Guide to a stress free essay


Story by Zoe Wexler, Staff Writer

From freshman to senior year, students write essay after essay. While these essays can be challenging to write and very time consuming, there are definite ways to make the process of writing one much easier.

Planning out an essay may seem tedious and unnecessary, but this step should never be skipped. Especially for more structured essays such as informative or argumentative, mapping out your writing can assure that the piece will keep its focus. This step is even necessary for creative writing, as planning can be used to create a logical flow and progression of ideas.

There are many ways to plan an essay, and there is no right or wrong method. Certain techniques used for planning include using a mind map, a chart of positives and negatives for an argumentative essay, or simply just listing ideas in the order they will be discussed. Whichever type of planning is used, it is important to make sure one plans out the sequence of ideas clearly so that the essay does not stray from its original intent or from the prompt.

When it comes to actually writing an essay, never start with the introduction. The introduction is supposed to propose the main idea and opens the essay with some context. If the exact direction the essay will be heading in is not definite, even after planning, it is a good idea to explore the idea of the prompt through the body before writing the opening paragraph. This way, one can get a clear understanding of the points they are proving or the ideas they are developing.

To develop these points and get the body of the essay started, start with the first idea from the initial planning. Think about how this topic relates to the prompt, and all of the subtopics that strengthen this idea. The body paragraph is a simple formula: an introduction to the idea, a supporting point, an explanation of the supporting point, and a sentence or two demonstrating the ways that the ideas connect to the initial prompt. Some body paragraphs may require the last three steps to be repeated multiple times, but just make sure that all points are brought back to the prompt.

After the body is completed, the introduction can be focused on. Think of a way to pull the reader into the topic, keeping the audience in mind. This does not have to be a statistic or anecdote, as many writers rely on strong diction words to create interest in their audience.

Make sure to not reveal all of the information that will be discussed in the body. Only outline the most significant big ideas within the introduction. Another tip for this section of the essay is to organize the thesis in the same way that the body paragraphs are laid out. Also, be conscious to address all perspectives of the paper within the introduction.

Finally, finish the paper by writing a short conclusion. This conclusion should not be a regurgitation of every point made in the paper, nor should it be a reworded introduction. Use this last paragraph to remind readers of the main takeaways from the writing, ending the essay on a memorable note with an idea that inspires the reader or makes the reader think.

Put the paper into Grammarly, proofread for verb tense shifts and pronoun-antecedent agreement, and there is the finished essay. When the parts of the essay are broken down, writing a paper does not have to require all of the stress or time in the world.

[email protected]