How to Write a Good Essay
How to Write a Good Essay
An essay is a “short formal piece of writing..dealing with a single subject” (“Essay,” 2001). It is typically written to try to persuade the reader using selected research evidence (“Essay,” 1997). In general, an academic essay has three parts:
- An introduction that gives the reader an idea of what they are about to learn and presents an argument in the form of a thesis statemen
- A body, or middle section, that provides evidence used to prove and persuade the reader to accept the writer’s particular point of vie
- A conclusion that summarizes the content and findings of the essay
Tips on How To Write a Good Essay
Develop a good essay topic
STEP ONE: The first step to research is developing a topic that is not too broad or narrow in scope. To begin, think about:
- what topic(s) interest you?
- what questions do you have about the topic(s)?
- what you would like to learn more about?
STEP TWO: To narrow or broaden the topic, add or remove a time period, place, person(s), event or subtopic:
Problem: Topic is too general and broad to address through a short piece of writing
- The Metis Nation in Saskatchewan
- Add subtopic and time period: The politics of the Metis in 19th century Saskwatchewan
- Add person(s), event and place: Louis Riel and the Metis rebellion in Saskatchewan
Problem: Topic is too specific and narrow
- The representation of animals in sculpture by female Metis artists from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Remove subtopic, person(s) and time period: Visual art of the Metis in Saskatchewan
- Remove place and expand time period: The representation of politics in visual art of the Metis in the 20th century
STEP THREE: Restate the topic using “who, what, where, why, when, and how” questions. For example:
- Why did Louis Riel lead a rebellion of the Metis Nation in Saskatchewan?
- How are politics represented in visual art of Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Find Scholarly, peer-reviewed sources
Peer review is a publication processbased on peer evaluation that ensures contributions made to the scholarly community are based on accurate, reliable, and original research findings and analysis:
Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles will have most of the characteristics listed below. Ask yourself these questions and look at the article to check if if the way it looks and is written indicates it is a reliable, accurate source:
1. Is it written by a scholar?
|Look for clues that indicate the author(s) is a scholar/researcher:
2. What is it about? Who’s the intended audience?
|Check if the purpose of the article is to provide original research that further our understanding about a topic:
3. How is it structured?
|Look at the length, formatting, and headings/sections inside the article:
4. How is it written?
|Review the language, tone, and point of view of the article:
5. What’s the publication type?
|Look for clues that tell you the article is published inside of an academic/scholarly journal:
3. Create A Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is the main point that the content of your essay will support. It is an contestable assertion, usually made in one or two sentences, that makes a clear argument about your research topic.
For example: Story-telling should be incorporated into the curriculum of early childhood education programs in order to encourage language development in young children.
A good thesis statement will:
- Assert a strong position that can be challenged and debated, rather than merely describing or stating facts that cannot be contested
- Form a complete sentence that clearly explains to the reader the overall direction of the essay
- Be sufficiently narrow rather than broad, so the topic can be adequately addressed in the essay
- Communicate a single, overarching point rather than multiple points that may be too difficult or broad to support
- Be clear and specific, as opposed to overly vague, open-ended, or general
4. Write the Essay
|Moving from the general to the specific, a good introduction to an academic essay should:
The body of an essay has a series of paragraphs with arguments, ideas, and/or interpretation that supports your thesis statement.
Each paragraph should have three parts:
Supporting Evidence & Analysis
Transitional Device or Concluding Statement
Editing and proofreading your work is crucial as there are many mistakes even the best of writers make.
Still asking, how to write a good essay?