As difficult as essays may seem, everyone has the capacity to write one. On one hand this is a good thing, as people are able to express their ideas, and the general knowledge or understanding of a subject grows. However, this also poses a rather big problem for writers, there are simply too many essays floating around. Name a topic and the chances are that a handful of essays have already been written about it. The name of the game these days is setting you apart from the rest.
Yes, a new spin, angle, take, or perspective of a subject will differentiate an essay from the masses, but so too can the qualities of the work. Penning a top-notch college essay means that the writer is highly effective at conveying their thoughts, ideas and arguments to the reader. This is not limited to the mere use of a Thesaurus to “fancify” the language being used in the essay. It does mean, however, that the writer should utilize a systematic approach, not only to decrease the stress involved in writing such an essay, but to also ensure that every part of the essay; from the Introduction, the Arguments, the Conclusion, and all the transitions in between, are treated to the same meticulous and well thought out process.
The first logical step is in choosing a topic. Believe it or not, this tends to be the most difficult part of the essay writing process. With the nearly infinite amount subject matter to investigate, essay writers often face a situation known as “paralysis by analysis”, that is they tend to seize up, and take no action when confronted with a seemingly endless amount of options. Choosing the right topic is difficult and rightfully so, as it will literally dictate the direction of the entire academic paper. As such, take great care in choosing the topic. Be sure that it is something of substance, and also do your best to choose one that has not been repeated to death in past essays. Speaking with the marker, professor or teacher is a great place to start, as they have seen it all and would be able to guide you towards appropriate topics.
Research follows, and lots of it. Get as much information on your chosen topic. Review articles, journals, interviews, facts, figures, charts, data sets and anything else that can have some bearing on the essay. Once these pieces of published and peer reviewed pieces of information (while also making sure to reference them properly) have been obtained, it is time to start laying them out like pieces of a puzzle. Preparing an outline allows the writer to arrange the information throughout the essay to ensure its cohesiveness and also to ensure that the data is presented in a manner that definitively supports the thesis.
The thesis is the writer’s personal stamp or mark on the essay. It is their statement, their thought, their pervading idea that has given birth to the essay. A thesis statement is generally one to two sentences in length and tells the reader what the writer is trying to prove with the written work. This statement will generally be found within the latter half of the Introduction, and everything that follows should serve to reinforce its veracity.
The body of any essay is composed of three or more paragraphs with each paragraph representing an argument seeking to prove the thesis true. Each argument is bolstered by the references found within the research phase of the writing process. It is critical that each piece of evidence is referenced correctly, not only will omitting this piece of information be a technical foul that can lead to a deduction of marks or worse, but its inclusion only shows the reader that there is published data to support the writer’s thesis.
Next comes the writing of the Introduction. Yes, it will contain the thesis statement, but that is not all. The introduction allows the essayist to familiarize the reader with the subject and give them some context surrounding the topic. Using the introduction, the writer can give the reader a brief overview of what they may expect from the essay, which means that each argument is given a one or two sentence summary. But most importantly, the reader should leave the Introduction knowing full well the writer’s intentions.
For some the conclusion is merely a place to recap the events and information discussed in the essay, but to limit it to this would be a drastic mistake. The conclusion gives a writer the rare opportunity to leave a parting thought or impression on the reader. It will be the last piece of the essay that they will read before it is set aside and they continue about their life. A writer must then ask themselves, “Would I want the reader to forget the essay once they are through or would I want them to feel the urge to tell another about it?” The conclusion can be the area where readers inclinations can be swayed, and where a good paper can be a memorable.