The planning stage This is one of the most important stages. Therefore, it should not be overlooked. Planning involves brainstorming ideas and looking for references in the text(s) to back up your points. Be realistic. If you are given a limited number of words to write, be careful to choose the number of ideas you can develop thoroughly. It is not a good idea to simply mention loose points. It is always best to focus on a reasonable number of items which you are sure you can deal with in detail.
Pre-writing1. Research:Begin the essay writing process by researching your topic,making yourself an expert. Utilize the internet, theacademic databases, and the library. Take notes andimmerse yourself in the words of great thinkers.
Pre-writing2. Analysis: Now that you have a goodknowledge base, start analyzing thearguments of the essays youre reading.Clearly define the claims, write out thereasons, the evidence. Look for weaknessesof logic, and also strengths. Learning howto write an essay begins by learning how toanalyze essays written by others.
Pre-writing3. Brainstorming: Your essay willrequire insight of your own, genuineessay-writing brilliance. Ask yourselfa dozen questions and answer them.Meditate with a pen in your hand.Take walks and think and think untilyou come up with original insights towrite about.
Pre-writing4. Thesis: Pick your best idea and pin itdown in a clear assertion that you can writeyour entire essay around. Your thesis isyour main point, summed up in a concisesentence that lets the reader know whereyoure going, and why. Its practicallyimpossible to write a good essay without aclear thesis
Pre-writing5. Outline: Sketch out your essay beforestraightway writing it out. Use one-linesentences to describe paragraphs, andbullet points to describe what eachparagraph will contain. Play with theessays order. Map out the structure ofyour argument, and make sure eachparagraph is unified.
Layout and organisation The basic layout of an essay is as follows: a) Introduction b) Development c) Conclusion. In the introduction you are simply supposed to announce what is going to be discussed in your essay. Do not include conclusions; this will give the reader no purpose to go on reading. Do your best to create interest in your audience.
In the development, which will be thelongest section, you will deal witheach one of the topics in detail. Youshould devote a paragraph to eachone of your ideas. Remember, aparagraph is an idea i.e do not write asingle paragraph or one-sentenceparagraphs.
In the conclusion simply round off theideas you developed. Make sure youhave dealt with what you promised inthe introduction. Look out forcontradictions or inconsistencies.
Editing Once you have written out the whole essay, read it several times for different purposes. At first, check for clarity and coherence and cohesion. Secondly, look out for language mistakes. Thirdly, make sure the style is suitable.
General ideas to be taken intoaccount Do NOT use contractions unless you are quoting. Use the present tense. When you decide to use a quotation, make sure you introduce it. For example, “In Frankenstein, the roles of creator- creature are reversed. We can clearly see this in...”. Do not use quotations unless there is a clear purpose for using them. Remember, quotations should only be used to illustrate your point.
If the quotation is too long, paraphrase it.Do not make use of literary terms unlessyou mention the purpose these devicesserve. Do not say, for example, this is agood example of personification, if youcannot see what the effect is. Simplymentioning literary devices will not makeyour essay more successful.
Remember to acknowledge your sources ifyou use any, even if you are paraphrasingand not quoting verbatim. Include a list ofbibliography and/ or webliography at theend of your essay.Do not fall into the tempation of retellingthe text. The reader is already familiarwith it. You may only do so whenintroducing a quotation.
And last but not least!!! Remember that what matters most is how you respond to the text. There are no right or wrong answers only rightly or wrongly developed ones. As long as you can account for your answers and use the text for support, your ideas will be accepted.