Essay formatting tips
What can be called the most widespread writing assignment in school or college? – an essay, of course! These papers are given to pupils and students throughout their academic career in an enormous amount. Depending on the level of students, study discipline, your topic or the goal of work, essay requirements can vary greatly – from narrative essays with creative, stylistically diverse texts to strict expository essays with precise structural and formatting demands. With different types of essays, students learn to use their critical thinking, analytical skills and writing expertise. All essay types lead the reader to various outcomes generated in the process of essay writing. These essays also have different objectives which influence their structural, stylistic and formal peculiarities. But every paper is supposed to have one principal idea. It’s called a thesis – around this sentence the whole text should develop.
Despite the temptation to borrow some ideas or even text parts, don’t copy materials from others’ works. With nowadays advanced technologies in the field of plagiarism fighting, your professor will quickly spot your work is not genuine. It’s easy to check the originality of the paper. Whether you have spent time and efforts on producing of your own creative, interesting and unique essay will be quite understandable. Plus, if submitting a copied essay, you may not be given a second chance. This can influence your academic ratings negatively.
A principal issue of academic writing is to choose a relevant topic in terms of essay type, its objectives, and other peculiarities. If you are provided with a topic, consider that half of your essay is already done. It can be quite complicated to come up with an interesting topic on your own for the first time. To handle this challenge, consider the type of work you need to deliver and your interests and preferences. Be attentive! It’s always preferable to pick up a topic that can trigger some emotional response and passion in your mind – you will find it easier to write a paper if you are interested in your topic. It means that you are ready to dedicate your time to do a research and try to understand the subject to a greater extent. And your interest will guarantee you a perfect grade.
If to define briefly, an essay is an academic text where the author provides his viewpoint about a particular subject, notion, event, person or situation. The object of writing is chosen in accordance with essay type and aims. And this also determines the structure of the paper – to make sense to the readers, essays have to be written in clear, logical manner with all supporting features. Your readers will get the necessary information in a correct order to grasp the crucial notions and meanings. There are precise rules dictating how to start your essay, what information to include in different paragraphs, where to place ideas in your essay and how to end your essay.
As a rule, arguments and ideas presented in the paper are located in different passages. The principles of division are influenced by the purpose of the text. If you are telling a personal story, elaborating a solution to a certain problem, explaining the process of particular event or situation development, prove your viewpoint on the basis of solid evidence, you should modify the format a bit to fulfill specific requirements of a particular essay type. But all these texts are supposed to be truthful, genuine and well-structured. Your paper should always be written from scratch and describe events, situations or issues that really take place in life. Your essay has to be a non-fiction – all imaginary elements make in not an academic paper but a fictional piece of writing.
If your task is to deliver the essay, whatever type, you have to write your paper in compliance with certain writing rules. The classic scheme of essay writing includes a five-paragraph structure with the instruction section, main body section with at least three paragraphs and the conclusions.
Every work should consist of three key sections:
- The introduction.
This section should include three main points – presenting the subject of research, providing a thesis statement and indicating the aim of this paper. In general, introductory paragraphs take only one paragraph, if you write a not very long essay. If your research requires an extensive paper, you can do more than one. When you present the principal subject of your work, you should also mention why you are writing this paper and what so meaningful can be written about this particular topic. Plus, don’t forget about your topic sentence with a brief, declarative and engaging thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph. Moreover, your introduction should “charm” the readers so that they will want to read your essay till the end.
- Main body.
This part is a bulk of any essay providing major ideas, concepts, arguments and reasoning of the entire work. But all of them should reflect the thesis indicated in the first paragraph. Don’t include all arguments in one passage – dedicate each new paragraph to a new idea, describe its peculiarities and provide trustworthy factual support of your ideas. You can use details, facts, evidence, justifications, jokes, statistics, tables, charts, and graphics – anything you need to prove your way of thinking. Practically, you are supposed to explain your thesis in detail.
All these ideas in the main body have to be coherently connected with each other. A useful advice is to have one topic sentence and one transition sentence in each paragraph. Your topic sentence provides the main idea of the passage. It can be the first sentence of the paragraph. And transition sentence helps to move to another idea providing a logical linkage with the previous one. And don’t forget about arguments supporting each idea.
The last paragraph should combine all previously mentioned notions plus provide a concise final comment of the whole research. You can even call it a second introduction. And remember to use allusions to your thesis statement to explain whether the essay aim and has been achieved and necessary contribution has been made. You should add the following in your summary section – contributions of your work, analysis of principal ideas from the main body and personal understanding of the issue. All your final arguments have to be coherently concluded from the previously stated information. Do you want your readers, in your case your professors or admission committee, to remember your paper? Then, create a memorable last sentence, so your essay will stand out from all other works – it can be a statement of a universal truth or a call to action that demonstrates the end of your thinking.
Always remember to write drafts while preparing any type of essay. It helps you to elaborate new ideas, practice diverse approaches to the topic and settle information logically. After writing the first draft, you can put aside your task for a bit to come back to it later with a fresh perspective. You can create several drafts till you are satisfied with the result. And don’t ignore revisions. Proof editing is important as it gives you a chance to eliminate all small grammar mistakes, misprints, and spelling errors in order to achieve impeccable outcomes.