Essay writing can be very challenging as many students at both high school and college level would testify. Therefore, no student should feel embarrassed or ashamed if they have just done a google search to find an essay writing service like WritingLeader. A number of students experience the same difficulty with writing assignments and seek assistance from a source they can trust and rely on. This useful guide is designed to take you through the process of writing a high-quality custom essay from scratch and it has been put together by a team of professional writers who have completed thousands upon thousands of great essays. We also offer a number of useful templates and other documents to demonstrate what an effective essay looks like.
Choosing a Topic for an Essay
The first step in writing an essay is choosing a topic unless provided by a tutor. Even though this can seem like a difficult task, it is actually relatively easy. There are numerous methods at your disposal for finding a topic that suits your course and academic interests. If a topic has already been assigned to you then it is best to stick with that.
If, however, you are free to choose your own topic, it makes sense to select one that matches your interests and one where there are plenty scholarly sources available. It may be that you choose a topic based on material you covered in a current or previous class. We have also compiled a list of topics to give you some ideas. Our list includes a number of popular, controversial and newsworthy topics. Or if there is nothing on our list that appeals to you, we also provide a list of reliable websites that you might find useful and relevant.
Research for an Academic Assignment
When you have chosen a topic, the next step is to look for some sources of information or, in other words, it is time to do some research. It is possible your tutor will want you to examine some peer-reviewed material. These sources are usually found in textbooks or journals and have been contributed by other scholars or people with expertise in a particular field. There are a number of recommended scholarly databases such as EBSCO Host, Google Scholar and JSTOR and, although many of these are subscription-based, they are often available to students via their college’s library or website.
It is best to search under diversified terms and the more recent a source, the better it is. The most efficient way to evaluate material is to read the abstract, introductory section and concluding paragraph of each source to establish whether it is relevant to your essay or research project. When an article is relevant, you should continue reading the piece, all the while making notes (e.g. chapter and/or page numbers) of important points, quotes and other elements you can take away. Although hand written notes are always popular (and useful), it is a good idea to use an electronic or cloud-style application such as Evernote, OneNote (Microsoft) or Google Docs. This will allow you to save your work and quickly copy and paste notes or quotes when you are ready to use them.
Planning Your Essay
The planning stage is often neglected because a lot of students think it isn’t very important. However, good planning will both make the writing task easier and it will enable you to spot any significant problems and rectify them in time. This part of the process should begin with a careful study of the instructions you received to ensure you understand what is required. Then you need to examine the key assumptions and any existing opinions (biased or otherwise) on the topic. Lastly, you should examine your sources for common premises or themes before you start writing.
Creating an Outline
An outline is a rough framework or draft of your essay with each main point or section listed. The primary importance of an outline, especially if it is thoughtfully done, is that it guides you through the process from one point to the next. An outline can be comprised of full paragraphs or it can take the form of a list.
Crafting a Thesis Sentence or Statement
A thesis statement is the central argument of an entire paper and it should convey the writer’s key idea. Although there are several ways to write a thesis, we suggest you consider the problem and present it in terms of its cause and effect.
Writing the Introduction
The first or opening paragraph of an essay is usually an introduction and this should roughly take up around 20% of your overall essay. An accepted method for structuring an introductory paragraph is to move from a broad view to a more specific one, known as the funneling technique. Thus, you should begin with a broad-ranging sentence and keep narrowing it down in the subsequent sentences until you arrive at your thesis sentence or statement. The thesis should always appear at the end of an introductory paragraph.
The Main Body Text or Paragraphs
The paragraphs that make up the body of an essay are its main portion and should include arguments or examples to support the thesis. There is a basic structure for body paragraphs and to be followed. Usually, each paragraph should be made up of between six to eight sentences as follows: 1) a topic sentence, 2) an introduction of evidence or sources, 3) any supporting facts or quotes, 4) the writer's own interpretation or explanation of the facts or quotes, 5) an explanation of how the facts or evidence relate to the thesis and 6) a sentence that transitions to the next point or paragraph.
The Concluding Paragraph
The conclusion should bring all the points together and end with a final thought. Like the introduction, the conclusion should account for around 20% of the entire essay and you should not introduce any new ideas or information in this section. Typically, the conclusion serves to 1) reiterate the thesis, 2) summarize the main points and 3) end with the writer’s analysis of the material covered.
The Use of Citations and Quotes
Quotes and source citations are essential in an essay because they are used as evidence to argue a point. Quotes should never be used to begin or end a paragraph. Additionally, quotes should be introduced rather than just abruptly dropped into the text. Try to ensure the quotes you use are important and have impact by using your own wording to explain their meaning.
Reference or Works Cited Pages
A reference or works cited page is a record of sources or references used in an essay. With the MLA citation style, references are placed in a separate section at the end of the essay with the title at the top center of the page. From there, each individual source is entered according to the MLA style guide.
One Final Check
When you have finished, make time to review your work. You can ask a trusted friend or family member to do this or you can use your school or college’s writing center.
Feel free to check out and/or use the sample essays on our website if you wish.
Helpful Hints and Tips
No matter how good a writer you are, you should find our hints and tips useful for improving your existing skills. Never, for example, introduce quotes with the word “said.” Make sure you know how to use colons, semi-colons and other punctuation marks correctly if you are planning to use them. Finally, there are some useful downloads on our website if you need additional guidance.
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