Essay Writing Step by Step

1750 Words Sep 29th, 2014 7 Pages

“Write an essay? But I don’t know how!” If you are unnerved by the thought of writing a college essay, remember that this task can be accomplished in the same way as any other—one step at a time. An effective essay is the result of careful thinking, planning, writing, and revising. If you work hard on the first two steps, the last two will be much easier. Your goal is to produce an essay whose content is focused, well-developed, and clear.

THINKING (Many decisions must be made before you actually write anything down.)

1. Consider purpose: The general purpose of your essay will usually be determined by your instructor. To be sure you know the specific purpose of your particular essay, complete
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If research is necessary, you may find it easier to first gather material on your general topic and then narrow your topic. (These two steps may need to be repeated more than once as you work on your paper.) For example, if you need to write a five-page essay on the effects of air pollution, you would severely limit the scope of your paper. The following example shows how to narrow your topic until the focus is specific enough for a five-page paper: The effects of air pollution (most general) The effects of air pollution on children’s health The effects of air pollution on respiratory diseases in urban children The effects of air pollution on the prevalence and severity of childhood asthma in urban areas (most specific)

5. Choose a writing strategy: To communicate ideas to readers, writers employ many types of strategies, such as description, narration, comparison/contrast, definition, classification, argument/persuasion, analysis, and evaluation. The strategy (or “method” or “mode”) you choose for a particular assignment will be partly determined by the purpose of your assignment and the expectations of the instructor. Using primarily one strategy may be appropriate for one assignment, while using several strategies may strengthen the effectiveness of another essay.

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