For many students, English essay writing feels like slaying a beast. This information serves as instruction as to how to write an English essay. Using a guideline, like the traditional five-paragraph English essay structure, is a great start and allows for the process of English essay writing to be less daunting. By following the four main steps to English essay writing, the final product will be concise, convincing and informative.
Sometimes described as "laying down the bones," the initial step in the English essay structure does not involve much actual writing. This is the opportunity to identify the focus and define the purpose of the essay. Many essays address similar topics, so attempt to identify an original approach to the topic. First, become an expert on the topic through research, then decide whether the goal is to inform the readers, to persuade them into action or to narrate a story. Write down every idea at this point and let them flow.
Crafting the Introduction
Beginning the paper with an interesting anecdote, statistic or quotation is the best way to grab the reader's attention. Continue with the thesis and a summation of the essay's three main points. The thesis is the overarching idea that you are communicating to the readers, stated in one concise sentence. It typically expresses an idea that is new and interesting to the audience. For example, "summer weather heats up" isn't a great thesis, since not many would dispute it and it seems like common knowledge, while "summer weather is heating up more with each passing year" is both fresh and arguable. Avoid phrases like, "I'm going to tell you…" or "This essay is about…." English essay writing is most effective when done in third person.
Creating the Body and Conclusion
Body paragraphs for each main point follow the introduction. It is customary to begin with the second strongest argument. The point should be stated in the first or second sentence and immediately followed with supporting details and evidence. Refer back to the stated topic to ensure that the content is not off-topic. Avoid "I believe" or "I think" opinion statements and create confident sentences. Conclude with your strongest point for impact and so that it sticks with readers. In the conclusion, restate the thesis and summarize without repeating it exactly. Wrap up with a powerful quotation or call to action that encourages your reader to be inspired and act.
Time to Edit
Let the paper rest for a while before you begin editing if you have the time. Editing is the polishing of a rough draft by checking the English essay structure and general flow of the sentences. Consider the word choices made and the transitions between paragraphs and ideas. Read the essay aloud to evaluate sentence length and flow. Remove words used only to impress. Each word should have a specific value. Check for smooth transitions from one idea to another.
Proofreading Made Easy
When editing is complete, it is time for a detailed check for spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation errors. Never rely on the spell-check tool in your word-processing program, as they do not evaluate context. The best way to check spelling is to read the essay backwards from the last word to the first word. By following this tip, your eyes review what is written, rather than what is expected. Choose a clear 12-point font that is easy to read and has clean lines, like Arial.
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