How To Write A Good Essay

From choosing a topic to writing the draft; how to write the perfect essay.

When writing an essay, it is important to take your time and give your writing a lot of consideration. Even though writing an essay is much simpler than writing a research paper, it is still a very challenging task in itself. The actual writing of the essay consists of three steps:

Planning the essay

Drafting the essay

Proofreading and Editing the essay


The first step to writing an essay and possibly the most overwhelming to some writers is planning the essay. Writers usually have some idea of what they want to write about. The problem is that now they need to organize their idea and focus on what the essay will specifically be about.

Brainstorm about the general topic that was chosen to show an even more specific topic. Write down any key words or phrases that can be associated with the topic. One of the key words or phrases could lead to a more specific idea for an essay.

Once a topic has been chosen, the six basic questions can be asked to help supply information that will be given in the essay and could possibly even help discover an even more detailed topic for the essay.

The basic questions are: WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? HOW?

Now that the basic questions have been asked, they will need to be answered. Reading about the chosen topic and finding answers to the questions is the next step. Write down notes or summarize the information. If direct quotes or paraphrases are used, the source will have to be cited in the essay.

Answering the basic questions should have supplied ideas for the thesis sentence. The thesis sentence is the main idea of the essay. It is the first sentence that expresses what the essay is about and from what position the essay is written. The thesis sentence should not merely be about a general topic. It should clearly show the direction of the essay.

For example:

Pitbulls are dogs that tend to attack small children.

-This thesis sentence would be wrong because it does not clearly show the position of the essay.

Pitbulls are dangerous animals that should be kept on a leash at all times due to the safety risk involved.

-This thesis sentence would be correct because it shows the position of the essay. The position is that pitbulls are dangerous and should be leashed.

After the thesis sentence is developed, a formal outline should be devised. This will help ensure that the topic of the essay is being written systematically and that all questions are being answered.


The first draft of the essay is usually the toughest to write. An essay must be developed using the notes, summaries, and thesis statement that were previously written. Paragraphs should be written based on and following the sequential order of the outline.


The introduction consists of the thesis statement and ideas. It should clearly show the position of the paper without giving too much information.


The body of the essay is next which provides the information and support that was gathered. The body gives the answers to the basic questions.


Then the conclusion summarizes the information, reiterates the thesis and closes the essay.


After the essay is completely written, it is time to proofread and edit the paper. Read through the essay carefully, checking for spelling mistakes or grammar and sentence structure errors. Check to see that each of the basic questions about the topic was answered and that the sequence and structure of the essay are well written and complete.

Once satisfied with the essay as written, it can be typed up and completed. Look over the essay as many times as it needs to be perfect.

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