Whether in high school or college, we all know how students struggle to maintain a balance in life. You might have finally managed to start going to the gym and sleep early, or maybe you’re caught up with all your course load.
Well, in the back of your mind, you still know that there is an imminent deadline for that essay you have to write. But you cannot find the time, or you don’t even know where to start!
A survey conducted by NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) showed that college students are expected to write multiple essays. For the first-year students, approximately 92 pages are written. As for seniors, they’re expected to complete around 146 pages during their academic year.
Hence, we’re all bound to struggle with our essay writing every now and then. For that specific reason, when you’re rushing to complete your essay, read our extensive guide below to help you through the process.
What is Essay Writing?
The word “essay” is a descendant of the word exagium, a Latin word. That word is defined as “a balance.” Hence, you can think of an essay as a balance of arguments when presenting your own case or writing about an idea.
Synonymous with an article, an essay is usually considered to be a short piece of writing. It often reflects a concept, idea, argument, or perspective on something. There are various different types of essays that you’ll encounter throughout your academic life.
Essay writing is perceived as an action to convince someone of something or to inform your readers of some piece of information. The specifics will depend on the essay you’re obliged to write.
To summarize, writing an essay insinuates discussing and arguing for or against a topic. It’s always divided into paragraphs to make it coherent and legible. Hence, it’s often considered an art form, especially creative essays. We’ll dive into all the details below.
Parts of Essay
Once you’ve acknowledged what an essay entails, you’ll have to understand the essay writing format, which is often composed of three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. While it might seem simple enough, each component has its own elements.
However, while these three main components are the essential parts of the essay, you must keep in mind that the flow of your paragraphs must be in check. You cannot simply jump from one idea to another without some sort of transition. Connectives are essential in essay writing, but you must remember to use topic sentences.
Topic sentences are often the first sentences in each paragraph. They serve as an introduction and an attention-grabber. It often summarises the whole section, where you must coherently list your concept and idea for what the paragraph entails. Here is how to write an essay step by step:
- Using an attention grabber is always a good idea. It’s a must to involve your readers and make it enjoyable. Hence, you can start with a rhetorical question or a quotation related to your topic.
- Provide the reader with a logical flow of the essay. In other words, logically portray what the paper will contain, but make sure it’s ordered according to the logical flow of your writing.
- Don’t make the introduction very specific; opt for a more general beginning, then mention your particular topic.
- Don’t forget the thesis statement! Arguably, it’s the most vital piece of information that one should never neglect. The thesis statement is simply the aim of the paper. Hence, you state what your work will circulate.
- If you’re writing a relatively short essay, the body is often broken into three separate paragraphs. The ideas will vary depending on the type of essay you’re constructing (discussed in the section below).
- Include the evidence and your own ideas in the body. However, make sure that you support any proof you’re listing.
- Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that illustrates what will be discussed in that particular paragraph.
- Ensure that the paragraphs are logically related and that they flow perfectly. To do so, you either order them in chronological order (i.e., time), spatial order (i.e., when describing something), or emphatic order (i.e., least important to most essential subjects)
- Depending on the piece you’re writing, make sure you reference anything that requires citation.
- Do notmention any pieces of evidence that aren’t directly related to your topic.
- This is the only perfect place to conclude your article. Ensure that you wrap everything up concisely and neatly.
- Make sure that your thesis statementis rephrased and mentioned again here in a way where you relate all the pointers and evidence from your body.
- If you’re working on an argumentative essay, make sure that you engage the reader here. In other words, leave them hanging or wondering what comes next. Make things interesting enough for the reader to want to know more or think about the topic on their own.
Types of Essay
There are multiple types of essays out there. In college, you will most likely be asked to write one of the seven below.
- Narrative Essay: here is where you exercise your imagination. These types of essays are often the more personal ones. Hence, they usually ask you to write something that you’ve personally experienced. For instance, if you want to write a story that reads like fiction, you can include dialogue, imagery, and metaphors.
- Descriptive Essay: let’s say you have a place, object, or person in mind. Here, you include vivid details about actions and sensory information and even try to immerse your reader in emotions.
