English Essay: Developing an “A” grade Essay
As you undertake your English coursework in both high school and college, you will realize how important essay writing is. To some students, crafting a good English essay may be a bit challenging, since creativity is an integral part of writing a good essay. Starting the learning process early and using the provided tips below on English essay writing, you will eventually craft a well-written essay.
The Planning Stage
You cannot just jump into writing an essay! You need to prepare yourself accordingly to ensure you save time when writing your work. Below are some helpful ideas that you can use for the preparation stage:
Give Yourself Some Advanced Time
Nothing substantial can come out of a 10 minute written work, not only in essay writing but also in other aspects of writing. Give yourself maximum time allowed to prepare and construct your thought and ideas. In this stage, you are expected to brainstorm, conduct research for related information that is already available, and eventually craft the most captivating ways that will convey the meaning of your written work.
Jot down Your Ideas as You Brainstorm
While you conduct your research, you will interact with many types of information that relates to your work. Make sure you write down the ideas they inspire in you. Bear in mind that at this stage, you are just gathering information and not writing your work. It just requires you to put down your ideas about the topic and be ready for the writing part of your English essay.
Be Strictly Mindful of Your Thesis
The thesis statement might only take at most two sentences of your total work, but still, it gives essence to your essay. It consists of the main idea that you intend to prove to your target audience, thus indicating its importance. Make sure that you thoroughly brainstorm your work and avoid choosing the first thesis statement that you think of. At least three to four ideas are enough to inspire the main thesis statement you are to come up with.
Keep in mind that all the information and ideas you express in your work have to relate to the thesis statement you have given. Also, your thesis statement should come as the last piece of information in your introductory paragraph. The thesis statement should highlight the main idea behind your essay in brief by understandably impressive manner. It provided the reader with an understanding of what you are to address from the start of your essay until the last part. Do not forget to construct it with a hook in place to ensure the reader is impressed and ready to read through all of the work presented.
Put Enough Emphasis and Focus on the Introduction
The thesis statement is not the only important part of your introduction. Furthermore, it is placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. This begs for two questions, what should you start with? How should you start your introduction? You are required to start your introduction by stating your problem in a way the reader will be interested in the subject matter you plan on expounding on. The following are ways you can use to achieve a good introduction:
- Begin your work with an anecdote
- Utilize the use of an uncommon factor interesting statement
- Keep the reader hooked by leading with a new notion relating to your topic of discussion.
- As a way of engaging the readers, pose a rhetoric question that will make them think it through
Structure of a Comprehensible Outline
Many students aimlessly write their essay without first coming up with an outline, and they eventually suffer in the long run. Please avoid this mistake because it will cost you a great deal of time when you have to restructure it all over again. Spare some quality time during your preparation stage to create a comprehensive outline for your work. By the time you are at this stage, you already have come up with a thesis statement and substantial information about your English essay. Now, arrange the information in a well-organized order until you achieve a logical flow of ideas. This will enable you to convince your readers and impress them at the same time about your point of view.
To many students, writing an outline might seem to be a bother or waste of time if you are conversant with what you are to write about. This should be not the case since creating the required outline will save you time on writing and also prevent you from getting a writer’s block.
Writing Process for an English Essay
After you have successfully gathered your ideas and constructed an outline for your work, you can begin writing your work. Below are the key steps that are required at this stage of your work:
Read Through Your Notes One More Time
Go through your notes to ensure you have the required information to fit the outline you created. Even though an English essay requires more creativity, each idea needs to be supported by academic materials that relate to the subject matter. If you find information that lacks, do research about it and add it to your outline accordingly.
Creatively Construct the Topic Sentences for Each Paragraph
The first sentence is very crucial to your essay work.it is meant to hook the reader and impress them enough to read through the whole of your work. At this point try to avoid equivocal phrasing. Keep in mind that the first sentence of each paragraph should briefly give an outline of what to expect when reading through the whole paragraph. If you already are conversant with the topic of the discussion you intended to write about, then coming up with the topic sentences will be an easy task to handle. Even though the hook should give a clear definition of your paragraph, do not introduce all of the information. Ideally, use the topic sentence as a hook for the reader to read through your work.
