Whenever I want to google up how to do something, like how to cook Mexican tacos, or how to perform a jump on a snowboard, just as I start typing “How to…” I get this auto-filling prompt How to write an essay. So I decided to write a short but handy guide on how to write essays, hoping that this would help people out.
So, basically, in order to write any kind of essay, you must perform several simple steps: narrow down the topic, conduct the research, write the introduction, write three main body paragraphs, write the conclusion, and make the list of references.
You will need to narrow the topic down when it’s too broad, meaning that its exact meaning is difficult to comprehend. In this case, you must specify the topic, so that it answered the question of what exactly you must do in your essay. For example, “Effects of smoking” is a vague/wide topic; after narrowing it down, it should sound like: “Bad effects that smoking cigarettes has on teenagers.”
After successfully narrowing the topic, it is much easier to do the research, as you know exactly what to look for, and what kind of information (for example, pro or contra the subject you will be writing about) you need. Use online sources and/or libraries, but make sure you refer only to credible sources, such as scientific journals, or websites with .edu and .gov in their names.
Next you need to write the introduction. It must not be long – five sentences is usually enough. In the first four sentences, you must engage your readers’ attention (by adding some catchy phrase in the beginning, for example), and disclose the background of the subject you are writing about. The final sentence is used for a thesis statement – the core idea of your paper.
In the main body paragraphs, you must introduce the arguments which support the claim you made in the thesis statement. How to write an essay with argument? As a rule, you should introduce one key argument per body paragraph, starting from the strongest piece of supporting evidence, and ending up with the least strongest one. Whenever you use factual data or a quotation from a source, you must indicate it properly, according to the citation style you are required to use (usually it is MLA or APA); this is called a citation. An improper citation can decrease your grade significantly.
In the conclusion, you must remind the reader what your thesis statement was, and briefly show them how the arguments you used prove or deny this thesis statement. Do not repeat any definitions or formulations; you should paraphrase and restate them instead. In the end, make a general conclusion.
Finally, add the list of references. Include all the sources you used to write the paper. Usually, it is done in the order sources appear in the text.
This is basically it and now you know how to write an essay. Some instructions may be not applicable to certain types of assignments, but the most popular types of essays are written this way.