Free Essay Writing Tip

Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts. Following this process is the easiest way to draft a successful essay, whatever its purpose might be.

According to Kathy Livingston’s Guide to Writing a Basic Essay, there are seven steps to writing a successful essay:

1. Pick a topic.

You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.

If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?

Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down.

Finally, evaluate your options. If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic.

2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.

In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. By taking what’s already in your head and putting it to paper, you are able to see connections and links between ideas more clearly. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them.

To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines. Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas.

If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay.

3. Write your thesis statement.

Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas?

Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. For instance, if you were writing about Bill Clinton and his impact on the United States, an appropriate thesis statement would be, “Bill Clinton has impacted the future of our country through his two consecutive terms as United States President.”

Another example of a thesis statement is this one for the “Winning Characteristics” Scholarship essay: “During my high school career, I have exhibited several of the “Winning Characteristics,” including Communication Skills, Leadership Skills and Organization Skills, through my involvement in Student Government, National Honor Society, and a part-time job at Macy’s Department Store.”

4. Write the body.

The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position. Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together.

5. Write the introduction.

Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.

Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction.

6. Write the conclusion.

The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis.

7. Add the finishing touches.

After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Wrong. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details.

Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Also, make sure that your paragraph order makes sense. If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a great chocolate cake, make sure that your paragraphs fall in the correct order.

Review the instructions for your essay, if applicable. Many teachers and scholarship forms follow different formats, and you must double check instructions to ensure that your essay is in the desired format.

Finally, review what you have written. Reread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Congratulations! You have just written a great essay.

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An informal essay is written for pleasure. Don't presume that it can not be informative, but it should mainly reveal your ability to write informally and in this way express your point of view on some problems, or some events. The main features of the informal essay different from other types are its informal style and less rigid, but well-organized plan.

The readers should have the perception of conversation when they are reading your essay. One of the most important things is to preserve the sense of your personality. The reader should apprehend your philosophy as well as your vision.

Many students design their informal essays as the fictional story, from the beginning to the end, with some intervals on description. You should spend several minutes on the designing of your initial story. This is your first draft. Start at the beginning of the story you are trying to unfold and progress up to its end. At this stage do not bring in emotions or feelings. Try to emphasize on the dates and the events. Certainly each of us has had some important and memorable events, such as the first trip to Europe or the first day at the college.

It might also come useful to remember the techniques of the informal essay.

Compression allows you to stress on the most important points and events of your story, while omitting or compressing into several words irrelevant and secondary ones.

Time inversion - another technique that is often used in writing the informal essay. The events of 1951 may come before the events of 1940, for example. Needless to say that you have to use this technique cautiously, as too much inversion might weaken the structure of your essay and eventually ruin your assignment.

The cornerstone of this process is a clear, comprehensive and well-organized plan. You should always bear in mind what type of essay you would like to complete.

Look at the following illustration:

Time order: The start of the event -> The middle -> The end of the event.

Now we inverse the time order, so the final illustration looks as following: The middle of the event -> The recollection of the start of the event -> The end of the event.

This technique of informal essay writing allows you to attract the attention of the reader by presenting the most important moment of the story. Once the reader  has been attracted and intrigued, you can "transport" him/her to the beginning of the story and make them acquaint with the missing information before you proceed to the end of the story. This technique is very effective, but you should notify the reader when you intend to proceed and when you intend to look back in time.

Creation of the suspense.

Have you read many interesting books where writers try to preserve the suspense up till the end of plot? Have you watched interesting movies where directors try doing the same with their audience? Yes, but how do they do it? Only few people could tell an even fewer can create the suspense in their papers. It is widely regarded as one of the most difficult tasks. Still, it might not be so difficult if you bear in mind some very simple principles.

Certainly, you have got to create the suspense in order to attract your readers, to make them stay, to induce them to continue reading your custom essay. However, several authors can either satisfy your expectations or preserve suspense until the final strokes of the paper. The most important point in the creation of suspense is the creation of uncertainty. You should create exhilarating and thrilling atmosphere of something unknown, something unexpected and even unpredictable. This technique, named foreshadowing, is one of the most widely used techniques in the writing of the fiction stories. It can also be applied in writing the informal essays.

During this process you can also use another technique- withholding. Every time when the readers ask themselves various questions on the progress of the events in your essay, you withhold the information.

Narrowing of the plot.

Imagine that you are getting on the train and your friend is chatting with another person about his work. We have got two separate but interconnected stories.

Every event in our life comprises several different stories that can be interconnected with others. If you look at the different stories and distinguish them, yet at the same comprehend the integrity of the story and the reader can see how the story unfolds, then you can use them as an additional technique in your informal essay.

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