What is the essay writing process?
This is the third of four lessons about Essay Writing. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.
– Describe an effective essay writing process
– Explain each of the five processes individually
– Provide examples of each process to guide the learner
Now that you’ve done plenty of research and have prepared excellent notes, it’s time that you put pen to paper (or fingers to computer keys). We’ve outlined five areas below that might be useful for you to consider during the writing process of an academic essay. It’s important that you try to follow a process such as this at least at first as this will help to limit the amount of time you’ll need to spend proofreading, as is outlined in Lesson 4.
1. Plan your Essay
By now you should have grouped your evidence into themes, concepts, and – depending on the essay type – for and against arguments. You should then be ready to plan your essay, which may involve creating a work schedule for how often you intend to write to meet any deadlines you’ve been set. One thing’s for sure, your plan should certainly include some (or all) of the following elements:
If you’re writing something like an evaluative essay, you may also need to decide which of your main and supporting ideas will act as arguments and which will act as counter arguments. And don’t settle for just one plan; try a few different variations and see which plan seems the most convincing or possible, and be flexible with your plan changing once you start writing your essay.
2. Draft the Body Paragraphs
Once you have a solid (but not necessarily perfect) plan, the first section of an essay that you should write is usually the body section. This is because the body section is where you’ll provide your arguments, evidence, explanations and examples, and so this section shapes both the introduction and conclusion. If you change the body content and have already written the other two sections, then you’ll only have to go and change these sections again which would likely be a waste of time. When drafting, remember to include all referencing details so you aren’t later confused as to whether the information you’ve written is yours or from another author’s source.
3. Return to the Planning Process
After drafting your body paragraphs, you may need to return to the planning process outlined in Lesson 2 – especially if you notice gaps in your research, missing support, or evidence that may seem somewhat weak. If that is the case, happily return to the planning process and ask yourself additional questions about what information you’re missing or need further clarification about before you consult the literature again – reading this time with purpose and a clear goal.
4. Finalise the Body Paragraphs
The next important part of the writing process is to finalise those body paragraphs. Make sure that you’ve sufficiently explored and investigated the essay question, that you have provided enough support for your main ideas, and that your topic sentences and supporting details are all clearly connected and relevant to the essay question.
5. Write the Introduction and Conclusion
Finally, when your body section is completed, you’ll then want to write the introduction and conclusion. Make sure that you’ve left enough of your word count to complete these paragraphs, and be certain to make sure that your thesis statement and outline clearly connect with your main ideas and are provided in the same order as your body paragraphs. It would also be a good idea when summarising your main ideas in your conclusion to provide these in the same order as they appear in your essay too. And once these paragraphs are complete, you’ll be about ready to move on to the editing and proofreading process.
Once you’ve completed all four lessons about essay writing, you might also wish to download our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets to test your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks.
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