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How to Write a Good Essay Paper

Here is a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to write a good essay. We cover this topic because essay writing is an important practice that equips you with writing skills to survive academics and the real world.

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As a student, you are forever condemned to write good essays that significantly contribute to your GPA. While a good deal might think of the process as easy, many students need guidance in how to write a good essay.

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If your main worry is how to write an essay that scores you a good mark in the Rubric, this in-depth, step-by-step essay writing tutorial will come in handy. Any student who wishes to achieve A+ in their essay must ensure that they utilize this detailed guide.

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We believe that this comprehensive guide on how to write a good essay will help any student easily score an A. It does not matter the topic you’ve chosen; so long as you follow these ten steps to essay writing, check samples of well-written essays, and proofread your papers well, you are bound to succeed. If you are a parent seeking a great essay writing resource, this tutorial is the best on the internet.

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We make writing essays such an easy task that all you have left is to ask when you are being assigned an essay next. Our website offers reliable essay help services, which you could use. However, if you want to take the bull by its horns, here is our comprehensive beginner’s guide to writing an essay.

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10 Steps to write an A+ Grade Essay:The Essay Writing Process

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The following steps will help you write an essay, starting with nothing but the essay instructions (prompt and Rubric) and ending with a well-crafted comprehensive essay. We are determined to share this tips so that you make a top-quality essay that has clarity, wonderful organization, and a good flow of ideas.

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Step 1: Read the essay prompt and instructions

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Although overlooked, getting familiar with any assignment is vital to understanding what your professor, instructor, or teacher is asking for before even starting to write your essay.

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Most students give in to the temptation of skipping this step and then end up with a low grade on an essay they probably spent a lot of time on or had high hopes to score a better grade. The primary source of poor grades on essays is consistently failing to read the instructions.

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Take some time to go over the assignment, understand it, and ask your professor/instructor for clarification early enough. It is important that you carefully go through the prompts, grading Rubric, or any material given alongside the essay assignment. If you can highlight and take brief notes on your essay assignment, the better.

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Reading the instructions helps you understand how the essay will be graded and what your instructor wants to see for them to give you’re the best grades. With the instructions understood, you are on the right track towards writing a good essay.

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Step 2: Select a suitable topic for your essay

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With the understanding of what you are being asked to write in your essay, it is now time to decide what to write about. Typically, you can’t just begin writing about everything; an essay is a specific paper that focuses on a single topic.

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This is the most daunting of the essay writing processes, but do not get agitated. Although some instructors will give you essay topics to write about, it is never a given in most cases. Instead, in most cases, instructors prefer that students write essays on topics of their choice, which then leaves you with an elephant hill to climb. Trust us, none of the two options is a walk in the park.

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Given that students mostly have to choose from a myriad of ideas when generating topics and get limited to specific topics from the instructors. It becomes a quagmire either way. But let that not confuse you, not with this comprehensive essay guide, never!

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Let’s crunch the process of choosing a suitable topic for your essay.

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Simple steps to choose a pleasant topic for your essay

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We can sum up the process of choosing an excellent topic to this statement: Choose a topic that can reasonably address the essay length and one you will most likely have fun writing your essay. A reasonable topic is not too narrow or too broad; it is one that interests you and has research resources that can support your arguments or thesis.

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If you are wondering how to choose a good topic, here are some critical seven steps to follow:

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  1. Re-read the assignment instructions. Although you are probably familiar with the instructions, skim through them and your notes. This way, you are able to visualize the structure of the paper and choose an exciting topic that befits the essay you are about to write. In addition, you can go back to the clarification your professor or instructor gave, in case you sent a clarification email or messaged them over Canvas.
  2. Brainstorm your topics. If you are to select the best topic, brainstorm by developing different ideas and looking up general information. This is a stage where you can comfortably use sources such as Wikipedia, which are forbidden to be cited in academic essays. Information search when developing a topic helps you widen your scope of understanding and visualize the thesis or main arguments of your essay. When you have all the information at hand, select a suitable topic that appeals to you and meets the essay requirements.
  3. Focus on a single topic. You only have limited words to write an essay, so you would technically want to keep everything focused. As you select the topic, focus on a narrow topic, but not too narrow to impact your research. Do not choose too broad topics either, because you will struggle to write without overgeneralizing.
  4. List the valuable keywords. When you’ve settled for a topic or a given direction, list the words that matter when describing, explaining, or analyzing a given topic. Then, you can use them in crafting a title for your essay.
  5. Close in on one topic. You’ll probably end up with many topics and have 2-3 topics of preference. At this point, you select one among those and die with it to the end of your essay or change it if you experience challenges along the way.
  6. Research about the topic. Now that you have the topic, you should research more about it and proceed to the last step below.
  7. Formulate a title. After you’ve narrowed it down to a topic, use the keywords you found when researching to formulate a good title for your essay.

