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The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples

An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.

There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.

The essay writing process consists of three main stages:

Table of contents

Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.

The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .

For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.

Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.

What can proofreading do for your paper?

Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words, and awkward phrasing.

essay writing step by step

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The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.

1. Hook your reader

The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.

Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

2. Provide background on your topic

Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.

3. Present the thesis statement

Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:

As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.

4. Map the structure

In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.

The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

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The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.

Length of the body text

The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.

Paragraph structure

To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.

That idea is introduced in a  topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.

After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

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The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :

A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.

What not to include in a conclusion

To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

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Checklist: Essay

My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).

My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.

My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.

I use paragraphs to structure the essay.

I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.

Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.

I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.

My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.

I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.

I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.

I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.

My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .

My essay has an interesting and informative title.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).

Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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How to Write an Essay

list of steps for how to write an essay from the article

Essays are common in middle school, high school and college. You may even need to write essays in the business world (although they are usually called reports at that point). An essay is defined as a short piece of writing that expresses information as well as the writer's opinion. Learn how to write an essay using 8 simple steps.

8 Steps to Writing an Essay

For some, writing an essay is as simple as sitting down at their computer and beginning to type. But a lot more planning goes into writing an essay successfully. If you have never written an essay before, you struggle with writing and want to improve your skills, or you're tasked with writing an essay fast , it is a good idea to follow a number of important steps in the essay writing process.

For example, to write an essay, you should generally:

While this sounds like a lot of steps to write a simple essay, if you follow them you will be able to write more successful, clear and cohesive essays.

1. Choose the Type of Essay

The first step to writing an essay is to define what type of essay you are writing. There are four main categories into which essays can be grouped:

Knowing what kind of essay you are trying to write can help you decide on a topic and structure your essay in the best way possible. Here are a few other types of essays:

2. Brainstorm Your Topic

You cannot write an essay unless you have an idea of what to write about. Brainstorming is the process in which you come up with the essay topic. You need to simply sit and think of ideas during this phase.

If you are given an assignment to write a one-page essay, it would be far too much to write about "the history of the U.S.," since that could fill entire volumes of books. Instead, you could write about a specific event within the history of the United States: perhaps signing the Declaration of Independence or when Columbus discovered the Americas.

Choose the best topic idea from among your list and begin moving forward on writing your essay. But, before you move forward, take heed of these topics to avoid .

3. Research the Topic

Once you have done your brainstorming and chosen your topic, you may need to do some research to write a good essay. Go to the library or search online for information about your topic. Interview people who might be experts in the subject.

Keep your research organized so it will be easy for you to refer back to. This also makes it easier to cite your sources when writing your final essay.

4. Choose a Writing Style

The writing style that you choose for your essay is dictated by your teacher or the topic of your paper. In general, there are three writing styles you might come across in high school and college.

Each different writing style has its own unique format for in-text and reference list citations.

5. Develop a Thesis

Your thesis statement is the main point of your essay. It is essentially one sentence that says what the essay is about. For example, your thesis statement might be "Dogs are descended from wolves." You can then use this as the basic premise to write your entire essay, remembering that all of the different points throughout need to lead back to this one main thesis. You should usually state your thesis in your introductory paragraph.

Additionally, the thesis statement should be broad enough that you have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can't be thorough. To help you structure a perfectly clear thesis, check out these thesis statement examples .

6. Outline Your Essay

The next step is to outline what you are going to write about. This means you want to essentially draw the skeleton of your paper. Writing an outline can help to ensure your paper is logical, well organized and flows properly. If you’ve been tasked with an argumentative essay, here’s the best formula for an argumentative essay outline .

Does your teacher follow the APA guidelines for writing papers? If so, these APA outline format examples should help you pull it all together. As you progress into the meat of the essay (following our tips below), these APA format examples should prove beneficial! Or, if MLA is your teacher’s preferred style, check out these MLA format examples .

