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How To Write A Final Draft Essay

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How to write an effective essay

How to write an effective essay How to write an effective essay

Writing an effective essay calls for extra carefulness as there are basic things that should be in place before writing. continuous writing which include essays, letter writing, proposals, project writing, seminar writing and other forms of academic writing need a careful organization if the student desire to scale through.

To produce a quality essay you need to demonstrate your ability:

to understand the precise task set by the title;

to identify, appropriate material to read;

to understand and evaluate that material;

to select the most relevant material to refer to in your essay;

to construct an effective argument; and

to arrive at a well-supported conclusion.

The need to use such a wide range of academic skills is probably the main reason why the essay format is so popular with tutors as an assignment.

The word limit adds to the challenge by requiring that all of these skills be demonstrated within a relatively small number of words. Producing incisive and clear written work within a word limit is an important skill in itself, which will be useful in many aspects of life beyond university.


Just like we all know that in our every day communication that response/feedback is very important. Hence, constructively critical feedback can give you excellent guidance on how to improve your essay writing. It is worth attending to all of the suggestions and comments you receive, and trying to act on them.

Common criticism given to students is that their essay:

does not keep to the title that was set;

has a poor structure;

is too descriptive;

does not have enough critical writing.

These criticisms highlight the three basic elements of good essay writing:

attending closely to the title;

establishing a relevant structure that will help you show the development of your argument; and

using critical writing as much as possible; with descriptive writing being used where necessary, but kept to a minimum.

These elements will be used to give a broad overall structure to this Study Guide.

How to attend to your title

The most important starting point is to listen carefully to what the essay title is telling you.

You need to read every single word/line of it, then squeeze out as much guidance you can from the title. Plan how you will respond to every single element of the title. The guidance given to you by the title is freely available, and is your best clue to what is required in your essay.


To start you off, and to minimise the likelihood of writer’s block, a useful exercise is to do a ‘brainstorm’ of all your ideas in connection with the essay title. It can be a way of making a lot of progress quite quickly.

It can be stressful and very difficult trying to work out solely in your mind how to tackle an essay title; asking yourself questions such as: What structure should I use? What are my main points? What reading do I need to do? Have I got enough evidence? It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions.

In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding. So, don’t feel you have to make that decision in your head before you write anything. Instead, you can catch all of your ideas, in no particular order, on a sheet or two of A4. Once they are down there it will be easier for you to start to review them critically and to see where you need to focus your reading and note taking.

Break it down to build it up

Essentially, this is what you are doing within the essay process: breaking ideas down, then building them up again. You need to:

  • break down the essay title into its component parts, and consider possible ways of addressing them;
  • work with these component parts, as you select your reading and make relevant notes;
  • build up the essay using the material you have collected; ordering it;
  • presenting and discussing it;
  • and forming it into a coherent argument.

Throughout this process, the essay title is the single immovable feature. You begin there; you end there; and everything in between needs to be placed in relation to that title.

Efficient reading

All three of the processes described above will inform your decisions about what you need to read for a particular essay. If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time. Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways:

  • making intelligent decisions, based on your initial planning, about which sources to target, so you don’t spend time reading less relevant, or even completely irrelevant material;
  • reading with a purpose, so that you are looking out for particularly relevant material, rather than paying equal attention to material that is less relevant;
  • systematic note taking, so that you record the most relevant material, and that you have full reference details (including page numbers of direct quotes) of all material you may end up using.

While a certain level of efficiency is desirable, it is also important to remain flexible enough to identify relevant and interesting ideas that you had not anticipated.

Writing as thinking

You can use the writing process to help you think through, clarify and develop your early ideas about how you might respond to the title that has been set:

‘you may not know what you think until you have written it down’ (Creme & Lea, 1997 p115).

As with teaching, it is often not until you try to communicate an argument and its evidence that you find where the gaps are in your knowledge or argument. So don’t be afraid of writing down your ideas before they are fully formed, or in the ‘right’ order.

Writing is an active and constructive process; it is not merely a neutral recording of your thoughts. It is therefore useful to go into the writing process expecting to make revisions. The first words you write do not have to be part of the final version. Editing your writing as you develop your ideas is a positive not a negative process: the more you cross out, re-write, and re-order, the better your essay should become.

Establishing a relevant structure to support your argument

All essays need structure. The structure may be strong and clear, or it may be unobtrusive and minimal but, in a good essay, it will be there.

