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By Gretchen Gales
Even for the best of writers, writing a truly great essay is tough. I’m sure we’d all like to be able to churn out an admirable essay in an instant, but unfortunately, that’s not how it works. But good news! Writing a good essay is not impossible, but it takes some work to get an essay from scratch to look polished. Don’t know how to begin? Follow these instructions as a helpful guide:
Plan It Out
Some writers want to dive into the first draft without properly planning out what they want to say. If you’ve already had a topic assigned to you or you’ve come up with one on your own, you’re already off to a great start! Otherwise you’ll need to pick out an interesting topic.
While planning out your ideas may seem tedious, it’s essential in order to place and organize ideas. Writing an essay without a guide makes it easier to trail off into an irrelevant topic. Some suggestions for how to plan are to first brainstorm your ideas. This can be done with a simple chart you can make yourself, like a bulleted list or by finding helpful charts and other resources online.
State Your Argument
Every great essay has to have a thesis statement, or what the main point of the essay will entail. After all, how can you have a great essay without a main focus? The argument ties in with the main topic, but it should be more developed. For example, if your topic is about quails, you don’t want to just say, “I’m going to write about quails.” For example, you may want to talk about what’s so important about quails or maybe why quails are essential to the environment. You don’t have to convince us personally why, but to others that may not see the big deal, you’re going to have to make a convincing point. One sentence is sufficient enough for a thesis so you can get straight to the point without confusing yourself or others.
Write The Body
The body of an essay is the main course of a written work. Skip writing the introduction and the conclusion (imagine them as appetizers and desserts) until after the body has been written. Why write out of order? Writing the introduction and conclusion is much easier once you’ve written down the main portion of the essay.
Write The Introduction And Conclusion
Now that you have the majority of the essay done, it’s time to write out your introduction and conclusion. Both the introduction and the conclusion should contain the thesis. The introduction is where you’ll first mention your thesis d the reader knows what you’re going to talk about. The conclusion should restate the thesis and briefly mention the previous information and evidence you’ve given in the body.
Check For Spelling And Grammatical Errors
All your work could be for nothing if you present a “finished” product with a variety of spelling and grammatical errors. Errors can distract from all of the excellent points you’ve made! Carefully go through your essay sentence by sentence to check for potential mistakes. It might be boring, but it’s better than losing credibility over something so simple. Not great at spotting those minor details? Have someone who’s an expert assist you, whether it’s a smart friend or a pro.
Read It Out Loud To Yourself
Sounds awkward, right? We know it sounds odd, but reading it out loud shows you whether or not the essay truly sounds put together. It’s also a great way to check for run-on sentences. No one wants to read a series of long sentences clustered together. It’s also another opportunity to check for spelling and grammar.
Get A Second Opinion
It’s never a waste of time to have someone else read your work. Ask them to give their truly honest opinion in the form of constructive critical feedback. You can get help from a friend, family member, or a professional.
DO NOT Plagiarize
You may like another person’s written work, but no matter what, plagiarism (or copying another’s work and claiming it as your own) is dishonest and comes with serious consequences. Plagiarism may be tempting, but there are many resources that can check for plagiarized work. Not sure if you’re plagiarizing? Make sure you’ve properly cited any information that isn’t yours, put all quotes from other works in quotation marks, and have a bibliography of cited sources. There are also online plagiarism checkers and essay services e.g. SmartWritingService.com to assist you.
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