“For the next class I want an essay…” That phrase that makes students tremble every time a teacher mentions it after watching a movie or reading an article in class.

What is the reason for this fear of essays? To begin with, almost no student knows what it is, and to be honest, teachers don’t agree either. It seems that everyone has their own interpretation of this type of text.

In addition to this lack of knowledge about what an essay is, there is the added problem of not knowing what to write about. Every time you open the word processor and the blank page appears, it is as if all the ideas are erased from your mind. Hours can go by and the page is still blank, ideas flit around in your head, but none of them come to fruition.

“I’d better do it tomorrow,” “I’ll do it when I’m rested,” the young man says to himself, fooling himself because deep inside he knows he will do it in the early morning of the due date. And that’s where the circus of errors begins, since one of the main characteristics of the essay is revision – you ALWAYS have to revise what you wrote! We will come back to this point later, for now let’s concentrate on the form of the essay. 

Broadly speaking, “the essay is a written text, generally brief, which exposes, analyzes or comments on a personal interpretation, on a certain topic: historical, philosophical, scientific, literary, etc. ….”. In other words, an essay can deal with any topic and reflect the writer’s opinion, however, before you start writing as if you were designing a meme, consider that there are different types, and the way you express your opinion will change according to the kind of essay you write.

In college it is very common to be asked to write argumentative essays since they consist of presenting ideas about a specific topic and explaining with rationale whether you are for or against it. In addition, they are the prelude to the preliminary research project, so take them seriously because they will serve as practice for when you need to write your thesis.

To begin with, the essay is divided into introduction, development and conclusion. According to the recommendations of Online Essay Writing Service specialists, in the introduction you present the main idea and purpose of your essay; in the development, you give place to the arguments, being necessary that you include quotes, sources and references to support what you say; finally, in the conclusion, you recapitulate the ideas you presented throughout the essay.

Now that you have identified the parts of the essay, how do you write one?

  1. Delimit the topic, make it as specific as possible, otherwise, you will have a thousand-headed monster on your hands and your essay will lack coherence.
  2. Gather information. Search the internet and preferably use academic search engines such as Google Scholar, Dialnet, Redalyc, Educateca. Be careful with wikipedia, monografí, misbuenastareas and similar sites because unlike academic sites they lack scientific rigor.
  3. Analyze the information. It may be tempting to include all the PDFs you downloaded in the list of references to show that you put some effort into it.  However, not all the sources consulted will be useful to you, so you have to read them and select the ones that support your arguments.
  4. Outline. Make a quick guide of the structure your essay will have.  That is, a list of your ideas and their order. Plan which points you will touch on in the introduction, which arguments and foundations you will mention in the development, trying to make it one argument per paragraph; in the conclusion you will write the most representative ideas of the essay, also have ready the sources to be used in your essay, also, think of a tentative title.
  5. Write the draft. Based on the draft you have elaborated, start writing. At this stage, take your time, write with what you have read and structured in the previous point. If you start correcting while writing, it will take you longer.
  6. Add the sources to your essay. Remember to adhere to APA guidelines.
  7. Proofread and correct. This point is crucial. Many times, because of leaving assignments to the last minute, papers are handed in with absurd mistakes. So, to avoid a bad grade, REVIEW your essay and CORRECT. Right off the bat what you wrote sounds good but once you let a day go by and reread it you realize all the details to improve, from the spelling, to the insertion of your sources, even to the organization of the whole essay. It’s okay, just proofread and revise again. Rinse and repeat.

Read also: The 9 Most Underrated Methods to Reduce Anxiety You Need to Know

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