Underpinning the structure will the ‘argument’ your essay is making. Again this may be strong and obvious, or it may be almost invisible, but it needs to be there. In different subject areas, and with different styles of writing, the term ‘argument’ may seem more or less relevant. However, even in those essays that appear to be highly creative, unscientific, or personal, an argument of some kind is being made.

It is the argument, and how you decide to present and back up your argument, that will influence your decision on how to structure your essay.

The essay structure is not an end in itself, but a means to an end: the end is the quality of the argument.

By creating a relevant structure, you make it much easier for yourself to present an effective argument. There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e.g.:

These can be useful starting points, but you will probably decide to work with a more complicated structure e.g.:

  • overall chronological structure; broken down by comparisons according to the elements of the title;
  • overall thematic structure; broken down by sub-themes;
  • overall comparative structure; broken down by context.

In addition to these macro-structures you will probably need to establish a micro-structure relating to the particular elements you need to focus on e.g. evidence / policy / theory / practice / case studies / examples / debates.

Fluid structures

You may feel that, for your particular essay, structures like these feel too rigid. You may wish to create a more flexible or fluid structure. Perhaps a more suitable word than ‘structure’ in those cases may be ‘pattern’, or ‘impression’, or ‘atmosphere’; although these merge into the field of creative writing rather than essay writing.

An analogy could be that of symphony writing. The composers Haydon and Mozart, working in the 18th century, tended to write symphonies to fit reliably and closely within what was called ‘symphonic form’. This set out a pattern for the numbers of movements within the symphony, and for the general structure of writing within each movement. The continued popularity of their work today shows that they clearly managed to achieve plenty of interest and variety within that basic structure.

Later composers moved away from strict symphonic form. Some retained a loose link to it while others abandoned it completely, in favour of more fluid patterns. It would be rare, however, to find a symphony that was without structure or pattern of any kind; it would probably not be satisfactory either to play or to listen to. Similarly, a structure of some kind is probably essential for every essay, however revolutionary.

Your decisions on structure will be based on a combination of:

  • the requirements of your department;
  • the potential of the essay title; and
  • your own preferences and skill.
An iterative, not necessarily a linear process

The process of essay planning and writing does not need to be a linear process, where each stage is done only once. It is often an iterative process i.e. a process where earlier stages are repeated when they can be revised in the light of subsequent work. A possible iterative process is:

  • analyse the title
  • brainstorm relevant ideas
  • read around the title, making relevant notes
  • prepare a first draft
  • analyse the title again
  • critically review your first draft in the light of this further analysis
  • read further to fill in gaps
  • prepare final draft
  • critically edit the final draft
  • submit the finished essay.
Helping your readers

This section heading is in quotes as it is also the heading of chapter 8, pages 80-92, in Barass (1982). Barass (1982 p80) makes the simple but valid statement, that:

‘By making things easy for your readers, you help yourself to convey information and ideas.’

The tutors reading and marking your essays deserves your consideration. They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. If you make your argument hard to follow, so that they need to re-read a paragraph (or more) to try to make sense of what you have written, you will cause irritation, and make their job slower. Realistically, it is possible that they may even decide not to make that effort. It is your task to present your argument in a way that your audience can follow; it is not your audience’s job to launch an investigation to detect the points you are trying to make.

Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. They will not want to pull your essay to pieces. They would much rather enjoy reading it, and be satisfied by the thread of your argument. In the words of a tutor:

‘I’m looking for focus, for a voice that I feel confident with and not bored by – someone who knows the area and is going to take me round the issues in an objective, informed and interesting way.’ Stott (2001 p 37)

How to write an effective essay Cont.

The introduction

A powerful introduction is invaluable. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it. A useful generic structure is to:

  • begin with a general point about the central issue;
  • show your understanding of the task that has been set;
  • show how you plan to address the title in your essay structure;
  • make a link to the first point.

It may be possible to use only one paragraph for your introduction, but it may fall more easily into two or more. You will need to adapt and extend this basic structure to fit with your own discipline and the precise task set. Here is an example of an introduction for an essay entitled:

Examine and compare the nature and development of the tragic figures of Macbeth and Dr Faustus in their respective plays.

