How to Write an Essay
At some point during our school, university or professional lives, most of us will be required to write an essay. An essay is defined as a literary composition. However, it can be described more accurately as a well-researched, clearly organized, analytical treatise on a topic. A good essay provides information as well as your opinion or analysis of the subject. The following tips show you how to write an essay on any topic.
A good essay should cover the topic in some depth, and reflect your knowledge on the subject matter. Also, in order for you to have a clear opinion on the essay question, it is important to understand the topic well. So, research the subject thoroughly before you start to make the essay writing part easier. Use the available academic, library or internet resources, and gather all the pertinent information before you start writing.
2. Thesis statement
Once you have a good understanding and knowledge base on the topic, decide on what the main focus of your essay will be. Write out a clear, unambiguous thesis statement. This will be the idea, hypothesis or assertion which you will be making and supporting in the course of the essay. You can also consider your thesis to be a specific question on the topic, which will be answered in detail in the essay.
With a clear thesis statement in your mind, analyze the information you have gathered. Consider the topic from different angles or points of view, and decide on what your angle or approach will be. Remember, an essay is not just stating the facts or providing information. It should contain reflective and analytical elements or even your opinion, supported by sound facts. Come up with a great title for the essay, that lets your reader know what the essay is about, and where you are going with it. A good title can hook the reader from the start.
Once you have decided the direction you will be taking with the topic, arrange your thoughts and the information accordingly. The thesis should be answered in several parts or sections. Draft a clear and logical outline for the essay, with the different sections following a proper progression. A typical essay is only a few paragraphs long. You can plan for a specific point to be addressed in every paragraph. Each paragraph should relate back to the main focus of the essay.
The main parts of the essay are the introduction, body of the argument, and the conclusion. The introduction should clearly set up the problem or give the background and then move on to the assertion or thesis statement you are making. The body of the essay should be arranged in several paragraphs, each of which should focus on a specific idea, and begin with the main point. Each paragraph should answer the thesis question in its own way. Use good connecting sentences between paragraphs, or end each paragraph with a point that will link to the next paragraph. Finally, wrap up the essay with a thoughtful and thought-provoking conclusion. Don’t just summarize the main points of the essay in the conclusion. Instead, find a relevant quotation or an interesting thought to end the essay elegantly.