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  • Re-read the assignment instructions. Although you are probably familiar with the instructions, skim through them and your notes. This way, you are able to visualize the structure of the paper and choose an exciting topic that befits the essay you are about to write. In addition, you can go back to the clarification your professor or instructor gave, in case you sent a clarification email or messaged them over Canvas.
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  • Brainstorm your topics. If you are to select the best topic, brainstorm by developing different ideas and looking up general information. This is a stage where you can comfortably use sources such as Wikipedia, which are forbidden to be cited in academic essays. Information search when developing a topic helps you widen your scope of understanding and visualize the thesis or main arguments of your essay. When you have all the information at hand, select a suitable topic that appeals to you and meets the essay requirements.
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  • Focus on a single topic. You only have limited words to write an essay, so you would technically want to keep everything focused. As you select the topic, focus on a narrow topic, but not too narrow to impact your research. Do not choose too broad topics either, because you will struggle to write without overgeneralizing.
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  • List the valuable keywords. When you’ve settled for a topic or a given direction, list the words that matter when describing, explaining, or analyzing a given topic. Then, you can use them in crafting a title for your essay.
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  • Close in on one topic. You’ll probably end up with many topics and have 2-3 topics of preference. At this point, you select one among those and die with it to the end of your essay or change it if you experience challenges along the way.
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  • Research about the topic. Now that you have the topic, you should research more about it and proceed to the last step below.
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  • Formulate a title. After you’ve narrowed it down to a topic, use the keywords you found when researching to formulate a good title for your essay.
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    Guidelines/tips when choosing essay topics

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    In academic writing, two events are likely when choosing a topic: (i)either you are assigned a specific topic or asked to choose among several and (ii) you can be asked to come up with a topic and write your essay or send the topic for approval.

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    When you have to choose your own topic, keep these five tips in mind:

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  • Select a topic that is appropriate to the essay length. We have seen students pick topics that are too broad to cover in a short or long essay, which denies them the chance of scoring an A+ on an essay. We urge you to select narrow topics that often lead to close observation instead of broad topics resulting in overgeneralization. This applies to every essay you are writing: five-page, two- or three-page, six- or ten-page, descriptive, or personal essays. But, again, don’t choose a topic that is too narrow that you end up lacking enough to write about or have difficulty finding research sources.
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  • Choose a topic that interests you. If you suck at writing about cigarettes and alcohol and lean more towards history, go for essay topics on history and run with the topic to an excellent grade. If you pick a topic that interests you, you will probably have more to say. Chances also are that you will write better. In the end, you impress the reader:your professor or instructor and take the best grades home.
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  • Do not summarize but analyze and discuss. If, for instance, you are writing about The Great Gatsby, avoid the temptation of choosing the entire plot. Instead, choose a specific character, actions, or parts of the plot that display a given theme. The latter gives you the chance to narrow down to a specific and reasonable thesis.
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  • Choose a topic you can find material. Even when writing a personal narrative essay or personal statement, you need to ensure that you have the right content to fulfill the requirements of the essay. If you have to use research, although you are not writing a research paper, ensure that you select a topic that you can find good scholarly sources to support the ideas and develop coherent claims and arguments.
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  • Be flexible with your topic. After picking a topic, be open to the possibility of changing it if it seems not to be working out. Instructors love it when you write a good essay rather than grinding out pages and sweating over something with a regrettable topic:a reflection of a poor choice.
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    Step 3: Research on your chosen topic

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    The moment of truth is finally here:research! Although different people have their own approach to research, which makes it the most flexible essay writing process, you must remain focused and do it fast. After all, you do not have forever to write your essay.

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    Three quick things about researching on your topic: skim, find reliable scholarly sources, and do not ignore/overlook any information.

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    By skimming, we mean that you do not have to read the entire internet, book, journal, or articles about everything that has been written about your topic. The truth is, you probably can’t: technically, it is impossible. So, you should scan things and identify the major points or arguments without bogging down and reading every word you find out there.

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    You should find reliable sources to use in your essay. As we mentioned before, non-scholarly sources such as Wikipedia can be used when writing an essay. However, you cannot use them as a definitive source. Instead, you use such general sources as Wikipedia to familiarize yourself with the topic, generate keywords that drive your research, and get a summary of a large pool of information available. However, for the information you will be citing in your essay, you have to find reliable sources such as books, journals, articles, etc.