  • Begin with a general point
    Dr Faustus and Macbeth are both plays that show their respective playwrights at the pinnacle of their careers.
  • Show your understanding of the task set
    When comparing the nature of the two plays’ respective heroes, both parallels and contrasts can be found.
  • Show how you plan to address the title
    In the first section of this essay, the role of the tragic hero will be considered … The second section of the essay will examine the nature … Finally, a comparison will be made of the development of the two …
  • Make a link to the first point
    In examining the characters’ tragic qualities, a useful starting point is Aristotle’s definition of tragedy…

Although the introduction appears at the beginning of your essay, you may prefer to write it towards the end of the drafting process:

‘It is only when you have completed a piece of writing that you can introduce it to the reader.’ (Crème & Lea, 1997 p115)

The heart of the essay

The middle part of the essay must fulfil the promises made in your introduction. and must support your final conclusions. Failure to meet either or both of these requirements will irritate your reader, and will demonstrate a lack of self-critique and of editing.

The central part of your essay is where the structure needs to do its work, however explicit or implicit your chosen structure may be. The structure you choose needs to be one that will be most helpful to you in addressing the essay title.

The content of this central part will probably contain: ideas; explanations; evidence; relevant referencing; and relevant examples. It will be characterised by:

  • appropriate academic style;
  • interesting and engaging writing;
  • clarity of thought and expression,
  • sensible ordering of material, to support and the development of ideas and the development of argument.

A powerful conclusion is a valuable tool. The aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job. A generic structure that you may find useful is:

  • brief recap of what you have covered in relation to the essay title;
  • reference to the larger issue;
  • evaluation of the main arguments;
  • highlighting the most important aspects.

The example below relates to the essay title used on the previous page.

  • Brief recap
    The characters of Macbeth and Faustus are very similar in many respects; for example they both willingly follow a path that leads to their damnation. …
  • Reference to the larger issue
    The differences lie in the development of the characters in what are essentially two different types of plays.
  • Evaluation of the main arguments
    As has been shown, the character of Macbeth has a nadir from which he ascends at the conclusion of the play. This is in keeping with Aristotle’s definition of tragedy. For Faustus however, there is no such ascension. This fits with the style of the morality play: the erring Faustus must be seen to be humbled at his end for the morality to be effective…
  • Highlighting the most important aspects
    It is this strong element of morality in Dr Faustus that ultimately divides the two leading characters.
Being a critical writer

After attending closely to the title; and establishing a useful structure; a third main element in the essay-writing process is the confident use of ‘critical writing’. The study guide What is critical writing? provides more extensive guidance in this area, but it is useful to present one section from that guide below:

The most characteristic features of critical writing are:

  • a clear and confident refusal to accept the conclusions of other writers without evaluating the arguments and evidence that they provide;
  • a balanced presentation of reasons why the conclusions of other writers may be accepted or may need to be treated with caution;
  • a clear presentation of your own evidence and argument, leading to your conclusion; and
  • a recognition of the limitations in your own evidence, argument, and conclusion.

With critical writing, you are doing work with the evidence you are using, by adding a level of examination and evaluation. Stott (2001 p37) proposes that, ‘Knowledge-telling is the regurgitation of knowledge in an essay. But knowledge-transfer is what’s crucial: the ability to manipulate that basic, raw material in order to make a convincing argument’.

One way to practise critical writing is to make sure that you don’t leave any description to speak for itself, if it is part of your evidence and argument. If a quote or piece of data is worth including, then it’s also worth explaining why you’ve included it: ‘Do not leave your reader to work out the implications of any statement.’ (Barass 1982 p80).

Another useful tool to support critical writing is the paragraph! Aim to present one idea per paragraph. Within the paragraph you could:

  • introduce the idea/piece of evidence/quote/stage of argument;
  • present the idea/piece of evidence/quote/stage of argument;
  • comment on it – this is where you demonstrate your critical thinking and writing.

A different pattern would be to use a paragraph to present and describe an idea/piece of evidence/quote/stage of argument, then to use the subsequent paragraph to explain its relevance.


Finally, you need to take a break from your essay so that you can return to it with fresh eyes for the final editing.

‘Editing and proof reading are not the icing on the cake, as some people think. They are absolutely crucial because it is only at this stage that the student can see that the argument hangs together, has a sequence and is well-expressed. Editing is both difficult and important.’ (Stott, 2001 p39)

Yes, editing is important, but no it does not need to be difficult. You’ve done most of the hard work already in the reading, evaluating, and writing. Also, criticizing your writing tends to be easier than creating it in the first place.


