A routine or formula can make writing a simple essay relatively painless. There are many types of essay formats, such as narrative, analysis, argumentative, or comparison and contrast. Familiarizing yourself with these different conceptual frameworks can improve and enrich your writing. But for a simple essay, all you really need to know is the basic Five Paragraph Essay format.
Pick a Topic
It may sound obvious, but your first task is to pick an essay topic. It should be neither too broad nor too specific. Picking a topic that interests you usually makes it easier to write. Your natural interest will provide an abundance of background knowledge as well as personal enthusiasm for the subject. This will reduce the amount of research needed while also making the research process more pleasant and tolerable.
Write an Outline
After picking a topic, write the essay outline. A well done outline will nearly write the essay for you. Start with your thesis statement, make a list of supporting points, then list your conclusion. Each bullet point in the outline should be the most essential piece of information for that paragraph. You will expand on it in the actual paper.
The thesis statement is the core concept. Everything you write should support this statement. If it does not do so, it really does not belong. A thesis statement can be one or more sentences and will be the basis of your first paragraph. For a Five Paragraph Essay, you should list three points you want to make about this thesis or topic. Each point will become a paragraph in the body. Your final paragraph will be your conclusion.
Your first paragraph should introduce your topic. This is also the place for your thesis statement: “Doing x involves doing steps a, b, and c in the proper order.”
A: This should be a bullet point listing step a. (When you write the essay, this will become your first paragraph. You will turn the bullet point into at least three sentences.)
B: This should be a bullet point listing step b. (As above, you will turn the bullet point into at least three sentences.)
C: This should be a bullet point listing step c. (As above, you will turn the bullet point into at least three sentences.)
The last paragraph of your essay will briefly summarize the above points and make a closing statement.
Turn the Outline into a Paper
If the outline was written properly, each bullet point can be easily expanded into a full paragraph without unnecessary fluff. Suddenly, your brief list of points will be a full blown simple essay. You will be done before you realize it.
Review and Edit
After your essay is done, reread it. Make sure the tone is appropriate. Avoid slang or colloquialisms unless they are somehow pertinent. If possible, the final draft should be reviewed by another person acting as editor. It is extremely easy to miss your own mistakes. If you cannot find a human editor, a good practice is to read it backwards or use software to check for spelling and grammar errors.
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