If even the thought of essay writing leaves you trembling in fear, use our “BWEB” method to make the process easier:
Whether you’re writing a 2-page timed essay or 10-page research paper, you have to start with some planning. After you read your essay topic or prompt, complete preliminary research if necessary. Make sure you know exactly what your teacher is looking for, including the page limit or word count requirements, necessary sources, and preferred style. Think about your research or ideas, pick a position to write about, and turn this position into a clear thesis statement. Next, make a detailed outline for your essay. Your outline should be separated by paragraph, listing the important details in each paragraph as bullet points.
Actually writing is the part of the process that many people dread. But if you made a detailed and thoughtful outline during the “Brainstorm” stage, all you really need to do is turn your thoughts into sentences! If you find yourself stuck or frustrated, try to push through anyway. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect (or anywhere close during this stage), and you will feel much better once you aren’t staring at a blank page.
Once you finish actually writing the essay, you should go through several rounds of editing. Start by reading your essay aloud, and you will catch simple errors and awkward phrases to fix. Next, focus on one specific element each time you read through your essay. For example, you may read through your essay looking just for comma errors, then for spelling errors, and then for unclear phrases. If you have time, take a break sometime during this process; you will find that it’s much easier to catch mistakes after you give your brain some rest.
Now that you have read through your essay many times, go back to the basics. Did you follow the prompt completely? If the essay required you to take a position, are your arguments persuasive? Did you address all of the topics that the teacher asked? Use this opportunity to add these elements and make your essay better. Add the “finishing touch” by looking for places where you could find clearer phrasing or tie ideas together more smoothly.
Follow these four simple steps, and writing an essay can be as easy as translating your thoughts into words on a page!
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