When writing an essay, the first step is to choose a topic. For this you first have to decide what direction your essay is going to take – is it going to persuade the reader to share your point of view, is it going to explain how to complete a task, or is it going to inform or educate the reader on a particular topic? In fact your essay can do several things – narrate, persuade, explain, describe something or a procedure, give causes and effects, compare and contrast, or define something.
Once you have determined the purpose of your essay, think of a topic. Think of a subject that interests you or something that you strongly feel about. Unless the interest or the feeling for the topic is not there, you will not be able to convince your readers. You also have to keep in mind that the topic must fit the purpose.
Now that you have your topic, write down all your ideas on the subject. Gather as much information as you can on the topic and write everything down.
Once you have all the information with you, make an outline of your essay, following this outline:
Introduction: The first paragraph should be the introduction, telling your reader what the essay is going to be about. Try and attract the reader’s attention from the very beginning by giving some startling fact, or intriguing information, or anything else that will make the reader want to read the rest of your essay.
Body paragraphs: These may be 3 or more depending on how many points you are going to discuss. Each paragraph should discuss a different point.
Conclusion: The final paragraph is the conclusion. The conclusion should not be too long; just 3 or four sentences should be enough. It should sum up the main points of your essay and provide a final perspective on the topic.
The important thing to keep in mind about writing an essay or article is that how you write it is just as important as what you write. Your approach to the topic and the order in which you present your points are very important. The transition from one point to another, and thus the transition from one paragraph to another, should be smooth. Keep the order the same as mentioned in the introduction.
Grammar is another important aspect. Bad grammar, wrong punctuations and spellings can make anything bad reading. Don’t write very long sentences or never ending paragraphs. Try not to repeat the same words over and over again.
Now that the essay is written, think of a title. Think of a good title. It’s the title that will decide whether someone wants to read your essay or not. Make it attractive and one that gives a hint of what’s in store, without telling all.
The final step is to proofread it. Read it out loud to yourself or someone else to see if it sounds OK and the flow is right. It is sometimes better to read it over the next day, as you then tend to look at it from a fresh angle and are more open to errors.