If you have come across this article, it’s probably because you need to write a top-level essay fast. Otherwise, you are just looking for a way to improve your writing. In this article, we are going to discuss a good and easy process for writing your essay in seven steps.
- Ensure you understand what you need to write on
- Make sure you know all of the specifications
- Know what you are talking about
- Pick a direction
- Outline your ideas
- Inflate and pop
- Proofread aloud and correct
Now let’s go over each step in more depth.
1. Making sure that you know what you are being asked to write on is extremely important; it is not just knowing that you have to write about a book or some vague idea, but actually understanding where the instructor or whoever has given the assignment wants the content to be focused. If you are crunched for time and you have an hour before your essay is due and you still have yet to start – analyse where the prompt is telling you to go. Look for directives in the prompt as well as anything which may be a hint as to what the paper should focus on.
Another way if you are stuck is to read the prompt and visualise what each aspect brings up in your mind. For content, you can also imagine what you would see if you were watching the prompt like a scene from a movie. Don’t forget to do a recap, making sure you know all the points and have the assignor confirm that your recap is correct. This is to your and the assignment benefit as it will make the end product far more enjoyable for everyone.
2. For the formatting, some things to check are:
- How it should be formatted: MLA, APA, etc.
- Minimum and maximum word count
- If the essay is argumentative or expository (informative)
- Specific points to hit or avoid
- What sources are acceptable (probably not Wikipedia) and how paraphrases and direct quotation should be used
Most classes in the US will want you to use the MLA format but check with your assignor first if the prompt does not say.
3. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at knowing what you are talking about.
If you don’t have a lot of time, you want to go to Wikipedia to get ideas for understanding the literature. If you are going to cite anything you read on Wikipedia page, you need to go to the corresponding citation and read what that actual source says on the matter.
If you are doing your work online and you need to find a specific term, you can use CTRL+F (CMD+F on Mac) that will have the computer find where a particular word is on the webpage you are looking at. The reason why you need to know what you are talking about is by having an idea what the literature already says will cut your research down and you will also have ideas as to where you should take your essay. Knowing ahead of time will also be beneficial for in-class essays.
4. Based on what you know is out in the literature or what you are reading, you can pick the direction where you need to go. If you are unsure what direction to take the essay, have the two most appealing directions and go with what one you can write the best about. If you can run equally well on them, then choose the one that will better meet either your time constraints.
Set the direction into a one to two-sentence statement which will be your thesis.
5. You are going to need to outline your ideas so you won’t forget anything and so you spend less time remembering what comes next. Beyond that, you will be streamlining your train of thoughts.
If you can’t break an idea into two or more sub-points, it should either be its own main idea or part of the last main idea. Make sure you have your intro and a preview of where the essay will go.
Finally, you are going to summarise what you have talked about and once again clarify your essay’s position.
6. Now that all the structural aspects are out of the way, it’s time to write the actual essay. If you are doing this as an in-class essay by pen, you will want to make sure that you use the best word economy the first time around, or you will waste time erasing and rewriting.
According to Advancedwriters, to inflate your essay, what you are going to do is use as many words to say your idea as possible the first time around. If you could say your idea with one or three words, say it with three words. You will also find it useful to lace your idea with arguments for why your information is correct. You can defend your position against any opposing viewpoints by introducing them and then explaining how your position answers the opposite viewpoints. Sometimes people just need to let the reader know what took place, and this allows you to write a chronological series of events which can be written like a story.
Once you have sufficiently inflated your essay, make sure to start popping it. Go back to the beginning and rework your essay so the word or page count starts dropping where you need it to be. Also, never use contractions in written English. Contrary to spoken English where you want to use contractions, is considered lazy and poor English to use contractions in written English.
Don’t forget to be specific. if you want to use a pronoun like “it”, “they”, “him”, “her”, etc. replace the pronoun with what the pronoun refers to.
Another way to see if you need to be more specific in your writing is to take your sentence alone and see if you understand what it is conveyed based only on what you said there.
7. Proofread aloud and correct. It’s an almost certain thing that you will have grammatical errors in your first writing. By reading it aloud, you will hear any strange wording, repeating words, and punctuation errors. You will be more focused on each word so you will give greater attention to detail.
Make sure to correct as you go and read your corrections aloud. When you finish that, make sure to read the whole thing again and see how it flows. Also, see if you feel any unanswered questions about the subject based only on the information your essay is giving.