Develop Your Thoughts in Detail
Most students only construct work from one or two ideas and fill up the remaining word count with information lacking sense or logic. This is referred to as padding in the academic level, which is discredited, not only in the writing of an English essay but also in all types of writing altogether. Ave in mind the experience your professor has had with many students who came before you, so he or she has the knowledge of over a thousand essays regarding the same subject. This should make you understand that even for a new professor; he or she is well informed to detect padding within an essay.
When you find yourself in a situation where you feel stuck, or your outline isn’t of enough help, use the following tips to help you through:
- Revert back to the stage you brainstormed about the topic. Try to broaden the ideas you came up with through extra research. You are also allowed to use free writing which helps a lot to avoid writers’ block, or even mind maps. Whichever you find fit, utilize it appropriately.
- Seek membership to a writing lab. Most of the academic institutions today have writing labs, and it can help you if you join one. Even though most of them have different functionalities, the main idea is for you to interact with other student and exchange ideas as all of your work on your projects. This will get you reliable feedback on the work you are doing and inspire you to work on the project more efficiently and effectively.
- Have a chat with your professor. The professor has the mandate to help you through your coursework to achieve academic excellence. Don’t be shy, make an effort and consult where you require assistance. Find out the professor’s dedicated office hours and consult to improve the validity and credibility of the English essay to be presented.
Use MLA Formatting Style
A number of essays (especially those that require personal experience) do not need you to avail external references, but most of them do. In relation to writing an English essay on literature, it would be hard to imagine an instance where the work lacks support from either quotes or examples of the original context. Most English essay papers utilize the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. However, if the requirement is not provided, it is advisable to seek confirmation from the professor. The following are some of the elements that formulate the formatting structure of your English essay:
- Double spaced work throughout the paper
- Margins should be adjusted to one inch on all sides
- Stick to a 12-point font (Times New Roman is a preferable choice)
- No detached title page
- The top left corner should contain information about the student and course credentials.
- Page numbers placed at the top right corner
- Separate Works Cited page
In an instance where you are required to cite particular information, you should use quotation marks to frame the citation, with the author’s name put in brackets. When referencing is done, including the author’s last name and page number (If accessible). Altogether, if your citation comes from an in folio source, online journal or article with a page with page numbers, make sure you include the page number as you reference your work. You will notice that no punctuation marks are used in between the last name and the page number. For instance, (Muithya 10). The preserved punctuation will be used when referencing the citation at the end of your work.
Keep in mind that your Works Cited Page should have the author’s name, the title of cited work, the city it was published and the name of the publishing company. It is advisable to also include any more information available (page numbers, online or print, and so on).
Create a Captivating Conclusion
At this point, you have already come up with the body paragraphs and detailed them accordingly. For the conclusion part, you should convey a summary of your work which is to leave a good impression to any reader of your work. In short, you are to restate your main ideas that you discussed in your body paragraphs and provide proof of the validity of the thesis statement you provided.
However, in regard to an English essay, you may need to put more effort when working on the conclusion of your work. For any piece of creative essay, the suspense is an important element. This helps in your body paragraphs to make the reader anticipate that the conclusion is about to be addressed. The following ideas will ensure that you come up with an impressive conclusion of your work:
- Evaluate the information you have made available to your readers.
- Offer a proposal for more research relating to the subject.
- Give a brief description of the significance of your paper.
Revision of Your Work
The conclusion work is not the final stage of your work. You need to revise your work appropriately and below are some of the aspects you should remember while you are at this stage:
Take Your Time
Give yourself time to rest and be fresh again to read through your work. You need to identify and correct any form of spelling, punctuation, grammatical of structuring errors. You should plan for at least one or two days for the revision of your work.
Begin with the Content. Spelling Comes After
As you proofread your paper, avoid focusing first on the spelling errors or combining this practice with the editing of your content. This will lead to loss of time. Start with editing your content and consider the following questions:
- How clear are your arguments?
- Do the transitions used to provide a logical flow of ideas?
- Do all of your ideas relate to the thesis statement you presented?
- Is your wording within the acceptable academic requirements?
Inquire Assistance from One of Your Friends
It’s more prudent if a different person read through your paper as they will easily point out issues that you can correct in the long run.