Essay writing is a difficult task that everyone is faced with at one point or another. Whether a person is assigned to write a paper for school, or a presentation at work, even an email; everyone has to do some form of writing. In order for a person to become an efficient writer, they have to follow a few simple steps. These steps, if followed correctly, can not only improve a person’s writing dramatically, but also increase an individual’s confidence while trying to express themselves verbally. Throughout my childhood I was able to express myself verbally, but it was difficult for me to get my thoughts together to write an adequate paper. As time progressed, I found a method for writing papers that worked for me. I decided that I would like to share some of the steps I used, and still use to write a successful paper in hopes that it will be helpful to you as well.
Step 1. Listen!! When your professor gives you an assignment, don’t automatically write it down verbatim. Listen to how your professor explains the assignment. Pay attention to what the professor says he or she wants in the essay. Make sure that you know how long the paper needs to be; the specific font, font size, margins, and of course the outline. After finding out the specific layout of the paper, continue to listen to exactly what the subject matter of the paper has to be. The professor will give you direct instructions on what the topic of your paper should be, so the student must listen intently. As a college student, you should also listen to your professor during their lectures. After listening, you can possibly incorporate some of the information your professor gives you into your paper. Professors love when you creatively show them that you were listening to them speak during class.
Step 2. Take Notes!! After your professor has finished speaking, they will usually pause and ask if anyone has questions. Even if your professor doesn’t ask if you have questions, you should immediately clarify any issues you have with assignment. If something is unclear about the task, ask your professor to repeat the assignment. DO NOT be afraid to speak up!! Trust me there are students who have the same questions as you. As I’m sure you’ve heard before “There is no such thing as a stupid question”. Being afraid to speak up, and gain clarity in life will only hinder your success. Ask as many questions as you deem fit until you completely understand the task. As your professor reiterates exactly what they want in your paper, take notes in your own words. When it’s time to reread your notes, it will be easier to understand your own words, than the words of your professor. After politely interrogating your professor so that you write the best paper you can, then you can move on to the next step.
Step 3. Plan Ahead!! DO NOT wait until the last minute to start your paper! Give yourself ample time to do what’s necessary, in order to get a good grade. Procrastination can sometimes be a recipe for disaster, which college students cannot afford. Start brainstorming ideas for your paper the same day you get it. Write your ideas down on a notepad, and organize them in a way that will be beneficial to you. After writing down your ideas, think about how you are going to set up your essay. First, determine what your thesis should be. Next, try to figure out a way to incorporate your ideas into paragraphs that support your thesis. Third, map out your essay from introduction to body paragraphs, and then finally the conclusion. After completing the outline of your essay you can move on to the next step.
Step 4. Get Some Rest!! Relax! It is essential for human beings to get rest in order for us to have energy. Without energy, we will not be able to devote our undivided attention to our school work. I know that it’s difficult to sleep as college students because our minds are always racing. However we have to make an effort to relax our mind as well as our bodies. Without sleep, we will not be able to function at our highest capacity.
Step 5. Eat food that will give you energy!! In order to sit down at a computer for hours at a time, you have to eat food that will give you energy. Some food that will give you energy are: Nuts, Fish, Vegetables, Fruits, Water, Granola Bars, Oatmeal and Yogurt. Of course as college students we are prone to eating junk food, fast food, caffeine and other foods that will eventually make us crash. Beware of the unhealthy food before, and or while writing a paper. Eat food that will not only increase your energy, but will also help stimulate your brain.
Step 6. Research!! Research. Research. Research. In order for a person to write an amazing paper, they have to research their topic. A student has to put the time and effort into finding out accurate information about their topic. Websites like Wikipedia aren’t always deemed as acceptable by professors, so be cautious. After gathering information from credible websites, make sure that you start your bibliography. The best time to complete your bibliography is while you’re gathering your research. By completing our bibliography while researching, we are ensuring that we cite every single website that we gather information from. After researching our topic we can move on to our last step.
Step 7. Start writing your paper!! After following all of the steps above you are now ready to type up your paper. First things first, get your thoughts together, and pull out your outline. Organize your research into different sections depending on what paragraph the research will be inserted into. After organizing your information, get ready to start typing your paper. First, put your heading on the top of the paper, followed by the title of your essay. Your first paragraph should be an introduction to your essay. This paragraph should state what your essay is about, as well as defining your thesis statement. Your body paragraphs should be short, sweet and to the point. Throughout the body paragraphs, you should include a topic sentence, followed by supporting facts. Each paragraph should be laced with details, and facts that relate directly to your topic. Make sure that the information you put in your essay relates back to your thesis statement. After completing your body paragraphs, move on to your conclusion. Your conclusion should always innovatively restate what your introduction says. After you restate what your introduction says, you can move on to adding your finals thoughts and opinions.
Step 8. Proofread!! Grammar plays a large role in how a professor grades their students. In order for an essay to be in tip top shape, a student must continuously review their work. In reviewing their work, students will find various errors that they can fix. After a student proof reads their work, it’s a good idea to have another person proofread their essay. Another person may be able to pick up on errors that a student can’t, after they finish typing up their essay. Once your essay is free of errors, save it once more, print it, and hand it in.
Now that I have shared my eight steps to a successful essay, I hope that I have helped you become a better writer. These ten steps are my specific procedure for writing an essay. It’s not necessary to incorporate all of these steps into your essay writing process. However, maybe you can adapt these steps to your life in a way that’s beneficial to you, in some way or another. Keep in mind that the best way to prosper in your educational career is to listen, work hard, plan ahead and make sure you complete any task to the best of your ability.