Everyone has the ability to write the perfect essay.
The ideas are inside your child’s or student’s brain just waiting to be put on paper in a form that everyone can read.
The following is an excerpt from the book Instant Learning for Amazing Grades.
Schools and home-schools require essay writing, so do colleges and college entrance exams, so, why not learn a few simple tips to make essay writing easy? Below is a template, followed by 9 additional easy steps on how to write the perfect essay every time.
Template for Excellent Essays
1. Write down the topic you are writing about – simple, straightforward
Example: Amazing Grades
2. Brainstorm ideas that someone interested in your topic would also be interested in. This helps you think of related ideas.
Example: Motivating yourself instantly
Cut learning time in half; higher grades in 14 days
High Performance Memory Strategies
3. Select a title for your essay – like, Tips for x, or Top 10 Things You Must Do If You Want Y, etc.
Example: How to Create Higher Grades in 14 Days Using Your Child’s Personal Learning Style
4. Pretend your reader knows absolutely nothing about your topic. What is the first sentence you would use to give them peak their interest? Perhaps it might be a question, or a simple statement.
Example: Would you like to have higher grades in 14 days?
5. Keeping in mind your title, explain why you are taking the position you take, or why you believe your title to be true. This is the part where you use as many facts to support your idea as possible. Write several sentences, using some of the brainstorms you had in step 2.
Example: Learning can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. Many learning experts say that learning is not about being smart – it’s about strategy. These experts show you how with xxx…
6. After you’ve written your supporting ideas and facts, go back and ask yourself if you would like to write a short introductory paragraph.
7. Then ask yourself if you would like to write a conclusion tying everything together.
8. Congratulate yourself – you’ve just written an excellent essay!
9 More Easy Steps to Perfect Essays Every Time
a. First, create a Picture Perfect Summary. Put your title/main idea in the center of the page, make a circle around it and write down all the ideas and key words about your topic that you can think of. Use one branch off the circle for each main idea. You’re brainstorming at this point so just write down any ideas that come into your mind. (That’s how I write magazine and news articles and books too)!
b. Look over your Summary of ideas and key words. Organize them into groups. Make sure that each group reflects the topic or question that you’re writing about.
c. Divide your groups into the three main parts of the essay – the beginning, middle and the end. Your beginning has to be snazzy to make your reader want to read more. The middle develops and supports your main topic. Back everything you say up with facts, quotations, evidence. The end will give a clever answer or summary to the original question or idea that you started with and tie up those loose ends.
d. Draft your essay – get on the computer and start in the middle. That’s how I wrote this book! Give each idea it’s own paragraph, don’t worry about style and spelling at this point. You can check this later. Your Picture Perfect Summary is your guide. Use all the ideas that you decided were important.
e. Now proceed to write the ending. Make sure it sums up your answer/summary to the main topic/question. Look back at the draft of the middle. Write down the 5 or 10 most important key words. Find the shortest way to link them together – this is called your ending.
7. Now, draft the beginning. It will be the overall – big picture of what you’re going to say. There’s an old saying from my college days English class: Tell em what you’re going to say, tell em, tell em what you said! This beginning is very important to set the stage – make sure it’s catchy and makes the reader interested in what you have to say.
8. Now, go to bed and get some rest. Give the ideas a chance to process in your brain. Tomorrow you’ll notice a few more points to talk about and think of additional ways to say things.
9. Author, Colin Rose, says, “EDIT – Excellent Draft, Inspirational Text”… read the whole essay aloud to yourself. Tape record it if you can. Does it sound logical and convincing? Your are on your way to understanding how to write the perfect essay.
Are your examples bringing your ideas to life? Check the beginning – is it awesome – does it make sense? Edit the beginning, middle and end – check spelling and grammar. Have someone else proofread it too. Now check the middle. Did everything you said relate to the main topic or question? Is it convincing? Go to your ending. Edit it – is it punchy? This is the place to really put on your thinking cap. Did you really convince your reader??
Polish up how the essay looks – Is it neat, organized, well written? Are you satisfied that it does the job you started out to do? Only you can be the judge of this. Your essay reflects how you think – do you like the way it came out? If so, turn it in and you now know how to write the perfect essay.
Pat Wyman is a best selling author, university instructor and founder of HowToLearn.com. One of the faster learning strategies she specializes in is how to write the perfect essay.
Posted by +Pat Wyman, author and founder of HowToLearn.com
How to Write an Essay in 6 Simple Steps
When you get an assignment to write an essay, it’s important to understand that inspiration alone does not guarantee success, and that’s not only because inspiration is not available on demand! Having a rich imagination also does not ensure your success in writing an effective essay, even if you’re the next Shakespeare (which you probably are not).
The good news, however, is that even without a strong imagination or a rush of inspiration, you can still write an excellent essay and get a very high grade. How?
By using standard patterns and best practices, as we outline below, you can be sure that your essay will be great and that you’ll be rewarded accordingly. Scholarly essay assignments are designed to test your ability to express yourself coherently as well as to follow the rules of writing, rather than your writing talent.