7. Write the Essay

Once you have an outline, it’s time to start writing. Write based on the outline itself, fleshing out your basic skeleton to create a whole, cohesive and clear essay.

You’ll want to edit and re-read your essay, checking to make sure it sounds exactly the way you want it to. Here are some things to remember:

In your introduction, it’s important to include a hook. This is the line or line that will lure a reader in and encourage them to want to learn more. For more on this, check out how to write a hook . And, to help you formulate a killer conclusion, scan through these conclusion examples .

8. Check Spelling and Grammar

Now the essay is written, but you're not quite done. Reread what you've written, looking out for mistakes and typos.

Planning Pays Off

A lot goes into writing a successful essay. Fortunately, these tips for writing essays can help you along the way and get you on the path to a well-written essay. Out of all these “how-tos,” the worst thing you could do is plagiarize someone else’s writing (intentionally or unintentionally). Take a look at these tips and techniques for preventing plagiarism . Other than that, we wish you great success as you work your way to a perfect A!

Here’s how you can nail your college essay in 5 steps

How to write an essay

What is university experience without tackling the mammoth of words and hours upon hours of writing? Essays are inevitable if you’re pursuing an academic life, and you’ll encounter them soon enough just weeks into the start of your freshman year. If you’re looking for a guide on how to write an essay , here’s where we bring you the nitty-gritty stuff to ace your next paper. 

How to write an essay: A step-by-step guide for college students

Step 1: understand the assignment .

Don’t assume, and don’t underestimate how easily you can misinterpret instructions. A misunderstanding is costly; you can’t get good grades if you’re not responding to the correct questions in the first place. When you’re tasked with a writing assignment , take a few minutes to read through and digest what your professor is looking for. 

Read the instruction thoroughly, and highlight keywords that indicate the true purpose of the assignment. Are you writing a discursive essay, a précis, or a book review? Your writing style, tone, and formatting will need to conform to what’s required in the paper. If you’re still unclear about what you need to do, always ask your professor for clarification before proceeding. 

How to write an essay

Students can avoid over-researching by listing specific questions that will help narrow down certain viewpoints in a research topic. Source: Philippe Lopez/AFP

Step 2: Research the topic 

Now that you’ve cleared the confusion, it’s time to dive into the actual pre-writing work. Researching allows you to go in-depth into a subject beyond what is studied in class, hence why it’s usually the most fun part of the entire writing process. There’s such a thing as over-researching though, and you don’t want to be overwhelmed with more information than necessary. 

The key to avoiding falling into the rabbit hole of endless research is by starting smart. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes: what would you like to know most about your subject matter? Begin with a list of inquiries that are specific to your topic, eliminating anything that is too generalised. 

As you research, it’s crucial to keep track of your sources and compile a reference list so you can have your facts at hand when you start writing them in your essay. You can use citation tools from websites like Mendeley or Zotero to instantly generate citations in the correct format. Your writing process will be more streamlined if you start organising your sources early on. 

Step 3: Construct your thesis statement

An essay is as good as its thesis statement. Think of your paper as building a case in a defence trial. What’s the central argument or purpose of your paper? Does it invite the reader to hear your side of the story? 

The thesis statement has to be something that is debatable, but not too broad. It isn’t a fact, nor an opinion, but rather a claim that can be expanded on both sides of the fence. A well-crafted thesis is a prelude to how your argument will develop, and gives readers a glimpse into where you’re going with your evidence. 

How to write an essay

Proofreading your writing draft is a crucial step to polishing your essay before submitting it for grading. Source: Charly Triballeau/AFP

Step 4: Outlining, structuring, and concluding 

You’ve got your thesis statements and painstaking research to back it up — the next step is putting them all together. A convincing essay is one that can deliver coherence and consistency throughout the pages. You want your arguments to read like they develop organically, so think about ways you can order them. If there is a timeline involved, structuring your points by chronology will make your points easier to follow. 