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    After seeding the keywords from general sources, dig deeper in the internet and academic databases or ask an expert where you can find reliable sources : a librarian can come in handy.

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    Note: You can use Wikipedia for your initial research, but you should never use it as a source for your essay.

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    Lastly, avoid overlooking or ignoring information. Any article will say whatever it says. Just because an article claims something is wrong or true does not mean that it is a proven fact to use in your essay. So, it would help if you verified by researching deeper to find the right facts. Correlate findings from one author with those of authors writing on the same topic for relevance, credibility, and authenticity of the information.

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    Step 5: Organize your Research

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    So now that you have all the information you would need, you need to have it organized to make work easier. This is also another essay process that allows flexibility : most people have diverse preferences for organising information. After all, the end justifies the means here.

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    Now that you’ve selected the best resources, you can create a bibliography. MS Word document allows you to enter bibliography information. Alternatively, you can use online citation tools to organize your bibliography. Online digital bibliography tools help link to sources you found online and can always refer to.

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    Organizing research helps you to cite every idea as you read and write your essay. For example, instead of writing a paper then citing later, which often leads to mis-citation, cite the essay as you write the first draft.

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    Besides, it is also a great idea if you have to submit or turn in a bibliography alongside an outline or an annotated bibliography before getting the go-ahead to write your essay.

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    Either way, create a bibliography that meets the requirements of your essay. Another organization strategy is having your articles bookmarked or downloaded and saved in a specific folder. Other people prefer writing and printing a list of the resources; if it is your thing, well, go for it!

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    Step 6: Formulate a strong thesis:the working thesis

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    At this stage, you have owned your essay writing process. You know what is required of you, have the right topic, have researched and organized your research. You are now ready to formulate your argument, assertion, claim, or opinion. Even when there is nothing apparent to argue against, your paper needs a strong thesis statement.

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    Find out more about writing a thesis statement for your essay.

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    You need to create a specific, arguable, and strong thesis statement for your essay. Our professional essay writers agree that this is the most critical part after choosing a topic because it defines the direction and scope of your essay.

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    A thesis is a succinct statement, usually a sentence or two, that you put forward to your readers as what you are writing about or proving. It is the central argument or idea of your essay. It simply defines what the essay is all about.

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    A good thesis statement helps you to develop solid arguments and allows you the flexibility to test your ideas. For example, when developing the thesis, you can begin with a one-sentence answer to the question: what is my essay about?

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    Suppose, for example, you are writing an animal testing essay. In that case, the answer could be something like: My paper is about the abuse of animal rights by including them in research when there are alternative methods to animal testing.

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    Suppose you are writing about university policies on freshmen living on campus. In that case, it could read: My essay is about university policies on freshmen students living on campus.

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    Your essay can be about how media influences children, which means your one-sentence statement can be: My essay is about how media can influence children.

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    That does not sound hard, does it? However, this is just the beginning. Most students stop here and present this as a thesis statement, only to be disgruntled when an instructor grades their essays poorly.

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    The truth is that you have to have a definitive thesis that is not about yourself. So, for example, the above statements would transform to:

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  • Research has proven that there are better alternatives to animal testing, especially for the cosmetics industry, which can be pursued to save animals from unnecessary pain when used in research.
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  • Most colleges and universities make it mandatory for freshmen students to live on campus during their first year, which helps keep the students out of trouble, enables them to concentrate on their studies for better grades, and improves their social skills.
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  • Media, specifically television, plays a significant role in the lives of children, so it can influence them either positively or negatively depending on the content of the programming.
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    You can see the glaring differences between the first two sentences in which we began drafting the essay and the second working thesis statements. The bottom line is to eliminate boring words like my paper argues, my paper is about, this essay argues that, or I think. Such will automatically lead to lower grades on your essay.

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    Avoid being too vague but make a powerful statement that makes a specific point about the topic. When crafting your strong thesis statement, ensure that it is arguable. It does not necessarily mean that you choose a controversial thesis or opinionated one; it means that someone could disagree with it altogether. Such an approach helps you to create a powerful thesis. The thesis is called a working thesis because it is possible to tweak it as you write the paper.

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    Step 7: Create a comprehensive essay outline

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    You now have tons of great ideas from your research and a working thesis. Other than organizing the research, you now need to organize the ideas for an impressive presentation. Creating an essay outline is a vital step, lack of which your essay will most likely lose its focus, and you’ll probably spend more time revising the draft to make sense of the scattered points and thoughts.

