Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer or essay. In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing.
Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts. Following this process is the easiest way to draft a successful essay, whatever its purpose might be.
1. Explore Ideas.
Start by exploring your writing ideas. By participating in pre-writing activities you will allow your brain to really dig deep and develop a sense of structure to your paper. This step will also help you decide on a topic, if it hasn’t already been assigned to you.
2. Pick A Topic.
You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.
If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?
3. Evaluate Your Topic.
Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down.
Finally, evaluate your options. If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic.