How to Write an Essay

Writing Tutorial

How to Write an Essay


Writing an essay can seem difficult, but there is a formula that can make it much easier! This template, along with some tips and tricks, can give you a great essay in half the time.

Sample Problem

Write an essay about _____.


Follow these steps:
1. Write a thesis statement
A thesis statement is a one or two sentence summary of the argument you will be making throughout your essay. Creating this first will give you a goal to work towards with each of your other paragraphs.

2. Make an outline
Plan out the main points you would like to make in each paragraph. If you have certain facts or quotes you would like to use, decide which paragraph you would like to add each one. Keep your outline simple; you will add the fluff when you start writing the paragraph.

3. Create your intro paragraph
This is where you introduce your thesis statement at the very beginning of your essay. Usually, a “hook” is used here. Be careful if attempting to use a hook, because it can come across as cheesy and gimmicky. You should grab the interest of the reader so they don’t stop reading your essay after the first paragraph. Try to avoid asking attention grabbing questions as your hook; they are over-used and cheesy. You can use a fact, statistic, story, quote, or joke as a hook. This site has a great tutorial on writing a hook :

4. Create your conclusion paragraph
Once you know the thesis, you know the main point of the essay already without even having it done. Because of this, you can write a fitting conclusion that restates your thesis. You may need to alter this after you write the body of your essay, but it always feels good to have two paragraphs done before you even start the body.

5. Body paragraphs
At this point, you should have an outline with all the main points you would like to make. Use these points as a mini thesis statement for each paragraph. The other sentences in the paragraph can be used to bolster or solidify your point.

Read your essay out loud to yourself; this will help you catch most of the mistakes. After you have gone through it with a fine toothed comb, have a friend, parent, or teacher edit it for you. Two minds are better than one!

Here are some bonus tips and tricks:
– Never address the reader or yourself in the essay. That means no using the words “you” or “I”.
– Check the first word of every sentence in a paragraph and make sure you are not using the same one over and over again. Be wary of “the”! “The dog ate food. The food was good. The dog enjoyed the food.” It gets very boring.
– If you notice you are using a word too often, look up some synonyms for that word. Instead of “jumped”, try “leaped” or “skipped”.
– Metaphors and other literary devices can help spice up a boring essay. There are hundreds of literary devices out there to try, but here are 10 common ones you can utilize:
-Pay attention to citations if the essay calls for a specific format. Purdue OWL saved me in high school.
-Semicolons are a great way to break up a paragraph. Since exclamation marks are frowned upon and periods get boring, semicolons are a great option. To use one, just replace a period between two related sentences. Example: “The dog ate the food; he liked the food.” Each half of the sentence should be able to stand on its own. If the sentences are dependent on each other, use a comma instead.
– And last but not least, avoid run on sentences. That means don’t drag on a sentence by using “and” or any other ways of prolonging the period at the end. Example: “The dog ate the food and the dog really liked it because the food was good and the dog was hungry because he didn’t eat breakfast but now he is full and the dog is happy now.”

With these tips and tricks, you should be able to write a killer essay!

About The Author

Strengths In English/Essays (all Ages) And Element
I have multiple years of informal education experience. I was a tutor for 4 years, and I worked as an Education Specialist at Science Central (children's science museum). I currently work as a Naturalist, teaching children at Lindenwood Nature Preserve. My strengths are based in high school/middle s...
11 Subjects
KnowRo Tutor
1 Tutorial
Fort Wayne, IN
Get Tutoring Info

Suggested Tutors for Writing Help

Jeanne R

Raymond, NH

English: Writing And Literature

Brucie I

Hampton, NH

Language arts and journalism, writing and literary analysis educator

Stephanie H

Portsmouth, NH

UNH English Professor And SAT/ACT Verbal Instructor

Lindsey C

East Kingston, NH

Spanish Tutor, English Tutor, Writing Professional