Learn How to Write an Essay with an Expert Guide

posted by Andy Preisler 10 Sep 2016
Table of contents:

Every student has wondered how to write an essay at least once during their college years. Understanding your assignment, performing quality research, making an outline, and crafting a valuable paper are primary tasks in educational centers worldwide, from the US to Africa and Ukraine. The problem is that most students struggle with accomplishing it. They have no idea how to write an essay outline and why they need it, and they don’t understand academic rules. Fortunately, GrabMyEssay has a solution. If you need an extra quick answer, follow these three steps

  1. Prepare materials. Find relevant literature that’ll show what to write in an essay.
  2. Do some writing. Develop an outline and base your essay on it.
  3. Revise your paper. Re-read what you wrote and correct mistakes you caught.

These are the main stages in every essay writing process. But naturally, they are divided into other steps and aspects. If you’re interested in details because you want to become a powerful essay writer once and for all, this guide is for you.

What Is an Essay: Tackling Definitions

An interesting nuance is that when students say, “I’d like to hire a service that writes my essays professionally,” they often hesitate to decide which type of work they need. That’s because the existence of a million academic tasks confuses them. Let’s start with the basics: what’s an essay?

In college terms, it’s an academic piece of writing that relies on credible literature sources, explores a subject, and makes readers interested in it. It revolves around a specific statement known as a thesis, building central arguments around it and proving them paragraph by paragraph. There could be different types of essays, and our tips will help you tackle each of them.

7 General Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Essay

While essay types differ greatly, they all follow a similar structural model. If you follow seven strategies from our essay guides below, you’ll know how to handle every paper your professor assigns. Read them carefully.

Understand your task

Study instructions you receive several times until you feel certain that you understand every part of your assignment. Sometimes students are inattentive or simply don’t know what their college wants. In such cases, consulting with a professor or asking a classmate could be smart. You might lack relevant knowledge for doing your essay successfully, but as long as you understand its purpose, you’re on the right track.

Figure out how to do an essay of a specific type

At this stage, you should try pinpointing the specific paper type you will work on. Don’t worry. Even if you have no idea, we’ll advise you. There are ten most common essay categories in each college or university. There is a 99% chance that you must write one.

  • 5-paragraph-essay. This standard essay is common among young students who haven’t yet gotten much experience with writing. It can be dedicated to any topic:the point is to create a five paragraph essay as well as explore your subject successfully through them. The first and the last paragraphs should be the introduction and conclusion; three in the middle should be dedicated to three main arguments you’re investigating. Rules are less strict, and students must prove they can be concise yet informative.
  • Persuasive essay. The goal of writing essays like this lies in convincing your audience to accept your point of view. You could select any object you strongly oppose and present your arguments in support. For example, persuasive papers often try to sway people’s moral, religious, or other beliefs. At the same time — that is a funny aspect — you shouldn’t always defend something you genuinely believe in: the point lies in presenting strong arguments and sounds convincing.
  • Cause-and-effect papers. Such analytical essays require writers to create a strong link between an event and why it occurred. How to write an essay example of such kind? Here is a possible topic: exploring how abuse in the family affects children, namely, how some of them become abusive themselves as they grow up. You have an “effect,” a child starting to show abusive tendencies with time, and a “cause,” which is this child witnessing family abuse. Such essays require unshakable critical thinking and the ability to link topics and demonstrate their connection.
  • Compare-contrast essays. Learning how to write an essay for beginners is beyond easy with this paper type! Students could focus on comparison, contrast, or comparison and contrast. All you should do is look at two or more objects before listing how different or similar they are. Writers should be attentive and thorough to achieve good results.         
  • Creative writing. Some students hate these tasks, while others love them. How to make an essay like this? There is no need to do research or look for academic sources. Your style should be informal, and you don’t have to follow any usual rules. Come up with a story about a good vampire, explore how a killer fell in love with a victim, create a fantasy universe with dragons or witches, etc. Let your imagination run wild.
  • Narrations. Such essays are mostly personal in nature. Students should tell a story that happened to them. The tricky thing is to outline the impact this event had. For instance, it’s not enough to describe how you failed an exam once — you must illustrate how it affected you and what lesson you learned.
  • Expository papers. The question, “How do I write an essay of expository nature?” is common, but the answer is simple. This writing should be factual and objective. Explain a topic for your audience’s benefit by using supporting facts. Additionally, seeking guidance and resources for expository essays help can further enhance your understanding and proficiency in this form of writing.
  • Process essays. A process paper is as simple as it comes. Writers should select a process and describe it step by step. Anything could be your topic, from cooking recipes to instructions on taking care of a pet you just adopted. Just be detailed and precise, and explore each step in a new paragraph.
  • Descriptive papers. The title reflects the purpose: describe something in a way that lets your readers see it through your eyes. It could be a country, a school, a holiday, or literally anything else. The main rule concerns using numerous succinct details to make descriptions juicy and memorable.
  • Analytical essays. How to write a good essay with an analytical style? Analysis and critical thinking are a must in such assignments. Students should analyze a topic by relying on sources, making reputable arguments, and showing their cool rationality. No emotions or subjective thoughts should be present, only hard logic.

