How to write a general studies essay


A general studies essay is an essay mostly written by first year students who have just been admitted at the pre-university level upon completion of high school.

A degree in general studies offers students with a well-formed education, which covers distinct aspects of a college degree. It is designed is in such a way as to make students coalesce courses from various disciplines. An Es course is one that requires a college student to take despite his/her major. Usually, they comprise of art history, English, math, philosophy,religious studies (in case of a religious university) and others. A general studies courses enable students to take part in some disciplines that are offered in universities with the aim of providing a general feel over the discipline. This will help their decision making process with respect to the course they will handle upon  completion of the general studies degree. Consequently, general studies essays are essays which over multiple topics, depending on the discipline of study. Most general studies essays touch on social topics and require the student to reflect an in-depth knowledge of most social issues, as well as form a social perspective with which to write the general essay.

The following sections offer fundamental guidelines on how to write a general studies essay.

Introductory paragraph

This is the initial stage of a general studies essay and acts as its introduction. It introduces the essay and should reflect a good tone for the introduction. The introductory paragraph should summarize the purpose of the essay in a few words. It should present a brief overview (synopsis) of what the paper aims to achieve, as well as the order of discussion/argument. The introductory paragraph should present the tone of the paper, and its stand with respect to the topic. It should clearly state the essay’s position with regards to the topic of the essay. This section should mount strong arguments and a strong position. One way to do this is to pre-determine the right words for the job. A strong introductory paragraph introduces the flow and tone of the essay.

The flow of an introductory paragraph should start at a high pitch going down. The concluding paragraph captures the lowest tone of the essay, as I signifies the end of the essay. Likewise, an introductory paragraph should have a strong start to signify the beginning of the essay. One of the most vital components of an  introductory paragraph is the thesis statement. A thesis statement is a statement/sentence which shows the position of the essay with respect to two sides/ two relational variables. It appears at or near the introductory paragraph, and  it presents a concise option to the issue at hand. Its other function is to offer a brief summary of all arguments presented  in the paper. The statement is normally a single sentence. Nevertheless, a good general studies essay should have a thesis statement that appears more than once, in the entire essay. This helps to connect the whole essay to the initial position assumed  by the paper.

The introductory paragraph of a general studies essay should commence with a statement that captivates the interest of the readers. In a well-structured first paragraph, the first sentence should lead into four or five sentences that offer detailed information over the subject. It should also present some details regarding the process that you will use while addressing the essay. The statements’ flow should work to set the stage for the thesis statement.

Learning how to write a general studies essay is not about knowing about all the facts in the world. In fact it’s quite the opposite. You just need to know  how to structure your essay correctly. This takes us on the body of the essay.


In most essays, body  paragraphs are crucial as these are where you offer supporting arguments to the thesis statement. The body paragraph is also where you express your rebuttals or refutations against the challenges of your claim(s). This section offers guides on how to construct well structured body paragraphs.

Before writing a general studies essay, it is crucial to provide an outline of the main points. This offers a sense of direction in the course of the actual writing process, and also helps in time management. An outline helps to determine the approximate length of writing the essay. It also enhances your focus because there is a ready map for you to follow. Outlines are also a good way of coming up with topic sentences.

When writing the body of the essay, each outlined point represents a particular claim, stand, argument or evidence. As such, provide outlines that you can offer an in-depth explanation.stick to the topic sentence, as it contains the idea that you plan to develop within the paragraph. The topic sentence should be used as a guide in the course of writing the sentence. After completing every sentence, it is advisable to make periodic referrals to the topic sentence to help enhance the focus of your content. Avoid the confusion brought about by drifting away from the topic sentence. This can make your readers lose coherence of the general studies essay.

When writing the essay, always take note of key words. This will aid in developing the rest of the essay.


Every sentence in the essay should start with a topic sentence. The first sentence should be strong enough and should possess a tone that conforms to the general tone in the essay. A good general studies essay should have a combination of short, medium, and long sentences. This also contributes in forming the tone and flow of the essay. Always ensure that your sentences reflect a logical flow. Since the first sentence of every paragraph is a topic sentence, the next sentence should show a continuation with the first one. This can be done by developing the idea of the first sentence in the second one. Carry on with the same sequence for the rest of the sentence till you reach a transition sentence. For instance, if the topic sentence is “Blue is more attractive than red,” the next statement should develop that statement by insinuating “Blue has admirable imagery traits, which red does not have. Having a logic flow enables readers to follow the arguments closely and have a clear picture of what you are talking about.

In reference to the structure of the essay, you should follow the instructor’s guidelines on the length of the essay, size of the fonts, formatting style, size of the paragraphs, as well as margin implications. The most used font for formal writing is the times new roman, size 12, unless stated otherwise. Most general studies essay requires APA and MLA formatting styles, thus the format should strictly adhere to one of the format styles, unless stated otherwise. It is highly advisable to include in-text citations in the paragraphs. Statements , facts, and claims made by individual(s) should always be cited. This works to show that the essay has been subjected to a thorough research before the writing process.

Another crucial provision, with respect to sentence structure, is the length of each should maintain the paragraphs within 6 to8 lines/sentences. Most readers always lose interest in reading long sentences, thus an ideal length is compulsory to sustain your reader’s interests. This calls for a general studies student to focus on writing the most important detail, as opposed to writing everything concerning the topic.

The last section of a general studies essay is the concluding paragraph. It appears at the end of the essay and works to consolidate the main points presented in the essay. It shows the end of the essay and  should possess the right tone. The section is also used to confirm if the essay has achieved its objectiveness, and also confirms if the data and evidence provided in the essay conform to the thesis statement. The section should not introduce new ideas but should just consolidate what has already been presented.

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