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How to Write an Essay

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Written by
Dr. Isabel Larsen
  • Icon Calendar 18 May 2024
  • Icon Page 1234 words
  • Icon Clock 6 min read

The question of how to write an essay is common for people who need to complete a paper on a specific theme. It is because essay writing has specific rules that people must follow to write a paper and avoid plagiarism. Moreover, academic writing requires meeting criteria of essay structure with its paragraphs by using an appropriate referencing style. Therefore, this article answers the question of how to write an essay, covering the main principles that people must know.

How to write an essay

General Aspects of Writing an Essay

Essay writing is a task that students repeatedly undertake during their schooling. Basically, essay prompts provided in the form of assignments contain questions and a set of instructions, explaining the expectations of the final output. In this case, once students complete their research and find the answer to the question of how to write an essay, they communicate an assessment of their findings through the paper. Also, drafting an essay may prove problematic despite the comprehensiveness of the research done. Hence, developing a high-quality essay depends on an author’s knowledge of the fundamental principles of the essay paper, which dictate the essay structure, paragraphing, and referencing and formatting.

Essay Structure

An introduction is the first section of an essay. Firstly, if people know how to write an introduction, they begin with general information and end with a specific theme. For instance, writers may employ a deductive approach to developing the introduction by answering how to write an essay. Moreover, the introduction typically has three major elements: background information regarding the topic, the definition of the flow of the essay, and a thesis statement. Basically, the authors establish the context of the particular issue by providing the audience with some broad details. After the audience has an idea of the topic to be discussed, people may briefly explain the flow of the paper. The final statement in an introductory paragraph is the thesis statement. In particular, this claim is a direct answer to the essay prompt. Hence, a well-developed introduction ensures that the audience can readily anticipate the content of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

The body of the essay forms a significant portion of the essay’s content. Basically, this segment consists of paragraphs, which act as building blocks for the argument outlined in the thesis statement. In this case, each body paragraph contributes to the discussion regarding the main idea of the essay. Hence, the paragraphs are complete ideas that support the main claim. Also, there is no limitation on the length and number of paragraphs. However, authors should avoid lengthy paragraphs, which may be challenging to interpret. Thus, body paragraphs are crucial in convincing the audience of the proposed claim to cover the issue of how to write an essay.

Conclusion Part

The final section of the essay is the conclusion. In particular, the conclusion consists of three parts: a restatement of the thesis, a summary of the main points, and a broad closing statement. Essentially, the conclusion is the opposite of the introduction because it employs an inductive approach. The first statement is a repetition of the thesis statement but using different words. Then, the primary issues discussed in the body are briefly summarised, preferably in the same order that they appear in the essay. In turn, conclusions do not contain any new information. Hence, the closing statement is usually a general statement, concerning possible implications or suggestions for future research paths. As a result, a conclusion wraps up the essay by providing an overview of the ideas by answering how to write an essay.

How to Write Paragraphs in an Essay

Paragraphs have a relatively rigid structure, which is somewhat similar to the structure of an essay. In particular, there are three segments in a paragraph: topic sentence, support sentences, and concluding or transition statement. Firstly, a topic sentence is a single-statement introduction that informs the reader of the content in the paragraph. Secondly, if people know how to write an essay, they develop support sentences from pieces of evidence found through research and explain or prove the idea contained in the topic statement. Finally, the concluding sentence marks the end of a paragraph by tying the individual pieces of evidence together. Alternatively, a transition sentence links a paragraph to the next one to create a smooth flow throughout the paper. Hence, writers must follow the described paragraph pattern regardless of the essay type.

Ideas in Paragraphs

Each paragraph contains a particular idea, which suggests that there has to be a pattern for the presentation of the paragraphs for the overall argument to be well understood. Basically, the paragraph patterns commonly used in essays are analysis, compare and contrast, problem and solution, cause and effect. In particular, by considering how to write an essay, the analysis pattern is applicable in cases where an essay topic is discussed by separating it into sections. Also, each section creates a single paragraph, which has extensive explanations. In turn, other patterns are relatively identical because they split the essay into two distinct sections. Besides, no strict regulations define the order of the sections. However, the audience must be able to distinguish the two aspects of the topic clearly. As a result, paragraph patterns provide the audience with a blueprint of the sequence used in presenting ideas.

Paragraph Structure

The multiple paragraphs that are developed for essay topics have to be ordered based on some criteria. In this case, it improves the clarity of the overall argument. For example, the most common paragraph ordering approaches are logical division, chronological order, and hierarchical order. The logical division technique is useful in cases where the topic is subdivided into different sections. Hence, each section is discussed separately before moving on to the next idea. Moreover, chronological order is employed where the topic is analyzed based on a given sequence of events. A hierarchical order prioritizes the significance of each paragraph to the overall argument. This ordering system arranges paragraphs in decreasing order of significance to cover the theme of how to write an essay. Finally, the criteria used for paragraph ordering is dependent on the main idea in the argument. It dictates the paragraph that should be written first.

Referencing and Formatting

In academic essays and other types of papers, authors must ensure that they do not engage in plagiarism. For instance, referencing is a technique the enables authors to differentiate between their ideas and the ideas of other authors that have been used in developing the essay. In this case, referencing involves the provision of a citation, which directs the audience to the source of an idea. Moreover, there are various paper formats that an author may employ during the writing process, for example, the Modern Language Association style. Each of these referencing styles has additional formatting rules that control the appearance of the essay in using sources or citing a website in text. Thus, referencing and formatting styles establish consistency in writing practices.

Conclusion on How to Write an Essay

There are certain aspects of how to write an essay, which authors need to comprehend to write good essays. Firstly, the essay structure that consists of the introduction, body, and conclusion. Secondly, critical concepts of paragraphing, such as structure, patterns, and order. Lastly, the importance of referencing styles and their implications on essay formatting. Therefore, essay writing is a skill that can be nurtured with the adequate practice of the highlighted principles.

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