Do you feel like you have great ideas, but when it comes to putting them down on paper, you struggle? Do you find it hard to explain your points in the essay format? Have you ever wished you could just submit the bullet points you wrote for your essay rather than the actual essay? Were you never taught the process of essay writing in school?
Tips To Write The Perfect Essay!
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is going to fix all that. Writing essays is a craft, one that you get better at with practice. Essays have 3 main components – the introduction, the body, and the conclusion that all come together to present a succinct argument. But there are more parts to the essay, such as your thesis statement, general points, and supplementary evidence.
Having a basic idea of how to go about writing these parts can go a long way in improving the quality of your essays. Keep reading, and you’ll soon be writing perfect essays in both your submissions and your exams!
The introduction may be the most important part of your essay, as this is the section that sets the tone for the rest of your essay. The introduction does exactly what its name suggests – it introduces the reader to your main argument, as well as provides any background information needed to understand your main argument.
Try to avoid cliché ways to introduce your essays, such as providing a dictionary definition of the concept you’re covering or starting your essay with a quote. These are overdone introductions that give the reader the feeling that you’re not passionate or personally invested in your essay. Instead, try to start the essay organically with an anecdote, by speaking about what inspired this argument (as long as it’s not too personal), or by introducing the background to your essay first.
Say there’s an imaginary essay titled ‘Dogs are better than Cats.’ You couldn’t start the essay with the definition of a dog and a cat, would you? It would be a lot more organic if you started with an anecdote about how dogs are called man’s best friends for a reason. As much as essays are argumentative, they should also feel a bit like a conversation.
Your thesis statement is the part of your essay that defines its purpose for existing. You may have noticed that in the previous section, I refer to something called a “main argument.” That is what a thesis statement is – it defines what you’re trying to convince the reader about by writing this essay.
Let’s go back to our imaginary essay. In this case, your thesis statement would be an expanded version of your title. That is, you would say something like, “In this essay I’m going to convince you why dogs are indeed better than docs.” If you’re writing an academic essay, you would also include a line or two about your methodology and mention the sources you’re referring to.
Contrary to the name, a general point is not a generalized statement you make. The name refers to a general overview of the first point you’re making in your essay. Every essay, as a rule of thumb, should have at least 3 general points that demonstrate why your thesis statement is true. Devote one or two paragraphs to every point, where your general point will act like a mini-introduction to your point."Contrary to the name, a general point is not a generalized statement you make." DO YOU AGREE?
In our imaginary essay, your first general point could be, “Dogs express more affection and excitement than cats.” So now you’ve stated a general overview of the point you’re making, and you can go on to explain your point more in the following sentences.
If you don’t substantiate your general point with evidence, it’s just an opinion. Supplementary evidence is therefore essential to ‘prove’ your point. As a rule of thumb, it is good to have 3 pieces of supplementary evidence for your general point. Supplementary evidence could be in the form of a quote that mirrors your argument, statistics, and figures, examples, or just a further explanation of why your general statement is true.
In our imaginary essay, supplementary evidence could be something like “The General Social Survey (GSS), run by the University of Chicago, reports that 36% of dog owners say they are “very happy” compared to just 18% of cat owners who say the same”.
Remember to tailor the evidence you provide depending on the context of what you’re writing this essay for. If you’re writing an academic essay, it totally makes sense to use lots of facts and figures to prove your point. But if you’re in an essay writing competition that has more personal topics like “why are books your best friends?” it would be odd to see so many statistics. Here, you would have to rely more on personal experiences and quotes from famous authors and the like.
You’ve written your introduction and your three points. Now the next step is to write your conclusion. Your conclusion basically clinches your entire argument and provides a summary of everything you’ve covered in your essay. It can also include any findings you realized or understood by writing this essay. Remember that your conclusion is your last chance to drive your argument home, so don’t try to include an opposing perspective here.
If we return to our imaginary essay, it would be a bit odd if I concluded my essay with “maybe cats are better than dogs, after all” after arguing all along that dogs are better than cats. Instead, I would have to summarize my argument with something like, “at the end of the day, dogs are better because they shower affection on us, are always loyal to us, and playing with them makes us feel happy and carefree.”
This usually only applies to academic essays or features, but there are certain rules about formality when it comes to essays. Generally speaking, avoid the use of “I” and present your points in passive voice only. Phrases like “in my opinion” are not advisable in an academic essay unless the question explicitly asks for your opinion. Also, avoid the use of colloquial phrases, slang words, or any other informal forms of language. If you’re using an abbreviation, always expand it fully at least once.
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