Sectioning your paragraphs with topic sentences is another way to signal transition between ideas before introducing new supporting evidence in your writing. End each idea with real-life examples obtained from your research, and anticipate counterarguments to your claims by addressing them as much as you can in your essay. 

When writing your conclusion, don’t regurgitate your previous ideas. Use the space to make a lasting impression on your readers by summarising your arguments and providing a good closure by offering a unique perspective on the larger scholarship of your subject. 

Step 5: Proofread your draft 

While it’s tempting to submit your essay and not look back, taking time to proofread and edit your writing is a critical step in your overall writing procedure. Try to not edit immediately after finishing your draft — let it sit for a day or two if you have the time. You’ll notice more subtle mistakes with a fresh set of eyes, and won’t lose marks in stylistic errors. 

Some professors are more than happy to give feedback and suggestions to improve your draft, so make use of that if you have time to spare before the deadline. Getting professional input could be the game-changer between a lower and a higher grade for your essay. 

Once you’re happy with your final draft and have cited all your sources accordingly, you’re all good to go! Remember, learning how to write an essay gets better with practice if you plan accordingly from the beginning. 

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Essay Writing Guide

Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 8, 2023

How to Write an Essay - A Complete Guide with Examples

By: Nova A.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Jan 1, 2019

How to Write an Essay

Are you a high school or college student residing in America, the UK, or Australia?

Do you struggle with communicating your thoughts and ideas in writing?

You are not alone, and we are here to help you understand how to write a good essay. Writing an essay could be tough, but a detailed essay writing guide will help you understand its basics easily and properly.

Essay writing is very common in high school and college, and you cannot get rid of this task at any cost. However, you often have to write an essay in the business world which is often called a report.

An essay is a piece of writing that develops a coherent set of ideas into a well-structured logical argument. Writing a good and properly formatted essay is not an easy task. Most of the students struggle with crafting flawless essays.

Essay writing is fundamental at the secondary and post-secondary levels. But, without good writing skills, students are at a serious disadvantage.

If you find yourself staring at a blank paper or screen, not knowing what to write. And wondering how to begin your essay, then you can learn it here.

How to Write an Essay

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How to Write an Essay?

10 Steps to Write an Essay

For writing an organized and structured essay, you need to follow the steps in proper order. Here are the ten easy steps to writing a good academic essay.

1. Choose the Type of Essay

The first step to writing an essay is to decide which type of essay you need to write. Choosing the correct type of essay is the first step toward your successful essay.

Here are the main types of essays in which every academic essay can be categorized.

Knowing what type of essay you are required to write can help you choose the topic and draft the essay. Here are the other types of essays that you should also be familiar with.

2. Pick a Topic

Choosing a good topic is an essential step toward writing an effective essay. If you are already given an essay topic, you can skip this step. But, if you are required to select a prompt for your essay, you need to do some brainstorming.

When you search for a subject, you'll find several  essay topics  for every kind of essay. Picking up the right topic from a huge list is the most daunting and challenging task. Because the essay prompt decides what impact your essay will make. Therefore, it is important to select a topic that is original, unique, fresh, and interests you the most.

3. Choose the Writing Style

The type of essay and essay topic tells you which  citation style  you need to follow for your essay. More often, the professors dictate the formatting and writing style of your essay. Generally, the following are some common essay writing styles that high school and college students come across.

Each citation style has its unique format for the reference list and in-text citation. These styles guide you on how to organize the information and properly format your essay. All these citation styles are also applicable to research papers.

4. Research the Topic

After choosing the topic, it’s time to do some research to collect sufficient material for writing the essay. You can go to the library to read books or search online and collect information from credible sources. You can discuss the topics with your peers and teachers to have different perspectives about your topic.

Spend some time researching your topic so that you can easily write an essay full of unique and informative details.

5. Create an Essay Outline

‘How to write an essay outline?’

Creating an outline is very important. It does not just help you organize the data but also helps you make a logical connection between the information.

