You are sitting in front of your computer, everything is quiet and you have all that you need around you: a bottle of water, a notebook to take notes, a couple of pens and highlighters… You are ready to write an essay for your degree final thesis, but it seems that inspiration does not come.
Suddenly you realize that, despite having set the perfect mood, you’ve drawn a complete blank.
‘How do I start to write an essay? If I don’t come up with something fast, I will not graduate.’
Keep calm, in this article you will find all the keys and tips on how to write and present an essay properly.
Essay structure and type of essays
The first thing you should do is to decide what type of essay you are going to write, because choosing one type or another directly influences the way you will present the content.
Notice how writing changes depending on the strategy used in each type of essay:
- Narrative essay: it uses a story to present the information in a more understandable way, as if it were a story.
- Persuasive essay: its objective is to convince the reader about some idea or point of view through different arguments.
- Expository essay: this type of essay is used to explain how to carry out some procedure. In other words, it is a kind of instruction manual on a specific topic.
- Descriptive essay: to write a descriptive essay it is necessary to offer all the details so that the person who reads it can get an exact image of what we are describing.
- Argumentative essay: this type of essay consists of presenting an initial idea and providing evidence to prove its veracity.
- Comparative and contrast essay: it consists of writing an analysis between two topics based on the differences and similarities between them.
- Problem-solving essay: to write a problem-solving essay, start by presenting a problem, make the audience aware of the problem, explain how to solve it, and prepare yourself to break down possible objections from the audience.
As you can see, the way to write one type of essay or another is totally different depending on the intention you want to give to the text. However, the structure must always be the same:
1 – Introduction: its function is to situate the reader and offer a small advance on the issues that we will address throughout the essay. It usually begins by introducing general ideas and becomes more and more specific as the reading progresses.
2 – Body: this is the most extensive part of the essay and where we will find developed arguments, evidence or details about the topic in question. To make it more understandable, pay special attention to how you present your ideas. Avoid writing sentences that are too long and use a different paragraph for each argument.
3 – Conclusion: in this section we will gather the main points and arguments that have been presented throughout the essay to relate them to a more general statement that answers the initial question. Opposite to the introduction, in this case we go from the most specific to more general ideas.
7 Keys to write a good essay
However, as we are aware that not all universities have such a department, today we want to share with you some tips on how to write an essay more effectively.
- Keep the essay question or topic in mind at all times.
When we get down to writing, one thing leads to another and it’s very easy to stray from the topic. That is why we suggest that you write that question or main topic in a notebook and keep it in front of you during the whole process.
- Forget about writing the text of your essay directly.
The best way to do it is to create a preliminary outline with the main arguments or points to be discussed that will serve as a script to start writing.
- Write, write and don’t stop writing.
Once you are clear about the ideas on which you are going to base your essay, start writing as soon as possible to avoid the anxiety caused by the dreaded blank page. No matter how it looks, you will have time to work it out later.
- Never start at the beginning.
The best way to write an essay is to start with the body and, once the central text is finished, write the introduction and conclusion.
- Use connectors to link ideas and and guide the reader through your text.
Without them, the text would only be a set of sentences.
- Reread the entire text to ensure that the text flows in a logical and orderly manner.
Sometimes, when rereading the complete text, we realize that there are ideas that are not connected or in the wrong order.
- Let the text rest and, after a couple of days, edit it without mercy.
When we finish a text we have an emotional link that binds us to it, but if we let a few hours go by this link disappears and allows us to read the text with new eyes.
Got it? Great, so let’s move on to how to submit an essay.
7 tips on how to do an essay presentation
Now that you know how to write your essay more efficiently, we only need to look at its presentation.
Usually it is the same school or university that defines how the essays should be presented and in what format, but all of them usually agree on the following:
- Use standard fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman with a size between 10 and 12 points.
- Justify the text to the left.
- Use 1.5 line spacing.
- Set margins of 25 mm at the top and bottom of the page and 40 mm on both sides.
- Number the pages and include a table of contents with the different sections if necessary.
- Do not forget to cite your sources in the bibliography.
- Design an attractive first page where the title of the essay and the student’s data appear in a clear and legible way.
What did you think of our tips on how to write an essay? Did any of them surprise you?
If you found it useful, we invite you to take a look at the rest of our blog posts.