A tutor can learn a worrying amount about the quality of your essay simply from how it looks on the page. The lengths of paragraphs; the lengths of sentences; the neatness of the reference list; the balance of length between different sections; all offer insight into the kind of essay they are about to read.

In general, think ‘short and straightforward’. Shorter words are often preferable to longer words, unless there is some specific vocabulary that you need to include to demonstrate your skill. Short to middle length sentences are almost always preferable to longer ones. And over-long paragraphs tend to demonstrate that you are not clear about the specific points you are making. Of course, these are general points, and there may be some occasions, or some subject areas, where long paragraphs are appropriate.

Accurate grammar and spelling are important. Consistently poor grammar or spelling can give the impression of lack of care, and lack of clarity of thought. Careless use of commas can actually change the meaning of a sentence. And inaccurate spelling and poor grammar can make for very irritating reading for the person marking it. The previous sentence began with ‘And’. This practice is now widely accepted where it makes good sense. It is however possible that some tutors may still prefer not to see it.

Summary of key points

The title is the most important guidance you have. The task ahead is nothing more and nothing less than is stated in the title. When in doubt about any aspect of your reading for the essay, or about your writing, the first step is to go back and consult the essay title. This can be surprisingly helpful. It informs directly: the choice of reading; the structure you choose for the essay; which material to include and exclude; what to do with the material you use; and how to introduce and conclude.

A relevant and useful structure to support the presentation of your response to the title is vital.

Expect to undertake an iterative process of planning, reading, drafting, reviewing, planning, reading, re-drafting, and editing.

Editing is a crucial part of the process not an optional extra.


Barass R, (1982) Students must write: a guide to better writing in coursework and examinations. London: Methuen.

Creme P & Lea MR (1997) Writing at university: a guide for students. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Stott R, (2001) The essay writing process. Chapter 3 pp36-58. In Making your case: a practical guide to essay writing. Eds. Stott R, Snaith A, & Rylance R. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

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How to Write an Essay Draft


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Here is the solution to the task:
Mon am: Received assignment to do from my tutor - a 2000 word essay by next week!
Mon pm: Sit down and analyse the question first of all to make sure I've really understood it.
Tue am: Brainstorm for initial ideas and make a rough plan of the structure.
Tue pm: First visit to the library in search of relevant reading material.
Wed am: Read and make notes in the library, then read some more and amend my initial plan.
Wed pm: Time to put pen to paper! Start writing first essay draft, and review what more is needed.
Thu am: Spend the morning in the library again, to find the missing information that the essay needs.
Thu pm: Finish writing the first draft with additions - 2000 words are now on paper!
Fri am: Time to edit the first full draft - and improve it!
Fri pm: More revision and second drafting of essay to make sure I'm answering the essay question.
Sat am: Shopping, and domestic chores at home.
Sat pm: Look again at essay - proof read for language and typing errors; print to check presentation.
Sun: My day off from study - rest and relaxation!
Mon am: Print out final version of the essay and hand it in to the office before the 11 o'clock deadline!

Response to Essay Draft 1 by gof81448

A lot of students want to get rid of their assignments as soon as possible and find writing drafts (especially several) completely unnecessary. Some tend to write the draft as a short version after the paper is already completed. This is not quite a correct approach. An essay draft is a very important part of the paper, which helps you to structure your thoughts and materials, choose the correct point of view, write basic scheme, which you will further develop in a full paper. Revising your draft will make you think on what is right and what is wrong and what you shall change to receive the highest possible grade.

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Articles /Miscellaneous /Other /How To Write An Essay

Written by Quincy St. James

There comes a time in every person's life when they have to teach another person how to do something. In a college composition class, they require that you write a process essay, but the methods on how to do this are just too boring to read through. If you had some easier, more interesting directions on how to write this kind of essay, you could benefit and even profit from the knowledge gained. Whether it is as simple as making a sandwich or as complex as purifying seawater, there are still many ways to describe a process in essay form. This essay will show you how to write a process essay that will amaze your teachers and teach you skills that will go with you forever.