A typical essay commonly follows a five-paragraph essay format. The basic essay outline structure applies to all essay types. However, the length of the central body paragraphs may differ for complex and longer essays.

Here is a 5 paragraph essay outline structure.

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6. Develop a Thesis

A  thesis statement  is a brief one or two sentences highlighting the main idea of the essay. Everything that follows will support your thesis statement and proves its essence. For example, “The opioid crisis can only be solved by the government” is a thesis statement. This statement becomes the basic premise of your essay, and every point will lead back to this statement.

It is written at the end of the introduction paragraph and tells the reader what the essay is about. It should not be broad enough that you can’t be thorough, nor narrow enough that you have nothing to discuss.

7. Write the Introduction

‘How to write an essay introduction?’

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay. Sometimes  starting an essay  in an effective way tends to be a bit tricky.

The purpose of the introduction is to inform your reader about the topic that you will discuss in the essay. State it simply and clearly.

A good introduction paragraph should contain the following things:

‘How to write a hook for an essay?’

Quotations, stories, jokes, phrases, and facts can work as a good idea for your hook statement.

8. Draft the Body

Body paragraphs are the linking paragraphs between the conclusion and introduction. All the information, examples, facts, and details about the topic being discussed are in the body section.

Use consistent arguments and points of view throughout the body of your essay. Make sure that you add a topic sentence and a single idea in each paragraph. Only one cause should be stated and elaborated on in one paragraph. Additional causes should be discussed in the following paragraphs.

When you want to express a contradictory opinion or perspective, write it in a new and separate paragraph. Do not discuss opposing ideas in the same paragraph; it will only minimize your essay’s effectiveness.

Use transition words to lead the reader from one idea to the other. Effective phrases include: in between, for example, in addition to, moreover, furthermore, firstly, lastly, however, etc.

9. Write the Conclusion

‘How to write a conclusion for an essay?’

The conclusion is the last paragraph that summarizes the main theme of the essay and its outcomes.

In the concluding paragraph, you should include a call for action (if required). For example, “Based upon all the evidence, we should impeach the sitting President.” And offer your final opinion in the light of all arguments that you have given in the body.

Again, make sure that it is appealing and leaves an impact on the reader’s mind.

10. Revise the Essay

Once you are done with the writing process, the next step is revision and proofreading. Check your essay for grammatical and spelling mistakes. Make sure the information is presented in a logical flow.

Proofread your essay at least three times to ensure no mistake or error is left behind. Reading and writing both are part of essay writing tasks; you can’t skip any of them.

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How to Write an Essay - Examples

There are several different categories of essays, each with its unique requirements. Each essay presents different information in different ways. Here are some useful examples of different types of essays that will help you write your essay.





If you follow these examples, you can easily learn to write a good essay. These examples will also let you know how to present a point or argument that intrigues the reader's curiosity.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Essay

As a beginner, there are high chances that you make mistakes while writing your essay. However, you can avoid them by working on some basics. Below we have mentioned some common errors made by non-natives.

Make sure you avoid these mistakes to make your essay impactful. However, if you are not sure about your essay writing skills, get professional help.

Getting help from professional and native essay writers at  5StarEssays.com  is the best way to learn how to write an essay. When working with our  do essay for me  service, you will learn exactly what you need to know about essay writing assignments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What words can you use to start an essay.

You should use strong and expressive words to start an essay. It is important to engage and grab your readers from the start.

How do you start an academic essay?

An academic essay or assignment starts with an introduction. It is the first part of an essay, which is why it is the most important section. For a successful essay, the start should pique the readers’ interest and keep them glued to work.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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What Are The Steps Of Writing An Essay

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Looking to get started with your essay writing?

To write an excellent academic essay, you need to follow a proper writing process to translate your set of ideas into a persuasive argument.

Some college students tend to start writing directly but often fail to answer the assignment, resulting in subpar work.

