Essay writing is not a hit-and-miss thing. Although most people have to write at least a few good essays in their lives, not everyone can be a good essay writer. An essay is a piece of written work written from the writer’s point-of-view. It is used to inform, explain, describe, analyze, compare and contrast, evaluate or argue a point. Good essay writers do not simply string groups of fancy words together to make an appealing point. They need to have a variety of pre-writing skills that only disciplined practice can develop.

1. Defining the Problem

Before anything else, the first thing you have to be good at is to identify what you, the writer, are supposed to do. It is easy to think that the main purpose of a student essay is to answer the teacher’s question. That’s certainly part of it, but it misses the point of writing altogether. Ask yourself these six basic questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • Why?

Identify what specific issue you would like to address to whom and certain dates and events that might have come up to provoke this issue. Next, ask yourself why you would like to write this essay for your readers. Do you want to convince them, provoke them to action or change their attitudes? Your purpose becomes clearer when you answer these questions.

2. Brainstorming

An essay is not simply a collection of statements of your own opinions. To be compelling, it has to contain several interconnecting ideas that prove your point. Brainstorming is an ingenious way of coming up with these ideas. There are different ways to conduct a brainstorming session. You can do it yourself or with friends. The important thing is to suspend all forms of judgment about each idea until you have extracted every single thought related to the topic. The best and most innovative ideas often pop up after the initial rush of obvious answers.

3. Organizing

After brainstorming, your ideas are all laid out, but they are in a jumble that the average reader who doesn’t know you cannot recognize. Take a rest and go out for a walk, get some coffee or read a book. Move your thoughts away from your essay for a while until you feel fine and refreshed. Go back to your ideas and start sorting them into neat little sub-topics in order of importance. The most powerful ideas obviously are found at the head of the list. Your organizing skills are also valuable when it comes to creating your essay outline, a framework that serves as the skeleton to your essay’s body.

4. Research

Essay writers need extensive knowledge of their topic for them to write about it. There is a wide range of sources, both online and offline, approved for academic essays. However, you should be aware of using what’s acceptable or not. For example, just because Wikipedia defines itself as a free encyclopedia does not mean its standards are up to par with other general texts. A good researcher is also efficient. You should be able to identify which sources to use and which ones to pass over. This is possible if you keep the essay outline as a guide.

This educational article was provided by Tonia Walls, a professional essay writer. For more information browse this blog with plenty of essay writing tips.