Basic Essay Writing Guide Part Two
by Waller Jamison
Let's get into the next steps in your basic essay writing
guide. Before developing your essay plan any further, you should do any background reading, interviews or other
You may find that new information will cause you to change
your argument or structure your essay differently. Once you have completed your reading and research, you can
expand your plan, based on the new information you now have.
Decide on a logical order in which to put the topics to be
discussed (you may be allowed to use headings and if you aren't you can put them in as guidelines and then remove
them before handing in your work.)
Now start writing your
first draft, filling in the blanks beneath each heading. Make sure the order of topics makes sense and takes you
towards a logical conclusion.
Essay Writing - Essential Tips
After the first draft, leave your essay for a couple of days
and then re-read it and ask yourself the following questions.
- Have I introduced the topic well?
- Are the points raised presented in a logical
- Have I included a clear argument?
- Have I developed the argument throughout the
- Have I backed up my argument with relevant
- Have I written a strong
- Is my referencing correct?
Edit your essay according to the answers to these questions
and when you are satisfied with what you have written, proofread several times, checking your spelling and
If you aren't sure of any grammatical points or spellings,
look them up or ask someone. Don't rely on the spellcheck, which won't show up common typos like "form" instead of
"from", and which has a very strange take on grammar.
Essay Writing - Final Points
After proofreading at least twice, make sure your layout is
correct - look at your college guidelines. Should the essay be in double-line spacing on one side of the
Then look at what has to be included - a coversheet, an
abstract or a rationale, a bibliography? Do you have any appendices? And what about a list of contents? If you are
in any doubt, ask your tutor.
Don't forget to check your college's own basic essay writing
guide to ensure that you have covered all of the aspects of essay writing that they are looking
Effective essay writing is one of the most important skills
needed during your time at university. If you are a student or about to become one, there is a very high
probability that you will have to write a considerable number of essays and so it is essential that you learn how
to avoid some of the common pitfalls experienced by students.
This can all feel a little overwhelming when you are writing
college essays for the first time. However, it is just a question of learning the rules, as they are set out by
your own college or tutor, learning the techniques you need to apply those rules to your own assignments and
correcting any errors as you go.
With a little practice, you will find that essay writing is a
skill which can be learned.
If you missed part
one, read it here Basic Essay Writing