Comprehend style & formatting

When students ask, “Could you do my dissertation for me quickly?” one of the main reasons is formatting. It might sound funny, but it’s true: APA, Chicago, MLA, and many others have an endless number of nuances. Figure them out before you start working. See templates or check examples to ensure you rely on the latest rules.

Define your topic

What exactly are you exploring? Understand your chosen topic. Read up on it, think, and brainstorm with friends. Ask for advice in your college center if you’re still having difficulties, or contact us with your questions.

Start researching

What are the steps of writing an essay? The first will always be reading. Open online databases like Google Scholar or consult your college library. Find academic articles, scholarly books, or credible websites dedicated to your theme. Read their abstracts or summaries since this will help you determine which suits your interests. Gain their ideas, strengthen or change your arguments, and select key sources.

Develop your thesis

As we briefly mentioned, a thesis is a key sentence placed at the beginning of an essay that reflects your major idea. It should be strong, argumentative, and clear. Include as many points as you plan to explore in the essay.

Craft outline

While many students prefer to avoid this part, it tends to be a mistake. Outlines help stay on track and keep focused on relevant ideas. They should feature a few lines you’ll mention in an introductory paragraph, including the thesis, major body ideas, and just a line for the conclusion. Make it as small or big as you prefer; just keep it informative enough to remind you of your initial plans.

As you see, these seven steps are easy to cover. They indicate what to do when preparing to write an essay. Now it’s time to address the process of essay writing itself.

How to Start an Essay: Three-to-Four Essential Steps

Students' and teachers’ thoughts on which essay part matters most differ. Some of them focus more on the body paragraphs. Others rely solely on a conclusion. But the introduction is equally relevant, and after we explain what students could include in it, you’ll see what a piece of cake it is.

  • Come up with a hook. This is the first sentence of the introduction, and its goal is exactly how it sounds: a writer needs to hook their readers into staying with them for the duration of a paper. Generally, hooks could be interesting facts, powerful statements, engaging quotes, shocking statistics, or even jokes, anything to make an essay look compelling. Here is one example: “On the night of February 24, 2022, numerous Ukrainian citizens woke up from the sounds of missiles flying past their houses, colliding with their targets and exploding, burning everything in the vicinity.” It’s factual but emotional and shocking enough to attract attention.
  • Shape topic background. The background is one of the steps to write an essay introduction. Depending on the paper size, this could be a couple of lines or something longer. Explain how the concept emerged, when it developed, and what state it is in now. Outline the topic’s relevance since people should understand why you chose it and why they should bother reading about it.
  • Craft thesis. As you probably recall, the thesis goes to the end of the introduction. This is the last and most important line that should reveal the central point of your paper. It could be long, even longer than the standard 35 words, but only as long as it remains comprehensive. See essay writing examples to understand what it should look like. Students make frequent mistakes with it.
  • Describe structure. Note that this step is usually interchangeable with step 3. Most papers require a thesis statement, but some do not presuppose one. In these instances, students should describe the structure of their work, listing which sections it consists of and what they will focus on in each one.

Remember about the introduction size, too. It should be around 10% of the entire paper. It could be shorter but definitely not longer, or you might lose points. Avoid using direct quotes in it unless you include them in a hook. A body is a much more fitting section for this.

How to Structure an Essay Body Correctly

The body is definitely among the most crucial parts. It’s the meat of your essay — without it, nothing has meaning. Students use it to prove their arguments and strengthen their points. But how to build it? Relax — this is easier than you think. Pay close attention to two specific aspects. The first one is size: body is the largest section. It should equal 80% of content, but paragraphs should stay readable. The biggest size is 200 words — don’t write longer sections. If you haven’t finished exploring your thoughts, break a paragraph into two parts. Dedicate the first paragraph to the first point from your thesis, the second one to the second point, and so on. This model will ensure clarity and top readability.

