Key First Steps to a Better Essay

Writing a better essay takes practice. While there are many examples to teach you how to write an essay, you want straightforward methods.

Especially when you have a test essay, or you’re teaching your child to write a simple essay, you want techniques to help you quickly and efficiently. As with any writing, you want to focus on one topic, organize with an outline, and use a concise flow of ideas.

Writing the Essay Outline

Beginning to write without a specific topic might leave you overwhelmed.

  • Take the necessary steps to brainstorm and narrow down your topic.
  • For instance, if you want to write about animals, narrow down your topic to dogs or cats.
  • Then, develop ideas to generate the main topic.
  • Use a graphic organizer or outline to help you develop a better essay topic sentence.
  • Write a few sentences or phrases to come up with a solid statement.
  • Once you have a substantial main topic sentence, begin to jot down the essential points that will support your main topic.
  • Usually, you’ll want three to five main points.
  • If you’re writing a test essay, make sure to read the instructions before writing.
  • You want to cover all the crucial points.
  • Next, support your main points with evidence or examples.

In this way, you start to build up an essay with solid points and evidence to support your claim. Lastly, wrap up the essay with a conclusion sentence.

The Essay Format

When teaching essay writing to young learners or beginners, the model of a hamburger often helps. By using a hamburger concept, beginners in essay writing can assimilate, putting together a burger with the organization of an essay.

For instance, for a hamburger, the buns make up the majority of the sandwich. So, in the same way, the topic and conclusion sentences resemble the top and bottom of the hamburger.

As you start to build the burger, you add the meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Similarly, when you begin to develop an essay, you add the main points, supporting details, and transitions words.

Much like adding ketchup, mayo, or mustard as condiments, you also want to add adjectives and adverbs to make the writing more interesting to read.

steps to better essay

Example of an Essay

Using the topic of dogs as an example of an essay, you can begin by describing how useful dogs are to kids. The example essay would look like:

  • Topic Sentence: Dogs help children in many ways.
  • Main point 1: Dogs are great pets to play with.
  • Supporting Evidence 1: They can fetch balls and Frisbees.
  • Main point 2: Dogs are wonderful companions.
  • Supporting Evidence 2: They can soothe a restless child.
  • Main point 3: Dogs help reduce stress.
  • Supporting Evidence 3: Petting a dog can relieve anxiety in a child.
  • Conclusion Sentence: Dogs are fun pets for kids.

Once you have a basic outline of the main topic and ideas, you can begin to write the essay. Follow the outline step by step. As you write, don’t forget to include transition words that help readers follow your thoughts.

Also, add interesting adjectives or adverbs to bring in the reader to your story. Conclude with a summary sentence or restate your main topic sentence.

Don’t forget to write a title about your topic, building curiosity about your content.

Common Mistakes for Beginners

Brainstorming a topic is often a difficult task. You might have many ideas and can’t narrow down your topic.

In that case, create a table for each item. Next, research the views or content available for each. For instance, if you want to write about animals, you can create three columns for dogs, cats, and parrots.

As you research each topic, what do you find the most exciting or relevant to discuss in your essay? Would you like to write about breeds, training, or pet care?

Research online is common with computers readily available at public libraries and at home. Ensure that when you take notes, you don’t plagiarize or forget to include a bibliography.

To prevent you from forgetting, use graphic organizers or tables to jot down your citations as you look for sources.

A better essay is possible when you incorporate an organizational writing style. Keep focused on a single topic with clear main points and supporting evidence.

Your readers would appreciate you took the time to plan your writing. That is, you communicate your ideas clearly, and your readers have fun reading them.