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09/04/2019

How can you write a good essay??

QUESTION
How can you write a good essay??
I was just wondering, in general, if anyone had any suggestions on how to write an essay.

ANSWER
E.B. White said that the clarity of your writing reflects the clarity of your thought. So first, you must think clearly. What are you trying to say? How will you support or back up your statements?

To be a good writer, you must read good writing. Find some and read it. Ask your teacher for samples or find a collection of essays at the library. (Might need a librarian’s help for this.)

Next, learn to express yourself concisely. That is, do not use many words or fillers. Make your point, support it, give an example, and move on. Your point (or thesis) should be meaningful, interesting, or have some significance.

I highly recommend E.B. White’s book Elements of Style for all ages. Following its principles will improve your writing.

Another important consideration is to not start late. If your essay is due the following week, begin putting your thoughts down. Find passages to support your points, write up a first draft. I go back to the draft a day or two later and sometimes tear it apart. Other times, I might simply move things around and help it flow better. In any case, you won’t have a good essay if you start late.