Overview of an Essay

Essays are some the most common types of academic writing.

In college, they are used as key tools in assessing your writing and comprehension skills.

This demands effective mastery of steps for essay writing.

They are usually meant to help depict your ability and capacity to learn as well as to express yourself.

Definition of an Essay

Before you embark on the steps to essay writing, you have to understand what an essay is.

Per se, can be defined as:

“An essay is a form of writing that encompasses methodical analysis and evaluation of a specific issue or topic”.

Based on this definition, when writing an essay, you are required to give your academic opinion on the issue under study.

Note that there are different types of essay writing.

However, despite the differences in genre, you should see to it that you generate a well-structured piece of formal academic writing analyzing the given topic.

Importantly, you should do this with the understanding that good quality essays intend to outline the need for further reading around an issue as well as evaluate the student’s understanding of a particular subject.

All this demands effective skills on how to write an essay step by step.

Key Tips on how to Write an Essay

It is clear that different essays may have distinctive features due to their nature and the set requirements.

As such, prior to starting the writing process, you are required to fully understand the required essay type and respective essay format.

This is critical to how to write an essay step by step and demands a thorough scrutiny of provided instructions.

All that said, it is lucid that a top quality essay is characterized by specific traits.[nbsp]To achieve these traits you should:

1. Ensure Correct Focus

This entails expounding on a single main topic.

In this, the essay must be developed around a specific thesis and should stick to it to the end.

Such focus is essential in ensuring that you answer the right question correctly. Per se, the topic should be narrow enough to allow for an in-depth exploration.[nbsp]

2. Be Honest

This is a major feature of a top quality essay.

Principally, you should ensure that all the points and arguments made and advanced are supported with solid evidence.

Verifiable evidence should form the basis of your arguments, where assumptions and mere opinions should be steered off clear.

Good skills on how to write an essay step by step demand that arguments that cannot be substantiated or effectively defended be completely avoided.

Where and when necessary, you should reference the work.[nbsp]

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the audience

Markedly, an essay should be developed to address a specific target audience.

Understand that different written work has a specific audience is one of the critical steps to writing an essay.

Considering the audience therefore looks into the level of language used as well as the tone.

In this, the tone should not cause uneasiness to the reader and the level of language used should be easy to comprehend.

4. Ensure correct grammar

Essays with errors are a major put off despite how solid the arguments or credible the evidence could be.

Regarding correctness, you should ensure that proper grammar as well as sentence unity, syntax, agreement, spelling, and punctuation are in order.

5. Proper organization

This is a critical feature when it comes to how to write an essay step by step. It entails ensuring the correct essay format in areas like paragraphs and sentence structure.[nbsp]

Each paragraph should be centered on a specific idea that should be clearly stipulated in the topic sentence.

Proper use of transitions in the paragraphs is equally essential in enhancing paragraphs’ harmony.

Structure of an Essay

Structure of the essay a key area of concern when it comes to steps to essay writing.

Usually, this structure focuses on the parts of the essay as well as the paragraphs.

The entailed parts include introduction, body, and conclusion.




-Thesis statement

-Highlight of key arguments/points


-Topic sentence

-Supporting points

-Relationship with the thesis


-Thesis restatement

-Summary of key arguments/points

-General statement.


How to Write the different Parts of an Essay

Note that essays seek to realize different objectives, where their nature and shape is normally aligned to their purpose.[nbsp][nbsp]

Despite their purposes, all essays share similar features particularly, their shape as depicted in their outline.[nbsp]

Such an outline focuses on the key parts of an essay that include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion


Note that whether it’s an essay describing yourself, an essay for college application, or an essay for college scholarship, it should have all the above parts.[nbsp][nbsp][nbsp]

These parts are derived from the operations of an essay that include:

  1. Introducing the argument
  2. Analyzing data
  3. Raising counterarguments and
  4. Concluding


It is important to note that the introduction and conclusion parts of an essay have designated places, at the beginning and end of the essay respectively.

The other parts however can appear anywhere between the introduction and conclusion.[nbsp]

For example, the counterargument could be placed within a paragraph, at the beginning, as a separate paragraph, or before the ending.

Background material could also be placed at the essay beginning (between the introduction for an essay and first body paragraph) or at the beginning of the section that it is relevant to.

Since the different parts to an essay serve different purposes, there are several questions that could be asked to help you navigate through these parts.

These questions are:

  1. What?
  2. How?
  3. Why?

The “what?” question focuses on the evidence on your claim, and is usually part of the introduction to an essay.

On the other hand, the question on “how?” examines the truth in the essay’s thesis or claims. This truth is presented in the essay body paragraphs.

