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How to Write an Essay in 5 Steps

So you’re faced with a massive pile of homework, probably even more than you can handle. You’re tired, stressed, and panicked about upcoming tests and deadlines. You don’t have time to waste so you decide to write an essay instead, something that should be easy as pie but somehow isn’t. Before you know it, you’ve spent hours, if not days, trying to wrangle all that information into some kind of order, incorporating all of the necessary details while still following the basic rules of good writing. You think to yourself “okay, maybe I can do this. I’m not stupid, I have an open mind, and I’m fairly confident that I can figure this out.” You begin your quest and soon discover there is method to the madness. The key to successfully writing an essay is organization. It might seem obvious but putting in the minimal amount of effort to make sure all your sources are relevant and incorporated into the text will help you avoid some of the most common problems that plague most students. Let’s look at how you can organize and write an essay in the proper manner so that you can produce a strong final product that will satisfy your professor and even yourself.

Plan Your Structure

One of the most common errors that plague students is attempting to rush the process and not putting in the proper effort into the piece. As a general rule of thumb, you should never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, start writing an essay without having first made a plan for it. This plan should be more detailed than a rough idea of what you’ll say and why you’ll say it. Without a proper plan, it’s almost impossible to know where you’re going with your essay and how you’ll get there. The best plan will emerge as you work on the essay and adjust it as needed. When you have a plan, everything seems to flow naturally and you’ll be able to avoid some of the common pitfalls that trip up even the most experienced of writers. In essence, having a plan makes you a better essayist.

Make A List Of The Materials

What good is an essay without proper resources? While it’s nice to write something that can be called a “stand alone” essay, if you want to get the best grade, you should never, ever, under any circumstances, write an essay without having first made a list of all the necessary resources. The sooner you get these materials compiled, the sooner you can begin to write. When you have all the necessary materials, nothing stands in the way of you writing an excellent essay. Having a list of the necessary resources makes it much easier to select the right sources and avoid having to go back and search for materials that you might have forgotten about. Compiling a list of the necessary materials also helps you figure out how much space you have left for the essay and whether or not you have enough material to make it a worthwhile endeavor. If you find that you are lacking in any particular area, you might want to consider looking into purchasing books or joining a study group to help you find the information you need. You can never have too much intellectual curiosity, especially when it comes to improving your grades. The key to a successful academic career is curiosity. If you’re curious about a subject, you’ll find the necessary information readily available and it’ll be easy to incorporate into your essay. You can also use yourList of necessary resources as a reference list at the end of the essay. This will make it much easier for the reader to find the information they need. If you follow these simple guidelines and take the time to plan your essay, you’ll be able to write an excellent piece that can stand on its own two feet.

Find The Main Idea

If you’re looking for a good grade, you’ll have to write an essay that contains a main idea or point. The key to a good essay is balance. You want to incorporate all of the essential information while still keeping the reader interested. For that reason, you should begin every essay with a hook. The best hooks are those that are unexpected and catch the reader off guard. For example, if you’re writing about the moral implications of playing video games, you might want to begin your essay with a quote from a game author or critic. This will help establish your credentials as an academic authority on the subject and make the rest of the essay seem more interesting. It’ll also make the essay more relevant to those who might have missed the hook.

Organize Your Argument

Your goal in writing an essay is to make a solid argument. The easiest way to do this successfully is to start with a strong opening and a good closing. The opening should establish the topic of the essay and the key idea or argument you’ll be making, and the closing should wrap up the argument in a neat little bow. You can also use your essay to explore different perspectives. For example, if you’re writing about the relationship between video games and violence, you might want to write a few paragraphs introducing the topic and then present all sides of the argument. During the process of writing, you might find that you’ve lost track of what you’re writing about or forgot about a particular point. This is what makes brainstorming during class so valuable. You can bring it up again and make sure everyone is on the same page. The mistake that most students make is not brainstorming enough. Too often, the students think that just because they’re finished with the essay that it’s done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Before you know it, you’ll have a rough draft that needs some serious work. This is the best stage.


Once you’ve written your essay and handed it in, you’ll immediately receive feedback. Even if your essay was flawless, you’ll receive some form of criticism. As a general rule, you should never, ever, under any circumstances, show your work to anyone other than your professor. Doing so will inevitably lead to copying and plagiarism. The best way to deal with criticism is by revising. When your professor gives you feedback, you should immediately go back and revise, making changes where necessary. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and think that just because your essay is finished that you can now throw it away. Doing so would be a mistake. Your essay is not done until your professor has seen it and deemed it fit to grade. The best way to deal with criticism is by revising and showing your professor that you’re committed to improving.

Even after you graduate from college, you should continue to revise and improve your writing. There are so many pitfalls that beset even the best writers, and the key to avoiding them is proper education. It’s never too late to start writing effectively. Even as you’re developing into a mature and skilled writer, you can continue to hone your craft and incorporate what you’ve learned into your future work. Good luck!