Introduction

Essays are a big part of school. You'll write many essays in high school, college and beyond. Writing an essay can be easy if you follow the steps below:

1. Start Early

To ensure that you are able to keep up with your essay writing, it is important to begin early. The earlier you start, the more time you will have to plan out your paper and focus on research. Without proper planning and research, it can be difficult to write an essay that is well-structured and supported by evidence or examples.

Start by making an outline of what ideas you want to include in your essay. An outline will help organize the structure of your paper so that it flows smoothly from one idea to another without becoming too repetitive or confusing for readers.

Once you've finished creating an outline, set aside some time each day (or even every week) specifically for writing essays so that they don't pile up and cause undue stress later on in the semester when things get busy with other assignments too! One way I like doing this is by setting a deadline for myself such as "write 1/4th of my essay today" - which forces me into action instead procrastinating until everything else gets done first!

2. Understand the Question

First and foremost, you need to understand the question. You can't write a good essay if you don't know what it is that you are being asked to do.

Most questions have a specific format and word count requirement. For example, short answers may be 250 words or less (each question counts as one mark), while essays could be 2-3 pages long with no more than 5 sources cited in MLA format (1 mark). But there are also open-ended questions where students are asked to respond in their own words or use examples from their life experience.

It's important to know how much time you have too because if your essay prompt is due at 8 pm on Thursday night, then an hour each day for the week before won't be enough time for research and proper preparation of your draft!

3. Analyze and Plan

The first thing to do when writing an essay is to analyze the question and how it is structured, so that you can plan your essay before you start writing.

Once you have understood the question, look at its structure by asking yourself 'how could this be answered?' For example:

  • What are three reasons why people are willing to pay more for organic food?

A useful way of planning your answer is to use a mind map (see image). This enables you to put down all your ideas in one place and then organize them into categories or headings. You can use colors or symbols if it helps with organisation or clarity. Another way of organizing ideas is by using a plan of attack; this breaks down the question into manageable chunks so that it doesn't seem as daunting when starting out on an essay.

4. Answer the Question

You should also answer the question, which seems like a pretty obvious one. But it’s not uncommon for students to write essays that don’t actually respond to what was asked of them.

When you're writing your essay and get to the question-and-answer section, make sure you cover all of those points! Answering the questions is a great way of showing how much you know about what's been taught in class.

5. Edit and Proofread

  • Editing and proofreading are two separate steps. Editing is the process of correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Proofreading is a thorough check for clarity of ideas, logical flow of ideas and organisation of ideas.
  • Use a spellchecker to find common mistakes like “their” instead of “there” or “its” instead of “it's” but don't rely on it too heavily as it isn't perfect. You should also use it to check for homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings) such as its/it's, there/their/they're etc.
  • Check the flow between paragraphs by dividing the essay into sections with headings that summarize what each paragraph is about (e.g., Introduction, Body Paragraphs 1-3). This will help you see which sections need more explanation or examples than others; if there are gaps in logic between paragraphs; if one section is longer than another; whether there are any missing sentences or paragraphs within a section; how well organized each idea is within each paragraph; how well linked all the ideas together across all sections etc.

Write, edit and proofread your essay to get it right the first time

The first thing you should do when writing an essay is to write and edit it. Don't proofread your essay until you have written and edited it, because proofreading involves checking the structure of your writing, and this can be done only after you've written the whole thing.

Once you're done with a first draft of your paper (which might take multiple drafts), go over what needs to be changed or added in order for the essay to be perfect. You may want to ask other people for help here, especially if they are more experienced writers than yourself.

Once this is done, read through the entire piece once again and make sure everything makes sense logically: does each paragraph follow on from the prior one? Are there any sentences that don't seem necessary anymore? Is there anything missing from any paragraphs? At this stage of proofreading it's helpful not only to look at what has been written but also how it has been written; check whether certain words are used too often within a paragraph (if so they become boring) or whether one particular sentence could be improved upon by being simplified or rephrased into something cleverer-sounding without losing meaning (e.g., “John Smith was born on February 12th 1980” vs “February 12th 1980 was John Smith's date of birth").

Conclusion

Writing an essay is a skill that you can learn. If you’re a student, then it’s more than likely that you will be writing many essays during your academic career. The tips above will help you to write better essays and give yourself the best chance of success.