Tips To Write Good College Essay
There are a number of things that you should consider before you write an essay. The flow of an essay is dependent on your logical outline of ideas and how well you explain your thoughts.
What Is A Good Essay?
Simply put, when you write an essay, it can only be considered good if it provides an appropriate response to the question asked. This may sound hackneyed but it is the fundamental aspect of every good essay. Your ultimate goal when writing an essay is not merely to fulfill your instructor’s suggestions by following each guideline or to satisfy the guidelines set out in this article. Instead, your goal should be to surpass a cognizant application of diverse methods and get a point where those skills are applied rather naturally, without much strain, and end up with a composition that can be called a good essay.
Without a doubt, the use of conscious thinking in any essay writing exercise is obligatory as a method of establishing fairly natural approach. So what exactly should you call a good essay when you write an essay?
An imperative point to note is that there is no single right answer to that question. What eventually matters is your considered judgment. Whenever you are supposed to write an essay, it is crucial that you remember that no answer is explicitly correct. The general rule is that any question that is interesting enough to be posted as a question is, by extension, undeniably debatable.
Your tutor will never ask you a dreary question. On the contrary, questions will only be asked if they have something to ponder upon, some sort of debate or puzzle.
Here’s the catch. Whenever you write an essay, your job is not to prove that there is a dispute. Your reader (the tutor in this case) is already aware of the opposing sides, which is why the question was asked in the first place. The purpose an essay writing exercise is to make the student contemplate on the topic, show a comprehensive understanding of the pertinent issues, determine all relevant parties and points in the debate, and finally, present your considered opinion regarding the most appropriate response to the question. More importantly, the answer should be supported by a wide-ranging analysis of an available body of proof as well as arguments from reputable authors in that field.
Take note of the phrase ‘considered judgment’. This does not in any way imply the regurgitation of the published points of view. The reader already knows the ideas presented in the published source. Otherwise, he or she can easily find that out by scanning the author’s work. What the reader expects to see is how you make use of others’ arguments to further your own answer.
Whether the author presents a supporting or divergent argument from yours, your aim when you write an essay should be to demonstrate why that argument is valid or unconvincing. You can even prove that that author raises issues that require a more nuanced response. Note that while you are at liberty to state the author’s argument (directly or paraphrased), this should only be done, not as an end in itself, but as a way of reaching your analytical end.
Another noteworthy point is that considered judgment does not include prejudices, personal opinions, and beliefs; these are not part of academic essay writing. On the contrary, any claims made when you write an essay should be adequately supported with valid arguments and reputable sources, including journals, books, magazines, newspaper articles, and web content from highly regarded sites, among others. However, this does not imply that every argument in the essay should be justified in precise detail. You can use premises, but only if they are based on meticulous arguments that ultimately lead to a sufficiently justified conclusion. Conclusions that are not founded on such premises are not interesting. Remember, an essay is not a parliamentary debate….it is just a good answer to a particular question.
Most students, when writing an essay, tend to make the mistake of interpreting the above task (as explained) as an activity in which they are supposed to pick a side of the debate and argue for it at all costs. While, in some circumstances, an extremely unequivocal idea can be sturdily supported, there is a considerable disparity between presenting a clear and concise answer to the essay question (which should be the case) and offering a narrow-minded and obdurate reply (this is generally wrong).
Instead, endeavor to provide a nuanced answer. Some isolated cases, for instance, necessitate an answer that is dependent on our understanding of particular core models or one that hinges on certain factors. Such complexity is perfectly permissible and allowed for. Nevertheless, in whatever situation, aim at providing a clear and definite answer whenever you write an essay.
For example, if the essay question requires you to explain something and you identify various crucial, determining factors, do not just list them down arbitrarily. Instead, offer a precise explanation of the roles played by each of the factors.
Before you write an essay, you should, first and foremost, figure out how you intend to answer the question. You can then structure your essay in such a way that it supports your answer.
The emphasis here is that a good essay should offer a suitable response to the question, one that is precise, clear, and rationally thought out. Subsequently, every word written is supposed to contribute towards achieving this objective. For the purpose of this article, we will define an essay as a succinct, focused answer to a given question. By extension, what this means is that there is no way that a departure from the issue at hand, however slight or seemingly insignificant, can be seen as good.