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No matter how good a writer you are, anyone can benefit from using a proper framework to write their essay. It will help you write an excellent essay in one sitting and not lose your calm.

Now, let's look into the steps of writing an essay . Following this process will allow anyone to write a top-notch paper in a matter of hours.

1. Choose a topic

Regardless of what type of essay you are writing, the first step is to understand the prompt.

Your assignment may need you to answer a specific question or give you the freedom to choose your topic. However, don't jump into writing the first subject that comes to your mind.

Instead, you want to spend some time researching and selecting the best topic that will most likely give you a high grade. Consider the purpose of your essay and make sure the topic you choose can reflect it.

When choosing your topic, you want to avoid common subjects that are often discussed or narrow issues that won't give you much to write about.

One quick tip is to think about broad subjects that interest you and narrow it down by limiting it to specific geography, culture, or time. You can always check a few ideas with your instructor to see if they are worth turning into an essay.

2. Brainstorm and research

Next, brainstorm and research the topic you have chosen. You can start by quickly jotting down what you already know about the subject. Then, think critically and get some keywords or questions to dig deeper.

You can then find the answers to your predetermined question and easily record any helpful information you came across along with your sources.

Take note of ideas, discussions, quotations, or examples you would like to include in your writing, along with the resource to make citation and references easier down the line.

If you have time, put in the extra effort to research beyond your course textbooks. Use varied sources of information like journals, newspapers, and online resources to learn more.

Reading more literature on the topic will give you a broader view, and you can offer a fresh perspective that will add points to your essay.

3. Develop a thesis statement

One of the steps of writing an essay is putting together your thesis statement . This is key to tell readers the purpose of your paper.

Even if your assignment doesn't ask a specific question, you still need a thesis statement to show your primary idea.

It should also clearly state your position about the topic and offer readers the direction of the essay. Generally, you want to craft a concise sentence that shows a debatable argument.

4. Create an essay outline

A good outline makes writing easier and more efficient. After developing your ideas and arguments, it's time to build your essay outline .

It can be as simple as scribbling your ideas into a mind map or fully stretching it out in a basic outline form. The idea here is to organize the arguments and evidence you gathered.

You should never skip this step when writing your essay. This will help structure your writing and see how you can fit each of your important ideas while maintaining the logical flow.

Ideally, each paragraph in your body should only contain one main idea and relevant elaboration and details.

A quick pro writing tip is to have your two most decisive points in your body's first and last paragraph to better persuade your readers.

5. Plan your writing

As much as you research your topic, your essay can't be completed unless you start writing.  And we understand, as a college student, it can get busy juggling between classes, clubs, and attending socializing events.

But it is crucial to plan your writing into your calendar earlier to avoid chasing deadlines. Writing an essay shouldn't mean sleepless nights, and it's easy to make mistakes with last-minute works.

So if you are looking to get a distinction grade on your essay, you need to start writing earlier. This is especially important if you're handling a super long report that requires you to write 10,000 words, for example.

In the case of such a massive project, you need to break it down into manageable steps like writing 1,000 words a day.

When planning, set realistic deadlines that take into account the delay time and planning fallacies. Because even the most professional authors tend to underestimate the complexity or amount of time needed to finish their writing.

For better estimation, we recommend that you record yourself when you are writing to gather more accurate insights.

Here’s an interesting video by Top 5 Education on how to plan your essay.

6. Write your introduction

How you start your essay is key to writing an essay that stands out. You need to attract the reader's attention in the beginning with a hook .

Even though you may be writing a formal academic essay, you are still writing for an audience, and you'd want to make sure your piece is memorable and able to grab your instructor's attention.

You can use a story, dialogue, shocking statistics, or a quote, as long as it is exciting and ties into the thesis statement.

Also, make sure to provide some context and introduce your topic. This should then be followed by your thesis statement to let readers know what the essay is about.

7. Write the body paragraphs

This is the part of the writing that supports your thesis statement and builds up the argument of your essay. It is supposed to explain, describe or argue your topic.