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    An outline is a blueprint or a roadmap for your essay – it helps you structure your paper. For example, you have probably written three or five-paragraph essays in high school. It is okay to maintain the same structure when writing college, university, and graduate-level essays. However, the specific format you choose should align with the length requirements, the aim of your essay, and the scope of your thesis.

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    When creating the outline, think critically about the central idea of your essay”the thesis, then structure your essay to organize the flow of ideas.

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    General Essay Outline

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    Here is a sample general outline for an essay. You can use it to craft your own based on your topic.

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    I. Introduction

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    1. Hook statement e.g. statistics, quote, or anecdote
    2. Background
    3. Thesis statement

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  • Hook statement e.g. statistics, quote, or anecdote
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  • Background
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  • Thesis statement
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    II. Body Paragraphs (Three)

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    1. Body Paragraph 1
      1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
      2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
      3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
      4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
    2. Body Paragraph 2
      1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
      2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
      3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
      4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
    3. Body Paragraph 3
      1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
      2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
      3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
      4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph

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  • Body Paragraph 1
    1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
    2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
    3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
    4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
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    1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
    2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
    3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
    4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph

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  • Topic sentence supporting the thesis
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  • Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
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  • Explain how they relate to the thesis
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  • Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
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  • Body Paragraph 2
    1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
    2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
    3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
    4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
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    1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
    2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
    3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
    4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph

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  • Topic sentence supporting the thesis
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  • Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
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  • Explain how they relate to the thesis
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  • Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
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  • Body Paragraph 3
    1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
    2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
    3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
    4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
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    1. Topic sentence supporting the thesis
    2. Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
    3. Explain how they relate to the thesis
    4. Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph

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  • Topic sentence supporting the thesis
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  • Evidence supporting the argument on (a): data, facts, examples.
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  • Explain how they relate to the thesis
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  • Closing sentence and transition to the next paragraph
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    III. Conclusion

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    1. Summary/synthesis
    2. Importance of topic
    3. Strong closing statement

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  • Summary/synthesis
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  • Importance of topic
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  • Strong closing statement
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    Typical structure for an Academic Essay

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    Keep in mind that most essays follow the five-paragraph essay format; when writing an academic essay in English, it will be divided into introduction, body, and conclusion.

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    Below is a visual representation of the structure of an ideal essay. You can adapt it when writing your next essay assignment.

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    The basic structure of an Essay

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    Image credit: Bethlehem College and Seminary

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    Step 8: Write the essay systematically

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    With everything else done thus far, it is finally the time the rubber meets the road. Although you might feel as though you should have started writing sooner, your progress so far is very critical and rewarding. It will enable you to create a strong, well-organized, and interesting essay.

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    A warning, though: DO NOT be a perfectionist when writing. Do not give in to the hype of finding the perfect words, focusing too much on excellent subtitles or grammar, or at least making everything in your essay perfect. There is time to polish and perfect your essay. But right now, just write.

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    Write the introduction

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    We have outlined in-depth how to write an eye-catching essay introduction on a separate guide to help you craft introductions that stand out and grab the attention of the readers. Of course, any essay writer would tell you that your main focus should be on the attention of the reader. So, most importantly, begin your introduction with an essay hook or an attention grabber such as a statistic, alarming fact, general thought, anecdote, or quote. The introduction should also have a background statement and then be finalized with your thesis. Sometimes, your instructor might ask you to write the roadmap of your essay after the thesis, where you highlight how points are laid down in the body paragraphs and conclusion.

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    Components of an Essay Introduction

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    You should have a good paragraph when undertaking academic essay writing. An introduction has different parts, including:

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  • Essay hook: This is your first sentence, also called the attention grabber. It can be a quote, statistic, fact, anecdote, rhetorical question, or a unique statement.
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  • Background information: You should have two sentences that give information on the topic.
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  • Thesis statement: the thesis statement should feature the argument or chief topic of the essay.
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  • Outline: Your introduction should let the reader know the logical arrangement of the essay.
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  • Scope: In this section of the introduction, narrow the focus of the essay.
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    Write strong body paragraphs

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    With the outline, it is now time to fill flesh to the skeleton to make sense out of it. If you evolve and find out that you need to tweak your outline, you have all the freedom on earth and outer space to do it. The main issue here is to maintain a focus on your thesis by providing evidence, facts, and points that support the thesis.

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    Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence, the arguments, and relevant evidence to support it, and finally, the closing sentence. The closing sentence transitions your reader to the following body paragraph. As you write, remember only to maintain one key idea/point per each body paragraph : do not jumble up the points to the extent of confusing your readers.

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    In terms of paragraph length, maintain a word count of 150 words per paragraph or balance 80% of the total essay word count among the paragraph