Teachers and professors simply love assigning papers. They are doing so not to scare you, but to check your knowledge and teach you to manage your time. If you wish to impress your tutor in a good way, follow these easy steps and example on the way to “A”-level academic essay, personal statement, or research paper.
Write Your Essay: Step-by-Step Guide
- Begin with the idea and in-depth research
To collect relevant and up-to-date information or example, you need to go online. The essay should start with the first paragraph with a clear thesis statement (idea), but you must read background information first. You should start with the following steps:
- Learn which topics and primary/secondary sources are acceptable to your tutor.
- Use a good essay example to find how many sources are usually included and the way some sources are cited.
- Avoid Wikipedia as a source for your essay.
- Write down in-class notes to take an idea from them later. It is better to note all in-text citations and references the way they should appear at the start. It will save a plenty of time.
- Fight for your main essay idea. However, do not ignore or avoid contradictive information or opposing example. You need strong evidence to support your arguments.
- Analyze at least one good example
It does not obligatory have to be an essay of another student – read samples of introduction, body paragraph, main idea, and conclusion by famous authors or recognized journalists.
- What arguments does the author use, and how does he support them?
- What is the best about given written example: what is its structure, main idea, logic, sources, easy words, etc.?
- What answers and conclusions does the writer give in his essay?
- Were the research and the specific approach to writing each sentence effective?
- Is there any nice and easy example to follow or to write from?
- Brainstorming to pick one main idea
You cannot use all of your thoughts in a single essay. The main idea you mention in thesis statement in the introduction has to be covered through the text. Decide on an original topic to encourage your audience to read and discuss your idea. Then start your paper.
- Begin with putting every idea and different points on the list. Try to write and use mind mapping.
- Read the brainstorming list of other themes as an example.
- Manage your time. Make a schedule. When it comes to the final sentence of your essay, you should not realize that your deadline is over. Think about your main topic even when having a walk in the park.
- State your thesis statement clearly
- Look at the list of thoughts and main idea with the supportive argument that you have prepared.
- Which example topic are you able to explain the best? Select and write down 1-3 bullet points to support the main topic and provide evidence. Recall your research conclusion.
- Write a clear and easy to understand thesis statement which briefly and clearly describes the main idea and argument list author is about to present in his essay. Your example must show the path to a reader.
- A thesis statement and entire paragraph has to focus on your topic as well as what you are about to present. People want to learn what they will read and decide whether they need this information.
- To focus means to write on a specific topic based on a specific source and evidence. A good thesis example would sound like: “Americans should reduce the regular consumption of fast food because it leads to preventable and expensive health issues such as diabetes and obesity.”
- Do not write your introduction or any other paragraph in the first person unless you deal with a personal statement or reflective essay. Avoid asking questions around your main idea.
Thesis statement and introduction are just two parts of one essay. You can read more about each section of your academic paper here.
- Plan paper example and write the final draft
It is easy to control the time when you realize WHAT and WHEN to write. Your main idea, introduction paragraph, and thesis statement should clearly come first. But before you write these elements for your essay, read how to develop a proper outline. It is similar to the table of contents and should come before introduction and any other paragraph. These bullet points will support your flow. Every step should involve different argument support in the shape of evidence.
- An example of the topic sentence would be: “Homeless people in Berkeley should be given access to services, such as regular food donations and public WCs as it would improve life for all citizens."
- Ex: "The lack of food enforces poor and homeless inhabitants to steal."
- Write body paragraph step-by-step
Each sentence of each paragraph should relate to the introduction of your essay. You may find a good example on the web. The body must support and refer to the main topic idea as well. Usually, you need only 5 paragraphs all-in-all: introduction, body, and conclusion. So, do not write several pages instead of the required one or two – avoid overwhelming your essay with unnecessary information. If you notice that size of your essay is too long, edit and make it shorter but still clear in the end.
- Avoid sweeping generalizations. Make each sentence more specific – do not write “the best, most popular,” etc. Instead, show that “global warming is a critical problem to discuss today.”
- Don’t use personal pronouns "you,""we,""my,""your" or "our." Replace sentence in your paragraph like “I think that Kant was right in his judgments…” by paraphrasing “Kant’s judgments seem objective as…”
- Transform a topic of your interest into the powerful title and introduction
Search for example titles if you have no key. These elements may inspire to read your essay. Write like you are going to show your essay to college admission board.
- Don’t write "The main topic of this paper is…." Everyone understands your idea as they read each paragraph step by step.
- Describe your topic broadly first, and narrow it down closer to your conclusion. In the introduction, your thesis statement is a clear culmination which explains the idea briefly.
- The one-page essay or up to 5 sentences per paragraph are fine.
- Write your conclusion
No example would help as your last sentence or two should be based on your own thoughts and main idea.
- In your conclusion, manage to provide the answer to the central topic questions such as, "What are the implications of your thesis statement being true?"
- Use every argument and evidence to let your reader achieve conclusion on his own. Write your thesis statement once again, but present it in a new light. It should sound like a more persuasive sentence now. "As it was proved by the National Cancer Center and other authorities, second-hand smoke is as harmful as active smoking and leads to a higher prevalence of cancer and heart disease."
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What's in an “Introduction”?
Many writers have trouble crafting an introduction and it is a source of frustration that can lead to writer's block and procrastination.
Many students try to write the introduction to their paper first. (It's the introduction and it comes first, so that would make sense, right?) Before you can easily write an introduction it is important to first do the research for your topic and to have completed your paper outline.
Personally, I often write the entire paper and then go back and write the introduction LAST.
Your introduction needs to get the reader's attention. It should be interesting enough to entice the reader to read more of your paper and it should tell the reader what the paper will focus on.
One literary trick is to open your paper with an attention grabber. Some common devices used to provide the attention grabber are:
- Provide startling information
Startling information must be fact-based and backed by scholarly evidence. Providing startling information in your introduction could be pulling a few surprising or powerful facts or statistics from your research and then tying them into why you are writing the paper and why the reader should keep reading.
An anecdote is a short and focused story about your topic. Stories make an interesting opening for a paper and serve to get the reader's attention.
A dialog can be a simple exchange between characters on your topic.
- Provide summary information
Creating an introduction that provides a general summary of your topic in an interesting manner.
Open your paper with an interesting quote that you tie to your topic.
- Ask a compelling question of the reader
Ask a question of the reader that is designed to peak their interest and make them want to learn more about your topic in order to answer the question for themselves.
Finish the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement. This way, you have an attention grabber to "hook" the reader and this leads naturally into your thesis statement (which is the main point of your paper).