General Essay Writing Tips
Just because you have a pen, or your laptop, as the case may be, doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be effective at essay writing. Even having the inspiration doesn’t turn you into the writer you want to be. When you’re trying to become an outstanding essay writer, take a formulaic approach – if you can count to five, you can do it!
Five Paragraphs to Your Essay
The standard essays that you’re going to turn in while attending high school or college should have this basic setup.
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Body 1
Paragraph 3: Body 2
Paragraph 4: Body 3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Your main goal when writing your introduction is to introduce your material to the reader. This paragraph will help you take your stand and make your argument. Combine that with an effective “hook” to suck your readers in and make them want to keep on reading. Effective hooks are something like statistics or a quote that is surprising or interesting and is one of the best things to remember when you’re learning how to write an essay.
Once you’ve hooked your reader, it’s time to move on to your thesis statement. Experts agree that this statement should be one sentence that clearly states your opinion or what side of the matter you’re on. You don’t want to be ambiguous or vague in any way when you outline your thesis.
Next, you will give a brief outline of what points you’ll be making in the body of your essay. This gives your reader an idea of what to expect in the rest of the paper and helps them understand what you’re writing about.
Your final paragraph should be one that leads into the next paragraph in a seamless and logical way. At this point, your introduction should be about three or four sentences. Any more than that is probably unneeded and you should do some editing to narrow it down.
The middle of your essay will consist of the body paragraphs, which are meant to give details and examples to support your argument.
The first sentence of each body paragraph should be the topic sentence. Use your most compelling argument in your first body paragraph. Then move on to the other arguments in order from most dramatic to least.
Your topic sentence alone isn’t enough, however. The rest of your paragraph must follow in detail, providing the reader more information about the example and how it supports your thesis argument.
Then, you need to explain why your example proves the thesis. This is a very important step because it will help prove your point to the reader.
A Word on Transitions
The hallmark of the best essay writing is using proper transition words. Transitional phrases should include words like “by contrast,” “moreover,” and “on the other hand.”
These transitional words are used to help guide your reader from one thought to another. You can liken them to cues in speech that help a person know you’re moving on to another thought or topic. Basically, they lead your reader from one sentence or thought to the next one.
Your conclusion might be at the end of the essay, but it’s just as important as the others. This is your last opportunity to make your statement and your conclusion should follow a strict format.
If you think of the conclusion as a second introduction, you’ll be all set. This paragraph is simply restating what you said in your introduction and can make or break your entire paper. Your conclusion should be four simple sentences and should not be too long.
The best conclusion paragraphs should begin with a transition, such as “in conclusion,” or “in the end,” and should allude back to the hook you used in your introduction. Then you should provide a succinct restatement of your original thesis.
This will be the fourth or fifth time you’ve stated your thesis. Make sure you do so using a variety of sentences and words so that it isn’t always the same. It’s appropriate to use some of the same words, but should never be exactly the same. This should tie your thesis in with a review of the main three points of your essay.
Your final statement should be a global one or a call to action. This not only ties up the paper, but also lets the reader know that your discussion has come to an end. Here’s an example.
In the end, it’s clear that mistakes can help you learn and improve just as well as your successes. As science and every day examples prove, if mistakes are treated as a learning experience, the opportunities for self-improvement are as high as the sky.
More essay writing tips
Before you begin writing your essay, take some time to think it through so you know what approach you’re going to take. This allows you to find the best information to include and helps you outline them in the best way.
Your strongest supporting example should always be first. Your essay will shine when you place your arguments in the right place and order. In fact, that’s one of the best essay writing tips you’ll ever find.
Effective writing occurs when you vary your phrases and word usage. That means avoiding using the same ones over and over again. Variance makes the idea stand out.
For example, use “wealth” or “riches” in place of “money.” Don’t begin your sentences the same way every time. Use sentence structure to your advantage.
Becoming a good writer doesn’t happen overnight. You can use this information as a good starting point, but the only way to become a better writer is to practice all the time.
Write sample essays on a variety of topics. Honing your skills will happen each time you write one and you’ll be well prepared when you have to write a paper for a grade.