Essay writing can be broken down to four broad steps:
- Prewriting the Essay
- Writing the Essay
- Editing the essay
- Publishing the essay
What is the prewriting stage?
The prewriting stage is when you prepare your ideas for your essay before you begin writing. You will find it easier to write your essay if you build an outline first, especially when you are writing longer assignments.
Six Prewriting Steps:
1. Think carefully about what you are going to write. Ask yourself: What question am I going to answer in this paragraph or essay? How can I best answer this question? What is the most important part of my answer? How can I make an introductory sentence (or thesis statement) from the most important part of my answer? What facts or ideas can I use to support my introductory sentence? How can I make this paragraph or essay interesting? Do I need more facts on this topic? Where can I find more facts on this topic?
2. Open your notebook. Write out your answers to the above questions. You do not need to spend a lot of time doing this; just write enough to help you remember why and how you are going to write your paragraph or essay.
3. Collect facts related to your paragraph or essay topic. Look for and write down facts that will help you to answer your question. Timesaving hint: make sure the facts you are writing are related to the exact question you are going to answer in your paragraph or essay.
4. Write down your own ideas. Ask yourself: What else do I want to say about this topic? Why should people be interested in this topic? Why is this topic important?
5. Find the main idea of your paragraph or essay. Choose the most important point you are going to present. If you cannot decide which point is the most important, just choose one point and stick to it throughout your paragraph or essay.
6. Organize your facts and ideas in a way that develops your main idea. Once you have chosen the most important point of your paragraph or essay, you must find the best way to tell your reader about it. Look at the facts you have written. Look at your own ideas on the topic. Decide which facts and ideas will best support the main idea of your essay. Once you have chosen the facts and ideas you plan to use, ask yourself which order to put them in the essay. Write down your own note set that you can use to guide yourself as you write your essay.
Writing the Essay
What is the writing stage?
The writing stage is when you turn your ideas into sentences.
Five Writing Steps:
1. For the introduction, write the thesis statement and give some background information.
2. Develop each supporting paragraph and make sure to follow the correct paragraph format.
3. Write clear and simple sentences to express your meaning.
4. Focus on the main idea of your essay.
5. Use a dictionary to help you find additional words to express your meaning.
Editing the Essay
What is the editing stage?
The editing stage is when you check your essay for mistakes and correct them.
Grammar and Spelling
1. Check your spelling.
2. Check your grammar.
3. Read your essay again.
4. Make sure each sentence has a subject.
5. Make sure your subjects and verbs agree with each other.
6. Check the verb tenses of each sentence.
7. Make sure that each sentence makes sense.
Style and Organization
1. Make sure your essay has an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a summary paragraph.
2. Check that you have a thesis statement that identifies the main idea of the essay.
3. Check that all your paragraphs follow the proper paragraph format.
4. See if your essay is interesting.
Publishing the Essay
What is the publishing stage?
The publishing stage is when you produce a final copy of your essay to hand in.
1. Make a paper copy of your essay.
2. Show your work to your teacher, tutor, or parents.
3. Ask them for hints on how to improve your writing.