If you joined college recently or you have been around for some time, you need to understand that you will not avoid writing different types of college papers. One common type of work you will meet is writing essays from time to time. You may also have to do a research paper, although this one will not come as often as essay writing. If you are like the majority of students, you are likely to feel overwhelmed by the demanding instructions your professor will give you about essay writing. Now, before you give up or contemplate dropping out, please know that there is essay writing help out here! Before you start writing, in this guide, you will learn all about the essay writing process and essay examples, and you will be able to write your own essay without the need of spending money on services from essay writing firms.
Before we get into our ultimate guide for essay writing and essay examples, let’s see the first things college students should consider before writing an essay. College students want to have a great essay but do not want to dedicate ample time to learning about how to write essays before they start writing. This is why I congratulate you for taking the time to read this guide on how to write essays. Now, many times, college students think that writing college essays starts with taking a laptop and opening Microsoft Word. No, there are preliminaries you should consider before you start writing.
As a young person, you are likely to be distracted by movies, friends, and other activities. When it comes to writing essays, you need to make a choice because your future depends on it. You need to invest more in your personal growth than in entertainment. Therefore, have a clear mind of what you want to do with your essay and whether you want to succeed in your admissions process or not. Obviously, you desire success in essay writing and more.
Your essay essay writing process should match the instructions presented by your professors. Every essay must have a particular topic, which you must satisfy. If you are applying for admission, you are lucky because common app prompts are always availed to you. Students write essays that are off-topic for not paying attention to details. To grasp the essay topic, consult your professor if you find yourself struggling to write essays.
Your performance on college essays reflect in your final degree, thus the need to be keen with it. Even before you write, take a minute and ask yourself if you want to be associated with mediocrity or excellence. When you write essays often, you start developing new ideas about your career and future aspirations. Therefore, do not approach essay writing as a casual task.
When your professor sends you instructions, do not wait until the last minute. Even if you do not know how to write an essay. Start perusing the documents, go online and look for materials, and check essay examples or samples on Google and other sites. Starting early gives you a head start and ensures you are not asked to write supplemental essays.
College students ignore the advantage they have for having a ready professor. Instead of struggling with instructions, seek clarification from your teacher. Be thankful for the help accorded to you. Last year, I noted that gratitude affected people’s cooperativeness and willingness to help.
Let’s delve into the subject and get to know how writing an essay can be an easy process.
You are likely to be bombarded with many definitions of an essay. However, the simple definition of an essay simply a piece of writing that helps a writer reveal, propose, express, and analyze his or her idea concerning a particular subject. Through an essay, college students can argue about something, explain a topic, analyze a matter, or do anything else that demands their opinion. Therefore, an essay is a written piece that communicates the idea and logic behind a writer’s position. With this new understanding, we can now get deeper about essays.
We will get to the section on understanding the different types of essays shortly, but we need to familiarize ourselves with the accepted principles of writing an essay. Although an essay is not as complicated as a research paper and other types of college papers, it follows a specific approach, which you need to learn before you write your first draft or any time you would like to write essays. Understanding the general principles will also give you the confidence you need for your future class work.
Regardless of the type of an essay that you are writing, you will need a strong introduction. Typically, all introductions occur at the start of a paper. It provides the background information of the topic that you are handling. When writing the introduction, you must address three areas and approach them keenly, as explained below:
A hook is a thought-provoking statement that appears as the first line of your essay. It loops in the reader to continue reading your text. Your hook should be interesting; otherwise, your reader might stop reading your essay after the first line. Let’s understand this part better with an example. Assuming you are writing an essay about environmental degradation, you can use the following as a hook:
“There will be no future generations unless everyone addresses the impacts of fossil fuels”
Anyone reading the above statement would be shocked or surprised because the opening is very catchy. You must use such provocative openings to attract the reader to ensure they remain on your work throughout. So, the first thing to consider when writing the introduction of an essay is the hook.
Your introductory paragraph must also tell us about what we do not know about the topic. If you go straight to stating your arguments, your readers will not have the understanding of the controversy surrounding your essay. You should assume that the person reading your essay does not know anything about the topic. So, explain it clearly. Let’s use another example to understand this part better. Assuming you are writing about “The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities” then the following statement can act as background information
“Some of the extracurricular activities in America include community service, going to the theater, joining a club, or taking part in sports.”
When you include such information, you help the readers connect with your topic once you start talking about the benefits of extracurricular activities. Therefore, always tell the reader about the unknown or controversies surrounding a topic. If you are writing about gun control in the United States, you should not be quick to tell the reader where you stand on the matter. Instead, inform the reader about the two opposing sides on this subject. Explain what each side says concerning the subject. By using this approach, you help readers support your argument.
