How to Write an Essay that Appeals to Readers
An essay is an analytic or interpretive composition. Essay writing is a common assignment in colleges and universities. Thus, mastering how to write an essay will help you overcome the challenges that come with academic essays. There are many types of essays, which students encounter, including analytical essays, rhetorical essay, and comparative essays among others. This article will provide you with all you need to know to become an expert in essay writing.
Tips on how to write an essay that earns you recognition
The first step towards writing an excellent essay is understanding the essay question. Do not rush into writing before thinking through the question, to allow your brain digest the task at hand and elicit relevant questions.
As you figure out how to write an essay, read the essay question keenly, noting the following:
- Highlight the key words
- Check the meaning of unfamiliar words from the dictionary
- Identify task words from the question, indicating what to do like explain, discuss, compare
- Identify topic words, showing a particular subject, e.g. ‘causes’ of the economic crisis.
- Identify limiting words, which could dictate the scope of the essay. A good example is in ‘Chapters 1-3’ discuss economic crisis in the ‘21st’
Understanding your research topic when writing an essay
Before you start writing your essay, get background information about your research topic. For example, visit the internet or the library and enrich yourself with details on the research topic. Back grounding is important in establishing relevant sources, which your tutor will accept.
Questions to ask yourself as you ponder on how to write an essay:
- Will you need primary and secondary sources?
- Do you have authoritative references?
- What citation format will you be using?
- Which facts contradict your initial argument?
Five Steps of Writing an Essay
An essay may be as long as you want. However, a classical model of an essay has five paragraphs. It is a good model to remember as you sharpen your composition skills. In this section, you will learn how to develop each of the five paragraphs:
The main parts of an essay are:
Let us look at each of these parts with relevant examples.
Writing an essay introduction
The introduction should highlight the subject matter of the essay, including what the reader should expect.
It also carries the thesis statement. A thesis statement is a claim, which you support throughout the essay, comparing your arguments to others articulated by different authors.
When mastering the art of how to write an essay, always make sure that the last sentence of this paragraph creates a link with the second paragraph. It should have a transition hook, which takes the reader to the second paragraph of the essay.
Example of an Essay Introduction:
Consider this essay, The Main Causes and Types of Ataxia, which is written by a competent writer. The introduction of the essay reads as follows:
Ataxia is a condition in which there is poor muscle coordination in the body. It may affect motor skills and locomotion in patients. People with this condition have no or little control of their movements. The disease affects daily activities like speech, eye movement, swallowing and other voluntary movements. Ataxia can be passed from parents to children. Many people who suffer from this condition also have ataxia gait.
In this introduction paragraph, the writer starts by defining the term ataxia, giving a summary of its cause and effects. Even though the paragraph does not give enough details about ataxia, it arouses the curiosity to read on and understand the causes and types of ataxia.
Another good example of an essay with a well-done introduction paragraph is Criminology. Take a look:
Many theories have been developed explaining deviant behavior and crime in the society. Examples of these theories include the feminist theory, learning and socialization theory, conflict theory, labeling theory, and the functional theory. Conflict theory is about the pluralistic nature of the society where the rich make laws to protect their riches whose violation amounts to crime. Functional theory holds that deviance is part of the social structure as people engage in deviant behavior to adjust to societal strains. For labeling theory, deviance arises from the manner in which the society reacts towards a particular behavior. Even though these theories offer comprehensive explanations of how deviance and crime occur, conflict theory is the most accurate and detailed.
In this introduction paragraph, the writer introduces the essay by stating various theories, which have been developed to explain deviance and crime in the society. These definitions give a sneak preview of what the reader should expect in the body of the essay. The last sentence of the paragraph is the thesis statement, which holds that conflict theory best explains the concept of deviance. Therefore, the reader expects arguments to support this claim.
How to write a detailed body of an essay
The first paragraph of the body carries your strongest argument to support your thesis statement, with clear illustrations. The first sentence of this paragraph has a reverse hook that ties the paragraph with the first one.
The topic for this paragraph appears in the first or second sentence and should relate with the main argument captured by the thesis statement. The last sentence of this paragraph should have a transitional hook to link it to the second paragraph of the body.
Example of the First Paragraph of an Essay Body
This example is very important if you want to have a grip of how to write an essay from the essay, Criminology.
There are various reasons, which support conflict theory as the best approach in explaining crime in modern society. Firstly, the political class defines crime and creates rules to control human behavior. Secondly, how much a behavior conflicts the interests of those in power determines the process of qualifying it as deviant since those in power transform their demands into public policy, which can only succeed with laws.
In this first paragraph of the body of the essay, the writer ties it back to the introduction and the thesis statement. It starts by stating that several reasons exist to support the conflict theory as the best in explaining crime in the society.
Writing the second paragraph of the body
This paragraph has the second strongest argument and a follow up of the first paragraph of the body. The first sentence of this paragraph has a reverse hook that links with the transitional hook of the previous paragraph.
The topical sentence should be the first or the second and should relate to your thesis statement. Include a transitional hook at the end of the paragraph to link it to the third paragraph of the body.
Thirdly, the influential people in the society shape the admiration and law enforcement processes besides defining deviance and crime.
The writer links the first sentence to the previous paragraph by using the word ‘thirdly.’ This creates smooth transition of ideas between the two paragraphs, having already discussed two reasons that support conflict theory in explaining crime in the modern society.
More tips on How to write an essay with five paragraphs
Knowing how to write an essay body is important when working on your written assignments. This helps you to organize your ideas and arguments depending on their strength. In the third paragraph of the body, focus on the weak arguments, which support your thesis statement and are a follow up of the previous paragraph.
Remember to link this paragraph with the previous one using a reverse hook. Include your topic in the first or second sentence of the paragraph. As a rule, this topic should relate to t he thesis statement. Importantly, the last sentence of this paragraph should have a transitional concluding hook to signal the end of a major point being made. This concluding hook further links the reader to the conclusion paragraph of the essay.
How to write a good essay conclusion
Conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. The reader should be able to tell that you have concluded your ideas. Below are the pointers on how to write an essay conclusion:
Do not introduce new ideas in the conclusion
- Link your conclusion to the introduction
- Restate your thesis statement, using a language that is close to what is in the introduction
- Give a summary of the main points in the essay
- Final statement to signal the end of the essay
Example in Gender and Diversity
The conclusion paragraph of this essay reads:
It is important for the world to understand issues of LGBT and women to tame discrimination. This will be a major step in promoting equality in the world.
The writer gives a call for action, recommending the need for the society to recognize people of different gender in the world.
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