Step 1 – Brainstorming
Imagine you have been given this essay title:
‘What are the advantages and disadvantages of tourism?’
Quickly write down, in any order, as many themes or words related to this topic as you can.
You may ask, why should I do this? Brainstorming is an extremely useful technique that enables you to quickly think about all the topics and issues that the question raises. Each word you write down links to ideas and information you have already stored in your mind from previous knowledge and experience. You now have the starting point for your essay without any hard work whatsoever!!
Step 2 – Discussion
Ask a friend, family member or a classmate to do the same thing, but don’t let them see your ideas! Then compare your lists and discuss the reasons behind each of the words or themes you have written down. It is essential that you discuss all of the words, even if you have written down the same ones. Why? This is because you may have thought about the same theme, but from a totally different perspective, for example, positively or negatively, or you may have different examples or evidence than your partner.
This step increases your awareness of the scope of the topic and helps you formulate your own opinions. When you move onto the next stages, you should find that you have a clearer idea of how you want to approach the essay and what the outcome of it will be.
Step 3 – Choosing
Now look at your list of points and choose the points you would like to use in your essay. This of course will decide on the length of your essay and the structure (link to another tips page) you are going to use. In this example, you have to give the advantages and disadvantages, so generally two or three points for each side would be the norm for an average length essay. Make sure you can support each theme with examples and facts.
Step 4 – Planning
Now put your points into a rough plan. This means you have to decide the logical order and progression of the argument. Start with an introduction, then move into the development of your essay. Don’t forget your conclusion, this is the summary of your ideas and opinions and should be punchy.
Step 5 – Peer Evaluation
Before you start to write there is one more stage to go through. Pass your notes to your peers and ask them to give their comments. This will save time in the long run as your peers can indicate any problem areas at this early stage, before you have actually started writing.
|Step 6 – Rough Draft
You are now ready to write!! Develop your ideas into paragraphs. Remember that there should be only one main idea in each paragraph.
Step 7 – Check
This is the time to check your spelling and grammar and to make sure that your essay makes sense. Yes, it’s a boring step, but one that must not be overlooked. It’s amazing how many mistakes you can let slip at this stage because you just now want to hand the essay in and forget about it! Check out the next page on useful ways of checking your work.
Step 8 – Rewriting Final Draft
Now you really have finished! Carefully rewrite your essay bearing in mind all the comments you have received. You should make sure your introduction and conclusion are strong and that they reflect and justify the opinion given in your essay. Now hand it in, but keep practising!
Step 9 Model Essay