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How To Write A Essay - How to Write a Essay That Will Wow Your Teacher - Build the Framework, Fill in the Blanks, Clean-Up Time

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Do you have a big essay coming up, but just don’t know where to start? Have you had bad experiences in the past? Is English just “not your subject”? Well it may not be your favorite, but a solid grasp on basic English principles is the key to a successful education. But it doesn’t have to be hard! Here is a guide to building your essay, one easy step at a time. Plus, we’ll tell you about some of the most common mistakes that people make in essays, and show you the tools for avoiding them. (For example, did you notice the error in the title of this article? If you didn’t, you will after you get done with this guide!)

Build the Framework

First, you need to figure out the layout of your essay. Make sure you follow your teacher’s guidelines exactly when you select the font size and line spacing, because if you don’t, that’s big points against you right from the start. Also, don’t go too crazy with the font style. Choose something that’s easy to read and looks professional.

Now figure out the layout of your ideas. Most essays are persuasion pieces, factual reports, or personal experience papers, so your layout will change some depending on this. But with all of these formats, there should be a clear point to what you’re writing, and you should be able to put that point into words. What are you saying? What is your essay’s idea in a nutshell? Brainstorm plenty of ideas for your unique take on the subject, and pick the best one. This will be called your thesis statement. It should be one sentence long, and placed somewhere in your first paragraph, where you’re telling the reader what’s going on in your paper and why they should be interested. Even in a personal narrative, you should have a clear point. Why did you choose to write about that particular experience? Maybe it’s something you learned, or something you gained?

Usually for short essays, you want to divide your main ideas up into separate paragraphs or sections. If you’re arguing a point, you’ll want to divide up your arguments into the top three or four ideas and give each one its own paragraph. Each idea should be in some way related to the thesis, and each one should support your main argument. If you’re doing a book report or a historical essay, still take time to divide the events or ideas up into separate sections, where you can then look deeper into each one.

Fill in the Blanks

Everybody works differently. Some people write best at night. Some people do it best under last-minute pressure. Some people absolutely can’t handle pressure and write nothing but crap at the last minute. The important thing is finding what works best for you. Find a place and time where you can focus on your writing in a way that makes sense for you. This is especially important now, because filling in your essay’s content is a focus-intensive job.

Because you’re filling out the first draft, don’t worry too much about the flow and little grammar issues. Your job is to write, write write. Just concentrate on “getting it all out” for right now – don’t attempt to craft a masterpiece on your first try, because even writing a mediocre first draft takes a lot of energy! If you’re a habitual perfectionist, know that you can go back and edit as much as you want later. If you’ve set up your essay layout in a way that makes sense to you, you’ll find that it’s much easier to just go through and “fill in the blanks” with your framework to guide you.

Clean-Up Time

Now it’s time to make everything look polished and pretty. Let the essay sit for at least a few hours after you write it, and then go back and read it out loud to yourself. Pay attention to areas that cause you to stumble or don’t make sense – these are places you should look at changing. Rearrange points, rephrase your sentences, and just change stuff around until it feels like it flows smoothly. Now is also the time to find any spelling errors, grammar errors, etc. Spellcheck is a good place to start, but it doesn’t catch all. Sometimes individual words are spelled right, but they don’t make sense in the context you’re using. If you don’t know many of these little details, you can brush up with online articles like this one from CopyBlogger.com. Or another quicker way is to just ask an English-nerd friend to peer review your essay, paying special attention to grammar and spelling. We English nerds are usually more than happy to oblige.

One of the most common errors is incorrect apostrophe use, like in their vs. they’re, your vs. you’re, its vs. it’s. Also, mixing up “a” with “an” is quite common, just like in the title of this post. (Hint: the title should say “an”!) Going into each one of these errors in detail is beyond the scope of this article, but you can find plenty of quick resources online, like this article on the top ten most common writing mistakes.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how to write a better essay. It may seem difficult at first, but hang in there. Find your personal voice and your writing strengths, because everyone has them. Then writing may actually become fun!

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