As a student, there were probably many times where you’ve had to hand in a paper or essay for university. Especially during these times, when we have to do a lot of self-studying at home. For some people this might be a challenging task to do, especially as we have to write this in a proper academic way, this involves a lot more planning. In order to improve your skills, it can be useful to follow a step-wise plan to ensure you don’t forget anything while writing. Read this week’s blog for a step-wise plan on how to write a good essay!
Brainstorm & do your research
You can only really start writing if you have a clear idea where you are going to write about. To really start the writing process you have to brainstorm, in which you come up with a clear topic of your essay. First, write down everything that comes up, in order to be able to narrow it down later. You can, for example, make use of a mind map to bring up structure to all your ideas. In this way, you can develop a topic more deeply and recognize connections between various facets of your topic. If you have finally chosen your topic, it’s time to do some research. Keep your research organized so it will be easy for you to refer back to. This will also make it easier to cite your sources when writing your final essay.
Outline your essay with a clear structure and linking words
The next step is to outline what the structure of your essay will be. This means you want to essentially draw the skeleton of your paper. Writing an outline can help to ensure your paper is logical, well organized, and flows properly. Start by writing the thesis statement or hypothesis or research question at the top, and then write a topic sentence for each paragraph below that. You can then use this as the basic premise to write your entire essay, remembering that all of the different points throughout need to lead back to this one main point.
Next to that, make sure you have transitions between paragraphs so the reader understands how the paper flows from one idea to the next. Make sure each paragraph ties back to your topic and creates a cohesive, understandable essay.
Check spelling and grammar
Now that your essay is done, you have to reread it, looking for grammar mistakes or spelling errors. You can, of course, use the standard spelling check of word, but if you want a more in-depth check we can advise you to use Grammarly.com. Here, they will give you tips for using more academic vocabulary or for rephrasing certain sentences.
Next to this, errors with citation and paraphrasing are also common among students. Quotes and contextual information are important for establishing credibility and supporting your argument. You should really understand the difference and be careful when writing a text that is original to someone else. Teachers usually follow the APA guidelines for writing papers, so make sure the quotes and information are coming from credible scholarly sources and you don’t forget to add a correct reference list.
We hope this step-wise plan on how to write a good essay was useful and your final essay can be handed in with much more confidence and a better result. If you want to know more about how to read faster for your schoolwork please read our blog with tips on how to read faster here!