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Brief Overview of the 10 Essay Writing Steps

There are great essay writers, and terrible essay writers. While some great essay writers may fuel their essays with brilliance alone, most write exceptional essays by following a process. Here, we’ve summarized ten simple steps to writing a great essay.


Before you write down a single word, know your topic inside and out. Make notes of interesting sources and thoughts you have as you go, but for the moment, just concentrate on learning.


Once you have a good all-around grasp of the topic, it’s time to begin connecting ideas together. Identify different arguments and positions that are presented in the material you’ve researched. Think about these perspectives in terms of the topic your essay is to be about.


The point of writing your own essay, of course, is not to copy the arguments of another. It’s time to take your research and analysis and inject it with a touch of your own inspiration. Brainstorm about the topic—write ten questions about the topic you don’t yet know the answer to.


It’s time to distill your thoughts into a main idea for your essay. Decide on a clear idea for your thesis, a statement which you know you can support or disprove, based on the research you’ve done.


Create an outline for your essay, from introduction to conclusion. Use bullet points to show where you will state your thesis, and list three to five ideas you will use to support it.


Using your outline, write the introduction for your paper. First, introduce the topic to the reader. Next, state your thesis. Feel free to go into a bit of detail so that your thesis is made very clear to the reader. After that, summarize your support for the thesis.


Using one paragraph per major point of support, use your research to support your thesis.


Summarize your essay thus far and close it with an overview of your thesis, the support for your thesis, and further topics of interest your ideas bring to light.

Style & Format

Your instructor will have chosen a style for citation, be it APA, MLA, or another citation style they prefer. Make sure your support is well cited, and create your bibliography.


Polish your essay, correcting any spelling or grammar errors. Edit any thoughts that seem unclear, and perfect your tone and voice.