ask yourself the questions on this page; if the answer is "yes," try out some of the article's strategies. Each question is accompanied by at least two possible solutions.

If you have essays to write but are short on ideas, this section's links to prompts, example student essays, and celebrated essays by professional writers might help. You'll find writing prompts from a variety of sources, student essays to inspire you, and a number of essay writing collections.

Essay Writing Prompts

"50 Argumentative Essay Topics" (ThoughtCo)

Take a look at this list and the others ThoughtCo has curated for different kinds of essays. As the author notes, "a number of these topics are controversial and that's the point."

"401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing" ( New York Times )

This list (and the linked lists to persuasive and narrative writing prompts), besides being impressive in length, is put together by actual high school English teachers.

"SAT Sample Essay Prompts" (College Board)

If you're a student in the U.S., your classroom essay prompts are likely modeled on the prompts in U.S. college entrance exams. Take a look at these official examples from the SAT.

"Popular College Application Essay Topics" (Princeton Review)

This page from the Princeton Review dissects recent Common Application essay topics and discusses strategies for answering them.

Example Student Essays

"501 Writing Prompts" (DePaul Univ.)

This nearly 200-page packet, compiled by the LearningExpress Skill Builder in Focus Writing Team, is stuffed with writing prompts, example essays, and commentary.

"Topics in English" (Kibin)

Kibin is a for-pay essay help website, but its example essays (organized by topic) are available for free. You'll find essays on everything from  A Christmas Carol  to perseverance.

"Student Writing Models" (Thoughtful Learning)

Thoughtful Learning, a website that offers a variety of teaching materials, provides sample student essays on various topics and organizes them by grade level.

"Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

In this blog post by a former professor of English and rhetoric, ThoughtCo brings together examples of five-paragraph essays and commentary on the form.

The Best Essay Writing Collections

The Best American Essays of the Century by Joyce Carol Oates (Amazon)

This collection of American essays spanning the twentieth century was compiled by award winning author and Princeton professor Joyce Carol Oates.

The Best American Essays 2017 by Leslie Jamison (Amazon)

Leslie Jamison, the celebrated author of essay collection  The Empathy Exams , collects recent, high-profile essays into a single volume.

The Art of the Personal Essay by Phillip Lopate (Amazon)

Documentary writer Phillip Lopate curates this historical overview of the personal essay's development, from the classical era to the present.

The White Album by Joan Didion (Amazon)

This seminal essay collection was authored by one of the most acclaimed personal essayists of all time, American journalist Joan Didion.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace (Amazon)

Read this famous essay collection by David Foster Wallace, who is known for his experimentation with the essay form. He pushed the boundaries of personal essay, reportage, and political polemic.

"50 Successful Harvard Application Essays" (Staff of the The Harvard Crimson )

If you're looking for examples of exceptional college application essays, this volume from Harvard's daily student newspaper is one of the best collections on the market.

Are you an instructor looking for the best resources for teaching essay writing? This section contains resources for developing in-class activities and student homework assignments. You'll find content from both well-known university writing centers and online writing labs.

Essay Writing Classroom Activities for Students

"In-class Writing Exercises" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page lists exercises related to brainstorming, organizing, drafting, and revising. It also contains suggestions for how to implement the suggested exercises.

"Teaching with Writing" (Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing)

Instructions and encouragement for using "freewriting," one-minute papers, logbooks, and other write-to-learn activities in the classroom can be found here.

"Writing Worksheets" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

Berkeley offers this bank of writing worksheets to use in class. They are nested under headings for "Prewriting," "Revision," "Research Papers" and more.

"Using Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism" (DePaul University)

Use these activities and worksheets from DePaul's Teaching Commons when instructing students on proper academic citation practices.

Essay Writing Homework Activities for Students

"Grammar and Punctuation Exercises" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

These five interactive online activities allow students to practice editing and proofreading. They'll hone their skills in correcting comma splices and run-ons, identifying fragments, using correct pronoun agreement, and comma usage.

"Student Interactives" (Read Write Think)

Read Write Think hosts interactive tools, games, and videos for developing writing skills. They can practice organizing and summarizing, writing poetry, and developing lines of inquiry and analysis.

This free website offers writing and grammar activities for all grade levels. The lessons are designed to be used both for large classes and smaller groups.

"Writing Activities and Lessons for Every Grade" (Education World)

Education World's page on writing activities and lessons links you to more free, online resources for learning how to "W.R.I.T.E.": write, revise, inform, think, and edit.

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How to Write an Essay Efficiently

Last Updated: December 14, 2020 References

This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. . Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University. This article has been viewed 16,877 times.

You have an essay due tomorrow that you’re just now starting, or maybe there’s an essay question on your upcoming test that you won't have a lot of time to work on. Don’t worry! This article will show you how to write an essay as quickly and efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality. We’ll walk you through the whole process step-by-step, from outlining your essay and writing a solid first draft to polishing it before turning it in.

Outlining the Essay

Step 1 Minimize distractions.

  • If you are writing the essay at home, let others around you know that you are working and not to be disturbed. If it is noisy around you, put on headphones to block the noise out so you can focus on the essay.
  • Try writing at a time when you're less likely to be disturbed, like in the early morning or at night.

Step 2 Identify the topic.

