Essays are commonly required in class to assess a student's understanding of the topic. Essays start with an introductory paragraph which gives a quick overview of the subject and the issues surroundings it. This is a necessity in order for the audience to get a good grasp of the topic. Making a good introduction is crucial since it will determine if your reader will continue to read the rest of your essay.
An essay must also present a clear thesis statement. The body of the essay will provide or present evidence which would either prove the thesis to be true or false. The findings will be stated in the last part of the essay which is the conclusion. Depending on what kind of essay is being written, the approach to be used would be different. Essays may be classified as argumentative, cause and effect, persuasive, compare and contrast, definition, descriptive, evaluation, narrative, etc. Argumentative essays take a side on an issue and present valid arguments. It should also analyze the arguments of the opposition and prove that it bears no ground using valid evidences. This type of essay should ultimately persuade the readers to agree with your point. A persuasive essay must persuade the readers to agree with the writer through the use reliable evidence and some good points. Compare and contrast essays will compare and contrast two things. It may be a theory, the written works of two persons, events or anything else depending on the requirements of the essay.
A basic essay consists of five paragraphs. The first paragraph is the introduction which also contains the thesis statement. It is followed by three body paragraphs that will expound on the subject and prove the thesis. It is ended with conclusion which is the last paragraph. The conclusion will restate all the main points of the essay and will evaluate the result whether or not the thesis has been proven. To be balanced, the essay must also explain the arguments of the opposition.
The essay must also be clearly presented using proper wordings. Good grammar must also be observed as well as syntax and punctuations. Such errors will make the essay unfriendly to its readers. It will also result in the essay receiving poor grades despite the strength of the arguments presented.
To start writing an essay, the writer must first get an understanding of the subject. Reading about the subject would be the best way to start. It is impossible for a writer to write something good about a topic wherein ho knows nothing of. After getting information, the writer can now formulate his thesis followed by making an outline. A basic outline is an introduction containing the thesis followed by supporting arguments and an analysis of counter-arguments and finally a conclusion. In a broader form of writing, a more specific outline could be recommended. An outline is a guide for the writer to follow so that the essay structure would be clear and to avoid straying away from the topic. The writer must also be careful about the voices that he uses. Depending on the type of essay, the use of the first voice may be inappropriate. This means no using of the words "I", "me" and even "we".
All information taken from other sources should be cited using in text citations and a reference page. It is necessary for a writer to gain the proper knowledge of the different citation styles. The mot commonly used citation styles are APA and MLA styles but depending on the essay requirements set by the professor, different citation styles may be required. This is necessary to avoid plagiarism since colleges and universities are now very keen on student's plagiarizing their essays.
After the essay is finished, it is extremely important to proofread the essay for any mistakes. This is necessary as a final touch before submitting the essay. One may be surprised with the number of mistakes than can be found in an essay that is not proofread. Proofreading may mean the difference between a passing and a failing grade. The simplest mistakes can be sorted out with proofreading.