For starters, let me tell you that I've been writing for a LONG time, and you are probably going to think that I'm just someone who has copied these steps from the book just to get an easy A. If you have fallen into this line of thinking, you are dead wrong. What I have done is taken the steps in the book and expanded upon them using my own ideas and methods. These same methods have gotten me countless A's and B's on essays, and I highly recommend using some of these techniques in other types of essays as well. So now that I've proven that I'm not a plagiarist and I have the "skillz to pay the billz", lets continue on to the steps!

The first step is to think of a topic. Brainstorming is the first technique you must learn. Take any piece of paper you can find (notebook paper works well), and list some things you would like to write about in your essay. If you are thinking about explaining how to bake a cake, you should try and write down part of the steps and connect them to each other so that category is separated from any others on the page. Some people may just focus on making one category right away, and others may make several categories before they finally choose a topic that they like. In any case, the importance of brainstorming is to get your mind thinking about what you want to write about. Try to fill the page with your ideas until your brain hurts, but don't go overboard because you might pop a blood vessel. Once you've chosen a topic and are happy with the ideas you've come up for it, you are ready for the next step.

Step two is all about organization. This is where you want to take all the ideas from your brainstorming sheet and list them in easy to understand steps. You do not want your steps to be TOO specific or vague because you will lose the interest of the reader. Try to find a happy medium where your steps are easily understandable and as complete as can be. List the main topics for your essay, which will basically be your steps, and number them in Roman numeral form. Make subtopics explaining more about them, using numbers like 1, 2, 3 and so on. If you want to make SUB sub-topics, you can use letters like a, b, or c. You could even go crazy and make quintuple-sub subtopics with squares and triangles numbering them, but I don't suggest having more than one list of subtopics under every step. Process essays MUST be easy to understand, and going crazy with subtopics only makes it a lot more confusing (and will probably make your paper suck as well). An example of a main topic would be baking the pie with three subtopics labeled baking time, oven temperature and removing the pie. You should try and have at least three sub-topics underneath your steps, although some might only need one. Try to remember that when writing any paper, quality always rules over quantity. Another technique that will help you to write your outline is visualization. If you can visualize in your mind the steps needed in your process, it will help you to write them down in a correct and specific order. After you are happy with your organization, you are now ready to write a rough draft.

Rough drafts are desperately needed before you write your essay. I suggest always writing at least one rough draft per writing assignment, although some people may need more than that. The purpose behind writing a rough draft is so you can edit and rewrite a final draft that will not contain the mistakes of the first (if any are found). The first thing you should do is think of a title for your paper. You want the title to either summarize what your paper is about or jump out and grab the reader's attention. Two good titles for an essay on baking a cake would be "How to Bake a Delicious Cake" and "Cooking with the Pillsbury Doughboy". Once you have chosen a title, the rest of the rough draft is ready to be written.

The first paragraph should be your introductory paragraph. Write about a common use for your process and try to make it sound interesting to the audience. If you present your process in a friendly and productive way, your reader will gain interest in your paper and actually get to the end without falling asleep. In a process essay, it is important to list some of your credentials in your intro paragraph. If the writer of a process essay can't prove that he or she excels in their topic, what good is following the steps of an amateur? When you have proven once and for all that you rule at baking cakes or calculating mathematical algorithms, you are ready to write about your process.

You should have at least one paragraph after your intro paragraph explaining the steps in your process, although you could have many more than one (this paper contains 7 paragraphs all about my steps). You can separate the paragraphs as you see fit, for example ingredients, then preparation, then cooking. Try to keep all of your steps in order because you wouldn't want someone to hurt him or herself, especially if you put that part about wearing the mountain-climbing harness into the last paragraph when it SHOULD have been mentioned first. Speaking of hazards, are there any warnings the reader should know about in your steps? If so, include them alongside your steps so you can't be blamed if someone does something unsafe like white-water rafting without a helmet on. If you get stuck thinking about what to write next, you can always look back on your outline to find out exactly where you are in your process. Finally, try to use as few sentences as possible in your paragraphs to make the steps simple and understandable, not complex and confusing. Once your steps are laid out in paragraph form, you are ready to write the final paragraph.

The last paragraph will be your conclusion. Like the introduction, present your conclusion in an interesting way, and make sure your sentences are to the point. Your conclusion should try to state some kind of hidden meaning behind why you have pointed this process out or prove once and for all that your process is very useful. What I want to warn you about before we move onto the next step is the downfall of a good paper, which could rely on a poorly written intro or conclusion. Make sure they are both relevant with each other and the piece. A lot of times, throwing jokes into the intro or conclusion is sometimes like breaking the ice or sealing a deal, so don't be afraid to use your humor in your papers! After you are done writing your rough draft, you should begin the process of proofreading and editing.

