THE STAGES OF ESSAY WRITING

1. Thinking about the question

This is perhaps the most important stage of essay writing. Make sure you understand the question or the terms of reference of your assignment. If you do not, ask your tutor. Before you begin your research for writing an essay, jot down any points that you think you may need to look for in your reading. Remember thatin an essay, you are being asked to write an argument, therefore you should not be thinking about retelling the events or plots of a novel or film, unless they are relevant to your essay.

2.Research for your essay

Make use of all resources available to you e.g. libraries (including periodicals and slide library), CD-Roms and the Internet. There is never time to read all the books on a reading list, especially from cover to cover. Try instead to find relevant information by looking up indexes and contents pages. As soon as you read the relevant sections, take notes (there is nothing worse than knowing you have read something that will fit your argument perfectly, but not remembering from which of the ten books it is in!) Always keep the question in mind to avoid being swept away by notes. Finally, do not forget to write down the source details (title of book, author, year of publication etc.) and also the Library call number – in case you need to refer to it again.

3.Planning your essay

Making a plan for an essay is not easy, but it will help the structure of the work enormously. Everyone develops his/her own way of writing plans for how to write an essay- either in extensive note form or in a visual diagrammatic form. It really does not matter how, but it does help if you can divide your notes into three sections and think about what you are going to discuss in the introduction,the main section and the conclusion. Each new point in the main section will require a new paragraph so you need to make sure that your ideas run on smoothly. For online essay help https://studenthelper.net/ ask for professional consultation and help!

Writing the essay

  • Introduction. Set out your intentions in the introduction and make sure you define any words or phrases that might be ambiguous in the essay title. It is important to know what you want to say, for the way you begin will determine the direction in which you continue. It might be useful to begin an essay with a quotation that is pertinent to your argument.
  • Main section/development of argument. This is where the bulk of your argument will be found. Much of your essay will be largely dependent on your ability to analyze. You will often use the work of other scholars, both to support your argument and to present an objective discussion in your essay. Remember that critics who have studied the same area as you for many years have often written realms on the subject and can not be ignored. Here, also, compare and contrast other examples. Each new ‘idea’ you introduce requires a new paragraph so make sure there is a link between paragraphs. Keep a tight structure in your essay – if there are bits hanging out in the form of unnecessary digressions or retelling of events, it looks messy.
  • Conclusion.The conclusion of your essay essentially restates much of what has been discussed in the main section of your essay. If it is difficult to state a definitive judgment because of conflicting evidence, say so. Make sure that you state what conclusion you yourself have reached, even if this seems to be in conflict with some of your sources. Much of what is judged by the reader is your authoritativeness in the writing. It is often very effective if you can save one last piece of evidence or summarizing quote for your conclusion.