how to write a good essay
Now the essay is written, but you’re not quite done. Reread what you’ve written, looking out for mistakes and typos.
Does your teacher follow the APA guidelines for writing papers? If so, these APA Outline Format Examples should help you pull it all together. As you progress into the meat of the essay (following our tips below), these APA Format Examples should prove beneficial!
The first sentence of the introduction should pique the interest of your reader. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be a question, a quote, a surprising statistic, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis statement, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its central purpose is to present, interpret and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
Having a clear and logical structure will help ensure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray from the question being answered. Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value to the argument you are presenting. As you are writing, it’s good to take a step back and ask yourself: what value does this sentence/section add? How does it link to my overarching argument? If you find that you can’t answer those questions, there is a high risk that you have strayed from your core argument, and you may want to reconsider the path you are taking.
So without further ado, let’s dive in and learn the eight steps to writing an essay.
Structuring your essay according to a reader’s logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay’s ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader’s needs in understanding your idea.
Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this:
“Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?”
If you are asked about “money,” you could try “wealth” or “riches.” At the same time, avoid beginning sentences the dull pattern of “subject + verb + direct object.” Although examples of this are harder to give, consider our writing throughout this article as one big example of sentence structure variety.