  • For example, if the prompt is, “Explain the consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward campaign,” you may then focus on identifying the consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward campaign and analyze how it affected China in your essay.

Step 3 Determine the type of essay you are writing.

  • An analytical essay breaks down a topic or concept to better examine and understand it. For example, an analytical essay prompt might be, “What is the source of the violence and unrest in Shakespeare’s King Lear ?”
  • An expository essay teaches or illuminates a point. For example, an expository essay prompt might be, “Explain the consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward campaign.”
  • An argumentative essay will make a claim or back up an opinion to change other people’s point of view. For example, an argumentative essay prompt might be, “Do you think Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy, a tragedy, or a combination of both? Why?”

Step 4 Brainstorm ideas around the topic.

  • You can also draw lines from the topic to your ideas. Try to list three to five ideas that you can use in your essay. Think about examples that work with the topic or that correspond with the topic.
  • You may need to review your sources to help you get ideas for the topic. Have the sources, such as online scholarly articles or textbooks, close by so you can review them during your brainstorm. Remember to bookmark your sources so you can cite them later on.

Step 5 Make a brief outline.

  • However, many teachers will accept essays that are longer than five paragraphs and will allow you to have many body paragraphs in your essay. Speak to your instructor about their expectations on the structure of the essay so you can follow their guidelines.

Step 6 Fill in what each section is going to contain.

  • Note what you will include in your introduction, such as a strong opening line, a thesis statement, and a discussion of the main points of your essay.
  • Briefly note the claim or focus of each body paragraph. Include a note on sources or quotes you will use in each body paragraph to support your claim.
  • Have a brief summary of what will be in your conclusion section, such as a rephrasing of your thesis statement and a strong final line.

Creating a Strong Draft of the Essay

Step 1 Type the essay on a computer.

  • If you do handwrite the essay, make sure you double space it so you can add in edits or adjustments when you revise it.

Step 2 Craft your thesis...

  • Your thesis statement should tell the reader the point of your essay. It will consist of two parts. The first part will state the topic and the second part will state the point of your essay.
  • For example, if your topic is “Do you think Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy, a tragedy, or a combination of both? Why?”, your thesis statement might be, “Though there are elements of tragedy in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream , the structure, themes, and staging of the play fall into the genre of comedy.”

Step 3 Treat each body paragraph like a mini-essay.

  • In each body paragraph, start with an introductory sentence that explains what the paragraph is going to be about, or your claim. Then, use quotes from your sources as evidence to support the main idea of the paragraph. Respond to the quote and explain what it means. Finally, show how the quote supports your main idea.
  • Make sure you end each body paragraph by answering the question, “What does this paragraph have to do with my thesis?” This will help to ensure you stay on track as you transition from paragraph to paragraph. It also keeps each body paragraph relevant to the overall idea of the essay.

Step 4 Create a conclusion that summarizes your thesis and evidence.

  • For example, you may reword your thesis statement as, “While there are tragic moments in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream , the structure, themes, and staging of the play fit within the genre of comedy.”

Step 5 Do the introduction last if you're still exploring your thesis.

  • Your introduction should include your thesis statement. You may find yourself editing your thesis statement when you complete your introduction. This is to be expected, as some of your wording in the thesis statement may need to be sharpened or adjusted.

Polishing the Essay

Step 1 Compare the essay to your outline.

  • Confirm that each of your body paragraphs includes quotes from the source text to support your claims. You should also cite your sources properly in your essay, based on whether your instructor wants APA or MLA style.

Step 2 Read the essay over for flow and organization.

  • You should also revise any sentences that sound awkward or long-winded. Break sentences up into several sentences if they are too long.
  • If you are revising a handwritten essay, only cross out a word or phrase once and write neatly above it. Do not write large marks or dark scribbles on the essay, as this will make it harder to read.

Step 3 Proofread the essay for grammatical errors.

  • Reading the essay out loud can also help you catch any spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes.
  • If you are writing the essay in class, leave at least five to ten minutes to proofread the essay carefully and thoughtfully before you turn it in.

Expert Q&A

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

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  • ↑ Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.. Educational Consultant. Expert Interview. 18 June 2020.
  • ↑ http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/writing-essays
  • ↑ https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/writing-essay-hurry.html
  • ↑ http://slc.berkeley.edu/some-tips-writing-efficient-effective-body-paragraphs
  • ↑ http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic1/timed-essays-top-5-tips-for-writing-academic-essays-under-pressure/
  • ↑ http://www.fastweb.com/student-life/articles/essay-tips-7-tips-on-writing-an-effective-essay

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How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

Updated: July 11, 2022

Published: June 22, 2021

How To Write An Essay # Beginner Tips And Tricks

Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.

When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay. 

No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.

Ink pen on paper before writing an essay

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Types of Essays

Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic. 

When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals. 

For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay. 

Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:

Narrative Essay

This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.

Persuasive Essay

Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.

Descriptive Essay

This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event. 

Argumentative Essay

In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.

Expository Essay

Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.

Compare and Contrast Essay

You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.

The Main Stages of Essay Writing

When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case. 

There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.

So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:

Preparation

Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.

Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).

In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.  

The Five-Paragraph Essay

We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use. 

The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.

Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.

Introduction

As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more. 

Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay. 

You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.

Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic. 

