No matter what class you take in high school, you will always end up writing an essay as one of your assignments for at least one of your subjects. Essays can be a daunting task and cause a lot of stress and anxiety for people. Following these five steps on how to write an essay will reduce your stress and help you get a good grade for your essay.

  1. The most important step in writing a good essay is to fully comprehend and understand the essay question. An essay can be well written and thought out but will still result in a bad grade if it doesn’t adequately answer the question. To help you understand the question, you can break it down into two parts. What is the question asking? This is to help you consider what the topic is, how long the essay needs to be and what research you need to do to understand the topic. What is the question indirectly asking? This will help you consider whether the question is asking for your opinion, a professional’s opinion or just the facts.
  2. After you have taken the time to fully understand the question, you will need to write your thesis statement. This statement will guide you through writing your entire essay. Before writing your thesis statement, consider what you want to argue in your essay based on the question you’ve been given. Your thesis statement should be concise but should encompass all the main points you want to address in your essay. Your thesis will have two parts. The first part states the topic and the second part states the point of your essay.
  3. When you’re writing the introduction for your essay it should attract the reader’s attention and state the focus of your essay. To attract the reader’s attention, you should start with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote or a simple summary of your topic. Whatever technique you use to start your essay make sure it ties in with your thesis statement which will be included as the last sentence in your introduction.
  4. If you find yourself struggling with writing the introduction skip writing it first and focus on writing your body. This will allow you to fully form your ideas and help you integrate your main points into the introduction. When writing each paragraph for your body, it is a good idea to start each paragraph with a topic sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph. Each paragraph should have quotes or contextual information to defend your topic sentence and thesis statement. Quotes and contextual information are important to establishing credibility and supporting your argument, so make sure all your quotes and information are coming from credible sources. Some examples of credible sources are academic journals, textbooks and books by credible authors. Some examples of unacceptable sources are magazine articles, open forum submissions and encyclopedia entries.
  5. Your conclusion should always begin with restating your thesis statement. This is your chance to tie all your main points together and have a strong finish. A good conclusion will address the arguments in each body paragraph in a succinct way and thoroughly prove your thesis statement.

Now you have all the steps to writing the best essay you can. Good luck!

By Caitlin Ngo