- On October 8, 2017
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- bibliography, essay, plagiarism, references, research, thesis, thesis statement, writer, writing
Let me guess, you have stumbled upon this blog in search for some practical answers and tips on how to write your essay the right way.
Most people find it difficult to start an essay because they do not have a clear purpose in writing it in the first place. In fact, many students dread the act of essay writing because they find it challenging to think and choose the topic they want to write about.
Selecting your Topic
The truth is writing an essay can be easy and fun. Yes, you read that right… The first thing you need to do is simply pick a topic/ subject of interest. It can be anything from your favorite movie, to your most recent travel adventure, to politics, fashion, pop culture, and many others. It can be anything at all! Except, of course, when you are assigned a specific topic to work with, as in the case of many students.
If you are a student, chances are, you may have been tasked to write an essay about a difficult and unfamiliar topic. Do not fret, all you need to do is read and do research. There are many ways to do this. You can go to the nearest library and search for books related to the topic. You can also search online via Google Search/ Google Scholar. Luckily, the Internet has now given us access to countless reputable/ credible sources online!
What are some examples of reputable sources? These include journals, books, published magazines, and other research works published that contain complete information about the author, the date the article was written, and other essential information.
Choosing the Right Sources
Let me stress the importance of selecting the right sources/ references— why? Because the more reputable your sources are, the more credible the information that you get and include in your essay. Unfortunately, Wikipedia and other websites such as forums, blogs, and social media are NOT considered reputable or credible sources. These most likely state personal opinions and unvalidated information, rather than proven facts.
What you want to do is get the right sources, obtain the necessary information from these sources and cite them properly. Many students commit the grave mistake of copying the information they acquired from the sources, exactly as it is. This is plagiarism. In other cases, students may paraphrase the information they get from the sources; however, they do not cite properly or follow the right referencing method. This is also another form of plagiarism. To avoid this very common yet grave mistake, it is important for students and essay writers to learn the different referencing styles and methods to be able to cite properly and write the bibliography section the right way (Stay tuned for another blog post on referencing and citations).
Writing Valuable Content
But apart from acquiring the right sources and applying the right referencing method, the most important part of writing the essay lies on its content. You need to be very clear about the topic that you want to write and come up with a short but very specific title that captures the gist of the essay you will be writing. If you can’t think of anything to write, try to brainstorm and jot down random ideas that come to mind. However, if you already have a topic, you need to come up with a short thesis statement that will guide you in the process of writing the essay. Afterwards, think of specific examples that will support your main thesis statement.
Parts of an Essay
It is important for you to know that an essay essentially has three main sections which include the introduction, the body and the conclusion. It is in the introduction section that you will state your thesis statement and also introduce the audience to your topic and purpose of the essay. In the body section, it is where you expand your main idea into several paragraphs. In this section, you must describe, argue, and give specific examples in support of your thesis statement. Lastly, in the conclusion section, you must re-state your thesis statement and summarize your main points. It is very important that you stick to your topic from start to finish to be able to clearly get your message across the readers.
Writing an essay may be a challenging task to many, but once you get past your fear and move forward to the task of writing it, you will realize that essay writing is simple and can be enjoyable and rewarding! 🙂
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