Unfortunately, while some students lack the experience and skills to write a good essay on their very first try, fortunately, it is possible to learn how to write a good essay by following some common sense steps, including those listed below.
- Read and fully understand the assignment guidelines (don’t just jump in and start writing).
- Think about the topic and what you might want to say about it (analyze the key words in the assignment guidelines and what do you think about them).
- Plan ahead and organize your time (avoid the tendency to procrastinate until the night before it is due).
- Conduct some preliminary research on your topic to see what others have to say and make some notes about interesting points (Wikipedia is a good place to start but don’t use this cite as an academic source).
- Prepare an outline (introduction, main body with sections organized in a logical fashion drawing on the key words in the introduction and then the conclusion — some students prefer to write the introduction and conclusion after they have completed their preliminary research so they know specifically what has been discussed).
- Referring to your notes and preliminary research, write a first draft and then set it aside for a few hours. Think about what you’ve already written (the shower is a great place for this) and then revise your first draft, using additional relevant resources and transitions between the main body sections.
- Have a classmate, family member or friend read your final version and provide you with feedback concerning anything that’s unclear or requires additional work.