Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to Write an Essay

How to Write an Essay

In this paper you will learn how to successfully write an essay by following the writing process. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell authors of Patterns for College Writing, introduce step-by-step instructions for successfully petting together an essay together. Prewriting is very important in writing an essay because it will help you brainstorm ideas. You can brainstorm by reading journals and diaries. After this it is best to group your ideas. Grouping your ideas helps you to organize your thoughts so the essay has a chronological sequence by either an outline or clustering. Then you have the outline. The outline is the key point in the body paragraphs of the essay. When the outline is completed it is transferred into paragraphs. You also have to know the different sections of an essay such as, the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion (paraphrasing).

The length, audience, and occasion of the topic in which you are writing should be a part of brainstorming and your prewriting (paraphrasing). The length of the essay should be considered. For example: if your teacher tells you to write a two-page essay, you will want to limit the writing and stress mainly on the key factors of the topic. A purpose is how you are going to word what you want to say in the essay (paraphrasing). Do you want to influence the reader to believe your opinion on a particular subject? Is it directed towards customers and are you trying to get them to buy something? These are examples of questions to ask yourself to determine the purpose of the topic in the essay. Next is your audience. Decide what group you are writing the essay to. If you were to write the essay to an employer, you would want to put more emphasis on your work experience. Consider the age group and gender of the audience so your writing is consistent at a certain level (paraphrasing). For instance, if you are writing about high technology in computers, the paper should be directed towards a higher age group rather than children. Also consider the occasion for the writing. You can write about a specific behavioral problem for psychology, but it would not be suitable for an English class. It is also important to include your own thoughts and opinions, as well as your experiences. If you do not know something about the topic of your writing, learn about it so your writing is more accurate.

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Brainstorming is a technique used by most writers. It is an excellent way to find more ideas about your topic. You can ask other people for their opinions and ideas, brainstorm in a group, or even by yourself (paraphrasing). Most journals consist of experiences and ideas, which create more information and allow you to explore more topics. Diaries are usually more about personal feelings, but like journals they provide a wider range of information to work with.

It is very important to keep your information, thoughts, and ideas organized. This is done by creating an informal outline or clustering (paraphrasing). An informal outline is more of a list than clustering, consisting of few major key points and details to support the key points. Unlike clustering, it may also be the pattern of your essay. Clustering gives you a visual sense of direction (paraphrasing). To cluster your ideas, you first write your topic, leaving room around it for your information. Then branch off the topic and write your major points. When you jot down the details, branching off your major points, you can determine what order you want to put your information in. Some writers create a cluster and an informal outline.

There are three parts to an essay. The first is the introduction, which is usually one paragraph (paraphrasing). You can start the introduction with a phrase, question, or even a definition. Some writers also start out by stating background information. Your introductory paragraph should always lead to your thesis. The thesis is created to state the main idea. It holds the structure of an essay together and gives your readers a concept with the details you provide for it (paraphrasing). The next thing that needs to be done is writing the body paragraphs of the essay. Each sentence should relate to one another, which is called unity. Each paragraph should relate to the topic sentence and thesis statement (paraphrasing). Like the thesis statement, a topic sentence is the main point of the essay. The sentences in the paragraphs should flow smoothly; this helps the reader to comprehend the essay with greater ease. Echoing main points and important definitions can do this (paraphrasing). A transition is a word that shows expression, unifies a sentence to show an order of events, and is very significant in your paragraph structure. Your body paragraphs should be organized, clearly understandable, and at least three paragraphs in length. The body of your essay should also relate to your thesis statement. The third part to an essay is the conclusion. This paragraph closes your essay with a summary of what you discussed. It is this paragraph that ties the ends, and shows commitment in what you have expressed in your writing (paraphrasing).

In short, essays can be difficult to put together, but you will have to write them throughout your life. You will have to write them for employers, to governors, and so on. Learning the writing process will help guide you to an organized, clearly written essay. Choose an audience, then the topic, explore your topic, and organize your information. Even though these steps seem simple, many writers, even professionals, have trouble and run into problems. Time, information, and the knowledge of essay structure are the main points to completing an essay.

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