In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.

That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.

Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work. 

You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement. 

Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument. 

student writing an essay on his laptop

Photo by AMIT RANJAN on Unsplash

Steps to Writing an Essay

Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.

Understand Your Assignment

When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.

Research Your Topic

Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay. 

Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.

Start Brainstorming

After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:

  • Think about what you found during your research that interested you the most
  • Jot down all your ideas, even if they’re not yet fully formed
  • Create word clouds or maps for similar terms or ideas that come up so you can group them together based on their similarities
  • Try freewriting to get all your ideas out before arranging them

Create a Thesis

This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise. 

Write Your Outline

Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline. 

In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look. 

A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph. 

If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step… 

Write a First Draft

The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward. 

Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward. 

Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did. 

Revise, Edit, and Proofread

The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete. 

However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.

After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.

Add the Finishing Touches

Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc. 

Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style . 

Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in. 

A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.

Essay Writing Tips

With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Start your essay early. This is the first tip for a reason. It’s one of the most important things you can do to write a good essay. If you start it the night before, then you won’t have enough time to research, brainstorm, and outline — and you surely won’t have enough time to review.
  • Don’t try and write it in one sitting. It’s ok if you need to take breaks or write it over a few days. It’s better to write it in multiple sittings so that you have a fresh mind each time and you’re able to focus.
  • Always keep the essay question in mind. If you’re given an assigned question, then you should always keep it handy when writing your essay to make sure you’re always working to answer the question.
  • Use transitions between paragraphs. In order to improve the readability of your essay, try and make clear transitions between paragraphs. This means trying to relate the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one so the shift doesn’t seem random.
  • Integrate your research thoughtfully. Add in citations or quotes from your research materials to back up your thesis and main points. This will show that you did the research and that your thesis is backed up by it.

Wrapping Up

Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.

If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary. 

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How to Write an Essay

Last Updated: April 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 7,943,270 times.

An essay is a common type of academic writing that you'll likely be asked to do in multiple classes. Before you start writing your essay, make sure you understand the details of the assignment so that you know how to approach the essay and what your focus should be. Once you've chosen a topic, do some research and narrow down the main argument(s) you'd like to make. From there, you'll need to write an outline and flesh out your essay, which should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. After your essay is drafted, spend some time revising it to ensure your writing is as strong as possible.

Understanding Your Assignment

Step 1 Read your assignment carefully.

  • The compare/contrast essay , which focuses on analyzing the similarities and differences between 2 things, such as ideas, people, events, places, or works of art.
  • The narrative essay , which tells a story.
  • The argumentative essay , in which the writer uses evidence and examples to convince the reader of their point of view.
  • The critical or analytical essay, which examines something (such as a text or work of art) in detail. This type of essay may attempt to answer specific questions about the subject or focus more generally on its meaning.
  • The informative essay , that educates the reader about a topic.

Step 2 Check for formatting and style requirements.

  • How long your essay should be
  • Which citation style to use
  • Formatting requirements, such as margin size , line spacing, and font size and type

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Christopher Taylor, Professor of English, tells us: "Most essays will contain an introduction, a body or discussion portion, and a conclusion. When assigned a college essay, make sure to check the specific structural conventions related to your essay genre , your field of study, and your professor's expectations."

Step 3 Narrow down your topic so your essay has a clear focus.

  • If you're doing a research-based essay , you might find some inspiration from reading through some of the major sources on the subject.
  • For a critical essay, you might choose to focus on a particular theme in the work you're discussing, or analyze the meaning of a specific passage.

Step 4 Ask for clarification if you don't understand the assignment.

  • If you're having trouble narrowing down your topic, your instructor might be able to provide guidance or inspiration.

Planning and Organizing Your Essay

Step 1 Find some reputable sources on your topic.

  • Academic books and journals tend to be good sources of information. In addition to print sources, you may be able to find reliable information in scholarly databases such as JSTOR and Google Scholar.
  • You can also look for primary source documents, such as letters, eyewitness accounts, and photographs.
  • Always evaluate your sources critically. Even research papers by reputable academics can contain hidden biases, outdated information, and simple errors or faulty logic.

Tip: In general, Wikipedia articles are not considered appropriate sources for academic writing. However, you may be able to find useful sources in the “References” section at the end of the article.

Step 2 Make notes...

  • You might find it helpful to write your notes down on individual note cards or enter them into a text document on your computer so you can easily copy, paste , and rearrange them however you like.
  • Try organizing your notes into different categories so you can identify specific ideas you'd like to focus on. For example, if you're analyzing a short story , you might put all your notes on a particular theme or character together.

Step 3 Choose a question to answer or an issue to address.

  • For example, if your essay is about the factors that led to the end of the Bronze Age in the ancient Middle East, you might focus on the question, “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?”

Step 4 Create a thesis...

  • One easy way to come up with a thesis statement is to briefly answer the main question you would like to address.
  • For example, if the question is “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?” then your thesis might be, “Natural disasters during the Late Bronze Age destabilized local economies across the region. This set in motion a series of mass migrations of different peoples, creating widespread conflict that contributed to the collapse of several major Bronze Age political centers.”

Step 5 Write an outline...