Word Choice When You Write An Essay
There a time-tested method of ensuring that the words you include in your essay contributes to your overall answer, and that is being aware of your answer before you start to write an essay. Think about it. Don’t you think that this way, you can determine the direction your essay is going to take and how to eventually get there? Challenging as it may sound, adopting this strategy of structuring ideas from the very beginning will help you write a much more superior, and cogently argued essay. Further, you will be able to write an essay that is exceedingly clear to your audience, which is a core requirement if you need to convey the message successfully.
How Do You Write A Good Essay?
Obviously, the first and most important aspect is to provide a clear, precise, detailed, and lucidly thought out essay. The question now is; Do you have adequate sway or influence over the material you have so as to effectively use what you know, what you have thought, and what you have read and presented an opposite answer to the question?
When you write an essay, you focus, from the beginning to the end, should be on the essay question.
Why has the question been asked? What is it getting at? What does the tutor expect? What are its underlying notions?
In virtually all situations, the question will be geared towards a pragmatic phenomenon over which there is some noteworthy discussion or existing debate in the literature. Therefore, there is a need for you to ponder upon what you have read, what you know, and its connection to the question. Think about and identify readings germane to the essay question. What exactly, in these kinds of literature, seems applicable to the question? What are the arguments presented? What other facts that you know are pertinent to the question? What is their contribution towards the development of the answer?
Consider the sticky concepts within the essay question. In cases where you are explicitly asked to define terms as you start to write an essay, do not assume the role of a dictionary, merely stating definitions without elucidating the connection the definitions and the ultimate answer. When you write an essay, you need to establish the impact of these problematic issues on your answer. For instance, there may be a number of vital explanations that may eventually result in distinct answers, and around which you can construct your essay. Or you may choose to define the idea in a particular manner and use that exposition to structure your notions on your question.
Brainstorm Before You Write An Essay
Start writing the essay by brainstorming on the issues discussed above, and then piece together your thoughts. Gradually, a structure will start to reveal itself. Identify points of argument that can be used to construct the essay, such as an existing debate between competing views, causes, and effects, or a series of concepts that you want to explain before revealing your answer. The possibilities are endless. By doing so, you will be generating ideas on your preferred answer. Again, how and when this occurs depends on the essay question, your style of thinking, and how you perceive the question. The important thing is to determine what answer you want to give and what you need to do to present your argument precisely.
How to Write an Essay: Structure
It is virtually impossible to offer specific and explicit counsel on what a good essay should be, primarily because there is no particular model that is applicable to all essays. We can only outline general guidelines concerning the structure of an essay.
Always start with an introduction paragraph when you write an essay. Apart from giving the reader a sneak peek into the contents of the essay and telling him or her what to expect, it also helps you, the writer, in determining what steps have to be taken before you can finish the essay.
In fact, an ideal introductory paragraph resembles an essay plan, stating the general direction of the essay and how to get there. Avoid meaningless and dormant phrases, such as ‘in this paper, I will argue that…’ Instead, delve right into the subject matter. Note that the structure of the introduction will depend on the question and the direction you have chosen for your answer.
Do not be a victim of the misconception that you can write an essay with insignificant facts and insufficient details on condition that you have a clear, well-structured, and focused introduction and conclusion. Always duplicate the same focus in the introduction in the body of your essay so as to deliver on what you promised in the introduction.
Typically, every point outlined in the intro should be converted into a body paragraph. Make sure that the point of every paragraph is immediately clear by using topic sentences. It is advisable that you draw each paragraph to the essay question as you end it, ensuring that you do not create some sort of formula where you needlessly repeat the wording of the question.
In your concluding paragraph, sum up your answer to the essay question. Ideally, the conclusion should outline your answer and the underlying supports while avoiding the repetition of the words contained in the introduction. Want to be unique and write an essay for a professional? Surpass this minimum requirement of the conclusion and state the deeper inference of your answer.
Draw Out the Implications
Essay questions are usually focused and specific, and it is imperative that you do not deviate from the question as you write the essay. However, the question was asked for a reason, because it matters and your answer is important. A good essay should demonstrate the writer’s consciousness of the answer’s implications on the general debate. These connotations are different in every essay depending on the topic. As you write the essay, consider why the question and answer matter. As you draw out the implications, do so in a few sentences in the conclusion. They should not be arbitrary, neither should they make you depart from your main task, that of answering the question. It is also important to identify these implications as you start to write the essay. You can also mention the implications briefly in the introduction.