Now, how to write an essay paragraph? Memorize its crucial parts. Fortunately, they should look identical in terms of essay structure. Start body paragraph with an opening sentence based on thesis. For instance, if you closed your introduction with a claim like, “Public school has cheaper education and lower quality level,” start your body like this: “Public schools offer education for cheaper prices than private establishments.” It’s connected to thesis, and it makes it obvious what your first paragraph is about. Then offer a quote, direct or indirect, from a relevant source. Explain it to your readers in the following sentences. Once you’re done exploring this specific thought, end it with a closing line. It should summarize everything you’ve just discussed or bridge a reader to the next section.

Process of Writing an Essay Conclusion

This section receives the least amount of attention from students. Some of them prefer to use essay conclusion generator since they are impatient and hope to be done ASAP. This is certainly a good solution, but remember that conclusion could still bring you points or take them away. That is why it’s essential to write it correctly.

Do This:

  • Relate conclusion back to thesis. Writers should restate their thesis in the first sentences of conclusion. A frequent error happens when they copy it and don’t change anything. This is a form of plagiarism, even if you’re taking content from yourself! Rephrase thesis, choose synonyms, preserve its key point.
  • Summarize major points. How do you write an essay that stays in your audience's memory for a long time? By researching it well and creating an excellent conclusion. It should be powerful and remind readers of everything they've read. Underline the brightest discoveries from the body, restate them, and make them stand out.
  • Demonstrate why your work matters. Address possible drawbacks, such as limitations you faced in your research; outline why your findings are relevant and explain what other researchers could do to explore this subject matter further.

Avoid Doing This:

  • Including any new information. Mention strictly what you've already discussed; try not to go beyond the conclusions you've made. Expand on them only when discussing an essay's relevance or giving advice to other scholars who might be interested in investigating the same topic.
  • Using quotes. You already know how to write a proper essay conclusion: by focusing on nuances you've discussed and avoiding new information. The same principle applies to quotes. You should add them in the body and write your bibliography - this is more than enough. Don’t use new phrases in the last paragraph. This would be a mistake. If you've had an interesting idea at this stage, go back to the body and introduce it there. 
  • Undermining yourself. While writers should address the limitations they experience, do not downgrade their efforts. Never leave comments like, "This is a purely subjective outlook, and other views are also relevant" - you did research and defended your arguments. Don't compare yourself to others, especially in a negative light.

You know how to craft conclusion now. Make it perfect by sticking to our tips. Your professor will undoubtedly appreciate it. But our essay writing guide doesn't stop here either — we have more advice to share.

Editing Stage: Why Correcting Grammar Is Vital

Editing and proofreading are both highly important. They can reveal mistakes and typos you cannot imagine because each paper has them, even if the best writer prepared them. Read your paper out loud; print it and look through it on paper. First, check the content. Then compare thesis with conclusion. Go through grammar issues plus punctuation. This could help you notice all the problems you missed. If you feel too tired to take care of this step, contact our company, tell us, "I'd like you to proofread my essay for an affordable price," and we'll do it immediately. Remember that help is at your fingertips — you just need to reach out for it.


  • How do I start writing an essay?

Dedicate time to preparation. Research your topic thoroughly, ensure you understand instructions and develop an outline. Think of the thesis statement in advance since it’ll help your writing.

  • What are 5 main parts of an essay?

These would be an introduction, thesis, body paragraph, conclusion, and list with references. Each of them has unique nuances and steps, so keep them in mind, too.

  • What are 7 steps to writing an essay?

Seven pre-writing steps include reading instructions, comprehending a type of essay you were assigned, figuring out formatting quirks, defining your topic, doing thorough research on it, developing thesis, as well as working on an outline.

  • How to properly write an essay?

The major aspects include finding great sources, following outline, sticking to guidelines, and seeking help if needed. Understand your topic, learn to like it, and you won't experience any issues.

  • What is the structure of a paper?

A standard essay should have an introduction that ends with a thesis, at least one body paragraph, and conclusion.

  • Why do I need a thesis statement?

Thesis defines your paper. It reflects its heart and conveys what its purpose is to readers. They should read the thesis and instantly understand what argument you're presenting.

  • What is a topic sentence?

Topic sentence is one of key steps of an essay. It denotes the main idea of a paragraph by introducing it to readers.

  • When should I cite sources?

Cite sources every time you mention an idea that doesn't belong to you and that which general public would not know about.

Andy Preisler

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler


Hey there!

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at GrabMyEssay.com!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!

I would love to hear from you, to give you advice, and to lend a listening ear. You can contact me at [email protected] anytime! And follow my posts – you won’t be disappointed!

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