An essay is the most common paperwork that any student will pass at any level of education – so why are we having so much difficulty writing a paper? Perhaps it’s because while simple, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do. Sometimes, the best question to ask is from the basics: what is an essay?
Understanding what exactly does writing an essay entail is the best way to improve your future writing, and potentially develop into a career path that you can pursue in the future.
Parts of an Essay
It’s often taught that there are three parts of an essay. While not all essays may follow the same format and can differ from discipline to discipline (say, a scientific essay from a creative one,) in general, these three parts are fundamental to what an essay is.
These three parts are:
- Introduction, where you give context to your reader about your essay,
- Body, where you explain this context in detail,
- Conclusion, where you tie together your main points
Having a basic understanding of how these three parts work and fit together will determine everything from your writing formats to how your essay will ultimately sound. Writing a paper (no matter which kind) will always fall back to these three main components.
How to write a good introduction
Introductions are how a writer greets their reader and eases them through the work. While introductions may vary between subject matter, these are the general impressions that your essay introduction should impact on your reader:
- Why am I reading this? Is there something here that will interest me?
- What exactly will this essay be about? Will it be something worth my time, or my energy to peruse?
- How will that main idea be outlined? What can I expect in terms of unfolding this explanation over the course of this essay?
While those basics may suffice in your average essay, more lengthy dissertations or writing may require some more clarifications, such as:
- Who wrote this? What is their experience, and how does that lend itself to the veracity of this writing?
- When was this written? What is the context surrounding this particular work, drafted at this particular time? (This can be hinted at, but ultimately reserves its space for the latter part of the essay.)
- Where is this article sourced or based on? If it’s a work critiquing another essay, what is this essay about, and what is the standpoint that it is arguing?
Once a good introduction has been established, it becomes far easier for the writer to guide the reader through their essay. A strong introduction is a good first impression – but one that you will have to back up with the meat of your essay – the body (or the essay topic itself.)
Finding good essay topics
Generally, when an essay is assigned it already usually revolves around a topic or a theme that you can springboard ideas from; but on the occasions where you are given free reign to choose what to write about, it can be a little trickier. However, with a little lateral thinking, it isn’t impossible.
The first important rule of writing an essay is to write what you know. If you’re given the option to choose, choosing an essay topic about something close to your heart is a guaranteed way to get into the rhythm of writing (which can also help you skip over issues like how to end an essay or how to make an essay longer.) Writing what you know gives you a unique perspective that is wholly yours.
Another way to find a good essay topic is to look for previous essays and build something on them. This is the bread and butter of college students – critiquing or elaborating on a previous idea or point of view is often the first step in how to start a college essay. It’s also one of the most frequently assigned essay assignments, which makes deciding an essay topic such a valuable skill to college students.
How to write a conclusion for an essay
When it comes to writing a paper, you need to know how to give it a good conclusion. However, keep in mind that a large part of this will depend on how long is an essay going to be. If you’ve passed a short essay, a brief summation of your most important points will suffice. Longer papers will need more elaborate round-ups.
Writing a good conclusion usually involves one of the following things:
- A coherent representation of your essay’s main points,
- A message or lesson you want to impart,
- A question you want your reader to ponder,
- A new piece of knowledge that your reader hasn’t come across,
- A fresh new viewpoint that you guided them through,
… and various other amalgamations of the idea. If you understand your essay, writing your conclusion should be relatively simple – summation is a skill that can only be developed with the prerequisite knowledge of the subject.
Above all else, conclusions should be impactful. If an essay doesn’t have a conclusion that makes the reader feel like investing their time was worthwhile, it makes any essay – no matter the contents – mostly useless. Good conclusions are part thanks to your reader that they stuck with your writing until the end.
Finally, if writing a paper seems a bit more than your current workload or schedule can handle, there’s always writing services that are willing to help. For a small fee, you can have your work edited, proofread, and vetted by experienced writers in the field you’re discussing. This gives your work an extra degree of polish, aside from giving you the confidence in getting a good grade.
Some writing services like RewardedEssays go beyond this and may even guide you to writers who are willing to sit you down and give you a thorough instruction on how to best draft and edit your essay. But even then, what comes in an essay is something of your own work and experience – reflecting what you know, and how you share it with others.