How to nail that essay

As a student, there’s no way to avoid an essay. Its part and parcel of almost every subject students will encounter during their studies. But as common as they are, teaching the foundations of essay writing and how to write a good essay is often skipped over.
Students need to be able to plan and structure an essay so it’s effective. If you’re not sure how to do this correctly, keep reading.
With an essay, comes a question. Analyse this question first. Work out exactly what the question is asking and this will help you shape your essay a bit easier. Underline keywords that stand out and use these to form the question in your own words. In doing so, if you were once unsure of what the trajectory of the question could be, this perhaps adds some further understanding. However, if after analysing you’re still unsure, ask your teacher.
Once the question has been grasped, do some research on the topic or the argument you’ve chosen to present. If you’ve chosen a stance and gathered further insight into the topic, think about how you’re going to present it to readers. Are there facts you could use to justify your approach? Try highlighting and taking notes of examples or evidence that you could use to help make your case and convince readers.
In finding evidence, you might find you have already developed an angle. And this angle may or may not agree with the question. Whatever you decide, ensure there is evidence to back it up. Reinforcing this argument throughout the essay will also help to ensure the readers are clear of the essay’s stance.
Once the angle is confirmed, go back to the evidence and decipher which quotes and examples best suit the argument. Look at the notes, highlight what is relevant and remove what is not.
Right, you’ve got the argument and its backing evidence. Put it all together in a plan. Define the number of paragraphs, the contents of those paragraphs and what will feature in the introduction and conclusion. Ensure that the plan reflects the ideology that each paragraph should flow on from the other.
Next up is the first draft. A first draft is a safe space where the initial ideas and sentence sequences can be written down. The words don’t need to be perfect or sound finalised. The next part of the process is to let it be. Walk away from the draft. Come back a little while later with fresh eyes ready to restructure, edit and modify. Read through sentences and decide whether it flows, if the word choices fit and whether the argument is clear enough.
Lastly, find a proofreader. Another pair of fresh eyes to help offer some feedback to ensure the essay is of its best standard.
Now, while we think that this process works, writing an essay in this format is not absolute. If you’d like to mix up these steps, do it. If things change throughout the process, like the argument, just go with it.