Is Essay-Writing Difficult? (25 marks)
In this essay I shall argue that writing an effective essay is not difficult if broken down into three simple steps. First I shall show how to write a good paragraph, then how to structure these paragraphs and finally how to build an argument before concluding that writing an effective essay is not so tough.
Step 1: What Is A Paragraph?
A paragraph must make a point. The first line of every paragraph must make this point very clearly. Then you will need to evidence or expand upon the point and explain why it is relevant to your question – we call this analysis. If a paragraph does not have a point, it is by definition pointless, and therefore does not belong in an essay. Avoid repetition: have I mentioned that repeating points makes paragraphs cluttered, longer, and unclear so the essay would be clearer without repetition… What was my original point? Be careful not to add unnecessary information that does not support your point; I can name every planet in the Star Wars universe, but as impressive as this might be in a different context, it is unnecessary and unhelpful in this essay (remember what I said about clutter?). At the end of every paragraph, link back to the title so that the reader is reminded what is going on (especially after confusing them with repetition and irrelevant Star Wars references). The point of this paragraph was to show you how to make a simple point: that an essay is nothing more than a series of clear, related points!
Step 2: Structure Your Essay.
Secondly, these points must follow on logically from one another. This is called structuring an essay. In the best essays, each new paragraph builds on from the next. We call this “sign posting.” Notice that the introduction clearly “signaled” the three points I was going to make. This allows the reader to know what is going on and where the essay is going. A good structure should be decided on before writing the essay to ensure that you know what you are going to say and what points you are going to make in order to say it, otherwise, the essay will be unclear. Clarity is vital when writing an essay and a good structure in which each point leads on from the next will ensure that an essay is well written and clear.
Lower-level essays are more likely to be structured around a “for and against” argument, where the first few paragraphs make points “for” a statement and the next few paragraphs make points “against” a statement. Each side is then weighing up by comparing the relative importance of each of your points – we call this evaluation – so that a conclusion is reached. More advanced essays will be structured around themes – taking examples from across the entire range of a period of history/book. You will then evaluate each of the themes to conclude that one, or some combination, are the most important. A good structure is vital to an essay because it allows you to make your points in a clear and coherent way, allowing you to build your argument.
Lastly, structure these points so that you have a clear argument. The argument and structure will depend on what question is asked. For example, the aim of this essay was to show that essay writing is not hard. I, therefore, chose to write just three simple steps to build this argument. A good essay makes a consistent argument; which side you are going to fall on is said in the introduction, repeated at the end of each paragraph and repeated in the conclusion. Whatever the structure chosen, an essay should have a clear argument so that the reader knows what you are trying to say in this essay. Remember, the entire point of an essay is to answer the question asked!!!
Step 3: Conclude Your Argument.
In conclusion, essays are not very tough as long as you break down every paragraph into a single point, structure these points in a clear, logical progression and have your line of argument running throughout the entire essay. If you do these three things, the reader will not be surprised when the conclusion is made and will have a clear understanding of your answer to the question.
Did you find this helpful? Check out Writing Hacks from our top tutors to get even more helpful tips. Think you might need a bit more support this year? We can help!