Lastly, the question on “why?” looks at the essay’s claims. It examines the relevancy of the essay’s claims to the reader and it should appear in the conclusion part.

You should ensure that the respective parts to an essay are factored into the writing process.

These parts are as expounded below.

Key Parts of an Essay

As noted above, parts to an essay primarily entail the introduction, body, and conclusion.[nbsp]

These parts can however be subdivided into further parts to make the writing more elaborate.[nbsp]

The parts are as illustrated below.

Introduction for an Essay

This is one of the most important parts of an essay.

All types of essays, including an essay describing yourself, an essay for college scholarship, or an essay for college application, must have a brief introduction that prepares the reader to read the work. [nbsp]

A typical introduction for an essay should has two key subparts that include:

  1. Hook for an essay
  2. Thesis statement

Hook for an Essay

A good essay should have an effective hook.

Note that the hook for an essay is sometimes considered one the most important parts of an essay.

It can help create a good first impression for the essay.

The hook is meant to catch the attention of the reader, which can be achieved through:

  1. Using a quotation
  2. Generating a controversial position
  3. Using a direct announcement
  4. Asking a question
  5. Using an usual comparison
  6. Providing a definition

Good skills on how to write an essay hook demand that you use the hook for an essay to make an assertive claim about the essay topic.

The hook should also connect to the thesis statement by showing the essay’s importance.[nbsp]

Tips on how to write a hook for an essay may include:

  1. Narrowing your lens
  2. Using the first-person view
  3. Employing your raw senses
  4. Using adjectives
  5. Employing your emotions


Thesis Statement for an Essay

This is also a critical part of the introduction for an essay.[nbsp]

The thesis statement acts as the summary for the argument to be advance in your essay.[nbsp]

It usually encompasses a single sentence that articulates the main idea of the essay. By reading it, the audience should be able to clearly understand your argument or view.[nbsp]

Usually, the thesis statement is the last line or sentence of the introduction for an essay.[nbsp]

A good thesis statement should be:

  1. Concise
  2. Contentious
  3. Coherent

It is important to note that a good essay should have a strong thesis statement. This makes skills on how to write an essay hook quite paramount.

Body of an Essay

This encompasses one of the most critical parts of an essay.[nbsp]

Its purpose is to provide arguments and information in a logical order to support the main point or claim identified in the introduction part in the form of a thesis statement.[nbsp]

For all essays, whether an essay describing yourself, an essay for college scholarship, or an essay for college application, a good body paragraph should exhibit some characteristics.[nbsp]

Based on these characteristics, the paragraph should:

1. Discuss only a single aspect of the main idea being advanced: This requires you to start a new paragraph whenever you move to a new supporting point.

2. Provide evidence supporting the main idea, claim, or thesis: This should be done using an illustration, explanation, or discussion.

3. Be part of the larger essay’s argument: It should work together with other body paragraphs to advance or support the arguments in the essay.

4. Enhance logical flow of the essay: The paragraph should be aligned to other body paragraphs to develop a clear and cohesive essay. This should be realized through the use of transitions.

The process of writing the body paragraphs should be systematic.

To adhere to this process, you should:

  1. Establish the main ideas to support and expound on the essay’s claim or main point.
  2. Arrange the ideas logically (this is could be chronologically or based on their importance).
  3. Develop a series of paragraphs each advancing a different idea.

Accordingly, the organization of the paragraphs is critical. This requires you to come up with an appropriate paragraph structure.

Such a paragraph structure should include:

1. Topic sentence: This is the point of the paragraph and usually appears as the first sentence of the paragraph. Its purpose it to stipulate the paragraph’s topic.

2. Evidence: This entails information supporting the point identified by the topic sentence. Such evidence may include examples and data obtained from relevant sources.

3. Significance: This entails a sentence that recaps the relevance of the paragraph in advancing the essay’s main point.


This is an important feature in all types of essays.

It requires you to demonstrate effective skills on steps to writing an essay. It particularly focuses on the structure of the paragraphs.

Notably, this structure looks at the organization of sentences with the introductory, body, and conclusion paragraphs. Such an organization is as illustrated below.[nbsp]

Topic Sentence

Although under the body, the topic sentence is usually considered as one of the integral parts of an essay.

It is also referred to as focus sentence and it encompasses the summary of a paragraph’s main idea.

A good topic sentence should:

  1. Identify the main idea being advanced in the paragraph
  2. Highlight the point the writer intends to advance about the subject being discussed.

Note that the topic sentence should be of an appropriate scope. As such, it should not be too specific or too general.

