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A basic guide to writing an essay

There are many people who will tell you that the simple solution is often the best solution. So in providing you with a basic guide on how to write an essay, keep in mind that basic is the key word and simplicity is the order of the day. Here are the fundamental steps in any basic guide on essay writing.

  • choice of topic
  • the planning stage with an outline
  • the key is your thesis statement
  • the first draft
  • remember the components, introduction, main body and conclusion
  • edit, edit and edit

So many students fail or at least get a lower score than they might have got by making the wrong choice when it comes to the topic. The topic of the essay can determine your success. There is a direct connection between the two things. In short, choose a topic which suits you. Choose a topic which you like or are interested in or have some experience in.

Do not rush into the writing of your essay. Create a plan. This will be an outline, a shorthand version of the full version of your essay. You'll list main headings and subheadings. You'll list the points you will make in each paragraph. Having a plan is of vital.

Now your thesis statement is your main statement, the key statement of your essay. It is the sentence which you will need to prove to be true or correct. Take your time in writing the thesis statement. All the writing that you produce throughout the essay is designed to support the thesis statement.

The first draft is important in that it needs to be written quickly. If you've chosen the topic well, if you have a detailed plan and if you’ve taken your time and written a really good thesis statement, it should be dead easy to write the first draft. Don't think about what you are writing and certainly don't worry about things like spelling and punctuation. Get it down quickly.

The structure or basic components of an essay have never changed. There is the introduction, the main body of the essay which consists of the two or three fact paragraphs, and then the conclusion. Do not vary the structure unless given specific instructions by your teacher or tutor to do so.

And finally there is the checking process, the editing and polishing. This is your chance to improve the work and boost your chances of getting a really good score.

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