  • When you write the outline, think about how you would like to organize your essay. For example, you might start with your strongest arguments and then move to the weakest ones. Or, you could begin with a general overview of the source you're analyzing and then move on to addressing the major themes, tone, and style of the work.
  • Introduction
  • Point 1, with supporting examples
  • Point 2, with supporting examples
  • Point 3, with supporting examples
  • Major counter-argument(s) to your thesis
  • Your rebuttals to the counter-argument(s)

Drafting the Essay

Step 1 Write an introduction...

  • For example, if you're writing a critical essay about a work of art, your introduction might start with some basic information about the work, such as who created it, when and where it was created, and a brief description of the work itself. From there, introduce the question(s) about the work you'd like to address and present your thesis.
  • A strong introduction should also contain a brief transitional sentence that creates a link to the first point or argument you would like to make. For example, if you're discussing the use of color in a work of art, lead-in by saying you'd like to start with an overview of symbolic color use in contemporary works by other artists.

Tip: Some writers find it helpful to write the introduction after they've written the rest of the essay. Once you've written out your main points, it's easier to summarize the gist of your essay in a few introductory sentences.

Step 2 Present your argument(s) in detail.

  • For example, your topic sentence might be something like, “Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are among the many literary influences apparent in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels.” You could then back this up by quoting a passage that contains a reference to Sherlock Holmes.
  • Try to show how the arguments in each paragraph link back to the main thesis of your essay.

Step 3 Use transition sentences between paragraphs.

  • When creating transitions, transitional phrases can be helpful. For example, use words and phrases such as “In addition,” “Therefore,” “Similarly,” “Subsequently,” or “As a result.”
  • For example, if you've just discussed the use of color to create contrast in a work of art, you might start the next paragraph with, “In addition to color, the artist also uses different line weights to distinguish between the more static and dynamic figures in the scene.”

Step 4 Address possible counterarguments.

  • For example, if you're arguing that a particular kind of shrimp decorates its shell with red algae to attract a mate, you'll need to address the counterargument that the shell decoration is a warning to predators. You might do this by presenting evidence that the red shrimp are, in fact, more likely to get eaten than shrimp with undecorated shells.

Step 5 Cite your sources...

  • The way you cite your sources will vary depending on the citation style you're using. Typically, you'll need to include the name of the author, the title and publication date of the source, and location information such as the page number on which the information appears.
  • In general, you don't need to cite common knowledge. For example, if you say, “A zebra is a type of mammal,” you probably won't need to cite a source.
  • If you've cited any sources in the essay, you'll need to include a list of works cited (or a bibliography ) at the end.

Step 6 Wrap up with...

  • Keep your conclusion brief. While the appropriate length will vary based on the length of the essay, it should typically be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs.
  • For example, if you're writing a 1,000-word essay, your conclusion should be about 4-5 sentences long. [16] X Research source

Revising the Essay

Step 1 Take a break...

  • If you don't have time to spend a couple of days away from your essay, at least take a few hours to relax or work on something else.

Step 2 Read over your draft to check for obvious problems.

  • Excessive wordiness
  • Points that aren't explained enough
  • Tangents or unnecessary information
  • Unclear transitions or illogical organization
  • Spelling , grammar , style, and formatting problems
  • Inappropriate language or tone (e.g., slang or informal language in an academic essay)

Step 3 Correct any major problems you find.

  • You might have to cut material from your essay in some places and add new material to others.
  • You might also end up reordering some of the content of the essay if you think that helps it flow better.

Step 4 Proofread your revised essay.

  • Read over each line slowly and carefully. It may be helpful to read each sentence out loud to yourself.

Tip: If possible, have someone else check your work. When you've been looking at your writing for too long, your brain begins to fill in what it expects to see rather than what's there, making it harder for you to spot mistakes.

how to write an essay quick

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

You Might Also Like

Plan an Essay Using a Mind Map

  • ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/essay-types
  • ↑ https://students.unimelb.edu.au/academic-skills/resources/essay-writing/six-top-tips-for-writing-a-great-essay
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/tips-reading-assignment-prompt
  • ↑ https://library.unr.edu/help/quick-how-tos/writing/integrating-sources-into-your-paper
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/researching/notes-from-research/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/outlining
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-a-counter-argument.html
  • ↑ https://www.plagiarism.org/article/how-do-i-cite-sources
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/Intros-Conclusions.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/writingforsuccess/chapter/8-4-revising-and-editing/
  • ↑ https://writing.ku.edu/writing-process

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Take detailed notes and keep track of which facts come from which sources. As you're taking notes, look for a central theme that you're interested in writing about to create your thesis statement. Then, organize your notes into an outline that supports and explains your thesis statement. Working from your outline, write an introduction and subsequent paragraphs to address each major point. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that briefly explains the main point of that paragraph. Finally, finish your paper with a strong conclusion that sums up the most important points. For tips from our English Professor co-author on helpful revision techniques, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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how to write an essay quick

How to Write an Essay Fast: Tips and Examples

how to write an essay quick

Almost every student has experienced a circumstance where they had just a few hours before the essay deadline. So, what is the best course of action in this case? We suggest that you should either begin writing right away or seek professional assistance. Hiring a pro to write your essay is an easy way out. You can just order essay from our research paper writing services , and in a blink of an eye, your piece is ready to be sent out on time. But, if you want to write it yourself, then you need to know how to write an essay quickly.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Essay Fast

The essay writing process isn't simple. Especially when you want to do it quickly under the pressure of upcoming deadlines, but don't panic! Whether you’re wondering how to write an essay in a day or just an hour, you can still write an engaging and good essay fast. Here are some tips to help you write a paper faster:

  • Make a plan for your writing process - The first and most important thing to do is to understand a thesis statement, spend 10-15 minutes planning your essay, and brainstorm some ideas about your main point.
  • Start essay writing - Start with a hook in the introduction; add three body paragraphs and explain your major point. Make a clear image of your ideas in the conclusion.
  • Edit your paper - Always keep the last 5 minutes for proofreading your essay; slowly read complex sentences to avoid any grammar mistakes; after editing, give the appropriate title to your work.

