Essentials Every Essay Writer Must Memorize

When someone must write an essay, it may be for a personal blog or a corporate website. In any case, if it’s something they don’t do every day, they might spend a lot of time in front of a blank screen. There may be tears and gnashing of teeth. Then, an idea will form in their mind, and they’ll type away until the keyboard is smoking, and their fingers are bloody. Or…

For those who are smarter than the average writer, understanding the basics of essay writing ahead of time can take away a lot of the fear associated with collecting original thoughts and shaping them into inspiring prose. Here’s the essential information every essay writer needs to succeed, or at least get started.

Essay Writing Tips

Luckily, there’s a formula for essay writing that helps give thoughts structure and ensures that the author writes in a format people recognize. Just like any worthwhile performance, practice makes perfect.

First, become familiar with the basic structure, as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Topic 1
  • Topic 2
  • Topic 3
  • Conclusion

This helps the writer build a detailed outline used to create the first draft. The introduction outlines what’s to come in the body paragraphs and lays out the writer’s thesis, the point of the essay. One or more topic (or body) paragraphs home in on supporting facts, proposed solutions or other material, depending on the type of essay being written.

Types of Essays

When people think of essays, they probably don’t realize how many varieties there are. The type of essay you choose depends on what you want to accomplish. If you simply wish to give access to information, an analytic or definition essay might work. If you are trying to sway someone’s thinking, an argumentative or persuasive essay does the trick. Here’s are the most common types:

  • Analytical
  • Argumentative
  • Critical
  • Definition
  • Descriptive
  • Expository
  • Narrative
  • Persuasive
  • Process

Publishing Style Guides

You must understand the style used by the platform where your essay will be published. For example, academic work typically uses MLA or APA style formatting. New organizations use AP style or Chicago/Turabian.

Purdue OWL has free examples of the formatting for each style so that you can practice and get better.

  • AP style
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • Harvard

The major differences are references formatting, title page layout, and heading format. Still, it’s worth researching the various types to help you choose a model for your own work.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.