What Is an Essay?

14 July 2020

An essay can be defined as a short piece of writing. It is often written from an author's personal point of view. Common examples of an essay are literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of an author.

There are several steps that go into writing an essay. The first step is to decide what kind of an essay you want to write, or in short, pick a topic. From the list above, you can see that there are many choices when it comes to picking a topic or subject for your essay.  In picking a topic for your essay, you need to figure out who you want your audience to be, and then pick a relevant topic, which will capture that audience.

After you have come up with a topic for your essay, it is now time to come up with an essay outline. The job of this outline is to sum up each paragraph in your essay. Outlining doesn’t involve writing complete paragraphs, but rather a few sentences, which can serve as your topic sentences.

After coming up with your essay outline, its now time to write the first draft of your essay. The first draft must first of all begin with an introduction. The introductory paragraph of your essay should explain your main ideas to the reader. In addition, this paragraph should also get your reader’s attention. A good introduction is important because from it, a reader will decide whether to continue or stop reading the essay.

If you have succeeded in an attention-grabbing introduction, then it’s time for you to write the essay body. The job of your essay body is to share ideas with your reader. In writing the essay body, you have to go back to those topic sentences which you wrote in your outline. Those topic sentences will help you a great deal, as all you will have to do is add a few more sentences to each of the topic sentences so as to come up with concrete paragraphs. The sentences making up your essay body need to fully support and explain your ideas. You can do this by offering facts, details, or examples. In writing the essay body, always strive to convince your reader to share your opinion on the topic you’re writing about.


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Writing a conclusion is the task next in line after the essay body. Your conclusion should restate the main idea of your essay, and sum up what your essay is about. Your conclusion should only be made up of two or three sentences, which leave your reader with something to think about.

Another key part of essay writing is citations. If you have referenced another person’s work in your essay, you need to give him/her the credit. There are many different types of citation, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago, but the most widely accepted and used method for essay witting is the MLA. MLA citations include the author’s surname and page number in parenthesis. It’s important to always make sure you cite everything that needs to be cited, and in the correct manner. It is therefore good if you’re not familiar with a particular citation method that you read up on it so as not to make any mistakes.

The final step in writing a good essay is proof reading your final product. Proof reading involves perusing through your entire essay document in order to find any grammatical or spelling mistakes, and thereafter amending them. Also, as you peruse through your essay, you should ask the question of whether or not you put your main idea across to your readers. In conclusion, essay writing is an easy task. For when writing an essay, you get to have a platform whereby you can get your opinions and ideas about a particular topic across, something that you may not have the privilege of doing every day.


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