Below, we’ll outline the rules in an easy-to-follow manner, which breaks successful essay writing into six steps to help you simplify and streamline your writing process. Here we go!
1. Choose Your Essay Type and Essay Topic
The first thing you’ll want to do is to focus on one type of essay. There are many commonly used types of essays like “Cause and effect”, “Classification and division”, “Compare and contrast”, “Descriptive”, “Narrative”, “Argumentative”, etc. Often, your teacher will instruct you to write a specific type of essay, but if the assignment doesn’t specify, then choosing the right type of essay to write will greatly impact the rest of your work.
Once you start writing one kind of essay, you might not be able to change it without complete re-writing of your essay, so take your time in the beginning, and be sure to choose the most suitable type of essay for your assignment.
Now, at the beginning is also the time to choose a topic for your essay. Choosing an appropriate topic isn’t always easy, but it’s a critical phase if you want to write an essay well. On one hand, your essay topic should be compatible with the type of essay you’ve chosen, and on the other hand it will be worth while to choose something that you are interested in. Writing on an interesting topic will be more interesting for you, and more likely to help you get a good grade.
If you don’t have a good idea for your essay topic right away you can find a list of topic suggestions based on your essay type on many different sites. Here are some of our favorites:
100 Argument or Position Essay Topics
100 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
100 Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Even if you don’t find a topic that interests you on one of those sites, those lists provide some good topic examples that can help you to invent a topic of your own.
2. Choose Essay Structure Pattern
Each type of essay has several standard structure patterns. The essay structure you’ve selected will determine the order of the paragraphs in your essay and their content.
For example, there are three simple patterns for an argumentative essay. They are called “Pro-Con Pattern”, “Con-Pro Pattern” and “3-Con Pattern” which are recommended for short school essays. In addition, there are two more complicated patterns called “Claim/Counterclaim Pattern” and “Alternating Pattern” which are recommended for advanced school and college essays (see the article “How to Write an Argumentative Essay on any Topic” for more information).
Depending on the specifics of your assignment, you should choose an appropriate pattern and then stick to it while you write your essay.
3. Outline the Essay
If you’re thinking of skipping this step because you don’t know what essay outlining is or you want to save time, think again!
How many times were you stuck on the first paragraph, not knowing what to write? It was because you started writing before thinking through what you want to write. This process of thinking through what you want to write is called “outlining”, and it’s the best way to write a top-notch paper, fast.
When writing your essay outline, you should plan your essay paragraph by paragraph, starting with the essay introduction and strong thesis statement all the way to the essay’s conclusion, according to your chosen essay pattern. A solid outline will make the writing of your essay quicker, easier, and more pleasant.
For more information and to see some good outline samples with explanations, take a look at some of our favorite links:
Types of Outlines and Samples
Writing an Outline
Sample Essay Outlines
4. Write that Essay!
You’ve chosen your essay type and topic, selected your pattern, and written an outline? Great! Now you can focus on writing the essay text itself. You’ll have a much easier time since your outline is ready and you know exactly what you want to write in each paragraph.
Start by writing out each point from your outline, one at a time. If you did your essay outlining well, it will produce a well written essay easily.
If you need to change something in your outline because you found a better way to make your point, go ahead and do it. Just remember to use the updated outline in your writing.
5. Formatting Style and References
It’s not the most fun part of essay writing, but making sure to cite your sources properly is an important part of crafting the perfect essay. Your essay has to comply with MLA, APA or Chicago/Turabian standard, depend on your assignment. If you’re not sure which style to use, you can click here for a list by topic, or ask your teacher for guidance.
Whatever standard you choose will include detailed requirements for formatting and layout for the first page (and a cover page if needed) and the rest of your essay, use of footnotes or endnotes, guidelines to abbreviations, short and long quotations borrowed from secondary sources, and more.
Here are some helpful guides:
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Documentation Guide
APA Formatting and Style Guide
APA Documentation Guide
Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition
Chicago/Turabian Documentation Style
There are about sixty different types of sources, from the Bible up to e-mail, and citations for each one of them must be formatted according to strict rules which are hard to memorize.
Fortunately, we are living in the age of the Internet where you can easily find a number of excellent free online bibliography and citation tools like BibMe, Citation Machine or EasyBib and we warmly recommend using them to save time and make sure to avoid mistakes.
6. Finalize Your Work
This last step is important to make sure your work is as strong as you want it to be and help you get the best possible grade.This step consists of proofreading your essay to make sure everything is correct--no spelling mistakes or grammar errors. You’ll be amazed how much this improves your essay quality, as you’re able to correct common mistakes such as mixing up your/you’re, their/there, or other common errors.
Read and reread your essay to make sure that there are no vague or incomplete phrases in it.
Use a spell checker, too. You wouldn’t want to work hard on your essay only to lose points on a grammar or spelling mistake!
If all the above recommendations seem you to be too simple, remember: lots of students get significantly reduced grades because they didn’t take the time to properly check their work after writing their essays and before submitting them.
Now you are ready to submit your work and get your well-deserved high grade!