How to write an essay

Does the idea of ​​writing an essay make you moan? An essay can seem like a daunting task if writing isn’t a force for you. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) writing coaches Beth morgan, John baker, Meagan Campbell and Kayleigh michael gave advice on how to write an essay.

Steps in Writing a Research Paper

If you need help writing a research paper, following these techniques and tips will help you through the process.

Before writing your essay

Beth morganChoose a subject. Getting started can be difficult, but you can’t move forward with your essay writing without a clear idea of ​​what you’re going to discuss. How do I find a good topic for an essay?

Baker said, “To find a good topic, don’t start with what you know; instead, start with what you’d like to know. Use your essay to learn something new.

Campbell suggests finding an angle for your essay that fascinates you. “A subject that interests the writer personally will always be easier to write,” she said.

Take the time to research and think. You have your subject. Now what? “We have students who visit us very often at this point,” said Michael. “Even then, the subject is often not yet sufficiently circumscribed.”

You should also ask questions during your research and include points of view that may contradict your own ideas on the topic. “Don’t force yourself to have all the answers before you even start,” she said.

Make a plan. “I recommend making a list of the main ideas to present in the document and deciding on the most effective order to present them,” Campbell said. “Then, for each of these points, write down the evidence you will use to support your claim. “

“Check your plan. Does the article logically go from one major point to another? Will you have enough evidence for each point? Does this outline support your thesis or the message you want to convey to the article? ” she says. “Identify your gaps in logic before you attack the actual writing. “

Trust the process. “Writing is a process,” Morgan said. “It starts with brainstorming and pre-writing, then writing and receiving feedback, and finally editing and proofreading. “

John bakerMorgan wanted to remind the students that the first draft is meant to be approximate. “Allow yourself the freedom to write a messy first draft,” she said. “Then you can revise your document into a polished and clearly understood final document. “

Structure your essay

Stick to the basics. “Always have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion by the time you’re done,” Baker said. “The introduction introduces your main idea, your key points and your writing goal. The body develops key points one at a time, often one key point per paragraph. The conclusion ties it all together and provides the closure.

Michael wanted the students to remember to state their thesis. “I’ve seen too many articles that last for pages without one,” she said.

How to write a research paper

Research. Morgan said you should enjoy the research process and allow yourself to follow interesting leads. “Research is about gathering sources, learning from them, and allowing them to shape your essay. “

Be sure to write down all your quotes and sources and visit the library, either in person or online.

To describe. “There are no hard and fast rules to describe. Pick a method that works for you, whether it’s drawing a bubble diagram, making a graph, or writing a traditional number outline, ”Morgan said.

No matter how you describe it, your thesis statement should be front and center.

Introduction and conclusion. “Introductions provide context for your reader and introduce your reason for writing,” Morgan said.

As to the conclusion, Morgan said you should let your reader know why they care about your topic. “This is your chance to leave a lasting impression. “

Kayleigh michaelBaker compared writing an essay to a court trial.

“You are the defense attorney. Your thesis is the defendant, and your readers are the jury. The introduction is your opening statement, the body of the essay is the proof and the testimony and the conclusion is your closing statement, ”he said.

Essay writing tips to remember

Cite your work. “Remember that any time you use information that was not created by your brain, you have to give credit for it,” Campbell said. “The consequences of plagiarism can be very serious, ranging from academic penalties to criminal charges. “

Remember your tone and purpose. “You never just report information from your research or the textbook to your teacher – you analyze sources in order to deepen your understanding, synthesize ideas from your sources, and then convey your point of view on the subject,” he said. Morgan said.

Do what works best for you. Try new research or a new outline style if the way you are currently doing things is not synonymous with success. “If you have a process that works for you, keep doing it,” Michael said.

Don’t compare yourself to others. “Comparison kills creativity,” Morgan said. “The other students haven’t had your life experiences. They don’t have your perspective on the world. Ultimately, only you can write your essay. Your voice is important and others want to hear your thoughts.

Meagan Campbell“Can you help me write an essay?” “

For some students, writing is a struggle, but it’s not just about being a good writer. “The reason we hate writing essays often comes from fear: fear of not being good enough writers, fear that our ideas aren’t deep enough, or fear that we will do it wrong,” Morgan said. .

“But being a learner means trying new things. No one expects us to get something good the first time we do it. When we face our fears and tell ourselves it’s okay to make mistakes, that’s when we are truly free to learn, ”she said. “Writing is a skill, like everything else – it improves with practice. “

Ashley Wallis is an Army veteran and writer with a BA in English Language and Literature from SNHU. She currently lives in the Denver area. Find her on Twitter @AshDWallis.

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