These are some useful short tips to do a paper fast. But if you don’t feel like doing any writing, you can use the help of qualified writing service to get yourself a solid essay.

How Can You Write an Essay as Fast as Possible

We discussed a few tips to write an essay fast, but they may still not be enough for everyone to do their essay quickly. There are many reasons why it can get difficult: you struggle to understand the essay topic and the main idea of it, you lack motivation, you overthink an essay prompt, you get constantly distracted, etc. Sometimes we all feel that way, and it's normal, but to make writing your last-minute essay easier, we should overcome those feelings.

So, let's dive deeper into how to write an essay fast to help you with the paper you completely overlooked.

How to Write an Essay Fast

Step 1. Get Rid of Distractions and Plan Your Time

One of the reasons why you can't focus on writing is a constant distraction. Our digital gadgets distract us not only from the essay writing process but from many important things in life. So when you need to focus, set your mind on it and keep the electronic devices away from the working space.

The next step is to manage time. If you want to learn how to write essays quickly, you need to know how to divide the time left correctly. If you have only 2 hours before your deadline, it's crucial to distribute it accordingly. You have to do it in three main parts: outline, body paragraphs, and conclusion paragraphs. Besides that, keep extra 10 minutes for proofreading and revising your essay. Spend 25 minutes on essay structure and half of your 2 hours on shaping the paper's body. Usually, body paragraphs are needed most of the time, but distribution is on you. Spend more of it on the part you struggle to write.

Step 2. Write First Ideas Which Spring up in Your Mind

While reading an essay question carefully, start making a note of the very first ideas that pop up in your mind. This way, you'll have a view of what to write about. Then start analyzing the thesis statement, highlight the major points of the key sentences you want to discuss and then choose which ideas fit best to them.

Don't overthink the statement. To write essays faster, you need to have a concise view of what you are writing about from the very beginning. You don't have much time, so do not spend any of it on overthinking.

Step 3. Elaborate a Plan to Write an Essay Fast

If you have ever had only an hour left to write your essay or are now in that situation, you're lucky to be here reading this. It's entirely possible to do your paper in an hour, and we'll show you an essential step-by-step plan on how to write an essay fast.

But before planning the whole essay, you have to choose your topic. This is a no-brainer, but people are often stuck at this point. If you have the freedom to choose your own topic, determine the kind of theme you are familiar with and can discuss without having to spend much time on research. But if you have several topics, choose the one on which you can deliver a more in-depth analysis.

Now let's move to the next steps on how to plan the process to write an essay fast.

Step 4. Conduct a Research

Conducting research may seem difficult when you have an hour for the whole essay, but don't worry. You can manage that too! You already have the topic and the thoughts around it, and now you need a little research. So be brief and concise, look for the specific information that you're definitely using in your paper, and don't waste time on general concepts. To write an essay fast, you have to conduct research faster.

While searching on the internet, save bookmarks of your needed pages. This will serve not to start looking for the information all over.

Do these tips to write an essay fast make enough sense for you yet?! Anyways, don't pressure yourself! If it's manageable for others to write essay fast, then it is for you too. So read through carefully, act according to this plan, and you'll make it.

Step 5. Make an Outline

Before you start writing:

  • Create an outline of your ideas, and organize your thoughts around the theme.
  • Write down your words on paper and determine how they are logically connected.
  • List your ideas and relate them to the larger concepts.

This way, you can have a general structure for your paper and step forward to write an essay fast. Regardless of how much effort and time you put into the work, it's useless if you can't organize your thoughts.

Now that you have an essay topic and the main idea around it, you can think of creating the thesis statement. Refer to the outlines you noted and try to express the major points of your essay with them. The statement will have two parts - outlining the topic and outlining the objective of your essay.

Now you are one step closer to mastering how to write essays quickly. Several steps to go, and you're all done!

Step 6. Write a Draft with Key Sentences for Each Paragraph

You should develop your arguments in the body and turn every idea you outlined before into separate paragraphs. Remember that each of the sections should have the same format. Start to incorporate your primary ideas into the opening sentence. After that, add your secondary supporting ideas to it. Also, do not forget to use proper sentence format.

You should clearly explain your topic in key sentences to strengthen the arguments. Every paragraph should contain supporting evidence, main points, and summarizing sentences.

Does it seem easier now to write an essay fast? Then, let us make it completely manageable for you with further steps.

Want to research how Steve Jobs revolutionized the world?

Discussing how Steve Jobs shaped modern technology makes a perfect research paper. Our writers are ready to make it even more perfect!