A good body paragraph comprises a topic sentence, further elaboration, and is backed up by credible evidence. It also should relate back to the broader topic and make sense to your reader.

Using this structure will keep your paragraph focused on the main idea and provide clear, concise information.

When transitioning from one point to another, make sure you close each paragraph properly by reinforcing the main point and linking it to the next.

Throughout the essay, actively integrate the work of others to show credible evidence. But don't forget to cite every reference and material you have used appropriately.

8. Write the conclusion

In the final section of your essay, the conclusion is your chance to leave readers with a favorable impression of your work.

As a rule of thumb, it should reaffirm your answer to the question. That means writing a brief summary of your prior arguments in about three to five sentences.

Note that: your conclusion should not contain any new information . Rephrase your thesis statement once again, and draw your points together to amplify your argument.

To bring it to the next level, you can also end by reflecting on the broader significance of the topic or with a thoughtful question that will leave your readers pondering.

9. Proofread and edit

Your essay is not completed just yet. Having completed your writing, you must take a second look at your draft to add the finishing touches.

Read through your whole essay to check the flow and structure of your essay. Ensure the correct format is used and that your strongest points appear in the first and last paragraphs within the body.

See if your essay answers the assignment and if there are ways you can strengthen your argument. Pay attention to every paragraph to see if your topic sentence is supported by evidence or examples.

Check the grammar, spelling errors, and punctuation to make sure your essay is impeccable. Remove any fluff and irrelevant sections, add variety to your expressions and avoid overusing vocabulary or transitions.

If you still have some time before the deadline, you can also get a reliable friend to read it and ask their opinions. An alternative option is giving your essay to a professional proofreading service.

10. Do a plagiarism check

There are definitive ways to avoid plagiarism during writing. We recommend that you check your essay using a plagiarism tool to make sure it meets academic integrity.

Check your citations and references to see if they are done correctly. Review your essay with Copyscape or Turnitin to avoid any accidental plagiarism.

Once you're done, it's all ready to be submitted!

Quick Checklist: 10 Steps to Write an Essay

Essay writing is so much easier if you know the proper methods, and that's why here's the ultimate essay writing checklist.

Now that you know the steps of writing an essay make sure to put it into practice to become a more efficient writer.

Last edit at Dec 25 2022

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The Five Steps of Writing an Essay

Mastering these steps will make your words more compelling.

essay writing step by step

Knowing how to write an essay is a skill that you can use throughout your life. The ability to organize ideas that you use in constructing an essay will help you write business letters, company memos, and marketing materials for your clubs and organizations.

Anything you write will benefit from learning these simple parts of an essay:


Body of information.

Here are five steps to make it happen:

Purpose/Main Idea

Echo / Cultura / Getty Images

Before you can start writing, you must have an idea to write about. If you haven't been assigned a topic, it's easier than you might think to come up with one of your own.

Your best essays will be about things that light your fire. What do you feel passionate about? What topics do you find yourself arguing for or against? Choose the side of the topic you are "for" rather than "against" and your essay will be stronger.

Do you love gardening? Sports? Photography? Volunteering? Are you an advocate for children? Domestic peace? The hungry or homeless? These are clues to your best essays.

Put your idea into a single sentence. This is your thesis statement , your main idea.

essay writing step by step

STOCK4B-RF / Getty Images

Choose a title for your essay that expresses your primary idea. The strongest titles will include a verb. Take a look at any newspaper and you'll see that every title has a verb.

Your title should make someone want to read what you have to say. Make it provocative.

Here are a few ideas:

Some people will tell you to wait until you have finished writing to choose a title. Other people find that writing a title helps them stay focused. You can always review your title when you've finished the essay to ensure that it's as effective as it can be.

essay writing step by step

Hero-Images / Getty Images

Your introduction is one short paragraph, just a sentence or two, that states your thesis (your main idea) and introduces your reader to your topic. After your title, this is your next best chance to hook your reader. Here are some examples:

essay writing step by step

Vincent Hazat / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images

The body of your essay is where you develop your story or argument. Once you have finished your research and produced several pages of notes, go through them with a highlighter and mark the most important ideas, the key points.

