Manual for students on how to write essays like an expert writer 


Writing essays like an expert is easy with the right guidance. As you sit down to write a paper, you need to spend a little bit of time thinking about how you will organize your content. This is part of the pre-writing stage. The pre-writing stage takes place before the writing and the revising stage. Taking some extra time to think about your plan of attack, even with an academic paper, will save you a lot of time having to reorganize a completed draft. Additionally, it will let you spend more time during the revision stage focusing on sentence-level issues.

As you begin planning your essay you should ask yourself the questions below:

  • What kind of essay am I supposed to write?
  • Is it in a specific genre?

While you are in school, you might be asked to write a lab report, a book review, a compare and contrast essay, or a document study. Knowing what reasoning patterns are associated with a specific genre can greatly aid the structure your essay uses.

For example, if you are writing a book review, your paper should start with a summary of the book that is going to be reviewed in your paper. After this stage, you should focus on a critical discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the book. You would follow this with a conclusion of the value the book holds. These features would lend themselves to an outline divided into three distinct parts:

Part 1: Summary

Part 2: Strengths and weaknesses discussion

Part 3: Evaluation


Part two would likely be the most substantial part of the paper which could be divided further into two parts: strengths and weaknesses.

It is important to note that not all genres have a fixed outline. Sometimes your professor will provide you with distinct features you are to include in your paper. This is why it is imperative that every assignment details be read thoroughly. If there is some part you do not understand you should ask for guidance.

After you understand the genre in which you are writing, you need to shape your argument. Almost every academic paper is argumentative in nature and therefore you need to create a structure that will allow you to best convince a reader that your position is valid. Be flexibly and use your skills.

 
 

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