Step 7. Intro: Start with a Hook

After finishing the previous steps, then it is time to write an introduction. But how will you introduce something that hasn't been created yet? It may be unusual to write the beginning after you've already got the middle part, but it makes sense. Now that you have your thesis and arguments on paper, you can take the interesting elements and turn them into an attention-grabbing intro. Write a hook preceding it - it can be statistical information, a dialogue, a relevant anecdote, a quote, or just some fact, but it has to tie in with your thesis.

Also, if it's more comfortable to think of the hook first and then about the other parts, you're free to do so. Starting with the hook can help your creative process, but don't think too much about it. This way is more adjustable when you don't need to search for ‘how to write an essay quickly’ and have enough time to spend on it.

Step 8. Make a Strong Conclusion

Writing the conclusion paragraph is an important part of making a clear expression of everything you wrote above that. It is your opportunity to reinforce the thesis. Restate the arguments to leave the reader with something interesting to think about. It should be 3-5 strong conclusive sentences that place the whole information into a broader context. Don't forget to avoid introducing new points or ideas in your conclusion,

The introduction and conclusion is often the hardest part to write. So, you should save both for last, especially when you want to write an essay fast. It will take all of your time if you start thinking about them in the beginning when you haven't discussed any arguments yet. When you have the body paragraphs of your essay, it should be much easier to write a summarized conclusion and introduction.

Step 9. Check Everything

If you just typed ‘how to write an essay quickly’ and now reading this, then you already know you have to review your paper besides how much time you have before the deadline. So you always have to keep extra minutes to revise your work.

Check if there are any grammatical errors, if the paragraphs are in order - the main argument should be the first and last paragraph in your body, or if your work makes sense at all. These little elements affect the quality of your essay, especially the one you're writing in an hour.

This is the ultimate guide and your last step in learning to write an essay fast. Just don't panic and set your mind on doing it properly.

How to Write 500 Word Essay Fast

The essay writing process isn't so easy, especially when you want it done quickly. But it doesn't mean it's impossible. For example, have you ever wondered how to write a 500 word essay fast? If you are reading this article, you already have the answer. The previous examples we examined about writing papers faster are also adjustable to 500-word essays.

Let's do a small recap! First, decide on an interesting topic you want to write about, but don't overthink it. Instead, choose the one you know more about. Secondly, make a quick, basic outline of your thoughts and thesis statements. Then start working on your body paragraph, and lastly, do your introduction and conclusion. You can read above how to do each of these steps very easily.

In addition, you might be writing an SAT paper. In this case, you can apply these tips to the writing process with specific needs.

How to Write a Research Essay Fast

If you ever looked up 'how to write a research essay fast' and couldn't manage to find the solution through research, then we're here to help you out.

While writing a research paper requires a lot of effort—from developing a compelling thesis to locating relevant literature—doing so may be more fun if you select a topic you are passionate about. In addition, you have an opportunity to consider other people's discoveries and draw your own conclusions about what they signify.

Most essays have specifics that should be considered to be worth a good grade. If you don't know these needs, it can be difficult for you to complete the task properly. So then, what's your answer to it? Are you just sitting there wondering, 'how can I get research paper writing help ?' If you still haven't found the way, click on it, and there is your solution.

Pros and Cons of Writing an Essay Fast

As with everything else, writing your paper fast has its positive and negative sides too.

Let's start with the cons:

  • When writing fast, you may not leave yourself the time for proofreading and editing the work, which will lead to not a very good essay and a satisfactory grade.
  • Knowing that the deadline is coming closer can pressure you while preventing the creative process which can be destructive for your essay.
  • Time spent on each part of the paper may not be enough or correctly distributed, which can mess with essay structure.

Pros of writing essay fast:

  • The positive side of writing an argumentative essay fast is that now you know how to do it and don't need much time to waste.
  • You are always on time for deadlines when you know how to write a good essay fast.
  • Improves your time management skills.

So, It's entirely possible to write a good essay fast. For example, if you need to know how to write a process analysis essay, consider what we have already discussed above, and just like that, you are left with a great piece in a very short period!

There are many reasons why you can't finish your paper before the deadline. But it's not the end of the world, right? That's why essay writing services provide support for students. When you are in a position where you need to get your paper done fast by a professional, you can turn to EssayPro's cheap essay writing service. It's not a problem you have to worry about.

It doesn't matter if you need, for example, descriptive or expository essays, EssayPro's experts can provide both for you. You're just one click away from your perfect paper!

Need urgent writing assistance?

Contact our experts to get a perfect paper tailored to your requirements!

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How to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills in 10 Simple Steps

How to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills in 10 Simple Steps

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Updated: May 5, 2024

What makes an A essay different from a B essay? What makes one essay stand out among countless submissions while others barely make the grade?

The answer lies in both the content and the execution of your writing. Strong content that is poorly executed can lead to disappointing results, just as weak content cannot be saved by writing style alone.

A strong essay needs to be balanced. The writing should be informative and exciting but also fun to read. At the same time, your grammar, syntax, and punctuation should be on point.

If you’re struggling to make the grade and are unsure what you’re doing wrong, this article will cover ten basic strategies for improving your writing skills.

With a bit of understanding and a steady commitment to improving your craft, you should see a noticeable increase in your essay grades.