This part of the process is very tricky, so be sure to follow ALL of the steps in this paragraph. If you do not, your rough draft will not improve much and your final draft will seem unfinished and may contain errors that you have overlooked. Start by reading your essay aloud to yourself to point out verbally some “odd-sounding" sentences. Sometimes, if you read through your essay too fast, you will not catch all of the spelling mistakes. Be sure to take it SLOW! Computers, although very handy, can miss important spelling or grammar mistakes, so be sure to double-check ALWAYS! The next thing to do is get a friend, relative or teacher to briefly read over your paper and evaluate it. It is important to make sure that your “peer-editor" will be critical and helpful (rather than someone who will humor you with a good response just to get into your pants). Most of the time, they will be able to see the mistakes you have missed in your rough draft so that you may correct them and write a final draft. Edit your rough draft so that all of your mistakes are corrected, and make sure to add to or subtract from your rough draft as you see fit to make your process flow smoothly. After reading over your paper a few times, ask yourself if it is interesting from beginning to end, if it explains the steps clearly and specifically, and if the intro and conclusion paragraphs work well with the entire piece. Once you have written a final draft on a clean piece of paper with your name on it, your teacher's name, the date, class, and title on the top, you are ready to pass it into your teacher and receive that A you've worked so hard for.

And now you know how to write a process essay MY way. I'm sure that many cookbook writers and fix-it authors make thousands of dollars by writing books using techniques similar to what I have just shown you. If you use these techniques wisely, you will surely go far in college and beyond. These skills will also prevent you from fumbling all over your words next time you are trying to show someone how to do something. Just think of your “How To" writing skills and it will be as easy as taking candy from a baby! (Check out my next process essay for more information on taking candy from babies.)

How to Write a Biography Essay

How to Write a Biography Essay

Research, research, research. The key to creating a fantastic biography is to glean information from multiple sources. You will get a better sense of your subject if you learn about him or her through different people's perspectives. Imagine your friends and family members writing about you. You can be sure each would have different insights, and your story would not be complete without all of their revelations. Highlight or write down ideas you may want to include in your essay.

Create an outline. The final draft of your essay should include an introductory paragraph and a conclusion paragraph. Outline what you will include in the body, or the paragraphs in the middle, of your essay. Write down the main idea for each paragraph, and list short versions of supporting ideas underneath. Consider writing a paragraph for each source.

Begin your first draft. Write an engaging introductory paragraph by introducing your subject with a fun fact or unique character description. Write a sentence or two briefly presenting what each subsequent paragraph will be describing in further detail. Finish the introduction with a sentence explaining what makes your subject such an interesting character study.

Write the body of your essay. Include all of the fascinating tidbits you've discovered in your reading, as well as important facts, dates or figures revolving around your subject. Try to make each body paragraph diametrically different. The ideas in each paragraph do not have to be opposed, just not redundant. However, opposition can make for a riveting essay, drawing a complex character filled with contradiction.

Write your conclusion, or summary paragraph. This portion of the essay is your chance to be creative. Summarize the picture of your subject with colorful, descriptive sentences, briefly touching on each of the ideas you covered. Focus on your last sentence. Make it memorable. Perhaps give your reader a question to ponder about your subject or a provocative idea about your subject's life.

Read and reread your essay, checking not only for errors in spelling and grammar, but also for ways to make your essay pop. Usually this means approaching your work with a heavy editing hand rather than adding anything. Ideas are expressed best in when most concise. In other words, say everything in the shortest way possible. Using extra words because you think they're "big" words or trying to make your essay sound more intelligent will instead make the essay feel phony and confusing. Remember that writing a biography essay can be educational in that you can learn a great deal about someone as you grow as a writer.

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Most often written in first person with information about the author or someone close to the author, the biographical narrative uses stories.

A biographical sketch, sometimes referred to as a professional profile. How to Produce a Good Biographical Essay; About eHow; eHow.

A biography introducing your professional self to the world is useful in a variety of mediums. Whether adding a bio to your.

You May Also Like. How to Find a Template to Write a Biography. Whether it is for a homework assignment or for.

