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Essay Tips: 7 Tips on Writing an Effective Essay

Step One: Choose a Fresh Topic

❶What can I do if I have to write an essay for an exam and can't do research for it?

Step Two: Collect Information and Learn about the Right Structure

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Get your essay done a couple of days before the due date so that you have time to go back and revise it to make it polished. Avoid turning in a first draft that you haven't double-checked for errors.

Correct errors related to grammar, punctuation and spelling. Consult a style book if you are unsure how to properly use quotation marks, colons, semicolons, apostrophes or commas. Avoid using exclamation points. Make sure you know how to use apostrophes correctly. Look for mistakes involving general punctuation. Check for run-on sentences , commas and periods inside quotation marks, as well as sparely-used dashes, colons, and semi-colons. Remove any repetitive or unnecessary words.

Vary your language with the help of a thesaurus. Also, consult a dictionary to make sure that you're using unfamiliar words correctly.

At the same time, try to keep your language short, sweet, and to the point. A thesaurus is a great tool, but don't just use big words to sound fancy. The best essays are clear, concise, and easily understood by a wide audience. Focus on writing killer verbs for sentences.

Verbs communicate the action in a sentence and drive the action. A great verb can be the difference between a bland sentence and a beautiful one. Adjectives are great descriptive words, but when used indiscriminately, they can burden an essay and make it less readable.

Try to let the verbs and nouns do most of the heavy lifting before you focus on adjectives. Avoid colloquial informal writing.

Do not use contractions or abbreviations e. Your essay should have a serious tone, even if it's written in a light or lyrical style. Analyze how your essay flows.

Does each sentence lead smoothly to the next? Does each paragraph flow logically to the next? Although you can analyze your essay by reading through it, it's helpful to make a reverse outline, working from your essay to outline your thoughts. When events happen in sequence: I first started to realize that I was in the minority when I was in middle school My realization was confirmed when I proceeded to high school.

If sentences elaborate on each other: Plants need water to survive A plant's ability to absorb water depends on the nutrition of the soil. When an idea contrasts with another idea: Vegetarians argue that land is unnecessarily wasted by feeding animals to be eaten as food Opponents argue that land being used for grazing would not be able to be used to create any other kind of food.

If you're relaying a cause and effect relationship: I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college I am inspired to continue my family's progress through the generations. When connecting similar ideas: Organic food is thought to be better for the environment.

Cut information that's not specifically related to your topic. You don't want your essay to ramble off-topic. Any information that doesn't directly or indirectly support your thesis should be cut out.

Have someone read your paper aloud to you. Your ears are sometimes better than your eyes at picking up mistakes in language.

The essay should sound like it has a good flow and understandable words. As an alternative, you can record yourself reading it aloud and play it back.

Rewrite any problematic body passages. If needed, rearrange sentences and paragraphs into a different order.

Make sure that both your conclusion and introduction match the changes that you make to the body. Compose your essay with a clear purpose. A persuasive essay is designed to sway the reader to adopt your point of view about a topic. This means it's important that your views are expressed in a clear, concise manner, which allows the reader to understand your argument.

These are good examples of persuasive essay topics you might write about: Whether governments should or should not fund embryonic stem cell research. Whether love is a virtue or a vice.

Why Citizen Kane is the best movie of the 20th century. Why American citizens should be forced to vote. Write your essay as though you are conducting a debate. When you speak in a debate, you introduce your topic, list your evidence and draw a conclusion for the people who are listening. A persuasive essay has a similar structure. Collect facts from good sources to justify your opinions.

Support your argument with reasoned facts. A well-written essay is great, but a well-argued essay is undeniable. In addition to doing research, you can perform empirical experiments including taking surveys, doing interviews or conducting experiments. Survey results or interviews could be great pieces of information to start your essay with.

Tell a story about the facts. Don't just list the facts; tell a story! How would you like to be one of those wrongfully-convicted inmates? Present the other side of your argument and use logic and facts to show why the other side's opinion is either inaccurate or not up-to-date.

You're showing the reader you are unbiased and considered the other arguments, but you concluded that your argument is the best.