These strategies will help refine your writing style and structure while enhancing your analytical thinking and argumentative skills. We’ll also discuss some AI tools you can use starting today to make the essay writing process more fun and manageable.

1. Read a Lot

To truly master the art of writing, you must read as much as you can. To the best of your ability, immerse yourself in various texts and read across different genres and disciplines.

One of the best things you can do in essay writing is study published essays and periodicals to better understand how accomplished writers develop their arguments and maintain flow.

Of course, reading is a time-consuming activity. If you want to expand your knowledge without spending hours at a time in the library, consider using Smodin AI to help.

Smodin’s AI Summarizer can help you take long pieces of text and create an extractive or abstractive summary. This way, you can read a portion of the text and use AI to grasp the main points and key arguments without dedicating too much time to each piece.

Using this approach, you can cover a broader range of materials in a shorter time, particularly useful if you’re juggling multiple assignments or subjects during midterms or finals week.

2. Understand the Topic

A solid understanding of your essay topic is crucial to producing an engaging and insightful piece of writing. One of the worst things you can do as a student is to submit a paper without thoroughly researching and understanding the topic.

In other words, read the instructions before writing a single word. Invest however much time you need in researching and gathering relevant information.

Don’t rush the process, and take the time to build a strong foundation for your arguments. Study the counterarguments and ensure that your thesis is factually accurate and thoroughly thought-out.

That said, if you’re sitting at your desk, struggling to figure out where to start, or need help comprehending the topic, Smodin’s AI Chat can help you gather your thoughts.

The chat can help you understand complex topics using real-time Google Insights and provide instant access to a wealth of information with a single click.

3. Outline Your Essay

Even the best writers outline their writing before they begin. Creating an outline is crucial to organizing your thoughts and structuring your essay so it flows logically and cohesively.

When writing an essay, your topic will often take on new dimensions as you delve deeper into your research. Sometimes, your essay ends far off course and entirely different from what you envisioned.

An evolving outline can help you manage these ideas and ensure they are woven into your essay in a way that is meaningful and makes sense.

Any piece of writing needs a roadmap, whether it’s essays, articles, short stories, novels, or nonfiction books. Your ideas need to progress logically from one point to another so that they are persuasive and easy for your reader to follow.

Remember, effective time management is one of the secrets to writing an effective essay. That’s why it’s essential to use AI tools like Smodin to optimize your outlining process.

4. Master the Basics

A strong command of grammar, syntax, and punctuation is fundamental to writing an A-level essay. While most teachers and professors will not deduct points for an occasional misspelling or comma splice, too many mistakes will leave a negative impression on your reader.

The good news is that mastering the basics of writing has never been easier, thanks to the rise of AI. Do your best to practice the basics of good writing using ordinary resources like grammar guides and books, then use AI to enhance your knowledge.

In this area, Smodin has several tools that can help. The AI Rewriter can help you rewrite or completely recreate a piece of text to optimize the content so it is polished and easy to read.

You can also use the AI Chat feature to ask any question you like about grammar rules or stylistic choices, ensuring that you understand the fundamental principles of good writing.

5. Nail the Intro

The introduction of your essay sets the tone and hooks the reader. It also helps you make a strong impression and stand out among your peers.

A compelling intro should start with a strong first sentence that piques curiosity and leads the reader to the second sentence. That second sentence should lead the reader directly to the third, and so on.

Always do your best to think of a solid opening statement or pose a thought-provoking question. Remember, your essay is just one of many essays the teacher or professor must read, so you must do everything possible to stand out.

You want a clear and concise thesis that sets up the arguments you will develop throughout the body of your essay. Smodin’s AI Essay Writer can help you craft essays with compelling titles and opening paragraphs.

If you want to go the extra mile, consider trying the “Supercharge” option to tap into the power of a much more advanced and sophisticated AI model to take your writing to the next level.

6. Use the Active Voice

Generally, the active voice is more engaging and easy to read than the passive voice. Active voice constructions are more direct and energetic. They keep the reader engaged and make statements that are easier to visualize.

For example, compare the active sentence “The scientist conducted the experiment” with the passive “The experiment was conducted by the researcher.”

The active voice allows you to clearly identify who is taking action. This helps make your writing more assertive and easy to understand.

However, there are situations where the passive voice is appropriate or even necessary. For instance, if the person taking action is unknown, irrelevant, or obvious from the context, the passive voice might be the better choice.

For example, in scientific or formal reports, the passive voice is often used to create an impersonal tone and to emphasize the action rather than the person.

In most cases, you should use the active voice to make your arguments more engaging and your prose easier to follow.

7. Avoid Repetition

If you’ve ever tried to “word stuff” an essay to get to a specific word count, you know how easy it can be to repeat yourself accidentally. To keep your essay engaging, always do your best to avoid unnecessary repetition of words or ideas.

Never use the same word too often, especially in the same paragraph. Varying your language and sentence structure can help keep the reader engaged and create a pleasant cadence for your essay.

Always avoid rehashing the same ideas twice unless necessary to your thesis or argument. When in doubt, use Smodin’s Essay Writer to help structure your essays with a clear flow and easy-to-understand introductions and conclusions.

