Do you need to prepare an academic paper for college? Here are some tips and a brief guide on how to write an essay. First of all, we must be clear about what an essay is.
An essay is a prose piece of writing that interprets, analyzes, and/or evaluates a topic in its entirety. The essay is a literary genre. However, its purpose differs from that of other artistic literary genres, such as poetry or novels, which seek to describe situations or convey feelings, sensations, emotions, or images.
The essay uses a formal tone and avoids humor, sarcasm, irrelevant observations, and colloquial vocabulary. Irrelevant data or concepts, and flowery or pompous language are also avoided. Remember that the essay seeks to analyze a topic in its entirety, but in the most synthetic form possible. The reader to whom the essay is addressed, although considered intelligent, is unfamiliar with the analyzed topic.
How to write a quality essay: we must keep in mind that the quality of the essay is measured based on these 4 criteria:
- You have to think about "how to revise my paper?"
- Relevant and well-documented content
- Correct use of language
- Appropriate and well-organized argument
Before you start writing
The task of writing an essay requires some previous steps that ensure that the final text will fulfill its objective of developing a topic in a clear, complete, and synthetic way. These steps are as follows:
1. Write a list of ideas. This list does not need to be ordered and coherent from the beginning; you can start writing it in disorder and, once finished, look for a logical order grouped by categories.
2. Outline a sketch of the content of the essay. This outline will help to present the central ideas and arguments visually.
3. Write the first draft. Then a second draft, a third draft, and as many drafts as necessary. It is advisable to give these drafts to someone whose judgment you trust and take into account their suggestions and criticisms to improve the quality of the essay.
How to write an essay - organization
Every essay has three basic parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.
The introduction gives the reader an introduction to the topic of the essay. It describes how the topic will be treated and what the reader is expected to know once he or she has read the essay.
The body of the essay is the full development of the concepts stated in the introduction. Each concept may require one or more paragraphs to be fully developed. If each concept extends over several paragraphs, it is advisable to use subheadings to separate them and give structure to the text.
The academic essay commonly uses exposition rather than description or narrative. This means that it is based on a general statement of the subject matter (called a thesis) and the specific evidence that supports that statement.
The conclusion of the essay is the last paragraph of the essay. Its function is to recapitulate the ideas presented throughout the body. The conclusion begins with a summary of the essay and ends with a strong sentence, reflecting the focus of the essay. Often, this last sentence serves to place the idea discussed in a broader context, which encourages the reader to extend the research.
Once the essay is finished, it needs to be revised and corrected as many times as necessary until the text is completely satisfactory. At least two revisions should be made: in the first one, the content and organization of the content should be observed. It should be verified that the ideas are correctly communicated to the reader and that there is cohesion between the parts.
In the second review, attention should be paid to grammatical aspects: punctuation marks, accentuation, gender and number agreement, spelling, and correct use of vocabulary.
Finally, if you expect that essay writing will be a regular part of your academic life, you will want to keep a record of the grammatical problems encountered in each essay you write. In this way, each new essay you write will be a little better than the previous ones and will be easier to write.