Choose the top three ideas and write each one at the top of a clean page. Now go through your notes again and pull out supporting ideas for each key point. You don't need a lot, just two or three for each one.

Write a paragraph about each of these key points, using the information you've pulled from your notes. If you don't have enough for one, you might need a stronger key point. Do more research  to support your point of view. It's always better to have too many sources than too few.

essay writing step by step

 Anna Bryukhanova/E Plus / Getty Images

You've almost finished. The last paragraph of your essay is your conclusion. It, too, can be short, and it must tie back to your introduction.

In your introduction, you stated the reason for your paper. In your conclusion, you should summarize how your key points support your thesis. Here's an example:

If you're still worried about your essay after trying on your own, consider hiring an essay editing service. Reputable services will edit your work, not rewrite it. Choose carefully. One service to consider is Essay Edge .

Good luck! The next essay will be easier.

essay writing step by step

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How to Write an Essay in 5 Easy Steps

How to Write an Essay in 5 Easy Steps

Need to write an essay? Don’t know where to start? A good place to begin is at the beginning, so let’s first establish what an essay actually is. An essay is defined as a structured piece of writing that expresses an opinion or develops an argument . Before you begin writing, you should understand the type of essay you’re being asked to write.

Types of Essays

While essays come in many lengths and styles, there are four main categories that all essays will fall into.


Like the name suggests, an argumentative essay is written to argue or defend a position . They are typically in-depth and cite research that supports assertions made in the text. Argumentative essays are the most common type of essays assigned in advanced composition classes or as capstone projects.


A descriptive essay is structured creative writing that asks you to detail an event, experience, or idea . For example, you may write a descriptive essay on a trip you took to Disney World, or the book you loved most as a child. While descriptive essays may involve the author’s opinion, the main focus is describing the topic in detail using adjectives , metaphor, and simile to paint a vivid picture for the reader.

Expository essays provide a clear, focused, balanced explanation of a topic. Unlike an argumentative essay, expository essays avoid “I” or “you” statements and heavily researched argument or opinion—they simply present the facts in a well-organized way. Essays on tests like the ACT and the GED , as well as many of those assigned in high school English courses, would be considered expository essays.

Narrative essays tell a story. Because a narrative essay pulls from personal experience and not research, it doesn’t strictly follow the thesis—supporting paragraph—conclusion structure found in more traditional essay types. Typically written from the author’s perspective, a narrative essay is often creative and entertaining , but still has a clear structure and theme .

The Essay Writing Process

Now that you understand a bit more about the essay types, it’s time to get started on the most important part—actually writing your essay! Essay writing may seem daunting at first, but if you follow these 5 easy steps you’ll have the perfect piece crafted in no time!

1. Pick a topic

No matter what type of essay you’ve been assigned, you usually have some agency over what it is you choose to write about. When choosing a topic, try to pick a subject that is broad enough so you’ll have plenty to discuss, but not so broad that you could write a novel. For example, “ Major Organized Religions ” would be too vast a subject to examine in a single essay, but “ The Three Most Important Jewish Holidays ” could easily work in a classic 5 paragraph format. Because writing a good essay can be time consuming and may involve extensive research, it’s also important to choose a topic you have interest in.

2. Brainstorm

You have a topic you like—but what is it you want to say? Rather than just writing down the first thing that comes to mind and hoping for the best, brainstorming ideas is a great way to get all of your thoughts down before you actually begin working on your essay. Jot down any idea that comes to your head about things you’d like to include, such as key points, examples , and illustrations . It’s ok if these thoughts seem disorganized or unrelated at first. Once you’ve written down everything you can possibly think of related to your topic, it’s time for the next step.