- Expository Essay: here is where you demonstrate knowledge of a specific topic. Here is where the body includes multiple pieces of evidence that are appropriately cited.
- Argumentative Essay: when working on this piece, you’re trying to convince the reader of something. Hence, you often have to take a stance on a subject and argue for it. You can use phrases such as “research suggests” to support your argument.
- Persuasive Essay: Unlike an argumentative essay, a persuasive essay involves more emotions. Hence, you will use more emotional reasoning to apply to the reader as opposed to solid arguments.
- Analytical Essay: here is where you analyze your topic. Hence, you won’t necessarily be arguing for or against something. Instead, you’ll take points from various sources and evaluate them.
- Report/Research Paper: any report you have to do for college involves a much longer piece than the other essays.
7 Basic Steps in Writing an Essay
When looking for what how to write a college essay fast, use the following 7 steps as a guideline:
Choose the Type of Essay
The first step is settling on the type of essay, which is often decided by your instructor. However, if it’s not, it will vary according to the topic. Once you settle on the type, you’ll know what structure and format to use.
Brainstorm and Theorize
Brainstorm the topic, and do your own research if required. Don’t start writing without taking a solid 30-minute break to think about the issue at hand. Then, write your thesis statement to make everything much simpler for you.
Write an Essay Outline
Once you’ve done your brainstorming, compile a list within an outline of subjects you want to address. After you have them all down, decide on the order in which you want to tackle them.
Decide on a Writing Style
Are you using MLA, APA, or Chicago? Depending on the type of essay, you might not need to settle on a style. However, if you’re in college, you will most likely have to use references and citations. MLA is often used in college and is usually seen in humanities.
Write the Body
While controversial, writing the body of your essay first will ease things for you. That means that once you have your ideas organized, your words can flow. Leave the introduction for later, as people often struggle with finding the right words to start.
Write the First Draft
Don’t expect to nail down your essay from the first try. Instead, opt for a first draft. Hence, while it might be tiresome, you must ensure that you provide top quality before handing it in.
Check the grammar, spelling, and clarity. Ensure that your sentences flow logically and effortlessly. The reader should not struggle to understand your point.
Is there a Technique to Write an Essay?
Whether you want to learn how to write an essay fast or you’re taking your time, you should realize that there is no specific technique when it comes to writing. However, there is a structure to follow, which has been established; introduction, body, and conclusion. Other than that, you’re all set!
5 Tips to Write a Flawless Essay
Below are our best essay writing tips for students:
1. Be creative: if you’re writing a creative piece, then this is a given. However, you can always add the element of surprise throughout your essays regardless of the type.
2. Extensively research: find the most outrageous facts or items people wouldn’t commonly know. That keeps it exciting and engaging.
3. Answer the question “how”: in an essay, you’re not asked to explain or define an idea. On the contrary, the best pieces address how something is instead of what it is.
4. Avoid some words: don’t use simple verbs or overused phrases. “I’ve dreamt about this since I was a child” has been so overused that people would scoff when reading it.
5. Be smart about your resources: you can use any reference, but ensure it’s credible. For instance, don’t go to Wikipedia unless you want to get a general idea or find some resources.
List of Academic Essay Writing Tools and Resources
If you’re looking for how to write an essay last minute, then you need to optimize your resources and not waste time.
- Refseek: want to find credible sources out there? Refseek filters out the traditional websites that end with “.com” and provides you with reliable websites such as organizations and educational ones.
- Google Scholar: many students don’t know about this, but any research-based paper should optimize the use of this website. Not only do you get access to multiple pieces, but it also offers citations.
- Turnitin: this is already used by numerous colleges to check for plagiarism. Use it yourself to avoid copying phrases from various places.
- Grammarly: we all know what this is. Once you finish your essay, use Grammarly to check your spelling, grammar, and flow.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Write an Essay Fast: A Guide for Students
When writing your paper, opt for the tips above when you have a short time span. Simply aim to understand your topic, the structure you need to follow, and whether references are vital or not.