With the launch of Scholly Editor, writing is on our mind! Too often, the thought of writing an essay can seem daunting. Whether it’s a scholarship essay, professional writing, or even simply a creative writing piece, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. However, while writing can often cause frustration, there are many steps one can take that will help break down the task into manageable parts, and structure your thoughts & ideas so you’re not stuck on what to write.

Following this process is an easy and effective way to draft successful writing.

1. Pick a topic

If it’s a school assignment you’re writing for, the topic may have already been assigned to you. If that’s the case, it’s important to understand the type of paper you need to write. Are you writing a general overview of a subject or a more thorough analysis? Once you understand the direction you need to go in, you’re ready to start writing.

Another scenario is being given free reign to choose a topic, in which case you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. The first thing? Determine whether the intent of your essay is to inform or persuade.

The next step we recommend is making a list of 3-5 topics you are the most passionate about or find the most interesting, and tie back to what you’re hoping to achieve in your writing (inform, persuade, argue, etc.). It’s important to keep your list short to not feel overwhelmed. Our recommendation? Pick a subject that both interests you and the individual(s) reading may not have heard about before.

2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas

Once you’re topic and direction is set, the next thing to do is organize your thoughts. We suggest writing 5-10 points you’d like to highlight about the subject, no more than 2 sentences each and in your paper, you can further elaborate on each. This way, you are also able to see connections and links between ideas more clearly. This structure will serve as a foundation for your paper.

3. Write your thesis statement

Your thesis statement will be the bread & butter of your writing, as this sentence tells readers what the general purpose of the essay is. Once you’ve chosen a topic, put together a thesis statement that succinctly states the purpose of your writing. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your writing. Look at your outline. What are your main ideas?

Break your statement up in two parts. The first part should state the topic, and the second part should state the point of the essay. For instance, if you are writing about Barack Obama and his impact on the United States, an appropriate thesis statement would be, “In his 8 years in office, Barack Obama made a powerful and lasting positive impact on our nation.”

Another example of a thesis statement is this one for the “Winning Characteristics” scholarship essay: “During my high school career, I have exhibited several of the “winning characteristics,” including communication skills, leadership skills and organization skills, through my involvement in student government, National Honor Society, and a part-time job at Macy’s department store.”

4. The Body

This is the beef of your writing, where you can elaborate on all the points you outlined initially. Here you can argue and explain the purpose of your essay. Each main idea that you wrote in your outline will become a separate section within the body.

Bear in mind that each body paragraph should  have the same basic structure. It’s important to keep your structuring consistent throughout. Start by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas that you originally outlined, and then elaborate on each of them in a way that ties the explanations back to the main point seamlessly.

5. Write the introduction

You may be surprised to notice we didn’t suggest writing the introduction first! That’s because oftentimes, your best intro is written after you’ve laid out all your points and thoughts, so you’ll know exactly what to say in your into. After you’ve developed your thesis and body of your essay, you can then move on to the introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.

Begin with an attention grabber. You can use surprising information, a story, an anecdote, or a simple summary of your topic. Whichever angle you choose, make sure that it ties in with your thesis statement, which will be included in your introduction.

6. Write the conclusion

The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences. Simply review your main points and provide reinforcement of your thesis.

7. Add the finishing touches

After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay, but there is one more final step! Before you consider this a finished work, read through your work one more time to see what unique touches you can add to really tie everything together and make yourself stand out.

Finally, review what you have written. Proofread your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that your sentence flow is smooth, and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Use Scholly Editor to check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.

If you follow these steps, writing will be a breeze!