Mr. Jon Herrin
October 25, 2011
Writing A Super Essay
We often find ourselves sitting in some course for which we must write
an essay.For some people, the task comes easily. For others, writing an
essay is incredibly difficult. I have learned in my writing course that writing
a good, readable, intelligent essay is not as difficult as it may seem at first.
To start with, one needs to have a clear understanding of the 5-step
writing process. First, one must give a little time to thinking. In the thinking,
we start our brain “moving” towards our topic as we get ready for
“noting.” In noting, we make lists, brainstorm, web or cluster our ideas
about the writing topic. Then, after we decide what to include in our paper,
we start the actual writing of the paper. Once we’ve got the first draft,
we go back for revising—or, looking again. In revising, we add and take
away ideas, words, and sentences, and we make sure the structure of
the paper is right. Finally, after revising, we move to finalizing – writing
a final, edited, well-structured draft that we can turn in to our instructor.
With regard to the “structure” of the paper, it is important that the
essay be properly “laid out.” The first part of the essay is the Intro
Paragraph. This part of the essay is supposed to “grab” the reader by
creating questions in the reader’s mind or by making connections with
the reader through general truths and ‘connection words’ (we,us, our.)
Also, we want to make sure that this paragraph has a “thesis”—a
sentence or question that reveals (generally) the topic of the whole
paper. This paragraph should be short—only three sentences or so.
The second and largest part of the essay is the Body, usually comprised
of three or four “body” paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs begins
with a topic sentence that “controls” or directs the topic of the entire
paragraph. The final part of the essay is the Conclusion Paragraph. This
part is also short like the Intro (2 or 3 sentences) and serves to tie up
the essay. In this part of the essay, we “reaffirm” or emphasize the thesis.
One area that befuddles a few students is how to make corrections
when writing the final draft. We can actually do that quite easily! For
instance, if a student is writing and realizes that she left out a word,
she can simply place an up-arrow(^) in the line and ^ the word she
left out. If one writes the wrong word or misspells a word, he can simply
draw a single line through the
over the error. Doing this allows us to make corrections without
creating a messy paper.
Furthermore, there are a few more things we can do to make our
class papers look polished and academic. 1) Get in the habit of skipping
lines—this looks better and makes correcting errors easier. 2) Don’t
write on the back of the paper—sometimes there are “bleed-throughs”
that make the front look messy. 3) Write in pen (blue or black)—
pencil tends to smudge or smear easily. 4) Turn in the paper on time…
and early if possible! Just by paying attention to these few items can
make the difference between a “C” and a “B” on a paper or exam.
Yes, it may seem that there is a lot to putting together a good essay,
but simply doing these things can greatly affect our writing and our
grades. I don’t know about you, but I want my papers to be effective
and to receive high marks. Happy Writing!