There is no one “right” way to write an essay or any other piece of writing. However, there are some important steps that can help you create a well-written and successful essay. These steps include:
1. Brainstorming: This is the process of coming up with ideas for your essay. You can do this by brainstorming alone or with others. During this step, it can be helpful to think about what you want to say in your essay and what you want your readers to understand.
2. Outlining: Once you have some ideas, it can be helpful to organize them into an outline. This will help you see the overall structure of your essay and make sure that all of your ideas fit together.
3. Writing: This is the actual process of writing your essay. During this step, you will need to focus on getting your ideas down on paper (or computer screen). It can be helpful to have someone else read your essay at this stage to give you feedback.
4. Editing and Revising: After you have a first draft of your essay, it is important to edit and revise it. This process will help you improve the clarity and quality of your writing.
I’m realizing how much I’ve developed as a writer now that the semester is over. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve made some good progress. Since Mr. Frigo allowed us to pick our topic for each essay, I was able to write about something that interests me every time. That also helped me concentrate more on the mechanics of writing than the substance of my essays. College Writing II will be easier for me since I now have a better grasp of the five-step writing process.
The first step in the writing process is prewriting. This is when the writer brainstorms ideas and decides on a topic. For me, I usually start with a blank piece of paper and just start writing down anything that comes to mind. Once I have a list of ideas, I can start narrowing it down to one specific topic.
The second step is drafting. This is where the writer starts to put their thoughts into sentences and paragraphs. At this stage, it is important not to worry about grammar or punctuation. The goal is just to get all of your ideas down on paper.
The third step is revising. This is when the writer looks over their work and makes any necessary changes. This is the stage where you worry about grammar and punctuation. You also want to make sure that your paper flows well and that your ideas are clearly stated.
The fourth step is editing. This is when you go over your paper one more time to make sure there are no errors.
The fifth and final step is publishing. This is when you share your work with others. For our class, this usually means posting it on our blog or turning it in to Mr. Frigo.
Now that I understand the five-step writing process, I feel more confident in my ability to write good essays. I still have a lot of practice ahead of me, but I am definitely improved from where I started.
I used to procrastinate on writing tasks until the last minute, which I still do from time-to-time. In high school, however, I only had a final draft to complete. I never created an outline before beginning to write and didn’t make numerous edits after finishing my essay. On many occasions, I would finish the majority of my paper in preparation for the following day; relying heavily on modifications to regain points.
I would print my essay out, make all the corrections with a pen, and then turn it in. Thankfully, things have changed since then. In college, professors often want to see a student’s work throughout the entire process: from the initial brainstorming to the final product. This has forced me to change my writing habits for the better.
Now when I am given a writing assignment, I try my best to start as soon as possible. If I can, I will brainstorm ideas the night before so that when I sit down to write, I already have an idea of what I want to say. Once I start writing, I try not to stop until I have a complete draft of the essay. This first draft is usually very rough and needs a lot of work.
I will then take a break from the essay, whether it’s for a few hours or a day. This gives me some distance from the piece so that when I come back to it, I can read it with fresh eyes. After taking some time away, I will revise my essay, looking for ways to improve the content, organization, and style.
Once I am happy with the essay, I will ask someone else to read it over before turning in the final product.
While this process may seem like a lot of work, it has definitely helped me to produce better essays. By starting early and giving myself time to revise, I am able to create a well-written and polished piece.
I can be easily distracted while writing. This causes me to deviate off on tangents that lead further and farther away from the initial subject. An outline enables me to stay on track. For each of the three essays we produced this semester, I prepared a detailed outline. I could have completed a broad outline in less than five minutes, but I choose to write complete sentences instead. When it comes time to write the first draft, having a thorough outline saves me time because I already have most of the essay completed.
Next, I focus on the introduction. I think of the introduction as a sign posted at the beginning of a long journey. This is the part where I tell my reader where we are going and why it is important to go there. The introduction needs to be interesting enough to hook the reader and make them want to continue reading, but it should also be brief. After all, we don’t want to give away too much before the journey has even begun.
After the introduction, I move on to the body paragraphs. These are the meat of the essay; this is where I develop my ideas and support my claims. Each paragraph should have a main idea that supports the thesis statement. I try to make each paragraph flow smoothly into the next one.
Last, I write the conclusion. The conclusion is like the sign at the end of the journey; it tells the reader that they have arrived at their destination. The conclusion should be brief and to the point. It should reiterate the main points of the essay without repeating them verbatim.