Essay Writing Step by Step

In: English and Literature

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“Write an essay? But I don’t know how!” If you are unnerved by the thought of writing a college essay, remember that this task can be accomplished in the same way as any other—one step at a time. An effective essay is the result of careful thinking, planning, writing, and revising. If you work hard on the first two steps, the last two will be much easier. Your goal is to produce an essay whose content is focused, well-developed, and clear.

THINKING (Many decisions must be made before you actually write anything down.)

1. Consider purpose: The general purpose of your essay will usually be determined by your instructor. To be sure you know the specific purpose of your particular essay, complete this sentence: “The purpose of my essay is to ….” Example: General Purpose: Describe in detail an important characteristic of a person you know well. Specific purpose: The purpose of my essay is to describe my mother’s kindness toward her family, friends, and co-workers.

2. Consider audience: The identity of your audience will determine how much background information will be necessary and what terms need to be used or defined. For example, an essay written for nurses on care of the elderly will include less background and more technical information than an essay written for the general public on the same topic. Unless directed otherwise, you should write for an uninformed audience. Even if your instructor is your audience, you still need to write as if he or she has little familiarity with your topic because your instructor wants to know the depth of your understanding.

3. Consider tone: The tone of your writing reveals your attitude toward your subject. Definition essays are usually written in an objective tone, but a humorous tone may be appropriate for a personal…...

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