A step-by-step tutorial on how to write better essays
When we go through the schooling process, we find ourselves learning, without really thinking about it, how to write and construct essays. But, what if that accidental learning results in less than ideal methods? Sometimes, it is good to approach the writing of essays from a new perspective, to freshen our approach. But, what is the best way to construct an essay? Follow these step-by-step instructions, and your essays should improve.
- Think Clearly
- Read Read Read
- For and Against
Let’s assume that you have an essay topic, and you want to just get down and write that essay. Stop! Before you even begin that writing, you need to take a long time, with a pad and paper, thinking very clearly about the approaches to that subject. Brainstorm, highlight a few ideal approaches, arguments.
Now that you have a subject, a title, a few possible arguments, spend as much time as you can reading in that area. Get as much general and specific knowledge as you can.
A good argument has something to say about a topic, and it uses evidence from reputable sources to strengthen that argument. A great essay has a few sources for, and a few sources against; having a position to argue both for and against makes your essay much more academically grounded.
Once you have an argument, sources for and against, then you can very very carefully plan the way that you are going to convince your reader of your position, via an engagement with the sources that you have.
Write very carefully, set a number of words or paragraphs that you will produce each day, and do not exceed that; this will ensure that each step of your argument, each paragraph, each discussion of a source, is performed to the highest standard. An essay is not a race, so take time.
The crucial final stage is in editing. The writing is the phase where you give yourself the basic material, the editing stage is the polishing, the finessing, where you really take some time to ensure that the writing is crystal clear, that the arguments follows, that the conclusion is supported.
So, in order to re-think the way that you produce your essays, try the above approach, and you should see an improvement in your grades.
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