When you discover that you have an essay due in the next couple of days, it may make your heart sink with dread. Whether the writing assignment is for a class, scholarship, or a contest, many students find this type of assignment overwhelming.
Consider Your Purpose for Writing.
Depending on the project, you may or may not have a topic assigned to you. If you know that the topic has been predetermined, then you should narrow your area of focus. Once you know the topic, it is time to decide if the essay will be informative, persuasive, or otherwise focused. This is known as your purpose for writing and it is essential for choosing the tone of voice that you will use, as well as how you will structure your paper. Your purpose will also heavily influence the topic that you choose to explore.
Design an Outline of Your Ideas
To write a successful paper, you must organize your ideas. Organize your ideas by using a diagram or an outline and jot your thoughts down.
Write the topic down in the center of the page. Draw a couple lines that extend away from the topic in separate directions. At the end of these lines, you need to write down your main ideas. Repeat this step but have the lines extend away from your main ideas. Write down any thoughts you may have about each main idea at the very end of the branches.
In the case that you want to construct an outline, you should then write the topic at the top of the page. Write down your ideas in the form of a list underneath the topic at the top of the page. Be sure that you leave a couple lines of space between each main idea. When you finish that step, you can then write any thought related to each main idea in the space you left open.
Use Your Thesis Statement to Guide Your Writing
The thesis will establish the general idea of the paper. A thesis always has two parts to it. The first states the topic and the second states the point of the assignment. This will take up one to two sentences and you should refer to it frequently to keep you on track as you compose your paper.
Create the Body Before the Introduction and Conclusion
The point of the body is to provide information or explain your thesis. Each paragraph in the body will have the same structure to it. Start with using the main idea as the introductory sentence, then write each supporting idea in the form of a sentence. Try to make your supporting ideas link to each other.
The purpose of an introduction is to grab the reader’s attention and show the focus of the assignment. Start by using an attention grabber to intrigue interest in the reader. Make sure that your introduction introduces your thesis statement and add the statement as the final sentence.
The conclusion will summarize your overall ideas with a final perspective on the topic. Your conclusion should be at least three to five sentences with strong support. All you need to do is review your main ideas and support your thesis.