For the scope, the topic sentence should be adequately general in its construction to effectively illustrate the idea in the paragraph as opposed to illustrating just of one of the key details.

On the other hand, it should also be specific enough for the reader to with ease identify the main idea in the paragraph.

Further, the supporting details or sentences in the paragraph should be developed around the topic sentence.

When developing the topic sentence, you should therefore read the supporting details or sentence and think of one sentence that captures them all.

Conclusion of an Essay

This is also another of the key parts of an essay.

A good essay must have a short conclusion that represents the logical ending of the essay.

The conclusion to an essay should do three main things:

1. Summarize the main points advanced in the essay: This summary should provide the essay’s closure by summing up the points that have already been discussed in the essay’s body. [nbsp]

2. Pinpoint the broader implication of the topic or issue: This requires the writer to link the main idea that has been discussed in the essay to a larger issue, provide an opinion, predict an outcome that relates to the main idea, or use a quotation to sum up the essential aspect of the essay’s main point.

3. Remind the reader the essay’s primary focus: This is usually achieved by restating the essay’s main idea using different words.


Being the last among the key parts of an essay, it is important to note that no new ideas should be included in the conclusion to an essay.


Steps to Essay Writing

The process on how to write an essay step by step is critical in ensuring that it realizes the set objectives.

In this, careful planning and execution determine its quality. This requires you to understand the various steps you should adopt in the writing process.

Although there could be some differences resulting from the various instructions, the main process may encompass the following steps.

Step 1: Investigating the Topic

This should be the first step to focus on when it comes to steps to essay writing. It entails conducting a thorough research on the essay topic.

It is important in verifying the relevant sources, and detailed notes on relevant facts should be taken.

To achieve this, you need to:

1.1 Thoroughly read through the instructions

This requires you to read and reread the question to understand the specific focus your work is required to assume.

1.2 Conduct preliminary research

In this, you should generate several keywords related to its focus and conduct an in-depth research on the keywords.

1.3 Narrow down on the topic

You should then proceed to conduct more research to ensure that the topic is narrowed down to make it specific and thus suitable for the kind of essay you intend to write, that is, whether it’s argumentative, expository, descriptive etc.

Step 2: Analyzing the Presenting Ideas (Brainstorming)

This step presents a good test to your skills on steps to essay writing.

Note that analysis is critical in generating unique ideas.

Accordingly, all possible ideas should be evaluated to establish possible relationships and connections.

You should decide on your position and conduct more research to refine the collected information.

When doing so, brainstorming is key in generating the main idea to be featured in the essay.

This entails gathering numerous ideas about the essay topic; a process that can be realized through formation of an idea map or idea list.

Afterwards, review the collected information to ensure that it is adequate to support the topic.

Step 3: Developing the Thesis Statement

Developing the thesis statement is very critical when it comes to steps to essay writing.

The thesis statement is a key element you need to consider when it comes to how to write an essay.

In this step, you should use the ideas previously generated as support for your topic to develop the thesis statement.

The thesis statement should be a summary of the strongest ideas.

As earlier noted, the thesis statement generated in this step should appear as the last sentence of the first paragraph (this is for expository, analytical, and argumentative essays).

In some cases, it can appear somewhere in the first paragraph.

Importantly, the thesis statement should be specific enough to focus only on what will be covered. It should be revised during the writing process to ensure that it remains relevant. [nbsp][nbsp]

Step 4: Developing a Plan for your Essay (Outline)

Generating the outline requires you to demonstrate competency in steps to essay writing.

You should decide on the order the respective ideas will appear in. This should be in consideration of the essay structure.

It entails deciding on the information to include in the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

You should note down relevant points/ideas for each point developed and the respective supporting evidence.

Points should be organized in paragraphs with each paragraph starting with a topic sentence. [nbsp]

Step 5: Writing down the Essay

This is one of the critical steps for essay writing and entails assembling gathered information into one coherent piece.

You should decide on the order of the respective points/ideas.

Good essays are usually in five paragraphs!

Nonetheless, you should free-write to ensure relevant points are captured in the essay.

Generalizations and personalized statements should be avoided.

Step 6: Re-writing and Proofreading the Essay

This should be the last among the steps to essay writing.

Although overlooked, it is quite essential in ensuring top quality work.

Re-writing entails going through the essay to ensure that it assumes the appropriate essay structure and form.

Note that ideas can be modified and trimmed to suit essay structure and length.

On the other hand, proofreading is essential in correcting all possible mistakes.

The writer should examine such elements as grammar and spelling, sentence structure, respective statements, and coherency.