Essays are my strong suit – as many, many teachers have told me over the years, I make much more sense when I’m able to explain myself (in other words, I usually sound a little crazy). Having written nearly a thousand essays, and probably going to write ten thousand more, I’ve picked up a few tips – let me know in the comments below if this helps, and how you write an amazing essay!
1. Figure out what your thesis is
The thesis is the most important part of an essay. It’s literally the heart, with everything stemming from it. So, make sure your thesis is clear, concise, and explains what you’re going to discuss (without mansplaining). Oh, and don’t use phrases like “I believe” or “I think” – if you’re writing about something, clearly you believe/think it.
Bad thesis: Fast fashion is bad for the planet.
Good thesis: Fast fashion, or the quick succession of clothes from catwalk to mass consumption, strains our planet’s resources, overfills our landfills with nonrenewable fabrics, and contributes to child labor in third world countries.
2. Center your body paragraphs around main ideas
Most essays are five paragraphs long – one intro, three body, and one outro. So, make sure you have three solid ideas about your topic and thesis. Sometimes, however, this isn’t the case – but you can still use this tip. If you are writing a 20 paragraph long essay, you can either try to find eighteen main ideas, or have six home points that you drive in, with three paragraphs per idea.
20 paragraph essay sample outline: Math in criminal investigation ( 1 paragraph), Estimating time of death (which math is used + how to use it + real life example = 3 paragraphs) Blood splatter trajectory (see previous) Unpixelating photos (see previous), Analyzing criminal activities (see previous), Confirming alibis (see previous), Figuring out tire tracks (see previous), Math in criminal investigation sum up (1 paragraph)
3. Use quotes and outside resources
If you’re writing an essay, you’re probably learning something – so you’re probably learning from someone, or something. Use that!! It’s ok, and even encouraged, to quote people and studies. Make sure, however, that you do NOT plagiarize, and that you have credible sources. There was a girl above me who was expelled for plagiarizing her senior project, so please give credit where credit is due. Also, try to have at least one quote per body paragraph.
4. Make it look nice
OK, this sounds shallow, but making your essay looks professional makes people think you put a lot of effort into it, and that you’re proud of your work – which you are, right? Right? Anyways, if your teacher doesn’t have set guidelines for this, then just use Size-12 Times New Roman, double spaced, with an indent at the beginning of each paragraph. Make sure you proofread and use spell-check. Oh, and organize your bibliography properly!
MLA format: Author. Title. Place published: Publisher, Year Published. Digital or Print
Example: Doe, John. My Real Name. USA: vintagepoints, 2017. Digital
5. JUST DO IT.
Don’t procrastinate – you know what to do now, so just go!