What is an Essay?
Has your professor asked you to write an essay, but you don't even know where and how to begin? Are you wondering what on earth this actually means and what it entails? Well, an essay is just a piece of writing. Here, you can initiate a debate, propose an argument, express your emotions, or present an idea. It mainly ranges between 1000-3000 words, but it can be as long as 5000 words or more, or even about 500 words. There are different types of essays, including but not limited to
- an argumentative essay,
- a descriptive essay,
- a persuasive essay,
- a narrative essay,
- an illustration essay,
- an informative essay, and
- a compare and contrast essay.
What Structure Should Your Essay Follow?
Even though writing an essay should be a creative process, there is a typical or basic structure that is usually followed. This is regardless of the essay's length. But before you start writing, ensure to understand the kind of essay you are expected to write. Brainstorm this and research different but reliable sources. After this, start working on your essay following this typical structure:
This section introduces the topic. Ideally, begin with a hook that will capture your reader's attention, arouse their interest, and make them read the essay to the end. This can be a question, surprising statistics, an analogy, or a quote. After this, give some background information on the topic. Proceed to provide a clear thesis statement. This should be one sentence stating the argument that you are going to prove in your essay. It gives a road map for your entire paper.
This refers to the middle paragraphs of your essay. It is sandwiched between your introduction and conclusion. It supports your main points, as presented in the thesis. Each idea is developed by at least one paragraph with specific details supporting it. These details vary but can be supported by research and experience. You must organize your thoughts and your content. Help the reader comprehend your essay by writing it in a systematic and easy to follow manner.
Use transition words such as "first," "second," "in addition," and "next," to connect your paragraphs to the thesis and to each other. You can use them between and within paragraphs to ensure your essay's flow and guide your reader to the next point.
The conclusion comes at the end of the essay. It should neither be seen as an afterthought nor used to introduce new ideas. Wrap up your paper by summarizing your content. You can begin your conclusion with a concluding transition such as "in conclusion" or "in the end" to give your reader a sense of closure. Restate your thesis and prove it using the points you mentioned in the body. Avoid writing very long conclusions because the main issues are already discussed.
A typical essay follows this format. Once you have understood what is expected of your paper, be sure to have an attention-drawing introduction. Write well organized and flowing paragraphs for your body, and a firm conclusion. Do not forget to proofread your paper for any grammatical or structural errors. Go and write better essays!