A thesis statement is perhaps the most important part of writing your essay because it informs all the arguments and sources you use in the subsequent body paragraphs. If you have never written a paper before, you must be asking yourself:
Well, a thesis statement is simply a sentence that tells your readers where you stand on a subject or topic being discussed. It reveals your belief and conviction in a topic. Typically, this statement occurs at the end of the introduction paragraph.
A good thesis statement should adhere to a particular format. First, it must be direct, brief, and arguable. Second, it should be logical and relevant to the topic. Third, it should be easy to prove using available evidence
To understand this better, let’s use an example. Supposing you are writing an argumentative essay on whether the death penalty should be abolished, then your thesis should reveal your stance and the logic behind your reasoning. A good thesis on this topic would look like this:
“Death penalty should be abolished because it contributes to wrongful convictions, does not deter crime, and fails to address the pain of the affected families.”
A few things to note about this example. First, you can tell where the writer’s position is on this matter. The writer opposes the death penalty and supports its abolition. Second, the writer provides reasons for his or her position. The writer did not stop at saying he or she supports the abolition of the death penalty. Instead, he or she provided the logic behind the reasoning. That is how you write a thesis statement. It must have your views and the logic.
Once you are done with the introduction, you will need to write paragraphs. The other principle of writing an essay is having logical paragraphs. One thing you must remember is that everything you write in the body paragraphs should go to convince the readers that the position you revealed in the thesis statement is actually the right one. You must stick the particular subject that you chose from the start. You may ask yourself what makes a good body of an essay. Well, let’s address three elements.
A logical body paragraph should start with a logical sentence. Let’s go back to the example of opposing the death penalty. The person writing such an essay will have to start the first paragraph with the first reason of his or her opinion. This is how the topical sentence would look like:
“Death penalty should be abolished because it contributes to wrongful convictions.”
If you look at the example, you can see that it addresses only one element of the thesis statement. That is how writing a topical sentence should be done. You must avoid having all the ideas in one paragraph. In your subsequent paragraphs, the same principle will apply.
Once you are done writing the topical sentence, you must also incorporate sources into your work. In this era of the internet, it is easy to get scholarly materials online. You do not need a common app or incur huge costs buying research materials. Instead, you can use Google Scholar to look for any research paper that you need. Unless advised otherwise by your professor, try to use the most recent materials, especially those published from 2017 onwards. Now, the sources you get online should be used to prove your claim that you made in the topical sentence and in your thesis. For example, if you argue that the death penalty leads to wrongful convictions, you should look for the latest data that shows the number of people who were wrongly executed to get some ideas. By doing this, you assert and prove your argument beyond any other opinion because data cannot be dismissed.
When writing your body paragraphs, you must also offer some analysis. It is easy to do this since it involves showing the logic behind your argument. Let’s illustrate this point using the same example of the death penalty. After stating that capital punishment is positively correlated with wrongful executions, I should use the other sentence to explain or analyze the correlation. See the following example:
“While judges and jurors take time to reach a guilty verdict for individuals charged with crimes that lead to capital punishment, false witnesses and rushed investigations influence their decision, which cause them to issue a death sentence to suspects.”
In the above example, the writer is trying to show the connection between the claim made in the topical sentence and the logic behind the reasoning. Such analysis should always be followed by evidence, which must be cited.
Your body paragraph is not complete without the concluding sentence. This one comes at the end of the paragraph, and joins together the argument that was promoted in the topical sentence. Let’s see it in form of an example:
“Therefore, the fact that many people have been wrongly executed due to poor investigations and recanted testimonies shows that the death penalty should be abolished.”
In this example, the writer is tying together the findings acquired from a source and the analysis to make a conclusion. As a result, any reader going through the essay will be convinced that abolishing the death penalty is the right thing. That is how body paragraphs should flow. You will use the same principles on all the other paragraphs
The other general principle of writing essays is having a synthesized conclusion. This is the concluding paragraph that comes last. Many times, the conclusion is what sets students who went to Ivy league schools from other average writers. A mediocre writer just uses the conclusion to summarize the entire paper. However, a good concluding paragraph of an essay should have the following items:
“The death penalty should be abolished to prevent wrongful convictions, devise ways to deter crime, and find new methods of helping affected families.”
The example reminds the reader that the topic is about the death penalty and the position held by the writer as well as the logic. Readers might feel bored a thesis statement that appears exactly as it did in the introduction part. So, be creative when restating your thesis in the conclusion.
“Murder criminals deserve the worst punishment for the actions, but we must ask ourselves if killing innocent people and failing to help affected families is the right thing to do.”
When you sign off your essay like that, you leave your readers thinking about the topic. That is the essence of writing essays.