8. Get Feedback

Receiving feedback is one of the most effective ways to improve your writing. Of course, your teacher’s or professor’s feedback matters the most, but what if you want feedback before the final submission?

Seek constructive criticism from peers or tutors who can look at your writing and give you feedback to help you improve your writing. Being able to seek out and incorporate feedback is one of the most vital skills a student can have.

Also, consider using an AI tool like Smodin that can draw upon hundreds of thousands of published and peer-reviewed academic articles as a basis of comparison. By tapping into the unlimited power of AI, you can easily create essays that match college-level writing standards.

9. Organize Your References

Managing and organizing references can become overwhelming during the research phase of writing an essay.

It’s crucial to keep track of all the sources you consult to maintain academic integrity and avoid plagiarism. This is where tools like Smodin’s Research Paper Generator come into play.

Smodin’s Automatic References tool utilizes AI-powered algorithms to generate accurate citations. It pulls information from reliable databases like Google and Google Scholar, ensuring each reference is precise and meets academic standards.

This feature is a time-saver and a crucial component for any student who wants to ensure their work is appropriately credited and free of plagiarism concerns.

This tool streamlines the process of citation creation. The Automatic References feature formats each reference correctly according to your chosen style guide, whether it’s APA, MLA, Chicago, or another academic citation format.

This allows you to focus more on the content of your essay rather than the tedious task of manual citation. It’s like having a personal assistant at the click of a button.

10. Revise, Revise, Revise

The single best thing you can do to improve your writing is to get into a habit of constant revision. Try to write your essay as far in advance so that you can let it sit for a while and revisit it with fresh eyes.

You may be surprised how many areas of improvement become apparent after taking a short break. Allowing your writing to breathe after the initial draft can dramatically enhance its quality.

The three main things you want to look for are ways to improve clarity, strengthen your argument, and refine your language.

Of course, Smodin’s Rewriter Tool can help you do just that. Using this tool, you can easily see and improve sections that need rephrasing. Use this technology alongside your own manual refinements to create a tone and style that aligns with your voice and creates a unique style.

Then, once you’re 99% done and happy with your essay, run it through the Plagiarism and AI Content Detector to ensure its complete academic integrity.

Ultimately, your ability to improve your essay writing skills will depend on your level of dedication. Spend as much time as you can mastering the above techniques and consistently practice.

Remember, AI tools like Smodin have made essay writing more accessible than ever before. If you need help with essays and consistently bring home B, C, or even D-level papers, Smodin’s array of AI tools is what you need to take your writing to the next level-

  • AI tutoring for students
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  • Plagiarism checker
  • Essay, research paper, and article writing features
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When you sign up for Smodin, all this and more comes standard. If you’re ready to get started, click here to try it!

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  • Writing Tips

How to Write an Excellent Essay Introduction

How to Write an Excellent Essay Introduction

3-minute read

  • 27th September 2022

Love it or hate it, essay writing is a big part of student life. Writing a great essay might seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re staring at a blank document, but there are formulas you can follow to make sure your paper hits the mark.

When you plan your essays , don’t neglect your introduction! It might seem like a trivial part of the paper, but it can make it or break it. A badly written introduction can leave your reader feeling confused about the topic and what to expect from your essay.

To help your writing reach its full potential, we’ve put together a guide to writing an excellent essay introduction.

How to Write an Essay Introduction

An essay introduction has four main steps:

●  Hook your reader

●  Provide context

●  Present your thesis statement

●  Map your essay

Hook Your Reader

The first part of your introduction should be the hook. This is where you introduce the reader to the topic of the essay. A great hook should be clear, concise, and catchy. It doesn’t need to be long; a hook can be just one sentence.

Provide Context

In this section, introduce your reader to key definitions, ideas, and background information to help them understand your argument.

Present Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement tells the reader the main point or argument of the essay. This can be just one sentence, or it can be a few sentences.

Map Your Essay

Before you wrap up your essay introduction, map it! This means signposting sections of your essay. The key here is to be concise. The purpose of this part of the introduction is to give your reader a sense of direction.

Here’s an example of an essay introduction:

Hook: Suspense is key for dramatic stories, and Shakespeare is well-known and celebrated for writing suspenseful plays.

Context: While there are many ways in which Shakespeare created suspension for his viewers, two techniques he used effectively were foreshadowing and dramatic irony. Foreshadowing is a literary device that hints at an event or situation that is yet to happen. Dramatic irony is a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions is clear to the audience or reader, although it is unknown to the character.

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Thesis statement: Foreshadowing and dramatic irony are two powerful techniques that Shakespeare used to create suspense in literature. These methods have been used to keep the reader intrigued, excited, or nervous about what is to come in many of his celebrated works.

Essay mapping: In this essay, I will be detailing how Shakespeare uses foreshadowing and dramatic irony to create suspense, with examples from Romeo and Juliet and Othello.

Pro tip: Essays take twists and turns. We recommend changing your introduction as necessary while you write the main text to make sure it fully aligns with your final draft.

Proofread and Editing

Proofreading is an essential part of delivering a great essay. We offer a proofreading and editing service for students and academics that will provide you with expert editors to check your work for any issues with:

●  Grammar

●  Spelling

●  Formatting

●  Tone

●  Audience

●  Consistency

●  Accuracy

●  Clarity

Want 500 words of your work proofread completely free of charge?

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