A Beginner’s Guide to Writing an Essay

When you first begin to write essays, it can be very scary for you. There are different rules for different essays, in-text citations, and reference sheets. The teacher will lecture you about plagiarism and the whole situation can be overwhelming. We have compiled a guide to help you as you work on your essays!

Learn How To Write Your Essay

The descriptive and persuasive essay-you will probably start off by writing a descriptive or a persuasive essay. These are the easiest to compose. Your teacher will give you in-depth directions but you will either be describing something or defending and convincing about something. You have to use other sources, such as newspapers or magazines, to support your opinions.

Third person-in most formal papers, but the narrative style (which you will learn later), the teacher will expect you to write in third person point of view. If you use the words “you” or “I” the instructor will not be happy with you. You are writing formal papers, and must use a formal tone.

Slang and Contractions-you should not use slang or contractions in your essay either. Keep the paper in the formal style.

The thesis statement-thesis statement is one sentence (later it will be much longer) that tells what you are writing about in the paper. An example may be, “Dystopian novels are popular due to their extreme settings, the colorful characters, and the creativity.” You would then want to prove your three main ideas (extreme settings, the colorful characters, and the creativity).

Parts of the paper-the paper will have an introduction (the thesis statement, background information, and hook), the main bodies, and the conclusion (re-state the thesis statement, the summary, and a universal statement)

The hook-the hook (sometimes called an attention getter) is a quote, story, startling fact, or question. You use it in order to hook your reader into falling into reading your paper.

Academic databases-your media center director and teacher can tell you about what a valid or non-valid database is. The sources have to come from experts, and there are sites created specifically for students that hold this information. Some of these sites cost money, but schools often buy access for their students. You may have to get passwords and user names from the media specialist.

Simple-as you learn how to write an essay, you should stick to a simple policy. Use words people will understand and use simple sentence structures. You need to focus on more important things than trying to wow your teacher with difficult vocabulary words and complex sentences.

Proof-when you finish the paper, you need to learn how to proof and edit it. It will take practice for you to find your own mistakes. Just keep practicing on this skill because it is a valuable skill.

The expert-your teacher is the expert on writing. You need to listen carefully to the instructor, keep all directions, and engage in the classroom. You can learn many things from being on task during writing instruction.

Citing-you will use an in-text citation when you use someone else’s facts in the paper. The teacher will tell you which kind to use (probably MLA or APA) and show you how to do it.

Reference pages-when you cite in a paper, you will need to make a reference page. There are several different kinds, so make sure to make the kind your teacher wants.

Professional help
Not everyone was born to be a writer, but with a little help everyone can learn to communicate through writing. You may find that composing essays is hard for you. If this is the case, rather than stress about it, hire a tutor or writing company to help you bolster this weak skill. Never be afraid to ask for extra help with your essays.