A standard essay establishes a writer’s personal understanding, recommendation, analysis, and explanation of a specific topic. This piece of writing is generally used to teach, inform, orient, inspire, refute, warn, or even entertain the reader. As such, a good essay is well-researched, informative, interesting, well-written and easy to read. In order to write a good essay, writers can follow these guidelines: First, the chosen topic must be extensively researched from credible sources such as libraries, academic databases, factual websites, surveys, and interviews.
Through adequate research, the writer gains sufficient knowledge in dissecting and discussing the topic at hand. In this stage, other areas and sub-topics are also discovered while listing notes, important keywords and ideas. Upon completion of the research, the writer must digest all useful information to plan and write the essay in a systematic manner that clearly explains its topic while distinguishing the introduction, body and conclusion of the essay. The introduction contains the thesis statement or central theme of the essay which gives a general idea on what the written work is all about.
Therefore, the writer must strive to make it interesting enough for the reader to continue reading the whole essay. After the thesis statement, the body is written by using the researched notes and summaries taken during research. Initial questions previously laid down to determine the outline of the essay must now be answered. Ideally, this is done by composing several paragraphs where each paragraph systematically tackles questions addressing who, what, when, where, why and how.
Supplementary examples geared towards reinforcing the thesis statement such as statistical data and other studies can also assist in further expressing the idea of the essay. However, the writer must keep in mind to cite sources and acknowledge them accordingly to avoid plagiarism. Ideas and words borrowed from others, even if paraphrased, should be cited using the required referencing style. Widely used examples of these styles include the American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA).
Since there are many existing styles, the writer must pattern the citation and format of the written piece according to the required style. Meanwhile, the conclusion is written by summarizing the important points, reiterating the thesis, and providing a call to action sentence for the reader to act on. A good essay imparts a lasting impression while encouraging the reader to think. In finalizing the essay, the writer must thoroughly edit and proofread the entire work. Spelling, grammatical, and structural errors should be checked again and again. One good way to do a spell-check is to read the essay backwards and check each word carefully.
Most of the time, a good essay written by a good writer undergoes continuous editing, rephrasing, and rewriting until a cleaner and more concise copy is produced. For those aspiring to constantly write good essays, reading is a definite must to expand one’s vocabulary and exposure to other styles of writing. Careful research, effective writing, and thorough editing are essential stages of writing a good essay. By following these guidelines, together with constant learning, practice and dedication, one can develop the skills on how to write a good essay.