3. Organize

From your brainstorm, see if you could spot a strong thesis , or main point you are trying to prove. Choosing a solid thesis is crucial, as your entire essay will be constructed to support it. This will become your first paragraph .

Body Paragraphs

Next, identify three points to back up this thesis. These will become your 3 supporting paragraphs or body paragraphs . Depending on the type of essay you’re writing, the organization of your body paragraphs may change a little.

If your three points build on each other , it is important to arrange them so point one leads to point two, and point two leads to point three.

If you have three arguments that could be arranged in any order , it’s typically best to start with the strongest point first and progress to your weakest point in the final body paragraph.

If you’re writing an essay that involves comparing and contrasting two different views, you have several options for essay organization. You could present your argument first and then the opposing view, or begin with the opposing view and then refute that position. Either way is acceptable as long as you have clear topic sentences that makes it obvious which idea is being discussed.

Finally, think of what you will want to say in the conclusion , which will become your fifth paragraph.

You’ve picked a topic, brainstormed, and organized your thoughts—now it’s time to write your essay!

1st Paragraph (Introduction)

State your thesis and let the reader know what your three supporting points will be. Three or four sentences should be enough for the introduction—you want to establish a general outline, not give everything away. To finish, end with transitional hook that alerts the reader to what they can expect in the body of the paper.

2nd Paragraph (Strongest Point)

This should be your strongest argument or point. Include examples, illustrations, or data to support the main topic of the paragraph.

3rd Paragraph (Second Strongest Point)

This should be your second strongest argument or point. Include examples, illustrations, or data to support the main topic of the paragraph.

4th Paragraph (Weakest Point)

This should be your weakest argument or point. Include examples, illustrations, or data to support the main topic of the paragraph.

5th Paragraph (Conclusion)

The final paragraph of your essay is your conclusion . Restate the thesis, summarize your three points, and make a strong final statement that ties up and closes the essay.

Most great authors just write a book and send it out into the universe, right? Wrong. Revision and editing are crucial steps in writing of any type, but especially when trying to create a strong essay.

You may have read your paper a thousand times, but sometimes it’s good to step back for a bit. Read your paper over after not viewing it for a while so you can see it with fresh eyes . Look for ways you could strengthen your argument or grammar . Check for punctuation and spelling errors you may have missed while writing, and don’t be afraid to re-write parts that aren’t clear or purposeful.

After you’ve made all of the revisions you believe are necessary, have a friend read your essay and give you feedback. Sometimes it can be hard to be objective about your own work, and another pair of eyes can help alert you to issues you may have missed.

How to write an awesome essay in 5 steps

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Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing

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Writing an essay can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are not familiar with the process. However, with a clear and detailed step-by-step guide, the task can become manageable and even enjoyable. This guide will take you through the essay writing process, from the initial planning and research stages to the final proofreading and editing.

It will provide tips and strategies for organizing your thoughts, constructing a clear and logical argument, and effectively presenting your ideas in written form. Whether you are a student, professional or just someone looking to improve their writing skills, this guide will help you to write clear, concise and well-structured essays every time.

Read the essay question carefully

Finish any necessary reading or research as background to the essay

Brainstorm ideas in response to the question

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing

Develop a thesis (idea/argument) that encapsulates the response to the question

Write a plan for the response

Write the introduction

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing 1

Write the main body of the essay

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing 2

Write the essay’s conclusion

Edit the draft

Write the final copy

Source: schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing 4

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Essay Writing

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing 5

Top 5 Tips for Writing a Good Essay

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing 6

Some Tips to Write “For and Against” Essay

Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing 7

Thursday 25th of November 2021

thank u so much......this is really helpful.....

Monday 12th of April 2021

Monday 26th of October 2020

Hey everybody

Omar Martínez

Friday 14th of February 2020

I found this article extremely useful. thanks for sharing these ideas for those who are fighting to improve their writing skills.

Wednesday 13th of February 2019

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