Essay Writing 101: Where Do You Start?


Sometimes, the most challenging part of writing an essay is getting started. Many students feel clueless about how to begin working on an essay – and often because they are unsure how to structure it. 

In this article, we will discuss the process of essay writing, which will help students attend to their class assignments more easily. We have also included some tips on how to improve essay writing skills. 

Five Main Steps of Writing an Essay 

Before we get into the details, let us offer a quick step-by-step breakdown of how you can get started with an essay assignment. 

  • Step 1: Write your thesis statement

This will shape how you approach your essay. 

  • Step 2: Create an outline 

Make a list of the information you need to include in your essay, and categorize them into different sections. 

  • Step 3: Do the research 

Collect the information pertaining to the essay. 

  • Step 4: Write your first draft 

Write the essay without focusing too much on the editing part. 

  • Step 5: Edit the draft 

Proofread the first draft with the goal of eliminating any spelling and grammatical mistakes and ensuring that the thesis is adequately supported. 

When you look at an essay like this, the process might not seem too much. There is no need to complete all these steps in a few hours or even in a single day. With sufficient planning, you can attend to the different steps at different times – which might make it easier. 

So, the next time you think, “Ok, I will pay someone to write my paper,” take a look at the steps and decide which parts you need the most help with. You might not have to delegate the entire paper; instead, you might only need help with the research or the final proofreading. 

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Now that we have established how to work on essays, let’s take a closer look at the steps. 

The Thesis Statement 

The thesis statement is perhaps the most crucial part of the essay. It will decide how you approach the topic and what kind of evidence you need. In some cases, your professor might assign you the topic, whereas, with some subjects, you might have to come up with your own. 

If you hate essay writing, it is important to choose a topic that can hold your interest. Here are some tips that you can follow when choosing the thesis for your writing assignment. 

  • Put some time into getting to know the material. This will help you think independently and come up with a thesis that is not so common. 
  • Beware of taking a thesis that’s not fully related to the assigned topic. 
  • If you have already done similar essays before for the same class, consider those as well. You might want to compare the essay to any previous and upcoming assignments – so you should pick a topic that supports the progression. 

Creating the Outline

For those unaware, all essays follow the same underlying structure, no matter the topic or type. An essay has three basic parts: introduction, body, conclusion.

Now, depending on the essay, what goes into its body will differ. For instance, in an argumentative essay, you will have to provide evidence to support your thesis statement. On the other hand, when writing a narrative essay, you will be using a creative style rather than an objective approach. There is no need to provide factual evidence, but only to convince the reader. 

However, having a clear idea of what should go into the body of the essay can help you understand what kind of information you need to collect. 


Doing the Research 

Some students might also prefer to do the research for the essay before creating the outline. This can also be a useful tactic – after all, you need to create a path that works best for you. 

Needless to say, what kind of homework you do and how you collect the information will vary vastly depending on the page. However, when doing the research, it is essential to organize it properly. This can be particularly crucial if you have to cite your sources later. 

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Writing the First Draft 

Once you have everything ready, you can get started with actually writing the essay. This might not seem overwhelming if you have spent enough time planning for the essay. At this point, you will already have all the necessary information, along with an idea of the structure. 

Bear in mind that you can deviate from the structure if needed. You will only be able to get a clear view of the body paragraphs and how you should present the data when you start writing the essay. 

Bonus Tip! As we mentioned earlier, it isn’t uncommon for students to stray away from the topic when writing an essay. This usually happens when writing the body paragraphs. For instance, you might come across a problem, and you might wind up following a thread and end up losing your way. To prevent this, occasionally stop when drafting your essay, and reread what you have written. This will help you from going off the track. 

Proofread the Essay 

Well, this is one of the most important parts of essay writing. Your first draft is likely to be filled with a few writing errors and even some incohesive arguments. 

This is why it’s important to take a second look at the essay – with the goal of ensuring that it’s devoid of any obvious grammatical mistakes. You should also make sure that the transitions work and that your thesis is adequately supported and in line with the theme of your writing assignment. 

As you proceed, make adjustments when necessary. You can repeat the processes as many times as you want. It might also be better to take a break and come back to the essay with a fresh set of eyes. 

As you can see, when you break down the process of essay writing, it does not seem like a big task. Instead, it gives you more control over time, as well as how you approach the topic. All that being said, it would always be better if you set aside sufficient time to write the essay – which can make a significant difference in the final result.