Composing Essays is Easy!

Composing essays is often referred to as a process, since it requires a lot of time and effort. There are several steps, though, that you can follow to make this process much easier. Learning these steps early in your academic career can benefit you for years. With enough practice you’ll be able to dish out an essay without having to stress, and will be able to do so more efficiently. Here are five steps to successfully composing an essay:

Pre-Writing Your Paper

It involves asking yourself questions like “Who is my audience?” and “What is my purpose?” Take time to brainstorm responses to these questions, as well as to generate some topic ideas that interest you. Choosing a topic that interests you will help your enthusiasm come through to your readers. At this point you will be able to identify some of your best ideas and can do away with the ones that aren’t strong or don’t have enough supporting evidence.

Planning and Organizing

This is basically a rough plan for your assignment and will help make the entire process much easier and concise. The best approach is to use a simple 1-2-3 format where the first part is your introduction which includes your thesis statement, the second part comprises of your body paragraphs with each paragraph designated for a single argument and evidence in support of your thesis, and the last for your conclusion paragraph which summarizes and synthesizes the work you have done.

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Writing Your First Draft

After creating your outline or cluster of ideas, it’s time to start writing your paper. When you start, try to remember that it’s best to get all of your ideas down on paper without worrying about grammar, spelling or punctuation. Your main goal is to write a first draft that develops and supports your ideas taken from your outline. Don’t stop to revise sentences that seem repetitive or that seem out of place within a paragraph focused on another idea. Revision is the important process that follows a first draft and aims to do the first level of corrections for these kinds of mistakes.

Revising and Editing

The process of revising your paper involves looking for ways in which your content and organization be improved. For the most effective revision you might want to ask yourself a few questions, such as “Does your essay support your thesis statement?” “Is your essay organized so it is clear to your readers?” After revising the content and organization of your paper, start editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. These small mistakes can cost you a half grade or so, especially if they are perceived particularly annoying by your readers and seen as a sign that you didn’t put much effort into the work.

Writing Your Final Draft

Your final copy is nearly finished, but it’s a good idea to set your paper aside for a few days so that you can review it with a fresh set of eyes. In this final copy you shouldn’t find too many small mistakes if you have gone through your editing and proofreading. However, you may check for things like making sure the margins are evenly spaced, you’ve included page numbers on each page, you’ve formatted your headers or footers properly and any more formatting technicalities that could cost you a higher grade.