For many high school and college students, writing an essay can be one of the most challenging tasks. So don't be ashamed because you Googled "Essay Help" to find us: millions of students struggle with the same basic task and require additional resources from reputable and trustworthy sources. Luckily, this essay help guide and its related pages are the result of tens of thousands of completed, reviewed and assessed essays by the very professionals who wrote them. Each section in this guide takes you through the steps required to complete a custom written essay from scratch and with the best quality possible. We have even included helpful documents and templates that will help show you what the completed essay should look like.
Firstly, you have to pick an essay topic. While you may think that this is as hard as just sitting in a chair until you think of one, it can be pretty simple. You actually have numerous ways of finding the topic that is best suited for you, your class and your interests. Generally, if you already have a topic assigned to you then you should use that. Otherwise, you can pick one based on your interests, what has the most available scholarly material available or what you have studied in a previous or concurrent class. We have also included various lists that contain common topics, controversial topics as well as recent topics that have made headlines. Lastly, if our topic guide still doesn't help you then we have included a brief list of external websites that are trustworthy, relevant and helpful.
Once you have a topic picked out, it’s time to begin the process of doing essay research for your sources. Understand that your professor will most likely require you to use peer-reviewed sources. These come from journal articles and books and are written by scholars or experts in a given field. These sources have also gone through rigorous scrutiny to make sure that they are the most accurate. The best places to look for sources are academic databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar and EBSCOHost, which are paid but available through your school’s library website. You should diversify the search terms and check the date for the source as generally the more recent, the better. Evaluating sources should begin with reading the abstract, intro and conclusion to see if it’s relevant to your essay research. If it is relevant then continue to read the source and take notes on common themes, important quotes (with page numbers) and major takeaways. While pen and paper are always useful, it’s better to use a cloud-based note taking application like Google Docs, Microsoft OneNote, and Evernote. That way, you can save your work on all of your devices and copy/paste the quotes when the time comes to do the writing portion.
Essay planning is a commonly underrated step that most students don't do because it seems unnecessary. However, doing the proper planning will not only make your writing easier, but it will also allow you to catch any major problems and address them before it's too late. Planning an essay starts with carefully reading over your instructions to make sure you know what your professor wants. Next, you need to inspect opinions and biases while addressing any core assumptions about your topic. Finally, you must find common themes within your evidence so that you can begin to put something down in writing for your outline.
The essay outline is a raw skeleton of your paper with each of the major sections outlined. It's important to put together an outline because if it's done well, then you will not have to be confused about what to write next. Outlines are either structured based on logic or your actual paragraphs. This section includes examples and tutorials.
Your thesis statement is the main argument of your paper and should represent the core idea that you are trying to convey. While there are many different ways to write this, we recommend following an easy format by outlining the cause and effect of your data. Examples and a brief guide is included.
The introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay and is generally about 20% of your total paper in terms of length. The most common way to structure an essay introduction is to use the funneling method: broad to specific. This method suggests that you should start with a broad statement, narrow it down to a time and place, define key terms/background information and finish with a thesis statement. It's important to always include the thesis at the end of the introduction.
Body paragraphs are the main section of your paper and include your provided examples to back up your thesis. It's important to follow a specific format for these paragraphs. Typically, a body paragraph is 6-8 sentences (half page) and has these parts in order: (1) topic sentence, (2) introduce source or evidence, (3) include 2-3 quotes or facts, (4) explain the quotes in your own words, (5) relate evidence to the thesis, (6) transitional sentence to next paragraph.
Your conclusion ties all of your work together and finishes it with closing thoughts. A conclusion should be roughly 20% of your total essay and should never introduce new information such as quotes or facts. It's typically structured like this: (1) restate thesis in 1-2 sentences, (2) recap the main point of each body paragraph in 1-2 sentences each, (3) close with your analysis.
Quotes and citations are an integral part of your completed essay since it is the evidence that you use to make an argument. When using quotes, make sure that they are never in the beginning or end of your paragraph. Also, introduce the quotes and don't simply "drop them" without notice. Make sure to use only memorable and important quotes from your sources and explain what they mean in your own words afterwards.
The works cited page is a list of references that you used in your essay. In MLA style, this is located at the end of the paper on a separate page and has a centered title at the top. Then, each source is listed based on MLAs style guide.
When you are completed with your essay, make sure to save time for a proper essay review. This can be done through a school writing help center or through a friend/relative that you trust.
This section includes some essay samples and examples that you can use.
Even if you are a great writer, these essay tips and tricks will help improve your writing. For instance, make sure to never use the word "said" when introducing quotes and instead use alternatives. Finally, if you are going to use colons and semi-colons, make sure to know how to use them.
We have also included some helpful essay downloads so that you can have some additional resources.