The last principle to consider when writing an essay is the format. By format, we mean the various styles used in academic paper writing. For example, we have MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, Oxford, Harvard, and many other styles. Before you write your essay, ensure you are familiar with the writing style needed. These styles are hardly taught in middle school, and you will only see them later after joining college or university. All the sources cited in the body must then be compiled and submitted on a separate page. Pay attention to this page of source when writing your common app because an admissions committee scrutinizes it to see if it contains plagiarism.
Now that you know the general principles of writing an essay, you can now write a nice paper, including a strong common app essay. However, you may now understand the approach to use in each essay since we have different types. By the time you are done reading this part, you will have understood the various types of essays. Later on, we will learn how to write each of them. For now, let’s see the types of essays you may write in college.
An argumentative essay involves a debate about a topic like the one we handled about the death penalty. When writing this essay, you are trying to show that your position is the best. Therefore, it involves a lot of defending your viewpoint and showing the weakness of the other side. For example, you could show that people who support the death penalty do not consider certain areas, which you are addressing. We will see how to write an argumentative essay in a short while.
As with the process essay, it is simply involves explaining how something is done. You can choose to teach people how to cook. Alternatively, you could decide to tell people how your family member became a great manager. In essence, a process essay outlines the steps needed to do something.
A reflection essay is about your experience about a specific event, which can be real or fictional. For example, some professors are fond of asking you to imagine a situation where the world becomes totally uninhabitable due to climate change. In such a case, you imagine the situation and write your feelings.
In a persuasive essay, the emphasis is on convincing the reader to accept your position. It is often seen as a replica of argumentative paper, but it is not. In argumentative writing, we emphasize our arguments and prove them to be true. In contrast, persuasive writing is about persuading the other party to adopt your position.
We can describe a Rogerian essay as the “mediator” of persuasive and argumentative. In a Rogerian essay, a writer shows the merits and demerits of both arguments. For example, a writer will show the strengths of a pro-gun control argument and its weaknesses, then proceed to show the same for those who are anti-gun.
A compare and contrast essay seeks to show the differences and similarities of something. It can be about countries, schools, men and women, sports club, or anything else that can be compared. It is one of the simplest essays since it does not involve proving anything.
A cause and effect essay shows the source and outcome of something. An author can choose to draw a correlation between an idea, event, or policy, and results seen in society. A good example is the success that managers realize over time. A writer might argue that executives who acquire important skills succeed in the end. Alternatively, one could argue that video games cause aggressive behaviors. In both cases, the writer is trying to show that one thing causes another.
Writing a case study essay is one of the easiest tasks because you only examine a case and answer some questions. However, you need to have prior experience handling such a task. Professors will ask you to respond to questions and connect your answers with class concepts. It is not a demanding work, but you can have it written by experts it becomes completely impossible for you.
Narrative essays are easy because they involve telling a story, which can be real or fictional. You are allowed to use the first person and your imagination is not limited. You only need to have an idea of what you want to say.
Descriptive essays describe something. For example, a college student can decide to describe his or her first experience as a “fresher.” Your lecturer might also ask you to describe the effects of nuclear energy.
A personal essay involves explaining more about yourself. You can state your experiences, lessons gather in life, or anything else about yourself as long as it is non-fiction.
An admission essay demanded by an admissions committee when you express your interest to join college or university. It details your key strong areas and portrays you as the right candidate to be enrolled in an institution.
An expository essay seeks to elaborate a point shared by another person. Expository works provide clarity and break down the points shared by another individual.
Writing different types of essays
You have now grasped the various types of essays, and you are eager to learn how to write each of them. In the following section, you get to know the approach used in the mentioned essays.
To write a good argumentative essay, you only to know your topic first. Then proceed with taking your side in the topic. For example, if you are writing about the death penalty, ask yourself where you stand on the matter. Before writing down your position, gather the facts surrounding the subject. What’s the controversy about? Who supports the death penalty and who opposes it? Include all these details in the introduction before revealing your main thesis in the introductory section. Once you do this, go online and look for sources to support your thesis. In your paper, remember to highlight the opponent’s argument without validating it. As explained earlier, use a topic sentence approach to keep readers attached and your work flowing.
You should not have any problems writing a process essay if you follow the format described above. Other transition words include “however, therefore, in the process, and others”
Writing a reflection essay is easy because you only need to express your feelings. Although you can write any time, we suggest you do it in your free time when there is nothing distracting you because the mind loves to be free for it to be creative. Start by thinking about the event you want to reflect on before writing. Then, create what we call the mind map, which is simply a visualizing moment. Note down some strong points coming from your mind. Look for supportive sources online and start writing. You should be done with the paper very quickly.
A Rogerian essay is not as hard as some people argue. You only need to identify the arguments fronted by both sides. After this, just identify the weaknesses of each side and compile them. Later, you can write a complete essay outlining the merits and demerits of each side. Remember, you are not writing to support any side, but to offer the middle ground of the matter. For example, if you are writing about the death penalty, you should not say whether you support it or not. Instead, you will show the strengths of the death penalty and its weaknesses as well.