Time after time, evidence has disproved this theory. The death penalty, in fact, does not act as a deterrent to crime: Tie all your ideas together in a gripping conclusion. Be sure to stress your thesis, or what you are arguing for or against, one last time. Use some of the information you have discussed, or a story you've saved, to color your conclusion a little bit. Choose a subject for your essay. You'll be investigating a topic and presenting your viewpoint about the topic based on evidence.

Research papers usually fall under this category of writing. For example, you could write an expository essay arguing that embryonic stem cell research can lead to cures for spinal cord injuries and illnesses like Parkinson's or diabetes. Expository essays differ from persuasive essays because you aren't stating an opinion. You're stating facts that you can back up with research. Select your strategy and structure. Some common strategies and structures for expository writing include: Definition essays explain the meaning of terms or concepts.

Classification essays organize a topic into groups starting with the most general group and narrowing down to more specific groups. In this type of essay, you'll describe either the similarities and differences or both between ideas or concepts. These essays explain how topics affect each other and how they are interdependent.

How-to essays explain the steps required for completing a task or a procedure with the goal of instructing the reader. Keep your views unbiased. Expository essays aren't about opinions. They are about drawing a conclusion based on verifiable evidence. You might even find that, with new information, you'll have to revise your essay.

If you started out writing about the scarcity of information regarding global warming, but came across a bunch of scientific evidence supporting global warming, you at least have to consider revising what your essay is about.

Use the facts to tell the story. The facts will tell the story itself if you let them. Think like a journalist when writing an expository essay. If you put down all the facts like a reporter, the story should tell itself. Don't mess with structure in expository essays. In narrative essays, you can twist and turn the structure to make the essay more interesting.

Be sure that your structure in expository essays is very linear, making it easier to connect the dots. Tell your story vividly and accurately. A narrative essay recounts an incident that either you or others have experienced. In a narrative essay, you could describe a personal experience in which embryonic stem cell research could have helped you or someone you love conquer a debilitating condition. Include all of the elements of good storytelling. You'll need an introduction, setting, plot, characters, climax and conclusion.

How are you going to set the story up? Is there something useful or important here that gets mentioned later on? Where the action takes place. What does it look like? Which words can you use to make the reader feel like they are there when they read it? The meat of the story, the essential action. Why is the story worth telling? Who's in the story. What does the story tell us about the characters? What do the characters tell us about the story? The suspenseful bit before anything is resolved.

Are we left hanging on the edges of our seat? Do we need to know what happens next? Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay. Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement.

Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas? Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position.

Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together. Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction. The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic.

Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis. After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay.

Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details. Check the order of your paragraphs.

The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together. For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly. Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them.

It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count. If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over. You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing.

Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another. In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another.

Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them. Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features.

While it does not need to be too long — four well-crafted sentence should be enough — it can make or break and essay. Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition "in conclusion," "in the end," etc. After that you should immediately provide a restatement of your thesis statement. This should be the fourth or fifth time you have repeated your thesis so while you should use a variety of word choice in the body paragraphs it is a acceptable idea to use some but not all of the original language you used in the introduction.

This echoing effect not only reinforces your argument but also ties it nicely to the second key element of the conclusion: Having done all of that, the final element — and final sentence in your essay — should be a "global statement" or "call to action" that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end.

The conclusion paragraph can be a difficult paragraph to write effectively but, as it is your last chance to convince or otherwise impress the reader, it is worth investing some time in. Take this opportunity to restate your thesis with confidence; if you present your argument as "obvious" then the reader might just do the same. Although you can reuse the same key words in the conclusion as you did in the introduction, try not to copy whole phrases word for word.

Instead, try to use this last paragraph to really show your skills as a writer by being as artful in your rephrasing as possible.

Although it may seem like a waste of time — especially during exams where time is tight — it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay.

This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas — rather than simply the first ones that come to mind — and position them in your essay accordingly.

The Five Paragraph Essay

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4 top tips to write a worthy essay. You may be already assigned with the topic or you may need to choose one. Write an essay outline. When the topic is written and your thoughts and ideas are arranged into categories, it’s time to think about the thesis statement.

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Oct 25,  · How to write an essay- brief essays and use the principles to expand to longer essays/ even a thesis you might also wish to check the video on Interview tech Author: zontulfilmsltd.

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