An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One of the many definitions is that an essay is a prose composition with a focused subject discussion or even a long systematic discourse. Others have defined an essay as a piece of writing which is often written from an author’s personal point of view. Well, most of the modern essays are written in prose. An essay can comprise of a number of elements, including political manifestos, learned arguments, recollections, daily life observations and reflections of the author. In some countries like the United States, essays have become a major part of formal education. High school students are taught structured essay formats to enhance their writing skills while admission essays are mainly used by the universities when selecting applicants. Essays are also used in the humanities and as a way of assessing performance of the students during the end exams. Here are some tips of writing an essay.
Clearly understand the assignment. Analyze the topic word by word to understand the requirements and scope of work. You can also underline the key words in the assignment. Try to figure out if you must interpret or simply state the facts.
Organize your research materials and your thoughts. You not only have to read the materials, but also you have to clearly organize the information that you are using from other sources. Highlight the key points and make notes on these points. As you gather these materials, your thoughts should solidify.
Clarity of thoughts and economy of words. Writing concisely and clearly forces you to think more clearly. Language is a tool to express thoughts, so sloppy use of language may imply sloppy thinking.
Start early and budget your time. You probably have heard this a million times, but it can be too easy to let time slip away when you have a lot of things to do at the same time. If there is reading involved, the sooner the better. Starting early will help you not only go through your work, but also let more ideas percolate into your head.
Learn by example. Well, if you do not really know how to write an essay or even how to approach the topic, try looking for examples. Read other essays to help you understand how to organize and present the information.
Write a quick draft all the way through. Do not focus too much on the introduction or conclusion. Focus on getting your ideas on the paper; double check to be sure that you get all the material on the page in the same form.