Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarship, a class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming. While an essay is a large project, there are many steps a student can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts. Following this process is the easiest way to draft a successful essay, whatever its purpose might be.
According to Kathy Livingston’s Guide to Writing a Basic Essay, there are seven steps to writing a successful essay:
1. Pick a topic.
You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.
If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?
Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down.
Finally, evaluate your options. If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic.
2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.
In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. By taking what’s already in your head and putting it to paper, you are able to see connections and links between ideas more clearly. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them.
To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines. Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas.
If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page. From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay.
3. Write your thesis statement.
Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas?
Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. For instance, if you were writing about Bill Clinton and his impact on the United States, an appropriate thesis statement would be, “Bill Clinton has impacted the future of our country through his two consecutive terms as United States President.”
Another example of a thesis statement is this one for the “Winning Characteristics” Scholarship essay: “During my high school career, I have exhibited several of the “Winning Characteristics,” including Communication Skills, Leadership Skills and Organization Skills, through my involvement in Student Government, National Honor Society, and a part-time job at Macy’s Department Store.”
4. Write the body.
The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay.
Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position. Fill in these spaces with relative information that will help link smaller ideas together.
5. Write the introduction.
Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.
Begin with an attention grabber. You can use shocking information, dialogue, a story, a quote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included as the last sentence of your introduction.
6. Write the conclusion.
The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis.
7. Add the finishing touches.
After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Wrong. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details.
Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Also, make sure that your paragraph order makes sense. If your essay is describing a process, such as how to make a great chocolate cake, make sure that your paragraphs fall in the correct order.
Review the instructions for your essay, if applicable. Many teachers and scholarship forms follow different formats, and you must double check instructions to ensure that your essay is in the desired format.
Finally, review what you have written. Reread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Congratulations! You have just written a great essay.
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Why is it important to come up with good narrative essay writing topics?
In most occasions, when students have a task to write a narrative essay, they chose between two options: to use the topic that their tutor proposed or to come up with their own topic. The success of topic choice determines the success of the whole essay. In the event that you cannot do it yourself, college essay help from the best writers you can find here.
No matter what piece of writing you are assigned at your institution, the complete paper must be interesting to read. More important is to choose an essay topic that you will be interested in writing with passion. A narrative essay writing is the only genre of academic writing that allows the writer to expand his imagination and creativity on the fullest. While writing this type of essay you can omit strict structure regulations. That is why students like this essay sub-genre the most.
But the freedom of choice can become a challenge for essay writers. When you are allowed to write anything from your experience, you can stuck on idea deficiency. Some students use the first idea that comes in their head and work on it, but the result is not successful. Because the narrative essay topic must both be appealing to you can interesting to the audience who will read it. So, to give you the basis for topic consideration we provide a list of best ideas for narrative essays. They are organized in subtopics for your convenience. We also give a brief description of each subtopic the make you clearly realize what to write.
Narrative essay topic ideas
Typically, an aim of the narrative essay is to teach you how to tell about your experiences in a literary manner. So, to write a good essay you have to brainstorm all thoughts concerning your life experiences. It can be both negative and positive examples. Try to describe them in as many details as possible to attract readers attention.
View All Essay Examples on Life Experience
A childhood is a period of bright impressions and first experiences. As children are naive and sincere, they have a tendency to get involved in ridiculous situations. We are sure that you have something interesting to tell about your childhood years. Let the next topic ideas call your memories of situations from childhood that can make a good basis for your narrative essay writing.
View All Essay Examples on Childhood Memory
3. School years
The school is a path to the adulthood. A person gets essential knowledge and experience there. School years present challenges that contribute to the development of personality. Your school experience and the challenges you overcame are unique. That is why if you write about studying at a school in your narrative essay you have a chance to be original.
View All Essay Examples on School
The life of every person is closely connected with relationships. Everybody has personal memories of family, friends and beloved people. Your story about them will always have a private character, so if you are asked to write a narrative essay, relationships is an eternal source of unique ideas.
View All Essay Examples on Relationships
In every country, people obey legal laws. But there are other laws that regulate people's lives on a larger scale. They are laws of ethics and morality. Morality has an array of unsolved issues, the solution on which usually presents a choice. Either to do something and keep to rules of ethics, or do the opposite and violate these rules. Essay morality topics are a successful choice because they are always of immediate interest.
View All Essay Examples on Morality
Your interests determine the manner of everything that you create. Usually, the sphere of personal interests consists of hobbies and things that attract the person. To write a narrative essay about your interests ask yourself “What do I enjoy doing?” , “What music do I like to listen”, “How do I prefer to spend my free time?”. It is one of the topics about which you can write with passion. Mind that people enjoy reading texts written passionately.
View All Essay Examples on Travel
Every spot in the world has a story. When you have a trip, the very stage of it is filled with impressions. No matter how many times people visited the seaside or mountains. You have your own journey and you have impressions of it. Why not share it with your readers? Narrative essay format allows you to write even the second Odyssey. Briefly, of course.
9. Student life
Life in college differs from school years. It is more adventurous and enriched with impressions. You are introduced to new people, subjects, a system of education and living conditions. So, it is a great basis for various epic stories! Starting from situations that happen particularly in college and life twists that tend to occur only during the student years. Student years are considered to be the best in the lifetime, why not to write about them in your narrative essay?
10. Imagine if…
In narrative essay topic that starts with the words “Imagine If...” usually require creating a story that is possible from your point of view in future. This subtopic is one of the most popular among the students. Because it allows them to make up everything they wish. The entire freedom of imagination!
I have chosen the topic for my narrative essay. What's next?
After the moment you found the most appealing topic for your writing, you must study carefully the instructions from your institution. Be aware of the size it has to be and start writing the narrative essay outline. Also, check out next writing tips, that will ease the writing process.
Tips on narrative essay writing:
1. Focus on specific details that are essential to cover the topic. Try to avoid mentioning irrelevant for the topic information.
2. Do not lie or embellish facts. Dig deep into your experience. Readers value the sincerity.
3. Connect your ideas. Use transition words to make your text coherent and easy to read.
4. Do not omit the conclusion. No matter what your topic is, you write a narrative essay to state what did you get from the experience.
5. Write in such a manner, that you will be interested to read it. If you won't like reading it, the text does not worth the attention of the audience.
6. See the limits of your writing. It is obvious that you can tell much about your experience, but you must not overload the reader with information.
7. Be creative. In the narrative essay, you can write in the first person and use different stylistic devices.
8. Follow instructions of your tutor attentively. Because even being a flexible writing genre, the narrative essay needs to be written according to stated patterns.