Orient Readers. Orienting readers, locating them in your discussion, means providing information and explanations wherever necessary for your readers' understanding. Orienting is important throughout your essay, but it is crucial in the beginning. Readers who don't have the information they need to follow your discussion will get lost and quit reading.
Your teachers, of course, will trudge on. Supplying the necessary information to orient your readers may be as simple as answering the journalist's questions of who, what, where, when, how, and why. It may mean providing a brief overview of events or a summary of the text you'll be analyzing.
If the source text is brief, such as the First Amendment, you might just quote it. Often, however, you will want to summarize your source more fully so that readers can follow your analysis of it. Questions of Length and Order. How long should the beginning be? The length should be proportionate to the length and complexity of the whole essay. For instance, if you're writing a five-page essay analyzing a single text, your beginning should be brief, no more than one or two paragraphs.
On the other hand, it may take a couple of pages to set up a ten-page essay. Does the business of the beginning have to be addressed in a particular order?
No, but the order should be logical. Usually, for instance, the question or statement that focuses the essay comes at the end of the beginning, where it serves as the jumping-off point for the middle, or main body, of the essay. Topic and context are often intertwined, but the context may be established before the particular topic is introduced.
Which idea can you develop further and not lose the reader? Which captures more of who you really are? Choose your story to tell. You should have enough supporting details to rely on this as an excellent demonstration of your abilities, achievements, perseverance, or beliefs. Architects use a blue print. A webpage is comprised of code. Cooks rely on recipes. What do they have in common?
They have a plan. The rules for writing a good essay are no different. Create an outline that breaks down the essay into sections. All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this natural progression will make your essay coherent and easy to read.
How are you going to open your essay? With an anecdote? A question? Use of humor? Try to identify what the tone of your essay is going to be based on your ideas. Stick to your writing style and voice. Put the words in your own voice. Write the essay Once you are satisfied with your essay in outline format, begin writing! By now you know exactly what you will write about and how you want to tell the story.
So hop on a computer and get to it. Try to just let yourself bang out a rough draft without going back to change anything. Then go back and revise, revise, revise. Before you know it, you will have told the story you outlined—and reached the necessary word count—and you will be happy you spent all that time preparing!
Start with your main idea, and follow it from beginning to end. Be specific. Be yourself. It should make my essay stand out, if anything! And an examiner would probably be happy not to read yet another answer that makes exactly the same points. If you recognise yourself in the above, there are two crucial things to realise. The first is that something has to change: because doing well in high school exam or coursework essays is almost totally dependent on being able to pin down and organise lots of ideas so that an examiner can see that they convincingly answer a question.
Writing a top essay is a very particular and actually quite simple challenge. It sounds obvious, but a good essay should have the title or question as its focus the whole way through. It should answer it ten times over — in every single paragraph, with every fact or figure. Now, this is all very well, I imagine you objecting, and much easier said than done.
But never fear! Structuring an essay that knocks a question on the head is something you can learn to do in a couple of easy steps. Sussing out a question is a two-part process, and the first part is easy. The second part involves identifying key words and phrases.
Running through the basic outline of your paper in the introduction offers readers a chance to preview what your paper is about and your stance on the issue or to evaluate how objective you'll be. If you are stuck, you can elaborate on what you do know, as long as it relates to the question. Here's an example.
Approaching the essay with a fresh perspective gives your mind a chance to focus on the actual words, rather than seeing what you think you wrote.
Of course, good preparation and time management can help you avoid these negative experiences.
The final question asks you to respond to a quotation. While there are no right answers, there are more and less persuasive answers. Usually, for instance, the question or statement that focuses the essay comes at the end of the beginning, where it serves as the jumping-off point for the middle, or main body, of the essay. Choose three concepts you think fit the college application essay prompt best and weigh the potential of each. Planting a hook at the beginning gives you a way to use a common narrative or return to your original ideas throughout the paper which can give the entire essay more flow as well as setting the stage for you to have a convenient way to bring it all together in the conclusion. Before you know it, you will have told the story you outlined—and reached the necessary word count—and you will be happy you spent all that time preparing!
Although the introduction isn't typically part of your outline, your outline should be a part of the introduction. Instead, try the following: Perform a "memory dump. Have another person or several! Orienting is important throughout your essay, but it is crucial in the beginning.