Step 1: Get your idea- Be clear about your topic so the reader can follow. Do not be ambiguous. For example, do not appear to support the death penalty and oppose it at the same time. Remember your test scores depend on your ability to convince the reader. If your professor asks you to choose a topic, then select the one you are passionate about. Do not write about a complicated subject that you do not understand.
Step 2: Identify your audience– You are persuading a particular group. So, be clear in your mind and use the appropriate language.
Step 3: Do research– You can only do research if you understand your essay question. Go online and look for materials that support your topic.
Step 4: Write an outline– Before you write your persuasive essay, craft an outline that will act as a guide. This helps you remain focused and on-topic. Your outline should include an introduction, supporting paragraphs, contrary opinion, rebuttal, and conclusion.
Step 5: Write your essay– When the outline is complete, you can now start writing and stick to your idea. Have a good introduction with a hook and thesis. Use scholarly materials to prove your points. Make your conclusion assertive.
Step 6: Proofread– Do not be quick to submit your work. Take time to spell check and make corrections, paying attention to spelling mistakes and other errors. Remember that if you are writing this paper as common app, then you must spell check to ensure perfection because admissions officers are not always tolerant of such mistakes. The best way to proofread is to re-read your work.
When you write this essay, you are likely to be lost because it does not always follow the common format of the other works. However, follow these steps if you want to write a good essay that will be deemed as a common app essay that sees you admitted in any of your dream schools.
“China and USA are similar in terms of technological innovation, but differ in democratic practices.”
This thesis has one side showing the attributes that make China similar to the US, and another highlighting the contradictions.
A cause and effect essay is written by identifying the origin of something and following the subsequent steps. Start by identifying or understanding the topic. The second step is to identify your source of information to ensure you have a strong backup. For example, if you are asked to identify the cause and effect of corruption in society, you should consult records from the Department of Justice to see the number of cases, costs, and other issues. The other steps involves writing your work coherently. Arrange your paragraphs logically and prove that one thing leads to another.
For a case study, you only need to know the work you are reviewing. The next step is to understand the questions posed. In the third step, draw the connections between the case and class readings. Create your first draft and use it as a guide, but do not present it as your final work. Correct all grammatical errors before submitting. Afterward, you can submit your document.
A descriptive essay requires you to just express your understanding of a topic. Of course, you must use research materials to justify the main point, which acts as your thesis. Let’s take the example of nuclear energy and assume you have been asked to write about its pros and cons. A good thesis should mention the positive side and the negative side as illustrated below:
“Nuclear energy provides affordable electricity and prevents environmental degradation, but poses risks to human health and safety.”
The example mentions both sides because a descriptive essay should be balanced, not biased. In the subsequent paragraphs, the writer must show how nuclear energy offers affordable power and saves the environment, as well as prove the safety issues.
A personal essay or statement is like a CV. It tells us about you. Therefore, it is important to be careful, lest an admissions officer denies you the chance to join one of your dream schools due to a poor common app. First, start by focusing on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but the last thing your admissions officers want to see is a list of your shortcomings. Second, be subtle in revealing your weaknesses. Do not say that you lose your tempers. Instead, you could simply say that your desire to achieve results makes you focus on tasks so much that you often forget about others. Third, have fun but remain professional. Your common app should be interesting to read, yet the tone must remain professional.
When you choose one of your dream schools, you will be asked to write an admission essay. It is a common app essay that should show your competencies. Therefore, mention about your qualifications, strong personality traits, and future aspirations. Keep it simple but interesting.
Expository essays require you to reveal a hidden meaning of a topic. When writing this essay, always start by gathering your facts. Get to know what the author says or said. Proceed to see what others responded to the author. Judging from the responses and the original work, come up with your analysis and present it.
During their young age, students do not see the effects of plagiarism until they produce their first common app and watch as their friends copy it. In colleges and universities, plagiarism is handled with a lot of caution, whether you are writing a personal statement, common app, or any other work. You must learn to express your written ideas early enough. How do you avoid plagiarism in your essay?
As we near the end of this guide, we take this opportunity to help you with a checklist of the things you need to consider before and after writing your essay. Following this ultimate guide will portray you as a responsible person who not only deserves higher grades but also appointment as part of the student government. So, before writing your essay, ensure the following steps have been fulfilled.
Even as we come to the end, we hope you will not be like a blank page as far as writing any paper, including a common app essay, is concerned. Practice a lot, ensure concise decision making, and heed our advice to start early, even if you are yet to join college. If you start today, your common app will be an amazing piece of work. In case you still feel overwhelmed, you can hire Apax Researchers to write a cheap essay writing service for you.