Autobiographical essays are essays that people write about their own lives. Many colleges and universities require applicants to submit an autobiographical essay.

Writing a biography essay for a school assignment? Not sure where to start. Collect. Start your biography by collecting information about.

A self-biography, or an autobiography, is a literary work that describes your life and accomplishments. You may desire to write a self-biography.

Homework Center: Writing Skills: How to Write an Essay (Advanced)

Establish Your Topic
  1. Your teacher may assign you a topic or ask you to choose from among a few topics. The assignment may contain certain key words that will suggest the content and structure of your essay. For example, you may be asked to
    • Analyze
    • Argue
    • Compare and contrast
    • Describe
    • Discuss
    • Summarize

If you do not understand what you are being asked to do, check with your teacher.

  • You may be asked to find a topic on your own. Most people find this difficult. Give yourself plenty of time to think about what you'd like to do. Trying to answer questions you have about a particular subject may lead you to a good paper idea.
    • What subject(s) are you interested in?
    • What interests you most about a particular subject?
    • Is there anything you wonder about or are puzzled about with regard to that subject?
  • Be sure your topic is narrow enough so that you can write about it in detail in the number of pages that you are allowed. For example, say you are asked to write a 1-page essay about someone in your family. Since you only have a limited number of pages, you may want to focus on one particular characteristic of that person, or one particular incident from that person's life, rather than trying to write about that person's entire life. Having a narrow focus will help you write a more interesting paper.

    Revised:My sister is my best friend.

    Similarly, you may be asked to write a 5-page paper about volcanoes. Again, since you only have a limited number of pages, you may choose to focus on one particular volcano or one particular eruption, rather than trying to talk about volcanoes in general.

    Too general:Volcanoes of the world.

    Revised:The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991.

  • One method for narrowing down your topic is called brainstorming. Brainstorming is a useful way to let ideas you didn't know you had come to the surface.
    • Sit down with a pencil and paper, or at your computer, and write whatever comes into your head about your topic, no matter how confused or disorganized.
    • Keep writing for a short but specific amount of time, say 3–5 minutes. Don't stop to change what you've written or to correct spelling or grammar errors.
    • After a few minutes, read through what you have written. You will probably throw out most of it, but some of what you've written may give you an idea you can develop.
    • Do some more brainstorming and see what else you can come up with.
  • Organize Your Ideas
    1. Develop an outline to organize your ideas. An outline shows your main ideas and the order in which you are going to write about them. Click here to see some sample outlines.
      • Write down all the main ideas.
      • List the subordinate ideas below the main ideas.
      • Avoid any repetition of ideas.
    Write a First Draft
    1. Every essay or paper is made up of three parts:
      • Introduction
      • Body
      • Conclusion
    2. The introduction is the first paragraph of the paper. It often begins with a general statement about the topic and ends with a more specific statement of the main idea of your paper. The purpose of the introduction is to
      • let the reader know what the topic is
      • inform the reader about your point of view
      • arouse the reader's curiosity so that he or she will want to read about your topic
    3. The body of the paper follows the introduction. It consists of a number of paragraphs in which you develop your ideas in detail.
      • Limit each paragraph to one main idea. (Don't try to talk about more than one idea per paragraph.)
      • Prove your points continually by using specific examples and quotations.
      • Use transition words to ensure a smooth flow of ideas from paragraph to paragraph.
    4. The conclusion is the last paragraph of the paper. Its purpose is to
      • summarize your main points, leaving out specific examples
      • restate the main idea of the paper
    Revise the First Draft
    1. Try to set aside your draft for a day or two before revising. This makes it easier to view your work objectively and see any gaps or problems.
    2. Revising involves rethinking your ideas, refining your arguments, reorganizing paragraphs, and rewording sentences. You may need to develop your ideas in more detail, give more evidence to support your claims, or delete material that is unnecessary. For more advice on revising and a sample revision, click here .
    3. Read your paper out loud. This sometimes makes it easier to identify writing that is awkward or unclear.
    4. Have somebody else read the paper and tell you if there's anything that's unclear or confusing.
    Proofread the Final Draft
    1. Look for careless errors such as misspelled words and incorrect punctuation and capitalization .
    2. Errors are harder to spot on a computer screen than on paper. If you type your paper on a computer, print out a copy to proofread. Remember, spell checkers and grammar checkers don't always catch errors, so it is best not to rely on them too much.