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Essay Writing

Updated: Oct 21, 2016
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How to Write an Essay


Writing essays is often a major part of what a person does to earn a college education. Essays are mostly given to students as general homework assignments, as well as in the form of exams and tests.


While students are generally taught in high school how to write essays using the Five-Paragraph-Essay format – though most college writing assignments call for longer essays – college essays are a bit more challenging. At the college level, students are given essays to write so they can demonstrate not only their writing abilities but their critical-thinking skills as well. Essays also prove to one’s professor they have done the required reading, can understand it and make sense of it by analyzing its content.


Generally, essays are for students to make and defend arguments – as well as to appropriately evaluate information on a topic or subject pertinent to the course in which the essay assignment was given. Sometimes, essays are assigned to be a response to a certain question or issue, like in the case of an exam with essay questions. Or, essays are given in the form of papers meant to argue something, explore a topic or analyze an issue, for example.

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Writing the College Essay


The standard college essay first requires an understanding of the assignment. When given an essay to write for a particular course, the student-writer should ask – What is the purpose of writing this essay? Is it meant to argue something and put forth an argument that should be defended with substantial evidence? How should the essay be written? What is my professor expecting?


If they are unsure about any of these questions, the student-writer should ask their professor. (Institutions of higher education have a multitude of resources available to help students with their academic challenges, most times in the form of writing centers with a team of tutors, aides, professors, etc.)


Next, to write an essay assignment, a student-writer generally needs to select a topic to write about. This occurs before any writing is done. This comes the easiest when they understand the assignment. A topic for an essay shouldn’t be too ambiguous in nature – like war, France, Geography or Criminology. Topics for essays should be quite specific in nature – like the consequences of the American Civil War, causes of the French Revolution, the Geopolitics of the European Union, and the psychology of a violent criminal. These are just a few examples.


Thirdly, just about any essay requires a good bit of preliminary research. Rarely can a student-writer write an extensive essay without first doing a bit of reading; they first need to know a good deal about a subject, issue or topic before writing about it. Research can start with a general Internet search, with reading Encyclopedias and books, for example, and taking ample notes along the way. Once they have read thoroughly on the subject, the student-writer should compile this information into a readable form and, quite often, an outline. An outline generally serves to help organize the essay by each paragraph or section.


Then, they should attempt their first rough draft of the essay (the best writing occurs in the editing stage of the writing process). This applies to any and everyone in higher education. It is almost impossible to write a perfect essay on the first attempt. The student-writer should also keep in mind that, in writing any essay, they are communicating something to their reader.


Finally, once this first rough draft has been completed, it should be proofread several times because the student-writer has a sort of checklist they must follow in order to maximize the chances of earning a high grade (or evaluation). Each time the essay is read, the student-writer is bound to find mistakes – in grammar, punctuation or logic – that they must correct. Once this is done, it never hurts to have another person read the essay (especially a writing tutor at the institution, or even the professor assigning the essay). Most times they will find mistakes the person writing the essay overlooked.


After these steps have been followed, the essay can be submitted for a grade. If you want to save your time - ask our professional for help!


Writing an Essay Behind a Pile of Books

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